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City of Night puts out a call for site-specific work

City of Night, the grassroots multi-arts festival which will take over Silo City on June 28, is seeking proposals for "performance art, installations, sound art, murals, dance, theater, and light-based works."

Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo, the group behind the popular festival, released a teaser video in hopes of inspiring Western New York creative types to apply. Check out the City of Night website if you're interested in applying. Here's a look:


And a handy walkthrough of the site for artists interested in exactly what they're applying to:

 --Colin Dabkowski

Infringement Fest issues call for work

The 2014 Buffalo Infringment Festival, scheduled for July 24 to Aug. 3, is now accepting applications from local artists, musicians, filmmakers, poets and performers of all stripes. Some info from the release:

Infringement welcomes all musicians, visual artists, dancers, poets, actors, filmmakers, performance artists and street performers to be involved. There are no fees to enter and every application is accepted. Once you have started an application, you can go back to it at any time and add or change information. Registering early keeps you in touch with the monthly events and fundraisers and links you with an organizer in your genre of art. It also helps organizers plan ahead with volume, as the festival grows larger every year. To celebrate our 10th year we encourage everyone applying to step outside with their creative ideas and transform the streets of Buffalo into the ultimate free venue!

To submit your proposal, click here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Warming trend continues with more fine WNY fireplaces


By Mary Kunz Goldman

This subzero day is the perfect time to rekindle the discussions of the best fireplaces in Western New York, a topic probed in depth on the cover of the recent Gusto.

We also received a very nice note from the Roycroft Inn's Dan Garvey.

"If you ever do a follow-up, I wanted to include the great fireplaces at the Roycroft Inn," he writes. "These are only two of several on the Campus.  One in the Library and one in the Craftsman Lounge." That is the Craftsman Lounge in the picture up above.

"There are also other fireplaces located in the Morris Room and around the entire campus in the Copper Shop, the Print Shop and also the Roycroft Chapel," Dan continues. "They are all magnificent and created in the Arts and Crafts style."

The Roycroft is heavenly and we cannot wait to warm up on one of those hearths.

We also got several notes about the Red Coach Inn in Niagara Falls. Clearly the fireplace at this lovely and legendary venue warms a lot of hearts, not to mention toes at a time like this.

"It's such a beautiful open hearth located in the dining room in a historical inn, that I think it deserved mentioning," writes fireplace connoisseur Lorraine Pasternak. "Living in Buffalo, we love to visit the Falls during the winter.  After a trek through 'America's oldest state park' and witnessing the up close beauty of the rapids, the Inn and its fireplace (across the street) are like a dream! Lunch, snacks and dinner is served, but we have just stopped in for drinks and sat by the fire when seats are available. Since winter is 'off season' for visiting the Falls, it's a great time to go!" 

Another irresistible invitation, and wonderful to contemplate on a frosty day like today. 

Finally a gentleman commented on the story:

"This may be a little further to the east but the Batavia Library also has a magnificent fireplace with surroundings right out of a Gatsby parlor. Plenty of comfortable chairs and a few electrical plugs for those of us who have worked on the road but chose not to do it at a Timmy Hoooo."

You never know when you will find yourself in Batavia. And when we do, we will head right to the library. That would be the Richmond Memorial Library. It looks like quite a pretty place.

These all certainly sound like fine fireplaces.

Would that a giant hand could pick us up and put us down in front of one of them, right now!

Mo Rocca gets his fill of wings with Buffalo booster Bernice Radle

Buffalo booster Bernice Radle, one of three locals chosen to appear in a segment on chicken wings to run on "CBS Sunday Morning" in advance of the Superbowl, poses below with CBS correspondent Mo Rocca:

--Colin Dabkowski

'Buffalo: America's Best Designed City'

Buffalonians gathered earlier this evening in Larkinville to watch the premiere screening of John Paget's short promotional video "Buffalo: America's Best Designed City." Take a look:

--Colin Dabkowski

Italian Festival entertainment cheat sheet

CostleyBy Mary Kunz Goldman

The entertainment schedule for the Italian Festival, starting today, looks like fun.

