Friday, October 7, 2011

82 + 16 = Riots in the streets.

Can you feel it in the air?

Have you noticed it around town?

26's, 57's, 21's, 30's?

Smell it, breathe it in, feel it. Its Sabre's Opening day.

The Bills have been a pretty great story this year, and if they keep winning it will be fantastic, but there is almost no other feeling than opening day in Pegulaville. Casual fridays at offices all around could field a complete sabres team full of jerseys, everyone will be streaming the game (played in Finland) quietly on their computers. Bar's will be more full at 1pm on a friday afternoon than 11pm on a saturday night (ok...that might be stretching it a little bit, but it's not too far off). Its an exciting time to be a Buffalonian.

If you're into sports, that is, and most of western new york lives and breathes with our professional teams. The day after wins are always better than the days after loses, proverbial water coolers light up with "did you see that sick goal last night?", and car flags fly more freely in the wind on the way home from the arena.

Strap yourself in, WNY, its hockey season.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What I miss about Buffalo series: Margot Lane

There are former Buffalonians all over the United States, and one of the common things I've noticed is how much they miss certain aspects of Buffalo. This is a series I've started from Ex-Pats on what they miss most about Buffalo, in their own words:

What I miss about Buffalo, NY. By Margot:

Its clear when we all leave our home how the things we took for granted can mean so much, including a routine.

In the best and worst of all my jobs I never looked forward to going into work but the drive seemed so much better with Tim Horton's coffee and a maple dipped donut.

After I moved to LA to pursue a career as a musician I was not successful at finding a similar coffee, but I was successful in convincing family and friends to send me out some every month.

Buffalo has some of the greatest bars to meet your friends at and watch a Sabres Game. Out in LA, its not so easy trying to convince the waitress to turn the Lakers off and put on a Buffalo Sabres game, but, I find out a way to not miss a game.

In all, I miss the people- I miss family and friends that are so irreplaceable its heartbreaking. I have met many Buffalonians who come out to LA to pursue a career and they are the type that care for everything they work to achieve as if it could all slip away.

The friends, which I've worked with years ago or that have come to one of my gigs, have a sense and respect that is not a characteristic developed in any other place. In no other city can there be so much history and from no other city can so many people leave only to return someday to the very people they miss.

I left Buffalo to find more work only to want to bring all of the friends ( this means you Bob) that have been with my career since the beginning out to LA to enjoy what it has become.

As far as wings, I'm an Anchor Bar kinda girl.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Preposterously Cheap Plug

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week of Buffalo named their 5 most fashionable people of Buffalo, and my wife liz was named one of the 5 most fashionable!

Congratz to all the winners!

Click Here!

What I Miss About Buffalo Series: Chris Nathan

There are former Buffalonians all over the United States, and one of the common things I've noticed is how much they miss certain aspects of Buffalo. This is a series I've started from Ex-Pats on what they miss most about Buffalo, in their own words:

  • What I miss about Buffalo I brought with me wherever I go. My life is now on the road doing buisness as well as playing shows on a National Level. So the biggest thing i bring with me is my pride.

    Knowing, people in Buffalo work really fuckin hard for what they have on their table and in their homes. The pride that takes a little kid into a grown man in this world. I wear that on my sleeve every day and night and I'm proud to say that I'm from Buffalo NY, because of how we work.

    By the way... I never miss a Sabres game... I get the games streaming on my phone, PS3 and TV. It's something i truly miss but luckily, through cyber world, i get to have that part of home with me for 9 months. I think it's time for us to make the run to the cup.

    One more thing... Best Wings in Buffalo? ... Castaway's in Angola,NY- get the honey hot

Buffalo Niagara unemployment among lowest in the country.

Looking to find some work, buy an inexpensive home, and have year round activities? Then Buffalo, NY is the place for you.

New data shows that Buffalo's 7.7% unemployment rate is over 1.5% less than the national average, and puts it in the Top third for lowest unemployment in the nation.

Betcha wouldn't have guessed that.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Western New York Flash win Womans Professional Soccer League Championship!

What an exciting game to be at yesterday, as the WNY Flash took on the Philly Independence for the WPS Soccer championship in Rochester! The game was a chess match all throughout the first half, and the Flash really started taking over the in the second half.

