Categories
PostEvents

20 Festivals & Events to Enjoy in August

We might be nearing the second half of summer, but the Buffalo festival season is still firing on all cylinders! These fun affairs celebrate everything from food, art, the waterfront, Buffalo’s diverse cultures and everything in between. When you’re out and about around town this August, these are the festivals you need to visit:

Infringement Festival

Infringement Festival, now until August 8
Eleven days of eclectic art, performance and music take over all of Buffalo’s neighborhoods for the sprawling indoor/outdoor Infringement Festival. From the top art museums to the smaller community galleries, the entire Buffalo art collective joins forces to put Buffalo creative spirit on display.

Pine Grill Jazz Reunion, August 1 & 8
For the first two Sundays in August the African American Cultural Center presents the Pine Grill Jazz Reunion to honor the local, national and international artists who carry the jazz tradition forward. For decades, the free concerts have celebrated diversity through tribute to its truest American form — the legacy of jazz.

Eden Corn Festival

Eden Corn Festival, August 5 – 8
Juicy, sweet, tender, buttery and fresh from the cob, the Eden Corn Festival is the culmination of arguably the region’s favorite summer harvest. Bring the whole family to quaint Eden, New York, nosh on a couple cobs and enjoy the country experience, including tractor pulls, midway rides, square dancing and much more!

PLAY/GROUND, August 6 – 15
PLAY/GROUND started in 2018 as a weekend-long art experience at the former Medina, NY high school. This year’s outdoor installations at Buffalo Central Terminal, Matt Urban Hope Center, The Handley Room at The Lederman/Super Street, and Canalside are visible from dawn to dusk during the run of the exhibition. Installations at The Broadway Market are open everyday from 8am–5pm and features groundbreaking installations, performances, and experiences.

Torn Space Response Performance Festival, August 6 – 22
Every Summer since 2013, Torn Space has designed a site-based performance on the grounds of the expansive and majestic Silo City. This year TST explores new terrain with their original work, And the Sun Sets in Golden Circles. Audiences will collectively view the opening ceremonies on the newly designed soccer pitch at Silo City, be broken up into groups of 25 to experience individual stations of field games while listening to the history of the universe, enjoy beverages, and then come together around the magnificent cottonwood tree at dusk for the final story.

Torn Space Response Festival

Rocks on Rocks Festival, August 7
Gather at Resurgence on Chicago for a full day and night festival featuring music, art, craft beer, food trucks, local artisans, busker stage & much more. Rock out to Aqueous, Soul Patch, Grub, and Mom Said No.

Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts Community Appreciation Day, August 7
While the main festival is taking 2021 off, Community Appreciation Day at Babeville will feature some of Buffalo’s best bands and world class dance performances. Peruse the works at the art sale featuring some of the Festival’s most beloved artists. Food Trucks will be in the Babeville parking lot all day.

Martin House, the site of Music in Bloom

German-Polish Celebration, August 7
Celebrating the cultural heritage of two of Buffalo’s largest and proud immigrant communities the German-Polish Celebration is a festive event centered around music, dance, food, drinks and good times.

Music in Bloom, August 8
Join the Martin House for a special evening of music featuring Cami Clune, local talent and Top Ten contestant on “The Voice.” The experience will include a live performance featuring Cami Clune accompanied by her guitarist, $10 voucher to Anderson’s Food Truck, a self-guided tour of the Martin House and a 10% discount in the Museum Store.

Erie County Fair, August 11 – 22
Since 1820, the Erie County Fair has entertained millions upon millions of visitors at the Fairgrounds in Hamburg. The Fair is classic Americana fun featuring loads of family-friendly events including a petting zoo and animal shows, an expansive midway, amusement park rides and, of course, tasty treats like deep-fried Oreos and kettle corn.

Jack Craft Fair, August 14
Some of Buffalo’s best makers, craftsmen and women, and artists come together for one of the largest craft fairs in the region. Returning to their spot on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor at Wilkeson Pointe, come peruse the handmade wares and creations of over 100 local vendors.

Jack Craft Fair

Skyride, August 15
Mount up for GObike Buffalo’s biggest event of the year, an incredible bike ride over the 100-foot-high Skyway! Grab a Reddy Bike rental while in town, and sign up for a family-friendly bike ride along Buffalo’s expressways and historic places. The ride will start and return from the Outer Harbor Lakeside Bike Park.

Rock, Rattle, Roll at Buffalo Science Museum, August 21
Get ready to Rock, Rattle, Roll at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Join for a day of music and dance with hands-on science activities and demonstrations throughout the Museum. Discover the movement of seismic waves, decorate your own rattle, create your own Javanese shadow puppet and learn how cicadas sing. With four floors of activities and musical performances throughout the day, this is an event you won’t want to miss!

Photo by Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Celebration

Puerto Rican & Hispanic Day Parade, August 28
The theme of this year’s parade, Distante Pero Juntos (Distant But Together), will bring folks from all across the region together to celebrate Hispanic heritage in Western New York through music, food and, of course, a lively parade.

Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Celebration, August 29
Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Celebration is an annual one day music and arts celebration in the City of Buffalo that celebrates all genres of music, arts and culture. At its Central Terminal location, Beau Fleuve is unique and trendsetting in its industry, bridging the gap between generations, communities and cultures.

