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Construction Watch: Trico

The Krog Corp. has restarted work on the Trico complex at the edge of the Medical Campus. Work on the $108 million redevelopment project, one of the largest largest, stopped in early 2021 shortly after Covid hit.

Krog has modified the mix of uses in the complex.  Plans for an extended-stay hotel have been dropped and the number of planned apartments has increased.  The revised plans calls for 243 studio to three-bedroom units with ten percent reserved for families earning 80 percent or less of area median income.  The building will also include 60,000 sq.ft. of commercial space and parking for 230 cars.  

Vacant since 1999, the Trico complex was placed on the State Historic Registry in 2000 and the National Historic Registry in 2001.

Prior to stopping work, Krog demolished the center of the plant, the former ice house of the Weyand Brewing Company, opening up the complex and creating more usable floor plates. Due to rising materials costs, the project price tag has risen from $82 million to $108 million.  Work is now expected to be complete in mid-2023.

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Demolition Watch: Science Hall Parking Ramp

Canisius College has begun to demolish a dated Science Hall Parking Ramp at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and East Delavan Avenue.

While it’s great to see this tattered monstrosity eliminated, the future of the site is not very promising, in that it is the future home of a new “well-lit and attractively landscaped surface lot” that will provide for 420 parking spaces (see backstory). Hopefully, years down the line, a more constructive use for the lot will arise. A mixed-use project in tandem with the NFTA Metro Rail Delavan / Canisius College Station would have been a big win for the neighborhood.

The “project” is being funded by the college’s sales of Griffin Hall and Main Humboldt apartment complexes to TDB Properties LLC. The funds are being used to raze the 60-year old parking ramp that was originally built to accommodate shoppers for a Sears Roebuck and Co. store. The ramp had 1,350 parking spots, but due to deteriorating conditions, Canisius was only able to utilize 550 of those spaces. The proceeds from the sale of the aforementioned buildings will – in part – fund the demolition of the ramp and construction of the surface lot. 


Photos courtesy Rachacha

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PHOTO GALLERY: Ultimate Battle of the Bartenders at Curtiss Hotel

Last week, the Curtiss Hotel (thanks to sponsorship by Glenmorangie Scotch) took 10 of Buffalo’s best movers and shakers and pitted them against each other in the ultimate battle of the bartenders.

This three round elimination event featured bartenders: Hannah Prenevau (The Steer), Brian “Bucky” Cappola (Savoy), Fiona Dargan ( The Banshee Irish Pub), Ryan Detano (Frankie Primos), Corey Crooks (Curtiss Hotel), Matt Santasiero (Lucky Day), Sean Donohue (The Grange), Jack Reid (SOHO).

THE DRINKS

THE COMPETITION

Coming in 1st place was Hannah Prenevau, 2nd Place was Brian “Bucky” Cappola, and 3rd place was Corey Crooks. The prizes were 2 tickets to the Bills Steelers game in the Ceaser Suite, 2 suit tickets to Metallica at Highmark Stadium, and 2 club level Sabres tickets for this upcoming season. The competition was judged by Pete Gallivan of WGRZ, and Dalton Sulver of the Buffalo Bandits, with music and MC done by AROCK.

Hannah Prenevau (The Steer), Brian “Bucky” Cappola (Savoy), Fiona Dargan ( The Banshee Irish Pub), Ryan Detano (Frankie Primos), Corey Crooks (Curtiss Hotel), Matt Santasiero (Lucky Day), Sean Donohue (The Grange), Not Pictured: Jack Reid (SOHO)

THE CELEBRATION

Although the competition was closed to the public, there are high hopes that this is only the beginning for a great series of bartender competitions to showcase Buffalo’s growing mixology scene.

Photos by Vincent Berbano

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Torn Space’s installation performance is an operatic examination of the ages and stages of life.

Following closely to their mission of creating original and aesthetically innovative performances, Torn Space Theater is back for their tenth original installation performance for Silo City with Ages. This annual early harvest ritual features collaborating poets, opera singers, performers’ family members and audiences seated in benches or propped on picnic blankets. Ages will also feature text from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buffalo poet Carl Dennis, who will read a select few of his poems in the first Saturday performance on August 13.

