The headline of this Boston Globe article is actually When Did Boston Get So Fun? But this piece by Nestor Ramos published on September 23, 2015, could also be written about Buffalo, and actually mentions the Queen City in a relatively positive light.
Just as Buffalo struggles to engage the students graduating from Western New York's 21 colleges and universities in ways that encourage them to remain in the area, so does Boston. But there are apparently deeply ingrained, historic barriers for beantown to overcome:
"Fun is important,” says Malia Lazu, whose Future Boston Alliance counts making the city more fun for young adults as one of its core goals. “You forget that when you live in Boston for too long, and people sort of look down on fun.
“It’s been that way for so long,” says Lazu. She describes the city’s longstanding aversion to fun as something ingrained at the cellular level, kind of the way a flatworm can learn its way through a maze by eating another flatworm that had already figured it out. “It is part of the reason why we lose talent,” she says. “People want to feel at home. People want to feel welcome. People want to have pride. People want to feel a sense of connection. And if they don’t have that, then there’s no reason for them to stay.
"But all of a sudden, evidence is everywhere that the city and its surroundings are open to the idea of having a good time...Boston has always been open for business. Finally, maybe, it’s open for fun."
After detailing a plethora of intriguing ways in which Boston is "playing catch up" to try to "impress the twentysomething demographic," among other cities cited as doing so successfully is -- you guessed it: Buffalo, albeit in a rather left-handed manner:
"In fact, New York, Seattle, Omaha, the East and West Coast Portlands — they all have a bit of a jump on Boston. In Buffalo, of all places, on the grounds of an abandoned soap factory, Larkin Square is decked out with canopies and hula hoops and giant chairs and all manner of whimsical nonsense."
Buffalo must struggle as mightily as Boston to keep our college grads in town. Our barriers are a bit different, and actually a bit more daunting, but like Boston, we are making some headway. Much more needs to be done, however. Like welcoming all new students to the city, for instance. And then inviting them to events, engaging them in the community, and offering them opportunity. Oh, and showing them how mcuh fun it is to live here, of course.