1 – How did the roof of the old Peace Bridge Arena collapse?
13 inches of snow fell onto the roof. Come on, you had to realize there wasn’t going to be another real answer to this question.
2 – Which famous building in Buffalo is 97% unoccupied?
Seneca Tower. And seeing as how this almost-40-story monstrosity is Buffalo’s tallest building, don’t you think that it’s MAYBE time to blow this ugly fucker to the ground? Those tenants who aren’t there may be trying to tell us something. Hell, let’s wipe out the Buffalo Convention Center and repurpose the base of Seneca Tower to be a new convention center. It would kill two birds with one stone.
3 – At the turn of the 20th Century, Buffalo was home to more millionaires than any other city in the world. Where did they live?
Delaware Avenue. Millionaire’s Row. Most of the old houses are still up, repurposed as office buildings, but walking along Delaware can give one the feeling of how important and powerful Buffalo once was.
4 – The first chancellor of the University of Buffalo later became President of the United States. He was a Buffalo native. Who was he?
Millard Fillmore. How many things in Buffalo are named after him? He was a pretty active community guy for most of his life.
5 – Buffalo sports fans all know the Los Angeles Clippers started as the Buffalo Braves, but they’re actually the second NBA team originally founded in Buffalo. What was the first?
The Atlanta Hawks were created in 1945 as the (say it with me!) Buffalo Bisons. Unfortunately, since professional basketball back then was a crazy cousin sport, no one came out for them, and their owner was compelled to pack it in after 13 games. It was three more moves before they came to their permanent home in Atlanta, but it was their home just before Atlanta where they came of age: As the St. Louis Hawks, the team found its identity, became a marquee team, and won its only Championship.
For the record: Upstate New York has a rich and deep history with professional basketball. The oldest team in the league is the Sacramento Kings; they started out as the Seagram’s Factory team, eventually turning pro as the Rochester Royals and winning their only title in 1950. Sadly for them, they moved three times, and still haven’t found any sure footing; any time the NBA throws about ideas for new markets, the Kings are always among the first teams mentioned as a candidate to be moved. And further east, in Central New York, there were the Syracuse Nationals. They moved too, but their saga has a much happier ending than that of Upstate New York’s other teams. They’re the team credited with inventing the shot clock, and they won a title in 1954 before Syracuse was deemed too small to hold a professional team. But they needed just one move to find a permanent home, where they have since forged their identity, won a couple more titles, fielded some of the NBA’s greatest, and ultimately created themselves as a legend. They ply their trade today as the Philadelphia 76ers.
6 – How much snow did the Blizzard of 1977 actually drop?
Believe it or not, the blizzard which is the standard that all other blizzards are judged against dropped only 12 inches of snow. What Buffalo got smacked upside the head with, though, was a brutal windstorm that blew all the snow in from off Lake Erie, so all the snow over the lake landed in Buffalo and built right up, so those 12 inches turned into several feet.
7 – What well-known song by the Goo Goo Dolls (Buffalo natives) is about a street in Buffalo?
“Broadway.” John Rzeznik said so in order to drive confused non-Buffalonians from the idea that “Broadway” was about that famous street in New York City.
8 – Buffalo’s annual National Buffalo Wing Festival was started in 2002. It began because a character made a reference to visiting Buffalo for a fictional chicken wing festival in what 1999 movie?
Osmosis Jones. The second the term floated from Bill Murray’s mouth, everyone in the city knew the National Buffalo Wing Festival was a thing that had to happen. Even the critic who reviewed the movie asked right in his review, why on Earth don’t we have one of those things? Time from Osmosis Jones to inaugural festival was under three years – fast in any political sense, but hitting the hyperdrive by Buffalo standards. That should tell you everything about how strong the people of Buffalo felt about getting this off the ground.
9 – There have been several movies at least partially filmed in Buffalo but not set there. What movie was set there but filmed in the city which is geographically further away from it than any other city in the mainland United States?
Bruce Almighty took place in Buffalo. While some of the overhead and background shots were done in Buffalo to give the movie a more authentic look, all the ground action was shot in San Diego. What really sucks is that Jim Carrey is a well-known champion of Buffalo and a big star with pull. It seems to me that he let this happen.
Buffalo ‘66 is the defining Buffalo movie. It takes place in Buffalo. It was shot in Buffalo, with clear scenes involving both known landmarks and neighborhoods. It’s about an obsessive Bills fan. Hide in Plain Sight starred James Caan, who loved his experience in Buffalo so much that he promised to return for another movie shoot in the future – and kept that promise. Ironweed and Nobody’s Fool had nothing to do with Buffalo, but they took place in Upstate New York.
10 – What Bills quarterback retired and went on to a distinguished political career which eventually resulted in his receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom?
