Nicholas DeRenzo

There’s perhaps no American city that better encapsulates the rise-and-fall-and-rise-back-up-again narrative than Buffalo, New York. In the first few decades of the 1900s, the Queen City was one of the largest, most dynamic metropolises in the entire U.S., with grand Frederick Law Olmsted–designed parks and an Art Deco skyline to prove it. After suffering the fate of many Rust Belt towns, the city is now in the process of dusting itself off and embracing the things that once made it great. Buffalonians and newly arrived immigrants and refugees are transforming old factories, warehouses and even grain silos into award-winning restaurants, breweries, boutique hotels and contemporary art spaces. The result? A re-energized city that’s as hot as its famous wings. As a bonus, the majestic Niagara Falls are less than 20 miles north of New York's second-largest city.