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Mark Poloncarz Plays Pontius Pilate in Broadway Market Drama

Pilate

County Executive Mark Poloncarz will be pardoning a butter lamb today at 2:30 p.m. at the Broadway Market. The gesture does not melt the heart of one Polish Catholic gentleman.

The ceremony appears to be a kind of mash-up of Easter with Thanksgiving, when a turkey is pardoned by the White House. The butter lamb, though, represents a more complicated situation. According to Polish tradition it is supposed to represent Christ, the Lamb of God. And in the Bible, when the mob was calling for Christ's crucifixion, it was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who could have said no but instead reluctantly agreed.

Hence our friend's righteous objection to today's ceremony starring Poloncarz.

He says: "I didn't know he had the powers of Pilate."

BBC Filmmakers In Buffalo, On the Trail Of Bashar Issa

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Two journalists working for the BBC were at the Statler last night, seeking information about Bashar Issa, who memorably owned the Statler for a spell a few years ago.

Buzz happened upon the journalists interviewing Howard, the guy we married. Howard was also involved in the Statler saga. Buzz made the case that maybe the filmmakers should interview us on the grounds that we somehow inherited Bashar Issa's jacket, which he left behind at the Statler, and now we wear it to the gym. The journalists laughed politely but declined to film us.

The filmmakers, Ben Lewis and Sarah Robinson, will be in Buffalo for the next few days as they look into Issa's couple of years here. Issa's adventures continued after he left. We liked this colorful rundown of them in the British paper the Guardian.

Makes us think, in a way Issa did wind up being good for Buffalo. It appears he is good for our tourism.

How about a Bashar Issa Museum?

Rare Animal Seen at Buffalo Zoo

Scoot over, Luna. Joggers over the weekend were stopping to gawk at something much less often seen.

It's ...

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 A genuine Plymouth Horizon!

We think it calls for a Latin identification tag.

Along with one of those old triangular signs reading "Vanishing Animal."

Grover Cleveland's Spirit Resurfaces in Nondescript Buffalo Building

Cleveland

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Grover Cleveland, pictured above, is everywhere!

After researching Cleveland and exploring the Western New York sites that figured in the lives of Cleveland and Millard Fillmore, Buzz was thrilled to learn about Grover's, the bar on Transit Road situated in the president's old hunting lodge.

Now we are delighted to report that Cleveland's restless spirit has reappeared, this time in a nondescript building at the corner of Linden Avenue and Summer Street.

A gentleman writes:

Grover Cleveland lived in the orange-brick house on the corner of Linwood and Summer -- it's a subsidized, low-profile multi-residential property now; I don't believe there's even a plaque on the outside (but surely there is something within the property to mention its former owner when he was mayor of Buffalo).

Anyway, when I used to live in the neighborhood I saw a soldier cutting the grass and keeping the shrubs trimmed, and because I was walking around the area taking pictures (it was one of those rare spring days of flat-out sunshine) the guy stopped me and told me to be sure to take a picture of the still stately-in-a-low-key-way house. He told me he was from the Army Corps of Engineers, and among the oddball things the outfit does is maintain Grover Cleveland's former home in Buffalo.

How interesting! That Cleveland lived in that house, and that the Army Corps of Engineers maintains the place. These are certainly things to chew on.

Along with, of course, our Groverburger.

A Stirring Sight By the Peace Bridge

Flag

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Your heart starts beating faster when you are on the 190 right around the Peace Bridge, and you see this dramatic flag. An American flag, on a flagpole, blowing in the wind, so magnificently tattered that it looks triumphant.

You couldn't take a picture this morning, what with the traffic and the poor visibility -- so just take Buzz's word for it, it looks just like the picture above.

All we could think of was Renee Fleming's dramatic singing of the lines from "The Star-Spangled Banner" about giving proof through the night that our flag was still there.

It starts the workday off on a high note! 

Ghost of Grover Cleveland Appears on Transit Road

Grovers

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buzz had fun putting together the story in today's paper about the former stomping grounds of Buffalo's illustrious presidents, Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland.

But it could be that we omitted something! We hear that Grover Cleveland's hunting lodge is right there on Transit Road. At 9160 Transit Road to be exact.

It is called Grover's. The News praised it in Cheap Eats a year ago. Buzz has been there! We have even partaken of the Groverburger, a patty that would do the president proud. And yet when we were on deadline the memory somehow escaped us.