Recurring Events

Erie County Bicentennial Events, throughout 2021
Erie County is blessed with an enviable bounty of stories of a place at the confluence of a Great Lake, a world-renowned river and a Canal that was the crowning achievement of the first 50 years of our country’s existence. Join in on the celebration of Erie County’s Bicentennial, through special events, programming and tours, as we commemorate the past and look forward to the future!

For a list of EC200 events visit: visitbuffaloniagara.com/events/ec200

Thursday & Main, every Thursday until August 26
Returning this year is the free and open-to-the-public happy hour, presented on Thursday evenings in the heart of Downtown Buffalo at Fountain Plaza (Main at Chippewa Streets). Upcoming bands include Johnny Hart & The MessT, The Stone Lows, Grosh and Ten Cent Howl.

Parkway Summer Concert Series, every Tuesday until August 17
The 23rd annual Parkway Summer Concert Series is here. Starting on July 6 and continuing each and every Tuesday throughout the summer (7pm-9pm), Bidwell Parkway will come alive with the sounds of some of this region’s best music talents. The concert series has become an essential part of Buffalo’s summer loving fun, and showcases local musicians for family-friendly evenings of entertainment. Feel free to make the parkway your dining room for the evening by enjoying local food vendors lining the side the concert.

Jazz on the Plaz! at Seneca One Tower, every Friday until September 3
JazzBuffalo has partnered with Seneca One Tower to bring you Jazz On The Plaz this summer. Taking place on Fridays beginning at 5:30, Jazz on the Plaz features live jazz, entertainment, local food trucks and drinks all in the newly renovated Seneca One courtyard.

Riverfest Park Concert Series, every Friday until September 3
Pack some drinks, snacks and a lawn chair, and chill alongside the Buffalo River, taking in a sunset with the soundtrack of August’s featured bands – Myster Jukebox, Back To The Bars, Breakaway and West of the Mark.

A Midsummer Night’s Walk, now until August 12
Venture through Delaware Park with Honest Puck for A Midsummer Night’s Experience, Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s walking tour and retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With Puck as your tour guide, experience this Shakespearean comedy like never before! This 45-minute, immersive performance transforms Delaware Park into Oberon and Titania’s Athenian forest, with you – our audience – chasing after Athenian lovers, watching Mechanicals scramble to rehearse, and falling in love with Shakespeare’s work in a brand new way. Make reservations here.

The post 20 Festivals & Events to Enjoy in August appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

19 Festivals & Events to Enjoy in August

We might be nearing the second half of summer, but the Buffalo festival season is still firing on all cylinders! These fun affairs celebrate everything from food, art, the waterfront, Buffalo’s diverse cultures and everything in between. When you’re out and about around town this August, these are the festivals you need to visit:

Infringement Festival

Infringement Festival, now until August 8
Eleven days of eclectic art, performance and music take over all of Buffalo’s neighborhoods for the sprawling indoor/outdoor Infringement Festival. From the top art museums to the smaller community galleries, the entire Buffalo art collective joins forces to put Buffalo creative spirit on display.

Pine Grill Jazz Reunion, August 1 & 8
For the first two Sundays in August the African American Cultural Center presents the Pine Grill Jazz Reunion to honor the local, national and international artists who carry the jazz tradition forward. For decades, the free concerts have celebrated diversity through tribute to its truest American form — the legacy of jazz.

Eden Corn Festival

Eden Corn Festival, August 5 – 8
Juicy, sweet, tender, buttery and fresh from the cob, the Eden Corn Festival is the culmination of arguably the region’s favorite summer harvest. Bring the whole family to quaint Eden, New York, nosh on a couple cobs and enjoy the country experience, including tractor pulls, midway rides, square dancing and much more!

Torn Space Response Performance Festival, August 6 – 22
Every Summer since 2013, Torn Space has designed a site-based performance on the grounds of the expansive and majestic Silo City. This year TST explores new terrain with their original work, And the Sun Sets in Golden Circles. Audiences will collectively view the opening ceremonies on the newly designed soccer pitch at Silo City, be broken up into groups of 25 to experience individual stations of field games while listening to the history of the universe, enjoy beverages, and then come together around the magnificent cottonwood tree at dusk for the final story.

Torn Space Response Festival

Rocks on Rocks Festival, August 7
Gather at Resurgence on Chicago for a full day and night festival featuring music, art, craft beer, food trucks, local artisans, busker stage & much more. Rock out to Aqueous, Soul Patch, Grub, and Mom Said No.

Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts Community Appreciation Day, August 7
While the main festival is taking 2021 off, Community Appreciation Day at Babeville will feature some of Buffalo’s best bands and world class dance performances. Peruse the works at the art sale featuring some of the Festival’s most beloved artists. Food Trucks will be in the Babeville parking lot all day.

Martin House, the site of Music in Bloom

German-Polish Celebration, August 7
Celebrating the cultural heritage of two of Buffalo’s largest and proud immigrant communities the German-Polish Celebration is a festive event centered around music, dance, food, drinks and good times.

Music in Bloom, August 8
Join the Martin House for a special evening of music featuring Cami Clune, local talent and Top Ten contestant on “The Voice.” The experience will include a live performance featuring Cami Clune accompanied by her guitarist, $10 voucher to Anderson’s Food Truck, a self-guided tour of the Martin House and a 10% discount in the Museum Store.

Erie County Fair, August 11 – 22
Since 1820, the Erie County Fair has entertained millions upon millions of visitors at the Fairgrounds in Hamburg. The Fair is classic Americana fun featuring loads of family-friendly events including a petting zoo and animal shows, an expansive midway, amusement park rides and, of course, tasty treats like deep-fried Oreos and kettle corn.