In the 64th minute (while i was buying a new Flash jersey, but still able to see the play!) Christine Sinclair came through on a nice goal to go up 1-0. It looked as though the Flash would be taking home the championship with that goal, but with 3 minutes of regulation time left, Independence's Amy Rodriguez scored a nice goal on a rebound off the post to tie it all up. I think all of us from Buffalo in the stands felt a huge lump in our throats, because usually these types of games do not end well for buffalo teams.

But through 2 scoreless overtime periods, the 1-1 tie held up, and it went to a shootout. It was a blast to see Marta come out and score the first shootout goal (the new jersey i bought is a Marta jersey! haha), and the Flash scored on all 5 of their attempts. In high dramatic fashion, Flash goalkeeper Harris stopped the final Philly shot and the championship was won. What a great game, and go Flash!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

As if the canalside wasn't fun enough

Historical Character Actors are coming to the Buffalo Canalside. Tonight and sunday will be former Governor of New York and a man instrumental in building the Erie Canal, DeWitt Clinton! Check out the article below for more!

Click here for more!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I am back! (elmwood avenue art festival)

After an amazing trip to San Fran and the Big basin Redwoods, i am back in Buffalo and letting you know that this upcoming weekend is the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts! Stop on by saturday or sunday for great arts, food and more!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Buffalo: #2 City in the country to relocate to.

Yes, you heard it, CNBC placed Buffalo as the #2 city in america to relocate to. It's not just those of us who love the city who are getting the message loud and clear, it starting to take shape across major news outlets across the country.

Click here for the whole story.


Queen City Love Affair will be in San Francisco for a week starting tomorrow. I may have updates from a far away land, but that tends to go against the general premise here! haha. If there are any guest bloggers out there in Buffalo who'd like to fill in a post, let me know!

Come one Come all to the Erie County Fair

It's that time of year again, time for the nations second largest county fair, the Erie County Fair! Held at the hamburg raceway and fairgrounds in Hamburg, NY, it has a little bit of everything. TONS of food, games, rides, but also a huge amount of exhibits, animals, and gambling at the casino on the grounds.

You'll find me parked at the "I Got It" games with fried dough and curly-q fry stains on my shirt, while people watching in between games and trying to win a knock of set of Ginsu Knives.

Photos by Bob Z Photography (click to enlarge)

I will be attending next Saturday and no doubt have a ton to talk about!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A west Side Story

Great Article by Donn Esmonde of the Buffalo News about the growth of the west side of Buffalo. Having bought a house in a lower west side neighborhood myself about 2 years ago, it gratifying to see struggling neighborhoods turn around.

Believe you me, owning a 160 old house has its struggles, but it's worth every second of it.

Article Here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Buffalo Garden Walk

This past weekend was the 16th annual Buffalo Garden walk, and what a gorgeous weekend for it. Unfortunately due to some family matters i was unable to attend, but i did go for a run thru parts of the city this morning which participated, and the gardens are absolutely stunning. The Buffalo News has a great article about it here.
Some quotables:

"In his own garden, Charlier spoke to people from Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, Nebraska and Washington, D. C., as well as a woman who lives “150 miles north of Toronto.”"

"Garden Walk Buffalo was founded in 1995 by Marvin Lunenfeld and Gail McCarthy with 29 gardens around the Norwood-West Utica area. This year, more than 350 Buffalo gardens within a five-mile radius are included. "

(Hat Tip to the Buffalo News)

Friday, July 29, 2011


Once again i am proud to be a part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival ( ). With 5 cities in North America taking part in the Infringement, Buffalo is far and away the largest, with over 1200 performances ranging from music to dance, poetry to audio/video. Not to be too self promotional, but i have the pleasure of playing Tonight at the Essex Street Pub, Wednesday at Buffalo Barfly, and next Saturday at Space 224. It's a wonderful festival with hundreds of performers over 11 days throughout the city.