We called Grover's and spoke with the owner, Georgina Hartman, and she said yes, the building was the actual building that was Cleveland's hunting lodge. "People had it as a gin mill for years and years," Georgina told us. The booming business on Transit Road helped keep the place from being torn down, she said. "Location, location."

Buzz, thinking of how Cleveland loved hunting and fishing, had to ask: Did she ever sense Cleveland's spirit around the place?

"I've had some odd incidents here, over 24 years," Georgina laughed.

Above is a photo from a year ago, taken by The News, of patrons soaking up the spirit of Grover Cleveland at his old hunting lodge. 

And here is a patron enjoying the Groverburger.

Groverburger

Buffalo Musician Had Unique View of the Ed Sullivan Show Magic

Bobdavis

Everyone is talking today about the magic that happened on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago last night. And with good reason.

There is simply no topping the greatness of magician Fred Kaps, who demonstrated his craft on that unforgettable night. Kaps, who shared the bill with actor (and friend of Buffalo) Frank Gorshin and -- who else? oh, right, British rockers the Beatles -- is a particular figure of fascination to Buffalo musician Bob Davis, pictured above, who does magic on the side. He told Buzz how, when he was able to nail a video of the episode, he didn't bother with the Beatles. "I haven't gotten around to watching them," he confessed. "I've only seen Fred Kaps. He was great."

On Facebook yesterday, Bob Davis joined in the wave of awe regarding the show 50 years ago.

"Fred Kaps," he wrote, simply.

Further words are unnecessary.

 

Rare Vintage Car Is Prize At Auto Show

Overland

Who knew the Buffalo Auto Show was going on 100 years ago this week?

The Auto Show has been rolling for a century! We found that out looking at The Buffalo News from 100 years ago today.

A century ago they were doing a drawing for an Overland Flyer car, pictured above.

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They were going to get "some young girl" to draw the winning ticket. You have to read down the story a little to get to this detail which, Buzz did.

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Buzz has half a mind to go to the Auto Show with this clipping and demand a chance to win that Overland Flyer.

"Well, it says right here in the paper..."

 

Buffalo Stoplight Fanatic Gets Green Light, Begins Blog

Crouse

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Encouraged by Buzz, traffic signal expert Ryan Lysarz has begun his blog about traffic lights.

This isn't any blink-and-you'll-miss-it thing. He plans on writing regularly about the changing Buffalo signal scene, and apparently he has enough scholarship to carry him for years.

The first couple of posts show Ryan seeing red over the missing signal that used to be in front of Holy Name of Jesus Church on Bailey Avenue, and discussing what he calls the single most significant traffic signal intersection in Buffalo.

Definitely a blog that can be talked about on the street corner! As well as when you are stuck in traffic with nothing to do. Ryan has been studying traffic signals since he was 4. For the uninitiated he offers a primer on how to identify various models of traffic lights. That is a Crouse-Hinds Art Deco classic in the photograph up above, a photo he took on Grant Street.

OK, enough introductions. Ryan, you have the green light.

Go!

Historian Zeroes in on Unnoticed Feature of Buffalo

Signal

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buzz's friend Ryan Lysarz is obsessed with city streets, particularly on the East Side. Lysarz, 30, has admitted to driving for hours of a Sunday afternoon, just pointing out things of interest and keeping watch on what has changed. Nothing escapes him. (By the way that was Ryan who passed on that classic Pepsi quote from the frosty Noco station in this week's Buzz column.)

Recently Lysarz made public the above photograph of Bailey Avenue. The signal, he notes, recently disappeared.

He wrote:

Most people don't notice them, but to me, vintage traffic signals are like old friends that I can wave at whenever I drive by," he writes. "Time to say goodbye to these guys, who resided in front of the former Holy Name of Jesus Church on Bailey Avenue for many years. Their only purpose was to help children from the church's long-shuttered school to cross the street. Now, the school building is vacant and rapidly deteriorating, the church (minus its steeple, which was removed a couple of years ago) is home to a different congregation, and the traffic signals are gone. At least the Bingo sign still remains, and probably will until the building is torn down.

Lysarz's picture drew comments from such luminaries as Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame stalwart Doris Jones, and Channel 4's Jacquie Walker, who wrote: "Keep letting us know about things like this, Ryan. Most of us can see these things, but have no idea WHAT we're seeing! History, perspective, and context are your gifts to us."

Ryan responded:  "I'm glad to see that other people can appreciate these things. I'm thinking about starting a blog to keep track of the remaining old signals of interest."

That would be an illuminating project, Ryan! Buzz will help get the word out when the blog begins.

Let us know when you can give us the green light!

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