Jack Craft Fair, August 14
Some of Buffalo’s best makers, craftsmen and women, and artists come together for one of the largest craft fairs in the region. Returning to their spot on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor at Wilkeson Pointe, come peruse the handmade wares and creations of over 100 local vendors.

Jack Craft Fair

Skyride, August 15
Mount up for GObike Buffalo’s biggest event of the year, an incredible bike ride over the 100-foot-high Skyway! Grab a Reddy Bike rental while in town, and sign up for a family-friendly bike ride along Buffalo’s expressways and historic places. The ride will start and return from the Outer Harbor Lakeside Bike Park.

Rock, Rattle, Roll at Buffalo Science Museum, August 21
Get ready to Rock, Rattle, Roll at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Join for a day of music and dance with hands-on science activities and demonstrations throughout the Museum. Discover the movement of seismic waves, decorate your own rattle, create your own Javanese shadow puppet and learn how cicadas sing. With four floors of activities and musical performances throughout the day, this is an event you won’t want to miss!

Photo by Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Celebration

Puerto Rican & Hispanic Day Parade, August 28
The theme of this year’s parade, Distante Pero Juntos (Distant But Together), will bring folks from all across the region together to celebrate Hispanic heritage in Western New York through music, food and, of course, a lively parade.

Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Celebration, August 29
Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Celebration is an annual one day music and arts celebration in the City of Buffalo that celebrates all genres of music, arts and culture. At its Central Terminal location, Beau Fleuve is unique and trendsetting in its industry, bridging the gap between generations, communities and cultures.

Recurring Events

Thursday & Main, every Thursday until August 26
Returning this year is the free and open-to-the-public happy hour, presented on Thursday evenings in the heart of Downtown Buffalo at Fountain Plaza (Main at Chippewa Streets). Upcoming bands include Johnny Hart & The MessT, The Stone Lows, Grosh and Ten Cent Howl.

Parkway Summer Concert Series, every Tuesday until August 17
The 23rd annual Parkway Summer Concert Series is here. Starting on July 6 and continuing each and every Tuesday throughout the summer (7pm-9pm), Bidwell Parkway will come alive with the sounds of some of this region’s best music talents. The concert series has become an essential part of Buffalo’s summer loving fun, and showcases local musicians for family-friendly evenings of entertainment. Feel free to make the parkway your dining room for the evening by enjoying local food vendors lining the side the concert.

Jazz on the Plaz! at Seneca One Tower, every Friday until September 3
JazzBuffalo has partnered with Seneca One Tower to bring you Jazz On The Plaz this summer. Taking place on Fridays beginning at 5:30, Jazz on the Plaz features live jazz, entertainment, local food trucks and drinks all in the newly renovated Seneca One courtyard.

Riverfest Park Concert Series, every Friday until September 3
Pack some drinks, snacks and a lawn chair, and chill alongside the Buffalo River, taking in a sunset with the soundtrack of August’s featured bands – Myster Jukebox, Back To The Bars, Breakaway and West of the Mark.

A Midsummer Night’s Walk, now until August 12
Venture through Delaware Park with Honest Puck for A Midsummer Night’s Experience, Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s walking tour and retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With Puck as your tour guide, experience this Shakespearean comedy like never before! This 45-minute, immersive performance transforms Delaware Park into Oberon and Titania’s Athenian forest, with you – our audience – chasing after Athenian lovers, watching Mechanicals scramble to rehearse, and falling in love with Shakespeare’s work in a brand new way. Make reservations here.

The post 19 Festivals & Events to Enjoy in August appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

Our Favorite City Walks: Elmwood Village

Located a short drive from downtown hotels, the Elmwood Village is a great place to stroll. You’ll find one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods, anchored by Elmwood Avenue and surrounded by charming, tree-lined streets filled with elegant turn-of-the-century homes.

The Walk is approximately 3.5 miles in length and should take approximately one hour and 45 minutes.

Chemical No. 5 Firehouse

Starting Out: The tour begins in the heart of the Elmwood Village at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Cleveland Avenue. As you set off east on Cleveland you’ll immediately come across the Chemical No. 5 Firehouse. This striking building has been adapted for use as a residence and is one of the few buildings in Buffalo with Art Nouveau details. The station was originally built to accommodate horse-drawn fire-fighting equipment.

Turn right on Tudor Place, a street of beautiful turn-of-the-century mansions. Go left on West Ferry Street, so named for the ferry that once took travelers across the Niagara River to Fort Erie, Ontario.

800 West Ferry

To your left, you’ll notice one of Buffalo’s most impressive apartment buildings, 800 West Ferry. Built in 1929 by Darwin R. Martin, 800 West Ferry is a luxury apartment building that remains one of Buffalo’s most fashionable addresses to this day. Constructed just before the stock market crash of 1929, the building’s unfortunate timing meant financial ruin for its underwriters, including the developer’s father, Darwin D. Martin, the man who brought Frank Lloyd Wright to Buffalo and whose foundering fortunes would soon thereafter force him to abandon the Wright-designed Martin House forever.

Turn left on Delaware Avenue and pass the gracious campus of Canisius High School, which numbers the late television journalist and best-selling author Tim Russert among its graduates. It was on this site, in the long-demolished Milburn House, that President William McKinley died after being shot at the Pan-American Exposition of 1901.