Jack Kemp served three terms in the House with three different districts in New York. He made a bid at the presidency in 1988 but didn’t get the nomination. Under George HW Bush, he served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and was Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996. Upon his death in 2009, Barack Obama posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Kemp is still the only quarterback to win a championship playing for the Buffalo Bills. He led the team to two AFL titles, in 1964 and 1965.
11 – “Buffalo” wings are so-named, at least nationally, because they were invented in Buffalo. (Though we refer to them as just wings, or chicken wings if we’re being formal.) What restaurant in Buffalo invented them?
Anchor Bar, and this is by far the easiest question I asked on this quiz. If you missed it, you’ll never be a true Buffalonian. And if you have anything to do with Buffalo Wild Wings, the people of Buffalo are legally obligated to kill you. We’re embarrassed and ashamed that there’s a Buffalo Wild Wings anywhere within a 50-mile radius of the city.
12 – What bona fide soccer legend played the final five games of his storied career in Buffalo?
Eusebio played his last five games for the Buffalo Stallions in 1980, scoring his final goal for them. His career saw him score 580 total goals in 575 appearances. He was the keystone of Portuegese club Benfica during most of his career. Benfica won the Premeira Liga 11 times and the 1962 European Cup with him on the roster.
13 – What kind of building structure does Buffalo have more of than any other city in the world?
Grain Elevators. After lots of debate about what the city should do with an enormous grain elevator collection which once fed the entire world, Buffalo has found some unique ways of repurposing them. Some have been turned into a tourist trap on the Buffalo River. Others have been turned into novelty paintings. Maybe there’s hope yet.
14 – Who is Sal?
I’ve got an old mule and her name is Sal 15 years on the Erie Canal
There’s a restaurateur named Salvatore in Buffalo who frequently buys out unsold Bills tickets to get around the league’s blackout rules, but he’s Salvatore. The mule is Sal.
15 – What famous architect once referred to Buffalo as “the world’s best-planned city?”
Frederick Olmsted. Olmsted died in 1903, though, so he didn’t live through the abominations that are Main Place Mall and the Buffalo Convention Center, which are not only hideous but choke off traffic downtown.
16 – At the turn of the millennium, what was Buffalo dangerously close to hinging its entire economic development plan on?
A fishing store. Yes, this nearly happened. The Sabres had moved into their new arena and Memorial Auditorium was rotting, so someone asked why they shouldn’t repurpose it as a Bass Pro flagship. Bass Pro liked the idea. The great absurdity of the whole thing was how much emphasis got placed on the fact that a fake waterfall would be in the middle of the place. Because all the tourists who pass through Buffalo on their way to see a waterfall are going to do it in a fishing store, right?
17- What beloved building in Buffalo ended up starting a national trend for its particular kind of facility?
Pilot Field… NorthDunnCoke… Whatever the fucking name splashed on it now is. Everyone in my generation refuses to think of it as anything other than Pilot Field. Whatever the name, though, it impressed a lot of people. When the Baltimore Orioles noticed, they basically pointed at Pilot Field and said, “We want THAT, but bigger!” They even hired the same architecture firm to create it. Camden Yards sprung up, every other team suddenly wanted it, and MLB went retro.
18 – What condiment is extremely popular on Beef on Weck, even though most people hate it?
Horseradish. You can beg me that you love it, but I still won’t believe you.
19 – What sport has never been played professionally at First Niagara Center?
Figure skating, which is kind of funny given Buffalo’s proclivity toward winter. As for the others, let’s go down the list:
Roller hockey: The Buffalo Stampede played for two years… And they were good! They won their league championship in their first year in front of a crowd of 14,000 people! The team folded and relocated a couple of times only to return in 1999 as the Buffalo Wings.
Arena football: The Buffalo Destroyers ran from 1999 to 2003, when they were relocated to Columbus. They did about as good as the current Bills.
Lacrosse: The Buffalo Bandits were created in 1992 and have consistently been one of the most exciting and powerful teams in the National Lacrosse League. They’re currently the longest-running team in the league, and have four titles in nine final appearances to show for it. Lacrosse was seen as a weird sports diversion when the Bandits were formed; now they’re a popular and beloved civic institution Buffalonians can’t imagine the city without.
Indoor soccer: The Buffalo Blizzard played from 1992 to 2001. Although they weren’t great, they were usually respectable. They folded when their league, National Professional Soccer League II, called it quits.
20 – What unique marking helps distinguish the official flag of the City of Buffalo?
Lightning bolts. They come from the early 20th Century, when Buffalo was one of the first cities in the world powered by electricity and became known as the City of Light.
21 – What building did Ani DiFranco purchase and move Righteous Babe Records into to prevent it from being demolished?
Asbury Delaware United Methodist Church. DiFranco herself seems to feel less one way and the other about Buffalo, though. She moved to New Orleans a long time ago.
22 – What makes the NFTA Lightrail unique?
All of the above. The rail was supposed to run to UB North, but it only got to UB South by the time it opened. The city said fuck it and runs it anyway.