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Lidia Bastianich, Opera Woman

Lidia

In conversation with The Buffalo News, super-chef Lidia Bastianich mentioned she liked classical music.

What classical music? Buzz, nerd that we are, had to ask.

Lidia had answers! 

“I go regularly to the Met," she told Buzz. “My favorite conductor is Valery Gergiev. I met him. We’re somewhat friends now. I followed him to the White Nights festival in St. Petersburg. They have a festival of classical music. It’s magnificent. That got me into the Russian music. ‘War and Peace.' ‘Prince Igor.' "

Those are some impressive Russian operas! "War and Peace" is by Serge Prokofiev. "Prince Igor" is by Alexander Borodin. 

In this gorgeous video you may watch Lidia's friend Maestro Gergiev in action.

 

Wow. Sort of makes you hungry, doesn't it? We can see where Lidia gets her inspiration.

If music be the food of love, cook on!

Beggars' Night Rages in Kaisertown

Jacks

A friend in Kaisertown sends out an SOS:

"OMG! Out of candy! And they show no sign of stopping!"

That was a little while ago. We presume they have stopped by now. Although you never know!

Meanwhile we notice Buffalo is given special credit in the Wikipedia entry on Beggars' Night. Here we were looking it up wondering if it was some ancient medieval tradition and no, it is indigenous to Ohio and Iowa and, you guessed it, Western New York.

There is a Facebook page for Beggars' Night in Kaisertown

Whether 'tis for Beggars' Night or Hallowe'en, Buzz wonders if anyone in Kaisertown dresses up as the Kaiser.

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How could you resist?

The Five Critters You Meet In Kleinhans

Act your age, not your shoe size, as our teachers used to tell us. But still. Buzz had to crack up at Kleinhans Music Hall, seeing these critters at the recent Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra kids' show.

Elmo tried to cajole our niece, Barbara, into posing with him. No go.

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Elmo had better luck with Barbara's dad.

 

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Parents all wanted to get their pictures taken with Elmo! What was with that? This is supposed to be for the kids and the grown-ups are having the good time.

We loved these creatures standing by the stairs.

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We loved seeing Matthew Kraemer, the BPO's Associate Conductor, in a chicken suit. That alone, you have to figure, is worth the price of admission.

And the best was, we saw Mickey Mouse walking into the Mary Seaton Room, looking sweaty and exhausted, taking off his giant Mickey Mouse head. Ha, ha! We wish we had gotten a picture of that.

Some things never grow old!

Meteorologist Finds Halloween Forecast Foggy

Spooky

Meteorologist Don Paul writes today on Facebook:

We're still looking "less wet" for the Trick or Treat hours of late Halloween afternoon & early evening, when drier air will thin out the widespread showers to just a few. While temps will be mild--60s, a stiff wind will take some of the edge off that warming. 

He got this response:

"aw darn the poor kids but it's oct we know it can happen even with snow on Halloween."

Don goes ahead and gets into it. Buzz loves when weather forecasters do that.

I don't get your post. There is zero chance of snow this Halloween. What I posted was actually somewhat positive, not negative.

Memo to Don Paul: As one editor once said to Buzz, "People can't read." 

p.s. About that zero chance of snow, better change that zero chance to 1 percent chance.

Never say never!

The Ghost Who Had To Go

Ghost2

Perhaps it is only natural that the restless dead seek out restrooms. That is all we can think thanks to Buffalo ghost raconteur Mason Winfield's haunted history pub crawls in the Allentown district, which we were delighted to recount in Gusto.

When Mason visits Fat Bob's he tells of a ghost in the Fat Bob's men's room.

And we keep thinking about that ghost in the billowy red dress who is seen going into the men's room at Founding Fathers.

Hey, a ghost's gotta go like anyone else, right? No, Winfield says. He says that because the building is so old, the men's room used to be something else, or maybe she is even going into a long-gone door in a long-gone building that used to stand on this site.

Hold it right there, we say, no pun intended.