Great article at the Buffalo News, click here

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bright Eyes at Artpark

Beautiful night for some beautiful music. Bright Eyes played a free show at what is fast becoming one of my favorite venues in Western New York. They played 3 out of my 4 favorite songs ( Poison Oak, Landlocked Blues, At the bottom of everything). the crowd was great and the weather was beautiful. Everyone seemed to have a great time, including Hillary B, who i interviewed after the show:

"it was a good show, i liked sitting on the hill to people watch and listen to the band play. i have been to art park before and sat near the stage, i actually like sitting on the hill better ... I think art park is a great place to have a outdoors have the great scenery behind the stage and the village on the main street is really nice too, a lot of little shops and restaurants."

That sums it up nicely, except i like sitting closer, but to each their own!!!

(camera phone picture)

(camera phone pic by Liz Jenney)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nouns Verbing, An Interview with Tattoo artist Craig Cheape

There are so many interesting people in the city, and none more so than Craig Cheape, tattoo artist extraordinaire at Tattoo Don's Nickel City Tattoo in Kaisertown ( Granted, i am a little biased on the subject considering that the two best tattoo's that i have have come from Craig himself.

I thought what better way to understand what it's like to be a tattoo artist than to tattoo someone yourself... Just kidding! Interviewing Craig was the best way i could go about finding out more, and i wanted to let you know just how interesting a guy he really is. When you get tattooed by him,youre getting a great tattoo and an interesting, smart guy who's doing it. Now on to the interview.

Queen City Love Afair ( QCLA): First the boring stuff, how long have you been tattoooing for?
Craig Cheape (CC): I started tattooing 15 years ago after about a year of apprenticeship

QCLA: What drew you to tattooing?
CC: I can't say I was drawn into it nor that I fell into it. I was an 18 year old punk with no marketable plan, and I needed something to do, seemed like as good a gig as any.

:Where you an artsy kid growing up?
CC: I always doodled growing up, instead of playing sports and dating girls and other normal pursuits. I had this sketchbook that I carried around for like a year, and showed it to Ed Walker at American Skin Art after he tattooed my brother one day. Ed looked down at me and my sketchbook and my torn jeans and said "I s'pose you wanna fuckin learn how to tattoo." I said "Yeah, that'd be cool." He looked through my sketchbook and said "Be here tomorrow."

Now the more fun stuff,What's your favorite thing to tattoo?
CC: I try to bring the broken dreams of comic book illustration to the pieces I can. Sometimes it works pretty well. I prefer the objective stuff. Figures doing stuff. Nouns verbing. Faeries, angels, dragons, Koi, etc. Lettering was never my thing. When you start, you find out it's a service industry, and that most of the time, you're not going to be doing your art. It's about giving people what they want, within reason, and trying to make them happy with the piece they have to spend their lives with. But it's a delicate dance of ethics.

Does it make you nervous knowing that this is going to be on someone forever?
CC: Everybody sweats bullets their first few tattoos. Sometimes it takes months to get over. Of all the first tattoos I've seen, mine was the worst. It was a sad onion lookin rose on my man, Bob. I've since covered up the cover up I covered it with. It takes a while to get over the pressure of permanently changing someone. You get a couple successes under your belt, and start to feel better. Once you get some confidence, then it's just goin' to work. You stop thinking about if they'll like it, and just try to do your best, according to what you know.

Have you ever had a tattoo that you thought was a terrible idea, but ended up doing it anyways?
CC: Not every idea can make a good tattoo just like not every story can be a good movie. Most tattooists know what pieces are bigger mistakes than others, and we have a good idea when someone is going to regret their decision big time. Nobody wants to hear it though. Some days I have more fight in me than others. I gotta admit my ethics are inconsistent. Some days I refuse the bad ones- the everlasting jobstoppers - some days I just do it. I sleep better when I don't feel like the agent of peoples' mistakes.. I doubt I'll ever tattoo some 19 year old chick's neck. I don't need that cash.

: Anything else you'd like to say/would like people to know about you or the shop?
CC: I've been working for Tattoo Don for 10 years, and can't see workin for anyone else. The shop is busy and the job can be stressful, but it's a blast too. The crew is great and I get to laugh every day. It's not what they show you on cable, but it's a good gig.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Star lights = Great Night

Had an absolute blast at Star Lights Saturday night at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Unfortunately the weather didn't entirely cooperate, with it being cloudy, but the big telescopes on the roof were pointed towards downtown and we could see landmark building up close and personal.