Franco Corso, billed simply as "Italian singer," sounds intriguing. A few years ago he was described as covering the songs that Andrea Bocelli sings. If you are going to attempt anything remotely operatic you must have some pipes. Corso performs at 4:30 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday on the Frankie Scinta stage.

Singer Mike Costley, left, headlines at 8:45 tonight on the Frankie Scinta stage. He sang a few weeks ago as part of the Buffalo News Jazz at the Albright-Knox festival. I couldn't go and all I keep hearing is how good he was. 

The Scintas, Las Vegas legends, headline on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on, you guessed it, the Frankie Scinta stage. This is a great opportunity to catch their act, free.

At 7:45 p.m. Sunday on the Frankie Scinta stage, catch venerable Buffalo rockers Junction West.

The Jazz Stage sounds good too. Bobby Militello plays there at 8 p.m. Friday.

And finally, tonight at 8 it's the Buffalo Rat Pack. Whoever they are, they sound like a highlight! And they'll only sound better with that plastic glass of Chianti.

Find other details of the Italian Festival -- including the Cooking Stage -- on the festival website.

Infringement Daily Planner: Day 6

Today marks the sixth day of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. If you haven't ventured out into the streets and sampled at least a little taste of this citywide cultural phenomenon, today -- more than halfway through the festival -- is as good a time as any to do it.

Also, as of today, the official Iffy Awards box is now at Rust Belt Books, so if you've seen any Infringement acts you've particularly enjoyed, please feel free to scribble an invented award category and winner on a paper plate and drop it in the box. The Iffy Award ceremony takes place on Sunday, the last day of the festival, in Nietzsche's.

Here are some suggestions for today's leg of the fest:

• The one and only Tim Stentman (well, there are probably other Tim Stentmans, but this is the only one I know) performs his own poetry and short stories at 4:45 outside of Picasso Moon. Having seen a performance from his band Blue Lazer with his brothers Mike and Chris last year at the late and lamented Vault Arthouse, I can say that Mr. Stentman is a gifted performer, even though I cannot exactly vouch for the quality of his poetry or prose. 

• Speaking of Blue Lazer, the band, whose slogan is "Blue Lazer will melt your face!" and whose frontman performs as an alien from another planet with a very convincing Arnold Schwarzenegger accent, will give a show at 10 p.m. in Milkie's. That show is part of the Sentman Spectacular, which also includes performances by the brothers Stentman in their separate muscial projects,  the hilariously named Bolognatron and Dirty Couture.

Babushka!, the comedy project of Don Gervasi and Todd Benzin, is an Infringement staple. I've seen these dudes perform, and they're hilarious. They're on tonight at 6:30 in El Museo and repeat on Wednesday at 7 to 8 in the same space. Check out this interview I did with the guys during last year's festival.

• A couple of very cool readings are taking place at Coming Home: The Gallery Next Door, starting at 7 tonight. They are "Prattletales," a spoken-word and poetry reading by the person who runs this fascinating blog and "Reading R. Crumb: A Memoir," descrbied cryptically as "an elaboration of the visual contexutalization of" the famous comix artist.

• I have been personally instructed in no uncertain terms not to miss, under any circumstances, tonight's performance of "Dazzlingly Inappropriate II: Double Dipping," featuring Infringement mainstay Janna Willoughby-Lohr and Cat Sinclair "doing and saying things that are dazzlingly inappropriate." It runs from 7 to 8 p.m. in Rust Belt Books. And judging from the last, incredibly moving reading that I saw Willoughby-Lohr give, it is likely to be an Infringement must-see.

--Colin Dabkowski


Let's polka!: Dyngus Day events dance into Western New York

Easter is here and Buffalo is warming up for Dyngus Day. Like a giant, fat butter lamb, the Polish festival, which happens on Easter Monday, is getting bigger and bigger.

