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When the Bills Hit Home Too Hard

Hey, sure we missed the playoffs, but it's only a game!


This story comes from The Buffalo Evening News 100 years ago this week. Happily, the situation seems to have worked itself out OK. So we can forgive ourself for comically misunderstanding the headline.

Who could help it?


A Strange Sight in Kaisertown


Why are we worrying about the Buffalo Athletic Club when it is Christmas Eve? 

Today's Buzz column tells the tale of a group of carolers' adventures in Black Rock. The adventure continued last night in Kaisertown. Above is a pic taken last night on a Kaisertown street corner of attorney Patrick Krey, his wife Jennifer and their two proper Victorian sons, Harry and Frank.

The carolers, who also included jazz singer Mari McNeil and Forgotten Buffalo's Airborne Eddy, sang in the Kaisertown branch library, in front of a house that looked as if it belonged to the Griswolds (nobody came out, even after three vigorous verses of "Joy To the World"), and at Wiechec's Lounge, where half the crowd filmed the singers on their iPhones and the other half looked the other way. 

Most memorable was "Adeste Fideles" in Latin at a Pakistani deli, after which the proprietor, laughing, generously offered water and pop.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen!

With the Buffalo Athletic Club Sale, History Takes a Hit

Postcard bac

As a Buffalo Athletic Club member, Buzz has a particular concern -- our only concern, actually -- regarding the club's sale to L.A. Fitness.

We are worried for the downtown location.

The BAC at 69 Delaware has an august history. Buzz's uncles have told us what it was like decades ago when it was an actual club. Gentlemen stored their clothes there and drank and dined -- and, yes, smoked -- in its dining rooms. Buffalo native Leonard Pennario, the internationally renowned concert pianist, used to ascend the club's marble steps when he was in town and go there. All kinds of important men did. It is one of the last surviving venerable Delaware Avenue clubs.

Even in recent years, the downtown Buffalo Athletic Club had a kind of exalted nature that lingered in spite of the crummy music and the cheap membership specials. You could walk on a treadmill and listen in as judges and lawyers discussed their cases. Buzz has rubbed elbows with all kinds of interesting and influential people including Judge Penny Wolfgang, Judge Curtin (he was in our Pilates class a few years ago), community activist Samuel Herbert and the artist and attorney LeRoi Johnson. 

There is also that beautiful pool, left over from more luxurious years.

This is the kind of brand that even bone-headed marketing has not been able to kill. It will be a shame to see this club lose its name and forfeit its history. It is a loss to the town.

Oh well. It seems something at the BAC has turned upside down.

The dumbbells are now in charge!


Woman Pays $500 Fine For Shooting At Husband

This was the news 100 years ago! The Buffalo News has a display where they show the paper from 100 years ago and this caught our eye.

The woman was shooting at her husband in a crowd of spectators. 

Have to love how it is just this tiny item. On the front page, sure, but not anywhere near the top.

Life was wild 100 years ago!

Downtown 048

AM Buffalo Loses Its Head

Buzz could never work for Channel 7's AM Buffalo. We are not a morning person. And we are guessing, judging from what a history-minded friend tells us today, that reporter Jon Summers is not, either. Today's show, our friend says, was about cancer, and Summers was talking  with folks from the General Motors plant and from the American Cancer Society.

When all of a sudden he said that Mary, Queen of Scots, died of cancer.

Ahem, Jon. While any mention of Mary, Queen of Scots ...


... in a mainstream television show is to be appreciated, she did not die of cancer.

She had her head chopped off!

By order of Queen Elizabeth I!

Yes, Mary, Queen of Scots, lost her head. And it appears that it is catching.

Someone, get this man another cup of coffee!

Once Again, Mark Twain's House Disappears

Twain houseThomas 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" ยป

Beggars' Night Rages in Kaisertown


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?

The Ghost Who Had To Go


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.

Washington Descendant Appears on Allentown Ghost Walk


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!

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.


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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