Canisius High School

Continue north on Delaware to Gates Circle, one of many traffic circles that are a part of Buffalo’s Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parkways. The circle’s ornate light standards and fountain originated on the drawing table of E.B. Green, the man responsible for many of Buffalo’s greatest landmarks, including the 1905 building of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Walk along the western rim of the circle and proceed to your left down Chapin Parkway, one of the city’s most gracious avenues. Named in honor of Col. Edward Chapin, who was killed during the Civil War, Chapin Parkway is a street of impressive homes dating from the early 20th Century, including an example (at No. 121) of work by Esenwein and Johnson, one of Buffalo’s most notable local architectural firms from its turn-of-the-century heyday.

The tree-lined Chapin Parkway

At West Delavan go left and make a slight detour to the beautiful homes and gardens. These Victorian homes are known for their spectacular gardens and are considered one of the highlights of Buffalo’s annual Garden Walk.

Return to Chapin Parkway and continue left to Soldier’s Circle. As you make your way around the western perimeter of the circle, you’ll come across another of Buffalo’s many Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Built in 1905 for William R. Heath, a colleague of Darwin Martin at the Larkin Soap Company who also took a chance on the still relatively unknown Wright. The Heath House is best known as a stylistic precursor to Wright’s renowned Robie House in Chicago.

Heath House

Moving around the circle, the street to your left is Lincoln Parkway, another Olmsted contribution to Buffalo’s streetscape featuring truly lavish mansions. Cross Forest Avenue and continue to the rear of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (closed until late 2022), home of one of the great collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. Across the street you’ll find Shakespeare Hill, the site of one of the largest free outdoor Shakespeare festivals in the country, held every summer from June through August, as well as a lovingly-maintained rose garden that’s worth a stop. If you’re feeling hungry, stop at the Terrace restaurant for lunch or dinner and an outstanding view of Hoyt Lake.

Continue on Lincoln Parkway and then take a left on Iroquois Drive and go left again on Elmwood Avenue. From here you’ll get an up-close view of the expansion of the Albright-Knox and the clock tower of Rockwell Hall to your right on the campus of Buffalo State College.

Hoyt Lake at sunset

Cross Elmwood Avenue at Rockwell Road, a corner that features the Burchfield Penney Art Center, considered one of the finest regional museums in the United States. The museum houses an outstanding collection of the work of Charles Burchfield, the legendary landscape artist and watercolorist who made Buffalo his home for many years, as well as many other outstanding regional artists.

Walk down Rockwell Road for approximately a quarter-mile before taking a left. Up ahead you’ll see the National Historic Landmark Richardson-Olmsted Campus. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and constructed between 1870-1896, the former Buffalo State Hospital features grounds by Frederick Law Olmsted. Built of locally quarried red Medina sandstone, this was Richardson’s first major commission and contains many of the elements that characterized what came to be known as the Richardsonian Romanesque style.

Richardson Towers at Night | Photo by Tom Burns

Walk through the opening under the towers and cross the great lawn before proceeding to the light at the corner and crossing Forest Avenue. Walk down Richmond Avenue to Dorchester. Turn left onto Dorchester, a gem of a street that will connect you to Bidwell Parkway. Named for local Civil War hero Daniel Davidson Bidwell, Bidwell is home to a farmer’s market from May through October and a regular schedule of concerts throughout the summer months in non-pandemic times. Go left at Bidwell and then right onto Elmwood Avenue.

Continue south on Elmwood and window shop your way back to our starting point at Cleveland Avenue. You’ll pass a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and boutiques. Walk and gawk and enjoy the urban amenities of a neighborhood that was named one of the Top Ten Great Places in America by the American Planning Association in 2007.

The post Our Favorite City Walks: Elmwood Village appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

Sailing Away on the Spirit of Buffalo

It’s no secret these days that one of Buffalo’s biggest gems is its waterfront. But as fun as it is on the shore, there’s nothing quite like taking in the Queen City from the water itself. Add in some refreshments, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a warm summer evening.

Luckily for locals and visitors alike, Spirit of Buffalo offers “Wine in the Wind” sunset cruises every Wednesday. An impressive, 73-foot schooner, the Spirit of Buffalo is the only such vessel to sail out of the Buffalo Harbor. You’ve probably marveled at her before, docked next to the Liberty Hound or sailing around the Outer Harbor, red sails billowing.

For $45, a Wine in the Wind cruise includes two hours on the water, magnificent views of Buffalo’s waterfront and skyline, a plate of cheese and crackers, and tastings of several varieties of wine to wash it all down. Leonard Oakes in Medina, NY, was the featured winery for my sail, but other nights feature different wineries in the region and international wines.

The Spirit of Buffalo is manned by a friendly crew of four, who interact with the passengers and make the voyage feel more like an outing with friends than a paid charter. Guests can volunteer to help hoist the sails and are encouraged to ask questions about sailing and the boat itself. There is a cash bar in case you’re hankering for something a little stronger than a few sips of wine, and there is also a restroom onboard.

My husband and I, along with a dear friend from college, were lucky enough to experience Wine in the Wind on the first official day of summer with about two dozen fellow passengers. With an enthusiastic breeze whipping through our hair and the setting sun warming our faces, we waved at passing sailboats and took in the gorgeous, sunset-soaked Buffalo skyline to one side and glistening Lake Erie to the other.