This installation performance is an operatic examination of the ages and stages of life. Set in the open field surrounding a sprawling cottonwood tree of Silo City, Ages is structured like a picnic in a public park, a performance of everyday moments building on one another against a soundscape sampling Erik Satie and scientific narration, interjected with live poetry reading, playful interactive elements, operatic singing, and the small rituals of love, mourning, care, and alarm we perform in public spaces. 

Familiar figures in the Torn Space mythology will return, presenting the growing family of their multi-generational fictional society. In this time of seemingly ceaseless turmoil, take a moment to reflect on the year’s events in a venue like no other- the peaceful meadow beside the concrete ruins of Buffalo’s engineering masterpiece.

Audiences are invited to dress in any color within the spectrum of skin tones for this performance.

Tickets and information for Ages are available at www.tornspacetheater.com/home/ages. This performance is part of Torn Space’s INTERSECTION: Performance Series, which is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, along with the following lead sponsors: Cullen Foundation, Erie County, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, Stenclik Family Charitable Foundation, the June Farrington Fund, M&T Bank and REDC.

A New Ritual for Silo City

Dates: August 12-14, 19-21; Rain Dates: August 18 & 22

Audiences asked to arrive at 7:00pm, Show starts promptly at 7:30pm
Venue: 630 Ohio St. Buffalo, NY 14203
More information:  https://www.tornspacetheater.com/home/ages/

Tickets: $30 General, $20 Students

Artist Talk: Following the Saturday August 13 performance at Duende

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SkyRide is a community bike ride that offers the only opportunity to ride a bike across the Skyway

Together Independent Health and GObike are striving to build a culture of health in Buffalo and Western New York. Along with all of the incredible work this team does to enhance accessibility for our cycling community, they also are working hard to ensure increased safety for cyclists, especially children! Cycling is an excellent way for children to exercise and travel around their neighborhoods, and it is important that safety is on the forefront! That’s why, earlier this week, adjacent to the beautiful cycle track on Niagara Street, seventy children gathered outside of Buffalo String Works where their teachers, Independent Health, and GObike staff distributed brand new bike helmets right out of their packaging. 

“The benefits of biking are immense,” said GObike’s Executive Director Justin Booth. “Children who ride now to see their friends, or to get from A to B with their families are setting themselves up for a lifetime of healthy habits, exploration, and fun.”

By outfitting these children and other groups around the city with new helmets, it increases their visibility and protection out on the road and encourages more of them to safely ride to school, to friends and family’s homes, and anywhere else they’d like to go.

“At Buffalo String Works, we are an after school music program, but we really think about leadership development, personal and community leadership development,” said Yuki Numata Resnick, Executive Director at Buffalo String Works. “And what better way than to give all of our kids helmets to set an example for other young people in our neighborhoods. We love being right here on this bike path on Niagara Street.”

Every year, Independent Health is the presenting sponsor of SkyRide, a community bike ride that offers the only opportunity to ride a bike across the Skyway and around the city without any cars present. The event is held this year on Sunday August 14, 8:30AM, and more information can be found at skyridebuffalo.org

“At West Buffalo, we’re in the heart of the west side, and a lot of our families ride their bikes to school, ride their scooters, and this is one more way to promote this for our students and families,” said Erin Clifford, Assistant House Principal at West Buffalo Charter School. “We hope our kids will get out there next week and get on that Skyride!”

Included in that presenting sponsorship from Independent Health is the purchase of 230 brand new red and white helmets and 1000 free tickets to SkyRide. GObike has been distributing both throughout the community over the past few weeks as it gears up for its greatest ride and largest fundraiser of the year. SkyRide is also sponsored by M&T Bank. Both regional organizations send multiple staff to ride and volunteer at the event as well, a tradition that has grown dramatically over the past nine years and eight rides. 

