Buffalo, New York
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Buffalo Business Signs
The Neutral Nation of Native Americans were the original inhabitants of this region of what would become western New York. However, in 1651, the Senecas of the Iroquois Confederacy conquered the territory. Between 1789 and 1801, American colonists founded the village of Buffalo itself. Buffalo wouldn’t be officially incorporated as a city until 1832. It was named after nearby Buffalo Creek. There are a few theories concerning how Buffalo Creek got its name. It was possibly called “Buffalo” as a result of French fur traders referring to it as “Beau Fleuve”, meaning “Beautiful River” in French, or it may have been named for the bison, which once roamed the area.
According to a 2013 US Census estimate, the modern day city of Buffalo has a population of 258,959 people. This makes it the second largest city in the state of New York, following New York City, of course. It is the 73rd largest city in the country. Buffalo serves as the principal city of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area. As of 2010, this metropolitan area had a population of 1,135,509 people. It is the 50th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.
Buffalo Business First claims the largest employer in Buffalo to be the State of New York, which is responsible for over 15,000 jobs. The other major employers in the city are the United States government, Kaleida Health, M&T Bank, the University at Buffalo, General Motors, and Tops Friendly Markets. Banking serves as a large part of Buffalo’s modern economy. In fact, the headquarters for M&T Bank and First Niagara Bank are located in the city. Bank of America, KeyBank, and Citigroup also have operations in and around Buffalo. Buffalo also serves as the home of Rich Products, Canadian brewer Labatt, Sorrento Lactalis, and Delaware North Companies.
Historically, the largest economic force in Buffalo has been the Erie Canal, which opened on October 26th, 1825. Originally, the canal ran 363 miles (584 km) from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River, to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie. In 2000, the United States Congress designated the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, “to recognize the national significance of the canal system as the most successful and influential human built waterway and one of the most important works of civil engineering and construction in North America.” The Erie Canal is now mostly used by recreational watercraft. The last large commercial ship ceased operation on the canal in 1994.
Another cultural touchstone birthed in Buffalo is, of course, the Buffalo Chicken wing. This world famous appetizer (deep fried chicken wings) is traditionally served hot and spicy with various dressings for dipping. Teressa Bellissimo invented Buffalo Wings at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo in 1964.
Buffalo is also famous for its NFL Team. Founded by Ralph Wilson in 1960, the Buffalo Bills were a part of the AFL, and won two AFL championships in the 1960s. Once they joined the NFL, they went to four consecutive Super Bowls in the 1990s, but lost them all. The Bills play their home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Over at First Niagara Center, the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL play their home games.
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