We think that the ghost is the manifestation of the resentful energies of women who, packed into Founding Fathers during the Allentown Art Festival or the St. Patrick's Day Parade, were forced to use the men's room because the ladies' room was too crowded.

Could that be the case?

Mason laughed.

"I might use that," he said.

The Quotable Doc Severinsen

Doc Severinsen

Doc Severinsen, at 86, still manages to eclipse expectations. No matter how sequinned you expect him to be, he will be more sequinned. No matter how loud you think he'll be, he'll be louder.

This morning's Coffee Concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra -- the concert repeats Saturday at 8 p.m. -- were full of memorable moments, and many were just Severinsen talking. 

He told us how, down in Mexico where he lives, he often tunes in to the Sirius station that is All Sinatra, All the Time.

"At 2 a.m., I sometimes turn the station on, and the memories flood over me," he said.

The image of Doc Severinsen kicked back in the middle of the night, listening to Sinatra ... unforgettable!

Doc also introduced one number by saying, "So this is 'What is This Thing Called Love?' And if anyone knows the answer, give me a call."

Ha, ha! What else did he say? Well, a little poignantly, he said: "Life is a drama, and I don't know if I'm in the last act."

But he added:

"I am not going to go quietly into the night! I am going to be tap dancing right up to the end."

Washington Descendant Appears on Allentown Ghost Walk

Eagle

Halloween is off to an early good start with the appearance, on one of Mason Winfield's Haunted History Pub Crawls, of a descendant of Augustine Washington, George Washington's brother.

It is Anne Apfel of Amherst! She came forward with the truth about her ancestry -- where else? -- in Founding Fathers Pub, where the tour was convening.

If you are descended from somebody from one of our country's first families, Founding Fathers is certainly the place to declare it! With George Washington looking down approvingly from the door of the men's room. Coincidentally, Winfield spoke of the ghost of a woman in a billowy red dress sometimes seen emerging from that same men's room. Maybe that has something to do with Anne's revelation, who knows? Here we have a woman emerging from the house of Washington. 

Buzz had the honor of exploring the smorgasbord of Western New York ghost walks and pub crawls in a story running in tomorrow's Gusto. It confronts not only Founding Fathers but other taverns such as Williamsville's Eagle House, pictured above.

Buffalo is awash in spirits.

In more ways than one!

When a Buffalo Cop Stopped Doc Severinsen

Docsev

This is turning into Doc Severinsen Week here at The Buffalo News, what with Doc Severinsen breaking his silence on the book about Johnny Carson, and, today, recalling his days with the roustabout Tommy Dorsey.

In a couple of days Doc will be here, performing with his big band and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. But we still have time for more Doc stories. Here is a dandy.

A retired Buffalo police officer Buzz knows -- he says we can call him Sal J. -- says that years ago, he was pulling into the parking lot of the Towne Restaurant and spotted Doc Severinsen walking past. This would have been during Doc's tenure as the Philharmonic's principal pops conductor.

Our pal Sal realized he had a wanted poster in the car that looked a lot like Doc! It wasn't a photo, just a sketch. He went with it.

"I pulled up to him," he told us. "I said, 'Sir, hang on, you look like someone we are looking for.'

"I showed him the wanted poster sketch. It looked like him! He laughed. He said, 'Hahaha, it does look like me!' He was very nice and personable. And ... he signed it!"

Sal laughed, remembering.

"Real gentleman," he said.

An officer and a gentleman! "I'm going to look for the wanted poster this weekend," Sal said. "It was so long ago."

If he finds it, Buzz will post it.

We promise!

Strange Creatures at Your Local Market

This is so Halloween creepy-crawly! Snapped at the Clinton-Bailey Market:

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And more mutant squash:

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Got to love this time of the year!

Discovery Behind Central Terminal Adds Greatly to Historical Value

Christopher Byrd of Broadway Fillmore Alive posted this picture on Facebook and we do not think he would mind us sharing it.

WBEN

He writes: "Final resting place for WBEN mobile unit ... behind Central Terminal."

What a find!

Generally Chris ends his reports on the East Side by writing: "Alive!"

In this case, he'll have to write: "Dead!"

 

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