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!