The rooftop view was gorgeous, and seeing the museum up close at night was equally as awesome.They had a live DJ spinning on the second floor, tables of local wines and handcrafted beers available with admission. The 4th floor science floor looked even cooler at night. Overall, with tunes spinning, really good beers (and wines) flowing, gorgeous views of the city, it was one of the best night of the year so far.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Walk home

Why i love the city:
On the walk home from Merge (see below) we spotted both a parking lot movie theater set up, and a fancy dinner at the Delaware Mansion with live music on the roof. It was great to see people out and about (although when i went to snap the mansion picture everyone was clearing out.)

Let us Merge

We went to Merge Restaurant (website here ) Wednesday night for a nice dinner. The restaurant itself has great ambiance and a great location on Delaware ave, near the Chippewa District. They specialize in Vegetan and raw food (but have meat and vegetarian dishes). I ended up having the salad and a side of mac n cheese (real adventurous, i know!) and my wife had a vegan mushroom hash. It was a mushroom stew served with fingerling potato hash. She thought it was truly delicious, "everything was very fresh and there was a side range of assorted mushrooms in the stew".

The service was also fantastic, very prompt, very friendly. If i hadn't been so tired we probably would have had a drink at the nice bar in the back. Plus there's a small stage right in the middle, so the occasional live performance happens, which would be great for dinner and drinks.

Overall i would recommend giving Merge a chance!

(click to enlarge camera photo picture)

Monday, July 18, 2011

That's Amore'

We went to the Buffalo Italian Festival this weekend, and it was my first time trying the festival out. (Being the good Polish/Irish boy i am, haha). If you were there for food, this was absolutely the place to be! Delicious food as far as the eye can see. There were also plenty of rides if you wanted to bring the kids down, and of course, what would any good festival in Buffalo be without a beer tent and live music. Pigging out to cannoli while hear "play that funky music white boy live" is quite the experience.
I would say great for kids, and people's who want to eat, i would have liked maybe a little more to do for the late 20/early 30 something crowd, but hey, who's complaining?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Buffalo Italian Festival

This weekend is the 2nd largest Italian Festival in the United States, in North Buffalo along Hertel Ave. There are tons of rides, games, and plenty, and i mean plenty, of Italian food. Should be a great time, and i encourage all to stop on down!

Official Italian Festival Website

Monday, July 11, 2011

Woman's World Cup Connection

So the US women defeated Brazil in dramatic fashion in the world cup this past weekend. Why would i bring this up? Because the Brazilian player Marta, who some consider the greatest woman's soccer player ever to play the game, plays for the Western New York Flash, essentially the "Pele of woman's soccer" plays in our backyard. I feel a road trip coming on.

More here in a Sports Illustrated article on the entire team, Click Here

"the WPS expansion team has put together perhaps the most fearsome women's club soccer roster of all time, led by the electrifying Brazilian superstar(Marta)."

More than a little Taste

I had to roll myself into the office this morning, from the wonder that is the Taste of Buffalo. I had a glutenous 2 days (yes, went both days), indulging in Greek, Italian, Deep Friend (yes its own nationality: Buffalonian) and many deserts and more. Cecelia's Fried Cheese ravioli's with tomato sauce were awesome, as always. Our friend Kaylee had some great smelling Mediterranean food, and i really destroyed some great desserts. Its a miracle i fit thru the door after the walk home!

Dancing next to Tandori's Indian Restaurant (camera phone pic, click to enlarge)

In the shadows of city hall (camera phone, click to enlarge)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Taste taste taste!

This weekend Buffalo is hosting their huge annual Taste of Buffalo, the largest two day food festival in the United states! With over 50 restaurants, 7 wineries, and 450,000 attendees, it is a big, gigantic, food paradise. Plus with new healthy options, and opportunities for smaller portions, it has something for everyone!

So stop on down and try the appetizers, entrees, deserts and more!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In the not so distant future

Star Lights @ The Buffalo Museum of Science! Click here for the webpage

An awesome yearly event called Star lights is coming up July 23rd at the Buffalo Museum of Science. It's a formal affair where we get to party on the rooftop of the museum, with a great view of the buffalo skyline. Plus with drinks, finger foods, and all access to the museum itself, it should be a great time. NOt to mention the telescopes on the rooftops, so plenty of stargazing! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

America's Birthday in the Queen City.

