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A Guide to Buffalo, N.Y. Neighborhoods

Known as "The City of Good Neighbors," Buffalo, N.Y., was founded in 1789 and expanded rapidly after it became the terminus of the Erie Canal in 1825. Today, Buffalo boasts some 261,000 residents and is considered one of Forbes magazine's best places to live and work in the U.S. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, you can enjoy everything Buffalo has to offer.

Buffalo Neighborhood Basics

Map librarian Ernie Woodson describes Buffalo as a city that "consists of thirty-two neighborhoods varying in size, function and historic significance." Woodson has created an interactive map to help residents and visitors navigate the neighborhoods of Buffalo. Many of these neighborhoods are located near downtown, which the Buffalo Place neighborhood experts describe as "one of the most ethnically diverse communities in all of Western New York."

Those who want to take in this diversity and cultural history can focus on the following seven areas. If you're scoping out a neighborhood to move into, keep in mind that many older Buffalo homes are quite small. On the other hand, most newer neighborhoods with larger homes are located away from downtown.

Allentown

Allentown is widely regarded as one of the oldest and largest residential districts in the U.S. The neighborhood was first founded by Lewis Fallie Allen, a wealthy man who was interested in a variety of business ventures, including breeding cattle. Today, the neighborhood is known as a retreat for artists and the bohemian crowd. Art galleries, cafés and gift shops line the streets of this area. Allentown features many smaller, historic homes with limited storage.

Waterfront Village

As one of the newer neighborhoods in the Downtown area, Waterfront Village is located west of the central business district and is home to many condominiums and townhouses. Individuals who live in this area enjoy gorgeous views of Lake Erie. The condos and townhouses in this area feature generous living space but can be short on storage space.

Old First Ward

Located south of the central business district, the Old First Ward is affectionately referred to as "The Gate to Buffalo." The neighborhood was a home to Irish immigrants during the 18th and 19th centuries and has retained a strong sense of Irish pride. An annual St. Patrick's Day parade is held in the Old First Ward.

The Fruit Belt

The German immigrants who first moved into this neighborhood planted the large orchards for which the area is named. Residents of The Fruit Belt now celebrate the Underground Railroad's strong connections to the area and the African American community that thrives there. As with other older neighborhoods in the area, homes in the Fruit Belt can be small with minimal storage.

Pratt-Willert

One of the newest neighborhoods in the area, Pratt-Willert is largely a residential area made up of row houses and single-family homes. This is one of the fastest-growing areas in Buffalo thanks to continuous community improvement efforts.

Lower West Side

Long known as Buffalo's Italian neighborhood, the Lower West Side is bordered by the Erie Canal. The neighborhood is considered the most diverse in Buffalo today with a variety of new immigrants and long-time city dwellers moving into the area.

Historic West Village

The West Village is home to slate sidewalks, carriage steps and beautiful tree-lined streets. The majority of the residential buildings in this area were built in the 19th century. Many of the homes have been restored by residents and investors who are interested in revitalizing this area of Buffalo. Some homes have been updated with garages suitable for storage.

Declutter Your Life with Self Storage

Given the historic character of many of Buffalo's neighborhoods, it's easy to run out of space in these homes. After all, older houses tend to have smaller rooms and few storage closets. Maybe the special clothing you wear each year on Dyngus Day is taking up precious space in your closet. Perhaps holiday decorations are taking over your garage. Using a self-storage unit to store these items will help you to clear clutter without throwing anything away.

Before choosing a storage unit, you should go through your items and decide how much space you'll need. Think about the items that make sense to store. Chicago Tribune lifestyle specialist Judy Hevrdejs recommends that you "store pieces you use periodically," such as holiday and cultural items, and "use covered plastic containers to avoid mold and mildew." If you're storing delicate items, especially clothing and paper goods, consider choosing a climate-controlled storage unit that will protect these items from extreme temperatures and moisture.

No matter where you live, work or play in Buffalo, you can create extra space at home by placing the items that you don't need right now into storage. You can search online to find a storage unit suited to all your needs. You can even search for specialized storage spaces, such as those that are climate-controlled or are designed for very large items.

"Buffalo, NY Neighborhoods Map", University at Buffalo Map Collection - http://library.buffalo.edu/maps/buffalownymaps/buffalo_neighborhoods.php

"Neighborhoods", Buffalo Place - http://www.buffaloplace.com/neighborhoods

"Purge and Organize Your Self-Storage Unit", The Seattle Times - http://seattletimes.com/html/homegarden/2011122314_storage19.html

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