There are areas outside the city were there are old farmhouse type homes were the taxes aren't quite as high. You can pretty much be in the city in 25 minutes from any of the suburbs practically. It really is a shame that this city has slipped into such a mess it really was and could be again a great place to live if you could make a living here without having to hand most of it over to the various government agencies that are so ready and willing to take it.
It's really not that much of a mess. There are some great neighborhoods as well as some not so great. The art and theater scene is nationally known. There are a large variety of restaurants and bars. It's also becoming a big beer scene. And yes, the architecture is fantastic.
Unfortunately buffalo is just another victim of the decline in American manufacturing. Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland, and the like are all dying. These cities waited too long to change and now they are on the outside looking in. Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the city, but it has a big uphill battle to climb. With extremely high taxes it is unlikely to come back anytime soon. And yes most of the great older buildings will be torn down for economic and safety reasons. If the Bills and/or Sabres ever leave Buffalo, it will be the last dagger for this city. Let's hope the powers that be can get smart and fix this mess.
Everyone has recognized the problems but the reality is, poor, regressive, machine-politics has failed to right the ship for trhe last 4 or 5 decades. Keep voting for the Hoyts and Byron Browns and you get what you ask for.