“Independent Health is proud to partner with GObike and sponsor activities that encourage exercise and recreation in our region like SkyRide. We know that daily exercise can help protect us from chronic disease and can reduce or reverse problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle, and bicycling has proven health benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, decreased stress levels, and reduced body fat levels,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., President and CEO, Independent Health. “Creating a culture of health in Western New York is something we should all try to achieve, and we will continue to partner with GObike and other like-minded organizations to encourage people to take control of their health and stay active.”

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Intimate outdoor concert experience at Graycliff featuring a quintet of brass musicians from the BPO

Enjoy a relaxing night of snacking, wining and music with the return of an intimate outdoor concert experience at Graycliff featuring a quintet of brass musicians from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO).

BPO Musicians featured are: 

Phil Christner, trumpetJohn Maguda, trumpetJay Matthews, HornFilipe Pereira, bass tromboneSarah Lewandowski, trombone

Each ticket includes event admission, wine (thanks to Amherst St. Wine & Liquor) and non-alcoholic beverages, hors d’oeuvres, as well as a pair of coupons to redeem for a 2022/23 BPO season concert (exclusions apply). A portion of your ticket purchase is tax-deductible. Proceeds will benefit both Graycliff Conservancy and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Call Graycliff staff at 716-947-9217 for more info and to purchase tickets over the phone.

This event is happening on Friday, August 12 (rain date August 13) and doors open at 5:30pm with a wine reception followed by a one-hour concert on Graycliff’s lakeside lawn beginning at 6pm. This event is supported by the New York Council for the Arts. Call Graycliff Staff at 716-947-9217 for more info and to purchase tickets over the phone.

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A Beacon to Buffalo: Exploring the 1833 Buffalo Lighthouse

Wherever you fall on the spectrum of interest in lighthouses—simply curious? Obsessed and on a mission to visit every single lighthouse in the country? The chance is here for you to visit the new and improved Buffalo Lighthouse.

The non-profit site at on the Buffalo Outer Harbor is in the process of refocusing your visit there to emphasize the site’s historic aspects. Mike Vogel, president of the Buffalo Lighthouse Association and current informal holder of the title “keeper” of the lighthouse says, “This is where Buffalo got started, and we want to tell that story.”

For Vogel, the deep general appeal of lighthouses is a romantic combination of their physical location, and their purposes. “If there is magic anywhere, it’s at the border between water and land,” he said. “Lighthouses, at that border, are a symbol of welcoming sailors home to safety and to safe harbor; they also beckon them to begin their voyage.”

There is also nostalgia, another reason that the often-unique coastal architectural structures are revered and sought out; modern technology has replaced the classic lighthouse.

Buffalo’s original lighthouse was completed in 1818; by the early 1880s, as Buffalo boomed in population, industry and traffic, that original lighthouse became insufficient to guide the ships and boats coming into and out of the harbor.

The newer lighthouse, which is still standing today, was officially completed in 1833. It’s made of limestone, and, from a 20-foot base, it tapers up to a 12-foot diameter at its lantern room (which received a new Fresnel lens in 2016!).

Vogel, who is also secretary of the United States Lighthouse Society (uslhs.org), added that after years of running the site at no cost to visitors—asking only for voluntary donations—the decision has been made to request that visitors purchase a day pass. ($4 general admission; free for kids under 12 and active and retired military). Common practice at hundreds of sites around the country this helps defray the costs of preserving the historic structures. The lighthouse is also officially located on land leased from the Coast Guard.

Along with these changes also come benefits for visitors.

Photo by Mike Shriver – Buffalo Photo Blog

The Buffalo Lighthouse’s newly expanded site features a gatekeeper. After you sign in, the gatekeepers offer a preview of the experience: you may walk the 1,500 foot path out to the lighthouse, as well as enjoy a small visitor’s center. Along the walkway, there is plenty of new interpretive signage, as well as nautical and lighthouse-related artifacts, including a bottle light from one of the breakwaters, a 1930s bell buoy, some anchors, and a working 1933 fog bell which visitors of all ages are invited to ring.

