Buffalo is amazing. I grew up there in the 70’s and 80’s (specifically, in East Aurora), and my daughter goes to Buffalo State College now. I really think winter weather is all relative - I didn’t have one snow day in four years of high school, because the city is prepared and equipped to deal with the weather. And snow can be great, anyway - it’s beautiful, and there are a lot of cool winter sports you can learn (if you don’t already know).
The area is flat, so it’s great for walking, but it does get really windy.
There’s a small “downtown” area, but a lot of the city is really residential, with gorgeous old houses (some now split into duplexes or apartments), wonderful little neighborhoods with great bakeries, gift shops, farmers markets, and independent bookstores, lining wide, sidewalked streets. A lot of wonderful breweries and restaurants are popping up these days. The harbor area is very pretty, lots of sailboats. Canalside has free concerts outside in the summer and an ice rink in the winter. You can take a river cruise/tour out of that area, too.
It’s literally minutes from the Peace Bridge/Canada.
The cost of living is pretty low (although the NY taxes are high), the politics are fairly liberal (less so in the suburbs), and overall it just a sort of hipster city in the middle of getting its second wind.
Let’s not talk about the Bills, but the Sabres are having a pretty good year! No major league baseball, but the Bisons have a nice stadium and they’re fun to watch.
If you have any questions, I’m happy to provide specific answers if I know them. I’m headed there next week to pick up my daughter for Thanksgiving!