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Question is Buried in Buffalo News Snow Photo


News photographer Mark Mulville's photo of the sign in front of Fourteen Holy Helpers in West Seneca is going viral. Which begs the question:

Which of the Fourteen Holy Helpers do you pray to about snow, anyway?

The Fourteen Holy Helpers are a band of saints invoked in the Middle Ages against various practical difficulties such as sickness (particularly the Black Plague) and temptation. St. Blaise for the throat,  St. George for the protection of your domestic animals, St. Cyriacus against temptation on the deathbed, etc. (That last one cracks Buzz up. If you are still subject to temptation on your deathbed, then God love you.)

Surely one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers is in charge of snow.

And lo!

St. Vitus is the saint who is our help against storms.

And the second Fourteen Holy Helper would be St. Christopher.  He is in charge of getting us home in one piece.

Anyway, good on the Fourteen Holy Helpers Church for getting its practical message out.

But they should have been more specific!

High Notes and High Drama at the Met Auditions


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Want some drama in your life? Consider stopping by the Metropolitan Opera auditions, going on all day -- until 6 p.m. or thereabouts -- at the Nichols School Flickinger Performing Arts Center. It's free! Buzz caught the first hour, sticking around until the first potty break. (It is fun to hear a Metropolitan Opera judge say "potty break.")

Buffalo baritone James Wright (above), whose candidacy was written about in The News the other day, made a very good showing. Wright, in a natty suit with his hair slicked, looked vaguely and appropriately old-fashioned. He began with an aria from Gounod's "Faust," "Avant de quitter ces lieux," and it was easy to see why. That aria had a Sign of the Cross built into it, right at the start!

Who, auditioning for the Met, would not want to call down all the blessings you possibly could? And it apparently worked. Wright was called back to sing part of another aria -- a good sign. 

All the other singers we heard were sopranos. Naturally there was high drama. Most memorable was when Maria Lindsey's accompanist stopped dead in the middle of "Volate, Amori," from Handel's "Ariodante." The situation might actually have helped Miss Lindsey, a singer from Colorado, because she got to show off her poise. She never lost her smile or her cool.

You could say she Handeled it well! 

Derby Cupcake Ban Echoes At Kleinhans Music Hall

NocupRon Spigelman, who used to be the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Principal Pops Conductor, was born in Australia but he is a Buffalonian at heart. He proved that at Kleinhans Music Hall this morning at the Coffee Concert, which was "Classic Christmas."

After Engelbert Humperdinck's Prelude to "Hansel and Gretel," which opened the concert, Spigelman turned to face the big audience.

"There are a couple of morals to that story," he said. "One of them is: Don't eat doughnuts! Not good for you!"

Ha, ha! The crowd, which included a lot of schoolchildren, completely lost it.

Who has not been chewing on that cupcake situation out in Derby, where a principal is banning kids' birthday cupcakes? The food police are at the gates! Spigelman, who may have read the paper, fed into that.

"And gingerbread!" he lectured us. "Horrible!"

The audience howled.

"Just kidding," Spigelman said.



What You Need to Know About the World's Largest Disco


The bulletins that come out regarding the World's Largest Disco -- it is whispered that organizer Dave Pietrowski writes them himself -- are almost as entertaining as the big blowout itself (pictured above in a shot from the World's Largest Disco's whirling and glittering website).

The disco is sold out, and it is Saturday, and as we get down to the wire, the news releases get more and more lively, just like the atmosphere at the party when you're about to hear "YMCA."

Recent excerpts:

On smoking:  "There will be 2 policemen in each bathroom (men’s and ladies). Violators will be arrested, ejected & prosecuted. Smoking doesn’t make you a bad person, smoking illegally at our event and offending others does make you one."

On the coat check:

Continue reading "What You Need to Know About the World's Largest Disco" »

HSBC Tower Closing Costs Buffalo Important Collection


The emptying of the HSBC Tower comes at a cost to downtown. That is because Ahmed Alhadhari, above, the snack seller who will be forced to vacate, was the curator of a significant collection of diet pop.

Buzz considers ourself something of a sommelier of diet pop, and we have congratulated Alhadhari on his cellar. At last count, which was last week, his offerings included Diet Pepsi, Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Pepsi With Wild Cherry (connoisseurs savor the subtle difference between the two); Diet Squirt, Diet Mountain Dew and the rarely encountered Diet Vernors. We have come to love these treats all the more since people have been trying to tell us they are bad for us.

All our friend Ahmed needed to make his collection truly world class would have been some Shur-Fine Diet White Birch Beer and some bottles from the exclusive Diet Polar line -- Diet Grape, Diet Orange Dry and Diet Polar Half and Half. 

Alas, so close.

And now, so far!

Buffalo Sabres News Proposed For School Curriculum


Nothing stirs the soul like the sight of men discussing hockey, as above in The News' video examining the Buffalo Sabres' big news today.

No wonder Buffalo comedian Mark Saldana posed this question on Facebook: 

"Can I show my 2nd grade class the Sabres press conference citing it as a 'major historical event'?"

Why not?

It sure looks like one to us!

Library Opens Stunning New Special Collection


We saw it shining on the main floor of the downtown Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.

The Book Nook!

It is the little second-hand book shop. They used to have this room, remember, where you could buy de-accessioned books. But for inexplicable reasons they closed the little book shop a couple of years ago.

Now it is back, this time called The Book Nook. It is off the main lobby in the Magazine Room.

It is just one column of shelves plus a cart but we hope it will grow.

It is a new chapter!

They're Putting the Tree Up

Vinnie 004

The Buffalonians shouldn't be up!

They are putting the tree up at The Buffalo News. That is it pictured above!

And at St. Vincent de Paul on Main Street, where workers were scurrying around this morning with tabletop trees and strings of lights. By the way here is a picture of Vinnie D's world-class tchotchke collection, so you may begin your Christmas shopping early.

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It is never too early for Christmas as far as Buzz is concerned. For instance today we cheered the First Christmas Cookies Being Baked By a Rock 'n Roll Artist.

Election Day, the new start of the Christmas season.

You may eat!


When a Buffalo Cop Stopped Doc Severinsen


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!

If Dash's Bought Budwey's ...


It has been 24 hours now and the calamitous news of the sale of Budwey's is still sinking in. Just now we were staring at the picture of Frank Budwey, disbelieving.

We never even knew what Frank Budwey looked like. He looks younger than we would have expected. And it is no accident he was photographed by the meat counter. Budwey's is famous for their meat. The packages can be messy! But there are great bargains.

What if the Kenmore Avenue Budwey's is bought by Dash? That is the rumor flying around. It is great how: "Joseph Dash, owner of Dash's Markets, could not be reached for comment."

Should that happen, here is an idea for the old Dash's Market on Hertel, which would then be vacant.

How about it become a food co-op? Not the Lexington Food Co-op, which has become too upscale and expensive for our tastes. But a food co-op like the old place that the Lexington Food Co-op used to be?

Cheap beans, pastas, cheese, produce, grains, coffee beans, tofu, herb teas, etc., piled in bins and tubs and baskets, with a hippie sitting there at the checkout, people hanging around, and a boom box playing Old and In the Way?

Now that's what we would call a super market!

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