August 28, 2008
By Mary Kunz Goldman
Life in the small city
Wading through the big story about Buffalo in this week's New York magazine -- titled 'Where the Urban Dream Life Is Going Cheap' - - Buzz kept constant score. 'That's good,' we would mutter at one paragraph. Then: 'What is with that slam?' Then: 'Hmmm. That seems nice, but...' Then: 'That's snide.' Next we tried tackling the almost 100 comments on the mag's online edition, mostly from Buffalonians sniping at each other. Our conclusion: We are really sick of worrying about how the rest of the world sees us! Who cares what they think? As one Buffalonian told us: 'I totally panic when I think about people moving here.'
The more, the scarier
If throngs flocked to Buffalo, we would fear for the future of the Party at the Portico, the popular Friday night bash at the Historical Society that wound up its season last week. It was an expensive party for Buzz, who let ourself be talked into joining the Historical Society. But the rest of the big crowd paid only $10 for three hours of music by Babik, as well as unlimited local wine and beer, cubes of cheese, pretzels, fruit, raw veggies, etc. Feasting, Buzz realized our beef with the Old Home Days folks, the team trying to lure back the expats. They say yay, more people to share the taxes. We say boo, more people to share the buffet.
Last week, arriving at the Buffalo Club for a party for jazz singer Diane Armesto, two words: We're home! ... The big bison head over the fireplace. The massive mantels. The portraits of the club's founding fathers, looking solemn and well fed. Buzz loved all of it. Best of all were the quaint phrases from yesteryear. Over the fireplace in the library was carved: 'Rest Here from Life's Vexations, Grasp the Threads of Vanishing Dreams.' Ahhh! But even more visionary is a quote on the club's Web site: 'Tee shirts or sweatshirts, denims of any kind are not permitted, as are halters, tank tops, shorts, jogging outfits and sneakers.' Now that's wishful thinking.
Such a crowd at last weekend's Dozynki Polish Harvest Festival! Must have been Those Idiots. That's the polka band, a group of guys complete with a brass section and natty red 'Polska' T-shirts. Buzz loves dropping their name into conversation. Then again, the big draw could have been the frosty Zywiec. Or the pierogies. The Chinese Auction, too, was a kick. Wittiest item: a Snowstorm Survival Kit. Included were a plush throw, bottle of wine and two glasses, corkscrew, six candles and lighter, AM-FM radio with batteries, flashlight and batteries, hot cocoa mix, chocolate chip cookies, cards and crossword puzzle book. Wait, something was missing. How could they forget a six-pack?
Attention-grabbers coming up at Niagara University! The upcoming Theatre Department season embraces plays called 'Fat Pig' and 'Underpants.' Also the musical 'The Rink,' for which we love the hype: 'The celebrated Bayreuth Festival in Germany may have Wagner but Niagara University Theatre has Kander and Ebb!' ... Give the people what they want! The Legacy, a tavern in Springville, has an entire 'Deep-Fried Menu.' It takes up two pages.
'Eventful and annoying.' -- WBEN-AM traffic guy's description of the Rainbow Bridge
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