Everyone chatted and laughed together, and Wendy from Leonard Oakes made her way around with wine samples, helpful information about each bottle and friendly conversation. A playlist including everything from Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Hawaiian version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” an Irish sea shanty and a few reggae songs kept the atmosphere festive and relaxed. It all added up to a wonderful evening welcoming in another bustling Buffalo summer.

Wine in the Wind excursions are available at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday through the end of September, and for those who prefer beer over wine, there are also Craft Brew Cruises offered every Thursday evening. Though those trips are restricted to those who are 21 or over, there are also plenty other Spirit of Buffalo options for the whole family. Check out all of your options and book your trip today!

The post Sailing Away on the Spirit of Buffalo appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

8 of Garden Walk Buffalo’s Can’t Miss Gardens

In no particular order, here are 10 extraordinary gardens you can’t miss during Garden Walk Buffalo (July 24 & 25). There are 400+ gardens on the tour this year, not a bad one among them. In my mind, these are some standouts – out of dozens and dozens of standouts. If you go on the tour, make sure you hit up gardens NOT in the densely populated areas of the map. Good gardens are all over.

Baynes Street – Eight Paths Garden

Baynes Street
Eight Paths Garden – You’ll have to pick up the Garden Walk Buffalo map to find out the exact address of this garden. Mike, the gardener, is a Garden Walk Buffalo volunteer and a great advocate of the Walk.

84 Sixteenth Street
Joe & Scott’s spectacular garden – Dozens and dozens of containers fill out this spectacle of a garden – one of the most colorful gardens on the tour. And Joe, the gardener, is colorblind! Joe’s also a long-time Garden Walk Buffalo volunteer and makes the delicious appetizers and baked goods for our gardener thank you parties. It was even photographed for Martha Stewart Living magazine, but the article never ran.

75 Lancaster Avenue – Mary’s Garden

75 Lancaster Avenue
Mary’s Garden Annabelle & Jim’s side lot garden, dedicated to Jim’s first wife, Mary, who passed years before he met Annabelle – who came with her own plant collection. Retired now, the two lawyers have only one garden rule – to end the day with a glass of wine and appreciate the work they put into the garden. Don’t miss Cornelius’ doghouse! This garden has appeared in Better Homes & Gardens’ Garden Ideas and Outside Living, People Places Plants, Great Gardens – Solutions for Small Spaces, Containers Made Easy, Great Backyards, and the Garden Walk Buffalo book.

257 Highland Avenue
Ellen & Mitch’s little paradise – The PR maven Ellen and ad agency owner/writer Mitch have found-art creative touches throughout the garden. Mitch, founder of the Ride for Roswell, a large charity bicycling event, has raised millions of dollars for cancer treatment and research. And you can find many bike-oriented creative touches throughout the garden. Their bowling ball totem is a Buffalo classic.

86 Norwood Avenue

86 Norwood Avenue
This garden looks more like the set from The Sound of Music. The orchestrated garden has a river running through the property, along with bridges, an island and a lighthouse. And that pergola!? To die for.

417 Summer Street
Ellie – Everybody’s favorite guerilla gardener. Her tiny but charming gardens have been featured in Garden Gate magazine –  even her hellstrip (the area between sidewalk and road) has been featured on the Wall Street Journal‘s website! The driveway garden is technically a rooftop garden in that the entire garden (trees and all) is set on top of a driveway. Every postage-stamp-sized garden on Summer street is a delight. Seen in Horticulture, People Places Plants, Great Backyards, Backyard Retreats magazines and the Garden Walk Buffalo book.

20 Norwood Avenue – Dom & Arlan’s Garden

20 Norwood Avenue
This is my favorite garden on the Walk (don’t tell the other gardens). This garden, like many others, reflects its owners, Dom and Arlan. It is serene, quiet, smart, charming and creative, just like the two of them. You’ll find the park-like garden will be one of your favorites too. You’ll see a handmade matching shed and swing in the far back, creative water features, a moss garden complete with handmade village, an outdoor drinking fountain for garden visitors, a garage door-type greenhouse added onto the back of the house, planted stairs and more. And, if you’re lucky, and it’s not predicted to rain during the Walk, you just may see the scale model replica they made of the house complete with gardens (in the photo) – it’s eight feet long!

215 Lancaster Avenue (Bonus #1)
Okay, I can’t leave out my own, so I’m going for 11 of Buffalo’s “Can’t Miss” Gardens. If I came across my garden on a tour, I’d be sure to like it. The 1896 Dutch Colonial with matching shed has a lush grassless front garden, with a columnar apple tree, suited for the fairy tale looking house with the lightning-shape lightning rod on top. A hanging succulent garden faces a paver and grass checkerboard garden, next to a raised bed potager garden framed by a knee-high espaliered dwarf apple tree fence. A mirrored sitting area with a marble and granite scrap “carpet” sits beside a collection of coral bells (heuchera) with a handmade coral bell water fountain. A multi-level deck, with hot tub, features a super-long handmade picnic table, counters around a cooking area, and diamond-shaped espaliered dwarf pear trees. If that’s not enough, there’s also a Harry Potter Garden of plants from the Harry Potter books (it’s a fictional garden). Seen in Horticulture, Backyard Solutions, Fine Gardening, Great Backyards, and Real Gardens magazines and the books, The Garden BibleGarden Up! and was even featured in this June’s issue of This Old House magazine with an eight-page spread! You can read the article here. It was photographed for Martha Stewart Living magazine, but the article never ran. And I’ve never gotten over that.

