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Johnny Rzeznik Bus Mystery Solved


Today's Buzz column intrepidly probes the mystery of what bus, exactly, Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls used to ride when he lived here in Buffalo. In Jeff Miers' interview Rzeznik is quoted as saying it was the No. 7 bus. However the No. 7 is the noble Richmond/Baynes route, not the bus Rzeznik rode, which he said went along Broadway.

Luckily our friend Joan Blum, nee Jaworski, who knows her East Side Metro Bus history, wrote in. She believes Rzeznik may have been misunderstood, that he was actually saying No. 17. 

"Johnny lived off of Memorial Drive near the Central Terminal," she writes. "He would have taken the number 17 Central Terminal Bus to get downtown. That bus ran down Broadway, turned on Memorial Drive, traveled down Memorial to Paderewski, then turned from Paderewski onto Fillmore and then made a left onto Broadway.  How do I know ... I used to take the same bus!!!! That was the inbound route that Johnny would have taken to get to City Hall. Johnny's sister was in my class at McKinley High School and Johnny was two years behind me. So I took that bus many times both in the morning and after school. I would get off before it turned onto Fillmore on the outbound route."

She adds: "The number 17 doesn't run anymore."


Good to have that straightened out!

Meanwhile, that classic vintage bus pic at the top of the page comes to us courtesy of General Motors, via this cool page on Buffalo-area transit history.


It's a Wonderful Download


Matt Catingub, one of the conductors whose names are being floated as the possible next Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor, conducted the "Big Band Salute" on Saturday and his sense of humor, at times, could kind of remind you of the last person to hold that job, Marvin Hamlisch. He has the same love for big bands, the same humorous disdain for music technology.

Hamlisch was hilarious with that. He once told one kid in the audience: "We're so happy to see you at Kleinhans Music Hall. It's so nice that you're here dot com."

Saturday, Catingub was describing a recording he loves, Ella Fitzgerald's "Live in Berlin."

"It's a wonderful record," he said.  "Or, with CDs, I guess you would say a wonderful disc. What do you call it now?" he said. "Wonderful download?"

The crowd burst out laughing.

Let's hear it for old times!

Buzz Breaks In the North Park Theatre


Buzz went to the North Park Theatre last night and saw "The Jewish Cardinal." It is based on the true story of the great Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, who died in 2007.

St. Pope John Paul II is in the movie big time and a good actor plays him. It is cute how JP II wears white sneakers. But our favorite character is this priest who is this go-fer for Lustiger who as a cardinal was kind of a rock star for the Catholic Church. This guy is always parked outside the door, going through papers, making travel arrangements,following Lustiger everywhere, bearing the brunt of the cardinal's temper and kind of admonishing him, too, when the situation demands it. Anyway, we all could use someone like that.

"Lulu, you need a break," this go-fer tells the workaholic Lustinger. Lulu was one of His Eminence's nicknames, along with "The Bulldozer." There is something to be said for someone who is nicknamed, simultaneously, "Lulu" and "The Bulldozer." Clearly you are doing something right!

The same could not be said of Buzz who spilled our $7 tub of popcorn.

This beautiful, newly refurbished, spanking, gleaming North Park! And here we go besmirching it. (Howard, the guy we married, took the disaster photo up above.) We wonder if we were the first major popcorn spill. All over the beautiful carpet! See, if we had a go-fer the way Cardinal Lustiger did, he or she could have cleaned it up, but alas.

Today is the last day to catch "The Jewish Cardinal." It screens at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

Hold onto your popcorn!

The Butter Lamb Lies Down at Tops

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County Executive Mark Poloncarz must have pardoned two lambs and not one.

We found them!


Awesome Dyngus Day Relic Finds Dramatic Resting Place

Surely there was no more enduring a sight in Monday's Dyngus Day Parade than the gentlemen of the Polish Cadets rolling their giant bottle of Sobieski Vodka. 

And lo, when Buzz was coming home from church today, we beheld that amazing bottle parked in front of the Polish Cadets, at the corner of Amherst and Grant streets. It gave us a thrill, the kind you would get if you were just going about your business and suddenly saw the Goodyear Blimp tethered in a parking lot.

Roll out the bottle! There it was! Up close!

Our exclusive photos:

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Buffalo's Most Amazing Shopping Bag

Buzz joined the crowd at the Undy 5K this morning in Delaware Park, our sneakers squishing in the rain, and if there was one thing more amazing than the giant walk-in colon, it was this giant shopping bag they gave out, which we made sure to grab.

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Yes, you read that correctly. It says: "Immunological Fecal Occult Blood Test." 

We can't wait to take it to Wegmans!

The Dyngus Diaries

Buzz is fine the morning after Dyngus Day but our computer has a hangover. It will not let us post our pictures! 

Pictures will have to come later. Meanwhile enjoy The News' gallery of pictures! And here are highlights that stand out from last night:

Politicians in the parade being freely booed by the crowd.

Handsome Polish cop directing huge fire trucks and other pieces of heavy equipment around the tricky turn. Other duties included keeping crowds back and removing drunks from the path of the parade.

Polka band at Mickiewicz Library doing a number on the Beatles' "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight."

Buzz being admonished for sipping our shot of Krupnik as opposed to downing it in one gulp the way you are supposed to when someone buys you a shot. We love to savor the taste of it and for that the Polish were mocking us out. "Go from the wrist," we are told.

At St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr, a huge tower of Zywiec cans reached yards into the air. Nearby was a fortress of cans, topped by a wine bottle and a cross.

Also at St. Stan's, you had to watch where you sat because certain seats had pools of beer on them.

You knew at St. Stan's that the night has gathered momentum when people had to be escorted out. Buzz saw a half dozen or so in that predicament. Ha, ha! Shame!

The Polish Heritage Dancers had their own bus! (Tod Kniazuk of the Arts Services Initiative said: "I know bands that don't have their own bus.") And when they arrived at St. Stan's they were like rock stars.

More to come, along with pictures.

Ah, the memories!


Mark Poloncarz Plays Pontius Pilate in Broadway Market Drama


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."

Church Is Satisfied With Its Lot

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Buzz had to smile seeing a Dyngus Day party announcement from St. Gabriel's Of The Parking Lot.

Oops, we meant to write St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows because that is the actual saint the church is named for. But the church is fronted by a magnificent parking lot, a gleaming expanse that glistens in the winter and bakes in the summer and has room for a million cars. The lot is clearly visible in the picture above.

It is more than a parking lot. It is a focal point! The church as good as admitted to that in its Dyngus Day ad, which appears in the Original Dyngus Day Guide 2014, on page 3.

God love St. Gabriel's, it advertises, as one of its Easter highlights, along with its 11:30 a.m. polka mass and 12 p.m. Polish buffet:

"Ample Parking in Large Lighted Parking Lot."

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?

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