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Ask Anyone

B-LO HER away

My partner and I have moved back to Buffalo after years living in bigger, faster cities like DC and New York. I came back for a job—a really good one that I love. My partner moved back to be with me, and she’s not so happy about it. She doesn’t complain, but I know she’d rather be elsewhere.

Can you suggest an itinerary for one great weekend that would underline all the good things about this place? I’d like to remind her of the region’s many virtues.

—Happy Home

Ruthless says: At the risk of sounding pessimistic, you might do better thinking of places to avoid. I knew of a couple in a similar circumstance. A young woman from Savannah, Georgia, who’d been living in New Orleans for years moved up here to be with her true love. Of course, she didn’t have a job lined up, because who thinks of those things when love is involved, and she didn’t have any medical insurance to counteract her reaction to our Buffalo weather. (Perhaps January wasn’t the best time to move?) So she had to go down to the Rath Building within the first week of her arrival to apply for some services. While there she took in a healthy dose of our local color and flavor, overhearing two young women talking about a third—a friend or neighbor—in quite hilarious terms. One thing confused her though: when one of the women said of the third, “She smell like Lackawanna!”

Upon returning four or five hours later, she repeated the conversation. “What’s Lackawanna?” she asked her true love. Well, some things, like the smell of Lackawanna, can’t be explained in words (whether this was in Bethlehem Steel’s heyday, I do not know), so off they went for a scenic drive. Then they ended their adventurous day with a beer—or seven—at the Pink Flamingo.

The young woman from Savannah did not last through January.

The Gay Perspective: Your question is impossible without knowing a little more about your partner. Are we talking about a trip to the basilica in Lackawanna, to Niagara Falls, to the Roycroft Inn, to the Seneca casino, to the Albright-Knox, to Miss Kitty’s, to Shea’s, to the Galleria or the Fashion Outlet Mall? What is her idea of fun?

My experience suggests that if she has an affirmative attitude, Buffalo will grow on her. The region is friendly, diverse, and accessible. In time, Buffalo becomes irresistible to everybody who comes here.

The Practical Cogitator says: First of all, don’t make it a weekend. If you have a great job in Buffalo, a job you moved back here to take, then you can probably get away with taking a day off here and there in the middle of the week. Make a point of that as you bring her the morning coffee; remind her of the kind of hours you used to work in Metropolis.

Second, if you live in the suburbs, get her into the city every chance you can—not just on one showy weekend or that rare school night. Subscribe to the BPO or a theater, if she’s into that. Take her to Babeville for a concert and then to a late dinner at the Mother’s. (Make sure she sees the bill, too.) Get babysitters, if you have kids—they’re cheap around here.

If you live in the city, get out often, and not just to New York or Toronto. Rent a cottage in Canada or Olcott in the summer. Take road trips out into rural Western New York now and again, in search of antique shops and country taverns. Ski, sail, swim. (And keep showing her those bills, so she understands that you all could never live so extravagantly elsewhere.)

And give it time.

Airborne Eddy says: Here’s some advice. Take her on a Forgotten Buffalo Tour:

Ask Anyone is local advice by and for local people. Please send your questions for our panel of experts to

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