The post 8 of Garden Walk Buffalo’s Can’t Miss Gardens appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

Discovering a Natural Oasis: Grand Island’s State Parks

Both Beaver Island State Park and Buckhorn Island State Park are perfect destinations for a few hours or a full day of outdoorsy R&R. Both are wildlife refuges bounded by the beautiful Niagara River and teeming with flora, fauna, and fun. Here are some of the highlights from the only town in Erie County with two state parks:

Beaver Island State Park

Beaver Island State Park is just off of Exit 18B on the I-190; just follow the very visible signs leading to the park entrance ($7.00 entrance fee). Beaver Island is 950 acres encompassing just about every outdoor activity.

One of the park’s main attractions is its half-mile beach accessible from a traditional boardwalk. During the summer the beach is open 11a.m.-7 p.m. and is staffed by lifeguards. The nearby Boardwalk Bar and Grill serves finger foods (including flatbreads and grilled fare) and has a surprisingly large array of beers on tap. Seating is available at the bar or at one of several tables under a large tent with views of the beach below.

Of special note is River Lea at the southern end of Beaver Island: signs along roads in the park show the way to the historic building. River Lea is the former summer residence of family members of U.S. President Grover Cleveland and now it’s a history museum. The grounds are lovely and a hiking trail beyond the house (look for the cast iron gate) leads to a place where migratory birds, including snowy egrets, nest.

On the road leading to River Lea keep an eye out for several places to stop and observe nature along the lush shoreline of long grasses. There is one small wooden shack, replete with a bench inside, that is perfect for bird watching. Paddlers should also look for a sign marking a good place to put in to paddle out to Strawberry Island and Motor Island. Another less wild place to put in is at the park’s marina, to the right of the beach.

Buckhorn Island State Park

Buckhorn Island is the sister park of Beaver Island – on the opposite end of Grand Island and near the other set of double span bridges. Buckhorn is almost the same size as Beaver Island but is more rustic as it has no restrooms, concessions, sporting facilities, or picnicking/shelters.

While Beaver Island is easy to find, Buckhorn can be a little challenging for first-time visitors. When driving down East River Road, look for a sign for the park on the right side of the street if heading north. A small parking lot with a handful of spots is just off of a long driveway.

Like parts of Beaver Island, Buckhorn is a nature sanctuary attracting migratory birds and other species and features a meadow. One thing to note is that Grand Island has seen an uptick (bad pun intended) in ticks so do consider wearing bug repellent.

On either side of the trails and close to the marsh note several species of wildflowers: members of the orchid family, asters, and many more. It is possible to kayak or canoe within the park as well as bicycle. Most people are here to hike on the several trails.

The post Discovering a Natural Oasis: Grand Island’s State Parks appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

152 Years of Sahlen’s Hot Dogs

Buffalonians love charbroiled hot dogs. That’s right, hot dogs cooked over glowing coals are as much of a Buffalo food icon as deep-fried wings, beef on weck sandwiches and Friday fish fries. But in the case of hot dogs, there’s only one local brand that will meet Buffalo’s exacting standards for the kind of smoky, satisfying flavor that says summertime, picnics, tailgating and tradition and that’s the one that’s been around for 152 years and counting – Sahlen’s.

“It’s a staple of almost every family growing up,” said Mike Eckert, Brand Marketing Manager for Sahlen’s. “Summertime at the baseball diamond, family gatherings in backyards and grilling out. It’s really a time-honored tradition. It’s one of the foods you remember as a kid and that sticks with you. It’s a memory and a feeling that is passed down from generation to generation.”

Can you smell this picture? We can.

It’s a tradition that’s been passed down on the production side as well. Joseph Sahlen founded the company in 1869 when Buffalo was a boomtown and tens of thousands of hungry new residents and proximity to the Erie Canal and railroads made starting a business here a no-brainer. Sahlen located his business on Buffalo’s East Side near the rail lines that gave him easy access to the farms and livestock that provided the ingredients for his sausages, hot dogs and bologna.

Remarkably, that little start-up dating from the time Ulysses S. Grant was President of the United States is still in business on the same site and is still owned and operated by the same family – making Sahlen’s one of the oldest hot dog – if not the oldest — manufacturers in the country. Of course, Joseph Sahlen probably wouldn’t recognize the expanded storage facilities, modern machinery and loading docks his heirs have added over the years as the family business grew and prospered.

Sahlen’s packing facility at 318 Howard Street

The company long ago expanded beyond Western New York and today Sahlen’s hot dogs are sold throughout the Eastern United States, into South Carolina and Florida, the Midwest and as far away as Las Vegas and Phoenix. In fact, if you lay all the hot dogs Sahlen’s produces per year end to end, they would stretch for 850 miles, nearly all the way from Buffalo to Atlanta. But Buffalo has always been home to its most passionate customers.

“We became very entrenched in the community in the late ‘90s,” Eckert said. “In fact, one of Joseph Sahlen’s (the founder’s great-great grandson) first jobs was driving our grill truck to different events in the area. We wanted people to try the hot dogs, so if they were at fundraisers, charity events or baseball fields, we were there. Eventually, we started seeing people demanding the product at stores and the rest is history.”

Only Sahlen’s hot dogs at Ted’s!