The Dyngus Day Parade begins at 5 p.m. Monday (April 9) in front of Corpus Christi Church, at the corner of Clark and Kent just east of the Broadway Market. The corner bars in the surrounding neighborhood will be hopping with polka music and even a singing bartender or two.

But why wait until then? The doors open today (April 8) at the Dyngus Day Millennium Hotel (2040 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga). At 7:30 p.m. Bishop Edward Grosz kicks off the festivities by blessing the instruments. After that, all heck breaks loose: John Valby sings his Dyngus Day Song, the Piatkowski Brothers play polkas, and Al Crew entertains from 10 p.m. until closing in the lounge.

On Monday (April 9), the hotel is rocking again, from 6 p.m. on into the night. Valby will be back, and you can also enjoy the stylings of Polka Family, Jimmy K and Ethnic Jazz and Joe & The Schmoes.

Admission either night is $10. For info on the Millennium Hotel, call (800) 323-3331.

For other events, check out

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

Basinski Bash: Just Buffalo's Big Night features Michael Basinski

UB Poetry FEA  KIRKHAM UB Poetry 01
Michael Basinski is the featured performer at Big Night

The next Big Night is upon us. The popular monthly cross-cultural event, launched by Michael Kelleher and Aaron Lowinger in 2009 and presented by Just Buffalo Literary Center, Talking Leaves Books and the Western New York Book Arts Center, gets going at 8 p.m. today (Feb. 25) in the Book Arts Center (468 Washington St.).

The featured performer is Michael Basinski, curator of the University at Buffalo’s Poetry Collection and a prolific poet with many publications to his name, including "Trailers," "Poems Popeye Papyrus" and "Strange Things Begin to Happen When a Meteor Crashes in the Arizona Desert." The evening will also feature music by local composer, musician and Burchfield Penney Art Center curator Don Metz, who recently collaborated with Basinski on a music project called "Funginii."

The evening, as usual, will feature food from local chef and BlazeVOX books publisher Geoffrey Gatza. Admission is a cool $5, or $4 for members of Just Buffalo, WNYBAC and CEPA Gallery. More information
is at

-- Colin Dabkowski

The tavern turns over

MccarthyGene McCarthy's Tavern, the historic Irish pub on McCarthy Street in the Old First Ward, is changing hands just in time for the busy St. Patrick's Day season. That is the late Gene McCarthy himself pictured at left. McCarthy, who passed on last June, semi-retired in 2006, passing the tavern over to Gerhardt Yaskow in an elaborate and well-attended ceremony.

Now Yaskow is selling the tavern, to Bill Metzger, the publisher of the Brewing News. Bill is buying the pub with three partners.

The closing is Monday, Gerhardt reports, so on Sunday they are having a party. It starts at 4 p.m., with free roast beef sliders and other amenities. The address, just so you know, is 73 Hamburg St. As the pub appears in the phone book: "McCarthy Gene Tavrn 73 Hamburg."

Gerhardt's six years have been a great era for the picturesque tavern. He bought it not knowing exactly what he was getting into, and you could say that he -- and his sister Suzette -- have not only owned it, they husbanded it. They have done a wonderful job of looking out for the beer necessities (sorry, I could not help that). Once when I went there early on in his tenure, Gerhardt had just returned from a bingo supply shop in Clinton Street, buying balls for a game of chance. The originals had been tossed somehow, and regulars were frantic.

He has issued a statement: "Bill and his new partners will be there to introduce themselves to you this Sunday night, as we remain committed to support their future endeavors at our historic neighborhood pub, and finally, to wish them well in their important work going forward."

Surely Metzger's purchase will usher in another rich era. There is no doubt that the ale will keep flowing.

It is edifying to read about Gene McCarthy's and examine pictures on the Forgotten Buffalo website.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman


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