In the visitor center, videos include those on how lighthouse lenses work, and a virtual climb of the tower for those who might not be able to physically make it up the 50 stone steps and three ship’s ladders (another 17 rungs). If you do want to take the climb, volunteers are there to guide you up. They’re also trained in site history, and eager to chat and answer any questions you might have.

Buffalo Lighthouse site and visitor center hours:
Saturday, 11am-4pm
Special opening Sunday, August 7, 2022 for National Lighthouse Day, 1pm-3pm
$4 for adults; free for kids under 12 & active/retired military
$10 for special tower tours

For more information, visit Buffalo Lighthouse on Facebook, at buffalolight.org, or download the free app on iTunes.

The post A Beacon to Buffalo: Exploring the 1833 Buffalo Lighthouse appeared first on Visit Buffalo Niagara.

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8th Annual WNY VegFest

It’s a busy weekend at Buffalo RiverWorks. On Sunday, the highly anticipated VegFest event is taking place, which will highlight many of the awesome vegan and vegetarian enterprises, some of which you might be familiar with, and many that will be new to you.

In recent years, Buffalo has been getting more and more vegetarian friendly, with groups popping up like Buffalo Vegetarian Society, WNY Vegans, Animal Advocates of WNY, and ASHA Animal Sanctuary. These are just some of the reasons that VegFest has become so popular.

Each year, the event features speakers, exhibitors, vendors, live music, and of course, some delicious vegetarian/vegan food and drinks.

Want to learn more about living a healthy, balanced life? Do you love animals, and want to try out meat substitutes? You can doo all of this and more! Here’s a look at the Sunday line-up:

12:00 – Yoga with DeChantell Lloyd1:00 – Food as Activism cooking demo by Maxine Grabowski2:00 – Learn How to Make Fried Oyster Mushrooms with Oboseoye Ojeaga3:00 – Creating a More Compassionate World for the Animals by Vanessa Dawson from Penelope’s Place the Sanctuary4:00 – Zumba with Nettie!4:00 – Kidzone: “Yay For Yoga!” Storytime with Mari5:00 – Finding Health and Happiness Through a Plant-Based Lifestyle by Tim Kaufman

There will also be a WNY VegFest’s Kid Zone to look forward to. You can check out all of the details of the events by clicking here.

To view the list of vendors that will be in attendance, click here, and then scroll down.

And don’t forget to bring a non-perishable vegan food item, to donate to Food Not Bombs, which will be collecting throughout the day.

WNY VegFest

August 7th, 2022

12pm-6pm

Delicious Veg FoodSpeakers & Cooking DemosKids activitiesVendors / ExhibitorsBeerand so much more!

Buffalo RiverWorks

359 Ganson St, Buffalo, NY 14203

*Chalkfest is also taking place this weekend, both inside and outside the historic grain silos at Buffalo RiverWorks on Saturday and Sunday Aug 6-7 (from 12pm-6pm both days)

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Traffic Calming Measures along Delaware Avenue improve Bike-Ped Safety

Delaware Avenue just got a lot safer… for cyclists. The beautiful street, home to Millionaire’s Row, has been solely reserved for cars for way too long. Recently, a road diet was implemented, with a middle turning lane and bike lanes. The street has been downgraded from four lanes of traffic, to one lane each way, with a center turning lane, which should make everyone happy.

Already, cyclists that never would have dreamed taking their lives in their hands, are now populating the grand avenue. There are also a number of new safety features at Gates Circle, including broad yellow striping, crosswalks, and even on-street yield signs that signal drivers to enter into the circle using caution, while yielding to drivers already in the circle (something that many drivers do not comprehend). Hopefully all of these new safety features will deter drivers from crashing into the circle, and the fountain, which has become a regular occurrence over the years.

One traffic lane on the roundabout will alleviate jockeying for position before exiting

The new bike lanes help to connect cyclists to Delaware Park, where they can then access various other bike routes, including the Jesse Kregal pathway that runs along Scajaquada Creek. From there, they can access the dedicated bike lanes (cycle track) on Niagara Street.