You can find Sahlen’s hot dogs at supermarkets throughout Western New York and grill them yourself, but the best introduction to a genuine, charbroiled Buffalo-style foot-long is at the counter of one of our classic roadside stands such as Ted’s, Anderson’s, Old Man River, Mississippi Mudds, and Taffy’s, prepared by an experienced grill master who knows exactly how to poke and prod the dog so the casing splits just right and then tops it off with some combination of mustard, relish and pickles.

“There are so many great foods that have come from Buffalo and we are happy to be one of them,” added Mike Eckert. “We hear stories all the time of people beyond excited that we’ve started selling in the city they’ve moved to. Or folks that have turned their neighbors onto our hot dogs for summer gatherings. It’s nice to know we can have such a positive impact on people’s lives with something as simple as a chargrilled hot dog.”

The post 152 Years of Sahlen’s Hot Dogs appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

Perry’s: An Ice Cream Icon

The white-on-red Perry’s Ice Cream cone logo is an instantly-recognizable Buffalo icon, found at ice cream stands, corner stores and almost any place ice cream is sold throughout Western New York. It’s been a part of our region’s visual identity for generations, reminding us that we are home to our own unique brand of ice cream – as much a part of our culinary culture as pizza, wings, beef on weck, fish fries and charbroiled hot dogs. While there are a host of upstarts that would love to grab a piece of Perry’s market share, the Akron-based Perry’s remains the ice cream of choice for tens of thousands of Western New Yorkers.

“Buffalo definitely has a legendary list of foods and we are so proud to be part of that extraordinary group,” said Perry’s Vice President Gayle Perry Denning, via email. “What always blows my mind is when I think about the times and moments in people’s lives that Perry’s gets to be a part of. Perry’s has been at more birthday parties and holiday dinners than I can imagine.”

That local tradition can be traced to 1918 when H. Morton Perry, the current management team’s great-grandfather, purchased a milk route and began operating Perry’s Dairy. Bottling milk and making other dairy products like cottage cheese was the company’s focus until 1932 when Morton Perry and his son, Marlo, made a batch of ice cream on their kitchen stove and froze it in a hand-cranked freezer. The next day, Marlo took the ice cream to school and his classmates loved it. Encouraged by the response, Perry’s began packaging its ice cream and selling containers to stores around Akron. A new product was born and Perry’s Dairy eventually became Perry’s Ice Cream.


The company expanded into Buffalo in the 1930s, delivering ice cream to corner stores, delis and ice cream parlors throughout the city and surrounding towns. Today, the Perry’s brand can be found throughout upstate New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. From its plant in Akron, the company produces nearly 500,000 cartons of ice cream and novelties per day during peak season. That’s 12 million gallons of ice cream annually! Great-grandpa’s hand-cranked freezer would have a hard time keeping up with the demand his heirs have created.

The fourth-generation family leadership team includes President and CEO Robert Denning, Executive Vice President and Chair Brian Perry and Vice President of Strategic Branding and Sustainability Gayle Perry Denning. Together, they have made Perry’s the 24th largest ice cream brand in the country. The Perry family attributes the company’s longevity and growth to a commitment to maintaining their great-grandfather’s standards for quality.


“Great-grandpa was known for saying, ‘Make sure you put in enough of the good stuff,’” said Executive Vice President Brian Perry. “And we do! Our family recipe is unique to the Perry’s brand and you can taste the difference. We continue to use local milk and cream in our recipe and we still slow cook the ice cream, one batch at a time, just like H. Morton did back in 1932.”

In the hyper-competitive world of ice cream in the 21st century, Perry’s still relies on a kitchen (probably bigger than the one great-grandpa used) where its Master Flavor Creators can experiment and create new flavors. Inspiration for new products and flavors comes from a variety of sources, including fans, suppliers and team members.

“Trends change faster than ever these days,” said VP Gayle Perry Denning. “We stay on top of our food industry research internally, partner with our flavor houses for new product presentations, talk to our customers regularly and listen to our customers’ requests for what’s next.”

In fact, Perry’s product line has gotten so expansive that they maintain a web-based flavor finder so fans can locate a retail location carrying particular products. You can find it here: Perry’s Ice Cream Flavor Finder.

“We have the best team of people bringing their own ‘good stuff’ every day, working hard together in their area of expertise to make our customers’ experiences with Perry’s exceptional,” added CEO Robert Denning. “We are constantly evolving what we do, yet making sure we are bringing our ‘good stuff’ to you each and every time.”

Perry’s Ice Cream | 1 Ice Cream Plaza, Akron, NY | (716) 542-5492 | perrysicecream.com

The post Perry’s: An Ice Cream Icon appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

12 Good Reads About Buffalo

You may think you know Buffalo’s story but like many things in life, there’s always more to learn. So why not dive in nose first to discover some amazing under-the-radar stories about our hometown? To make it easy, our friends at the Buffalo & Erie County Library have put together a list of Buffalo books for you to crack open. So when the time comes to get out explore our city, you’ll be armed with more knowledge about Buffalo’s past and a to-do list for the present.

Here’s a starting list of books all about Buffalo – Happy Reading!

The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City, Margaret Creighton

Available via: Library downloadable, Talking Leaves, Kindle

Buffalo’s 1901 Pan-American Exposition: very engaging read on the people and attitudes of the day behind the Exposition. Author is a Buffalo native who conducted her research here.

City on the Lake, Mark Goldman

Available via: Talking Leaves, Kindle

Early discussion of Buffalo’s recent history of decline leading to current resurgence.

City of Light, Lauren Belfer

Available via: Library downloadable, Talking Leaves, Kindle

Often discussed novel on Buffalo during the Pan-Am period, with many known landmarks and historical figures.

