YKYF Buffalo Cover Thumbnail

Five Questions with Adam Zyglis, author of You Know You're From Buffalo If ...


1. What is it about Buffalo that sets it apart from other American cities?

Buffalo is one of those few American cities with a uniquely strong sense of place and togetherness. Buffalo's long decline from its height in the early 1900s ironically yielded many of its strengths as it attempts to stabilize and grow again. The hard times fiercely bonded the citizens together and fostered a gratitude for what we did have - our shared culture. The preserved turn-of-the-century architecture, the die-hard sports fandemondium, the food, and the specialness of the people all set Buffalo apart.

2. You've made a career out of poking fun at life and politics in Buffalo. Is it hard to find the humour in a place that you've lived in all your life?

Humor gets many of us through dark times, so Buffalo has always been good at poking fun at itself (but not advisable for outsiders). There are so many absurdities and oddities in Buffalo that make humor easy to mine.

3. What is your favourite thing about Buffalo?

I have to pick just one? Ha. That's tough; there are too many to choose from ... but the thing I ­­­would miss the most is the food.

4. What do you think outsiders would find most surprising about your hometown?

Most outsiders have a very dated stereotype of Buffalo that in many ways used to be true. But today Buffalo is a rich and vibrant place.

5. Besides Niagara Falls, where would you take someone who is visiting Buffalo for the first time?

I would definitely drive someone on a downtown architecture tour on the way to a sunset on the waterfront.