I’ve been thinking. (insert “uh oh” or “watch out” or “finally”)
There are a ton of areas in the city of Buffalo that are distinctly identifiable by their name. In some cases, that name may be aligned to a main street or “drag” – in others, to something historic or unique. But in all cases, the name comes with an image. It also creates a destination while identifying you with a particular neighborhood.
The name is everything.
Think of the Elmwood Village, Allentown, Canalside, Chippewa, Cobblestone, Larkinville. Each of these have become destinations, filled with restaurants, bars and other amenities, flush with hustle and bustle. They’re marketable locales. They’ve become pockets of pride for the city and even trendy. Basically just places people want to be.
So what about North Buffalo?
It has all of the above and given the flurry of business activity and recent real estate trends, it has become, not only cool but also, a good investment to reside in 14216. But is thinking of it on the “North Buffalo” scale too broad? Meaning, without having focus on the center of the activity, maybe we’re missing out on what could be something even greater.
The above neighborhood names drive people to a place that usually in turn spurs some economic impact. It’s no secret that the backbone of North Buffalo is Hertel Avenue. The marketer in me would love to see us commit to creating something that reinforces just that. Reinforces a unified brand for the core part of North Buffalo – be it our avenue, village, district, borough or ward. Something we can collectively own, celebrate and promote.
Whether you’ve lived in the area your whole life or are a transplant, you’re likely all abuzz with the buzz so I’m sure this resonates with you. So what do you think? Do we need a once-and-for-all name? A brand? What should it be? Share your thoughts in the below poll!
Your poll question asks people how they refer to the Hertel neighborhood, and not surprised to see “North Buffalo” the most common. I think there is some historical precedence for calling the area “North Park” though I don’t remember where I read this a while back. Any historians?
I use both terms, the first more generally, then more specific to our neighborhood I’ll use North Park. I think of it as bounded roughly by Linden on the south, colvin (maybe all the way to Delaware) on the west, Parkside (maybe to Starin) on the east, and Taunton (again, maybe to Kenmore Ave.) to the north.
Black Rock and University Heights are both in “North Buffalo” but they have distinctive identities as neighborhoods. Now, Black Rock is a pretty cool name for a neighborhood, but it’s taken. I think North Park is a really good second choice. It fits us in geographically with the Parkside and Central Park neighborhoods, and stretches us all the way across the city to link up with South Park (one of a number of distinct “South Buffalo” neighborhoods).
apparently, it’s official. We have a Wikipedia entry.
What I call my neighborhood depends who I am talking to, or how specific I want to be. If I’m speaking to someone who lives in the suburbs, “North Buffalo” always works. People have a good idea of where you’re talking about. If I’m speaking to a city resident, who will have a better understanding of the geography and neighborhoods of the city,I will add something like “Hertel/Parkside” or “Hertel/Starin” to be more specific.
I agree it would be good for branding if the Hertel Ave area had its own unique moniker. “North Buffalo” encompasses a lot of area.
Some great commentary here and on facebook/twitter. This is exactly what I was hoping to see from folks. Everyone has an opinion but they all seemed to be derived from their own experiences. Maybe someday we’ll get a group together to create this unified brand I’m speaking of….
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