Buffalo is better than NYC because you can work PT and make like $12k and live frugally and it’s totally ok. You won’t die, or starve, or be evicted. You can live, if uncomfortably, on much less money. Because you have to work less, you have more time to play.
Buffalo takes less time to cross, so a “long commute” means 20 minutes by car, not 1 hr by subway. Because you work less and commute less, you have more time to play with friends. And you’re not too exhausted to do it. And it takes less time to meet up. You can say to your friend, “I’ll meet you at the bar in 10 minutes,” and that’s totally feasible. You don’t have to plan hours in advance if you want to meet someone who lives in a different borough.
NYC is better than Buffalo because of MOMA. The Albright-Knox is great but who’re we kidding? Similarly, the Buffalo Philharmonic ain’t exactly the New York Philharmonic.
Getting out of Buffalo isn’t an event in itself like getting out of NYC. Wanna go hiking or go on a wine tour? It doesn’t require “getting away for the weekend” or “going to the Poconos.” It doesn’t require hotel reservations or battling traffic. You just go. You go hiking. You come back. It’s not a Big Deal.
Conclusion: nothing in Buffalo is a Big Deal. Everything in NYC is a Big Deal. For my time and money it’s much nicer to swim in a smaller pond.