Anyone who is familiar with the Buffalo area knows how frustrating waterfront development has been for the past couple decades. Well this story is slowly becoming a success story. We rode our bikes to the beautiful new canalside/harborfront last night for the fireworks show and live music, and boy Buffalo, you've come a long way. From a fully redesigned commercial slip, to unearthing of the original Erie Canal, to beautiful new greenspace and docks, they have done a great job so far. Only a stones throw from the HSBC arena, things are very much so starting to happen on the inner and outer harbors. Want some proof?(click for larger pictures, the last one is from Angola On the Lake festivities the night before)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bidwell Farmers Market

One of the great things about saturdays in summer in downtown Buffalo, is the Elmwood/Bidwell Farmers Market. Its great to take a stroll, or a bike, down and pick up some fresh produce, flowers, wines, and much more. On beautiful days we ride down and get some coffee and pastries at one of several coffee spots within in couple blocks. Highly recommended if your in the western new york area in the summer time!Some of the Market (camera phone)

Liz holding our farm fresh eggs!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Umphree's Part II

Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News music editor, agrees about that magic that was the Umphree's show Wednesday night.

Umphree's Mcgee @ Artpark

One of the greatest things about summertime in the Buffalo area is the abundance of free outdoor live shows. It's an embarassment of riches to be able to go see Peter Frampton one night (Free, Tuesday and the next night Umphree's Mcgee (free Wednesday) and then Lowest of the low (free, thursday This is just one week, and pretty much every week during the summer is like this. Well last night i went to see Chicago based Umphree's, and boy, it was worth every second of being there. They put on an absolute clinic in guitar and drum work, and had the crowd unable to even catch our breaths. Highly recommended.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York Passes Gay Marriage Bill

Congratulations New York State on a job well done! And excellent job Buffalo Representative Mark Grisanti for voting in favor of the bill. Well done.

French Quarter Cafe

So on a rather chilly summer nite we decided to warm ourselves up with some Cajun food in Allentown at the French Quarter Cafe.

Highly recommend it if you're looking for some inexpensive, but delicious Cajun food. I had the Eggplant (vegetarian) Po' Boy and a side of baked mac and cheese. Both good. I always like mac and cheese with some crispy baked crust on it, but it was smooth and delicious.

Liz had the Vegetarian Jambalaya, which she described as "delicious and full of fresh seasonal vegetables. Huge portion for the price, and a delicious savory sauce." Sounds about right to me!

So stop on down to the Allentown district and grab some delicious Cajun!

(Camera phone picture)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Just a reminder that at Thursday At the Square tonight is a free Grace Potter and the Nocturnals show. I was able to see them at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tenn a couple weeks ago and the band played excellent music, and Grace has a wonderful voice. I have a couple issues with the lyrics to her originals, but throw back a couple drinks and that'll fade into the background.

Gotta love Thursday At the Square in downtown Buffalo!

Grace Potter covering "white Rabbit", this cover alone is worth going downtown!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4th Annual 0.5K Stiletto Run to benefit the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

What a wonderful summer evening for the 0.5k Stiletto run this year. Warm weather, great crowds, and lots of money raised for a great cause tonight! If you couldn't make it this year, i would highly recommend making a special trip out next year. Whether its guys trying to fix broken heels on the fly (how often do i get to type that?) or entire groups remembering thier lost loved ones, its one of the best events of the summer.

Spiderman reveals herself!

One of the leaders!

Katie M (far left) and family afterwards. When i asked her "does it hurt to run in stiletto's?" she responded like a trooper, "Not if you're used to it!"

So make sure you check out this great event next year! check out for more details!

Adrian Brijbassi and his trip to Buffalo

Great article from Canadian Adrian Brijbassi and his overcoming prejudices towards Buffalo. Excerpt here and full article linked below:

"this time, I got to know the place and the people. Turns out, they like us, and they really want you, Toronto, to like them. Give them a chance and you will"

CLICK HERE for more

Elmwood Village "10 Best in America"

An article i had wrote on Associated Content detailing Elmwood Village being named "One of the 10 Best Villages" in the United States.