Adding to the zestful nature of Hertel Avenue, the Centro Culturale Italiano di Buffalo recently held a ribbon cutting for the new Russell J. Salvatore Courtyard. The focal point of the new courtyard is a magnificent fountain that was imported from Sicily.
Earlier today, I stopped over to the Cultural Center to take a look at the new courtyard, which transforms the northeast corner of the intersection into a peaceful and inviting setting, where guests can grab a Pellegrino or an espresso coffee from Café Curcio, while enjoying the manicured landscape. Other aesthetic charms include streetlamp lighting, decorative benches, hedges and flowers, a garden, a flagpole, a bocce court, and a pathway lined with pavers featuring the names of donors.
During my visit, I ran into Russell Salvatore – owner of Russell’s Steaks, Chops and More – and his buddy Richard Cansola, who had stopped by to see how everything was going at the courtyard. Per usual, Russell was welcoming, gracious, and happy to talk about his ongoing commitment to the city.
Russell’s philanthropic contribution to the courtyard is par for the course – it’s his way of giving back to the community that has supported him over the years. The courtyard is his way of ensuring that Buffalo’s cultural heritage remains strong, especially in North Buffalo – the city’s “Little Italy” – home to the Italian Festival, numerous Italian restaurants, and (now) a cultural hub that anchors the neighborhood.
You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the Cultural Center, but becoming a member is a great way to support the organization and its programming.