100 Things to Do in Buffalo Before You Die, Elizabeth Licata

Available via: Talking Leaves, Kindle

Great aspirational list of places and attractions once we get to leave our houses again.

Buffalo Style Gardens, Sally Cunningham & Jim Charlier

Available via: Library downloadable, Talking Leaves, Kindle

Garden inspirations/best available substitute for in-person Garden Walk.

Big Russ & Me, Tim Russert

Available via: Library downloadable, Talking Leaves, Kindle

Delightful read about a man, a family and the culture of South Buffalo.

Color Buffalo, NY, Annette Trabucco

Available via: Talking Leaves

Coloring book for adults about Buffalo architecture – stress relief while learning!

Buffalo from A to Z, Come Take a Tour With Me, Brigette Atlas Callahan

Available via: cityoflightpublishing.com

Children’s book on local architecture, but a good primer for anyone.

B is for Buffalo, Christopher Hyzy

Available via: cityoflightpublishing.com

Beautiful aerial photography highlighting local sites from A to Z.

The Last Fine Time, Verlyn Klinkenborg

Available via: Talking Leaves

A beautifully-written non-fiction account of a family-owned restaurant on Buffalo’s East Side in the years following World War II.

Buffalo Everything: A Guide to Eating in the Nickel City, Arthur Bovino

Available via: Talking Leaves, Kindle

From beef on weck to Buffalo-style pizza, this is perhaps the most comprehensive book ever written about Buffalo best eats. Psst, there’s a cookbook, too.

Available soon:

Olmsted’s Elmwood: The Rise, Decline and Renewal of Buffalo’s Parkway Neighborhood, Clinton Brown, Faia & Ramona Whitaker

Available via: cityoflightpublishing.com, Talking Leaves

Check out all of the free options to access books, music and more via the City of Buffalo Library’s website BuffaloLib.org. Sign up for your FREE eLibrary card while you’re at it too!

The post 12 Good Reads About Buffalo appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Categories
PostEvents

Zawadi Books: Longtime Black-Owned Business Boosts Reading

Buffalo is home to one of the longest-operated independent black-owned businesses in the country, Zawadi Books. Kenneth and Sharon Holley have plied their trade as booksellers for over 40 years, in an earlier incarnation as Harambee Books, and for the past five years, under the name “Zawadi”—Swahili for “gift”—at 1382 Jefferson Ave. Hours are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 12 – 4 pm.

Zawadi Books owners, Sharon and Kenneth Holley

Situated in the front of a house on the East Side’s main commercial thoroughfare, the bookstore is crammed full of tomes and artistic treasures “that are by and about people of African descent,” according to Sharon, a former librarian. In fact, she and her husband of 45 years, Kenneth, met while both were working at a local public library. She advanced in the library system, and he became an administrator for a community services agency. While working full-time at their other jobs, the Holleys managed to indulge their passion for books—and service to the Black community—with a little side book business. 

They raised three daughters—Nzinga, Asantewa, and Makeda—along the way, enlisting their help as they visited other cities for such events as Juneteenth, traveling vendors setting up pop-ups where their books were on display, for sale to a wider readership.

“The girls hauled and unpacked books, set up displays, and learned to count money,” Kenneth recalls. It was a fun family adventure, and they learned, as he did from an early age, to enjoy reading. Though it was once an illegal activity for Blacks to read, books were always coveted, and sometimes purloined, if necessary. 

“Reading has always been a part of our history,” he notes. “I grew up in a family of readers. I remember my mother would buy bags of books from the Goodwill store for my father to read. I saw the pleasure he took from books.” When they had their own family, Kenneth and Sharon continued the tradition of reading for entertainment as well as education. “We always had books in our home,” says Sharon. Now the proud grandparents of six, the Holleys continue to share that love with young ones. Holley offspring are well-acquainted, for example, with the Kwanzaa (the annual celebration of African-American culture) tradition of the gift of a book.

Surviving the pandemic has been a challenge for most businesses, and the Holleys closed their doors, from March to July, in 2020. Their online presence was practically nonexistent, but they did see a surge in phone orders from mid-March through April, and continued on with curbside pickup. Many of the titles they stock—from histories to classics of Black literature which are hard to find or out-of-print— “we were carrying before Black Lives Matter ever started,” notes Kenneth.  

In addition to current popular fiction and non-fiction, Zawadi shoppers can find poetry, genealogy, cookbooks, young adult books, a local authors section, greeting cards, artwork, T-shirts, and seasonal items, as well as an array of strikingly-illustrated books for children “that give positive images—where they can see themselves,” adds Sharon, who is also an accomplished storyteller. She and her colleague Karima Amin founded Tradition-Keepers: Black Storytellers of Western New York.

Zawadi Books is part of a national Black Bookstore Collective, which has been meeting regularly on ZOOM. Newer owners are looking at this as a business, their primary source of income, and that’s fine with Kenneth, but it was never the Holley way. Their store functions as a community center, and they are grateful for the support they’ve received over these many years. They do have plans to use some of the stimulus funds coming their way as minority-owned business owners to upgrade their online presence.

And they will continue to do what they do best, pass on a love of reading to a younger generation, and encourage folks to keep reading. As official Zawadi t-shirts proclaim: What you read matters.

The post Zawadi Books: Longtime Black-Owned Business Boosts Reading appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Generated by Feedzy