In the opposite direction, the bike lanes now offer safe, freewheeling, all the way to downtown Buffalo. Who would have ever thought that Delaware would become a bike thoroughfare?

Just this past week, GObike Buffalo posted the following:

Congratulations and thank you to the City of Buffalo for making it fully illegal to park in, stand in, idle in, or open your car door into any striped bike lane, raised bike lane, cycle track, or off road path. Sponsored by Joseph Golombek David A. Rivera, Niagara District Council Member, and Ulysees O. Wingo, Sr., passed by the Buffalo Common Council and signed by Mayor Byron W. Brown this week, bicycling in Buffalo just got a little safer. 

Unless you are an emergency vehicle or a CoB maintenance vehicle, GET OUT. That means you, delivery trucks, US Postal Service trucks, boats, and drivers who could have parked literally anywhere else. Here’s what everyone should know to keep everyone out – because you have broken the law by parking in a bike lane, or opened your door into a cyclist’s path, if that cyclist has to swerve into traffic to avoid your illegally parked vehicle/open door, and there is a crash, you may be held liable in that crash. So why risk it? Leave bike space for bikes, and let’s all get where we’re going safely, happily, efficiently. Today’s a great day! Read the details at bit.ly/BFLO_noparkinbikelane22 (this is a link to the Common Council’s signed PDF of the passed law. It may view better on desktop than phone).

Next up, can we get bike lanes from Delaware Avenue to Main Street, via West Delavan Avenue? Now that would really be something!

Lead image: A welcome sight, as a family exiting a bike lane on Delaware Avenue, prepares to turn onto a side street.

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The Tool Library’s Annual Fundraiser Celebrates the Power of Sharing in WNY

The Tool Library will be celebrating another year of borrowing and building at Gather, Garden & Grow, their annual fundraiser and garden part on Saturday, August 13th from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Plot Flower Farm, Buffalo’s smallest (and newest!) urban flower farm, located behind the former Cantalician Center at 3233 Main Street.

Tickets are $20 for adults and free for children under the age of 12 and can be purchased online.

During the outdoor event, guests can play lawn games, tour the garden, participate in loads of basket and fresh cut flower raffles, and dine on award winning jerk chicken from the Bailey Avenue-based Caribbean Experience Restaurant. Tool Library volunteers will be present at the event for community members to learn more about the organization and how to get involved. New merchandise and memberships will be available for purchase.

In the spring of 2020, Tool Library founder Darren Cotton and his partner, floral designer, Michael Reyes, began the process of turning the former playground of an abandoned school into a cut flower garden, The Plot. Michael uses the unique perennials, heirloom annuals, and carefully selected bulbs and tubers grown at The Plot to supply his business, Plot Florals, and offer sustainably grown products for weddings, showers, and intimate events.

The event’s venue, The Plot Flower Farm, is just one of countless projects built from the ground up with tools borrowed from The Tool Library. Whether it’s a small urban flower farm, a backyard chicken coop, a raised bed for veggies, a vacant lot turned community space, a renovated bedroom for a growing family, or a bus turned mobile expedition unit, these and so many other projects built with borrowed tools help WNYers imagine what sort of world is possible when we share more of what we have.

The Tool Library’s storefront at 5 W. Northrup Place allows members to borrow from an inventory of over 4,000 tools for a small annual fee.

Borrowing a drill, or a rake, or a hammer may seem like a small gesture, but in a society that prioritizes profit, private ownership, and convenience, it is a radical act and one that The Tool Library believes can lead to individual and neighborhood transformation.

More event details are available at www.thetoollibrary.org/grow.

For community members that cannot attend the event, but wish to support The Tool Library and its mission, a donation can be made online.

Gather, Garden + Grow is made possible with the support of sponsors including the University Heights Business Association, University at Buffalo Office of Community Relations, Rise & Run Solutions, LaBella Associates, Appel Osborne Landscape Architecture, PUSH Buffalo, and Windkanter Construction.

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