December 3, 2013 - 12:29 PM
Thomas Reigstad, Buff State professor and author of "Scribblin' For a Livin': Mark Twain's Pivotal Period in Buffalo," gave a talk about Twain in Elmira on Nov. 30, Mark Twain's birthday. It was sponsored by the, ahem, Elmira College Center For Mark Twain Studies.
Present were two huge sheet cakes from Wegmans, which Reigstad reports were decorated with the gold and purple colors of Elmira College.
One cake was frosted with the words "Happy 168th Birthday Olivia." Twain's wife was born November 27, 1845.
The other said "Happy 178th Birthday Mark Twain." It also had a huge picture of the house, pictured at left, that the Twains received as a wedding gift, at 472 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo.
Olivia's cake was cut up and went fast. However, Reigstad observed ...
Continue reading "Once Again, Mark Twain's House Disappears" »
October 30, 2013 - 11:11 PM
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.
How could you resist?
October 28, 2013 - 11:01 AM
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?
"I might use that," he said.
October 23, 2013 - 1:03 PM
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!
October 19, 2013 - 12:24 PM
Christopher Byrd of Broadway Fillmore Alive posted this picture on Facebook and we do not think he would mind us sharing it.
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!"
September 28, 2013 - 4:31 PM
Everyone is outside today, but when you are home, do find time to enjoy this collection of photographs of the old Chippewa Street, the Chippewa Street when it was the red-light district.
You see the old House of Quinn, the Fisherman's Wharf, all these seedy old places, the hotels of ill repute, and all the signs saying "Girls Girls Girls."
Buzz is trying to figure out whom to credit for this Red Light Special but it is posted on YouTube under a fake name. When we figure it out we will give credit where credit is due.
And now, without further ado ...
September 25, 2013 - 8:53 AM
Jon Rosen, the Snyder gentleman who owns Jon Rosen Systems, went over to a neighbor's house to help them get ready for a move. In a crawl space in the basement they found this written on the wall:
This being the Internet age, the story does not end there. Jon put the picture up on Facebook. And the house's former owner, now living in Texas, immediately got in touch!
"I can't believe you found my note!!!" Holly Kirkpatrick Whiting wrote from Dallas. "I wrote it when we moved my mother to Asbury Pointe around seven years ago. I couldn't bear to walk out and not leave some note about who had built the house. Thanks so much for sharing!"
It turns out that her sister was Facebook friends with Jon's sister.
The house's adventures continue. Buzz hears that it has just been sold to Liesl Folks, the new dean of the UB School of Engineering.
Engineers have an eye for interesting buildings!
September 16, 2013 - 12:56 PM
Remember the Tall Ship sitting beneath Buzz's window?
This morning it was under fire!
It was challenged by Buffalo's historic fireboat, the Cotter. The Cotter, in what Buzz could only assume was a show of strength, came trundling up with all its water jets going full blast, just the way it was in this picture from the Dyngus Day website, only way worse.
As we watched wide-eyed, the Tall Ships were obscured by mist and spray.
You got to love the Cotter for guarding its turf against other antique ships.
That is so Buffalo!
September 13, 2013 - 2:21 PM
Here is not the best picture but the most unusual picture you are going to see of the Tall Ships visiting Buffalo. Well, it is one of the Tall Ships. It is hunkered down in the drizzle.
Can you see the ship? If you click on the picture you can see it better.
It is like playing "Where's Waldo?"!
Here is a hint. The ship is on the river between the second posts of the Skyway (counting from the left) and the orange crane.
It is the view from Buzz's window. Yesterday we heard cannon fire and that was how we knew when the Tall Ships arrived.
And this is funny: A co-worker heard the big booms and said, "What's that?"
Buzz, busy snacking as usual, said without really thinking, "Cannon fire."
Then we both went back to our work.
Party like it's 1799!
September 11, 2013 - 3:39 PM
We don't remember seeing these before!
This is on the back of the AM&A's building, on the west side of Washington Street, beneath the scaffolding that is over the sidewalk. The inscription on the left reads: "Ask the women who sew with Vogue."
Every once in a while you glimpse past glories.
You have to keep your eyes open!