Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shop local, Support WNY!

I just wanted to take a moment to remind everyone how important it is, during this holiday season, to shop locally whenever possible. With so many great areas of the city to shop (your Elmwoods, Hertels, Allens, Grants, etc), there is a store for you and your loved ones.

So please, help the local economy, your neighbors and friends, and get people something considerably more unique than a gift from a big box store. Everyone will appreciate it!

Happy ChrismaKwanzaChanukah!
(and festivus!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Local Music: The passing of Mohawk

It's strange how attached you can become to a building. Sure the Mohawk Place is like any other building in Buffalo, 4 walls, some beer, some live music, but it's meant so much more to WNY than any of that.
 I imagine this is how people a few years older than me felt about the Continental closing (i was only able to experience it for a year or two). Its like a passing in the communal family. A lot of the write up from the larger publications always bring up the fact that The White Stripes, The Black Keyes, Sam Roberts and the like played here, which is all very cool and very much a badge of honor...

But certainly not what i'll remember.

(Click to read on)

Local Music: Levek by Brian Patrick

Levek ( presents their first music video from Look A Little Closer for "Black Mold Grow,” directed by Michael Lawrence in Buffalo, NY.

“David (from Levek) and I spoke for months about the meaning behind the album, “Black Mold Grow” in particular,” Lawrence says of how the project first came together. “Similar images kept on coming into both of our heads - a gauzy, transcendental view on a young woman's struggle with her psyche.  Creating the film was an organic process - everything from the original script to the end product was guided by the nature surrounding us.  The locations and environments added a large scope to the film - but, more than anything, created a backdrop for a character-driven story to unfold in a spontaneous, genuine way.”

“Black Mold Grow” is taken off of Levek’s Look a Little Closer, available now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An open letter to Gary Bettman

Listen Gary, I get it, you fancy yourself something of an intellectual, plus you're stubborn.

You need to feel like the smartest guy in the room, and you want for everyone else to think you're the smartest guy in the room. So when they hired Donald Fehr you were probably pretty chapped about it. I get it.

There are lots of A type personalities out there who are stubborn, short tempered, and willing to lie to people to get what they want, but heres the difference between A-type personalities that are revered and beloved by people, and ones who are ridiculed and hated by an entire fan base: When the time comes to put the people who love your game ahead of dollars and profits, true leaders find a way to get things done.

Not some pissing match with Donald Fehr, not some lies to a fan saying the NHLPA hasn't compromised, and certainly not cancelling nearly half a season and taking your toys out of the sandbox, because you didn't get exactly what you want.

Real men and woman find a way to swallow part of thier pride, work with the best and the brightest around, compromise with thier counterparts, and find a resolution to a conflict, they don't constantly play games in the media, and rush to judgement on good proposals that work towards the same things you want. It's called compromise, Gary, and i can easily provide you with a dictionary to look up the meaning.

Just know though, Gary, you are not the be all end all of the universe for hockey. I know people who are watching more Major Junior, more AHL, more local, and oh yes, the NFL is still on and bigger than you'll ever be, partially because of your short-sidedness. But know this, this is YOUR third work stoppage, this is YOUR stubborness, and this is YOUR fanbase turning against you, slowly but surely. We are knowledgable enough to know that for a game who's grown over a billion dollars since your last lockout, this time it comes down to your greed.

I'd say "i dont know how you sleep at night", but considering how little you care about us fans in the first place, you probably sleep just fine.

Bob Z
Buffalo Sabres fan

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Developement: Sabres win Webster Block

QCLA was happy to learn that the Sabres/Pegula proposal for the Webster block in the prime Canalside district was the winning proposal.

The two main bids, between Carl Paladino's hotel/apartments/retail/ gigantic parking garage and the Terry Pegula 2 ice rinks/retail/restaurant/slightly less obtrusive parking garage was something that QCLA was watching very closely.

Although Paladino has many nice properties around the area, I couldn't help but coming back to the long stalled court street project, and the coffee rich building (which thankfully a judge just ordered to be cleaned up and new windows installed.) I just felt we couldn't have someone with such a spotty track record as the key developer on the most sought after parcel of land in Canalside. This had nothing to do ith Carl on a personal level, just a professional level.

Plus, having someone from outside the area willing to invest over $100 million in dowtown is the type of opportunity you don't let slip away. It will be a draw for junior, college and other tournements which run year round, and also supply more hotel rooms (along with the 1 canalside donovan restoration) for out of towners to stay by the arena. This will positively impact not only the retail businesses that go into the building, but the walkable coblestone district, pearl street, and hopefully, the newer areas of main street being redeveloped (with the metro line running up main and back down to the 1 canalside address.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Brian P: Rockstar Mayhem: More Rockstar Than Mayhem

It would really be hard to refer to what we got at Darien Lake last night as the Rockstar Mayhem festival. This bastardized version featured only four bands – Anthrax, Motorhead, Slayer and Slipknot, and while that’s not exactly a lineup to sneeze at, it didn’t feature even half of the billed bands currently touring the country with the Rockstar Mayhem festival, most notably for this reporter, the mighty As I Lay Dying. 

To be honest, there was definitely some novelty in seeing those first bands in action, and having never seen the trio of Anthrax, Motorhead and Slayer live; I guess it was a noteworthy show. But for me, and those with me, Slipknot was definitely the drawing point. Even though images of [Anthrax guitarist] Scott Ian’s beard (thankfully perfectly visible from our vantage point) and sounds of [Motorhead frontman] Lemmy’s legendary raspy howl probably were the things I’ll take away the most from this show, but as I said, Slipknot was the main drawing point for me.

 Slipknot truly is a band you’ll never get tired of seeing. I first saw them in Toronto on Ozzfest 2001 (anyone remember Ozzfest?), and have seen them a couple more times since then, and they never get old. The masks, the jumpsuits, and more importantly, the music – it just never tires. With the band having just released their greatest hits canon Antennas From Hell, I knew I was in a veritable who’s who of Slipknot cuts. And that’s what I got. “Wait and Bleed,” “Before I Forget,” “Eyeless,” “Surfacing” and “Psychosocial,” and the list goes on and on, almost literally, though the true highlight was “People=Shit,” which I was thinking they weren’t going to play. I don’t say this about many bands, but if ever there needed to be one band on your must-see live list, then Slipknot is it. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Local: Activity on Elmwood at West Tupper

The area between Virginia and Tracey on Elmwood ave has long been a stretch of mostly open spaces and residential, but recently two businesses, one newer and one who has been around a couple years, have started thriving on the corner of Elmwood and West Tupper.

Jacobi's Pizza Express recently expanded into the second half of thier building right off the corner, serving all of your favorite pizza and wings restaurant foods. Obviously it's doing well to double it's size from the previous space.

Right next door, directly on the corner, the Elmwood and Tupper Gallery has been open for a few months, replacing a reapolstry business there. The gallery specializes in local art and artists, and runs a poetry and musical open mic on saturday afternoons. I've had the opportunity to walk by the place frequently and some of the paintings and photography has been truly spectacular. They're open until 6 most weekdays, but they stay ope for first fridays. ( ).

So swing on by, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy some great homegrown art!

Bob Z

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

News: Invention: The Steffi, Schoolbus Safety. - Brian Patrick


As a school bus driver, nothing is more than the safety of the children on your bus, and thanks to a new invention, the Steffi Crossing Enhancer, that safety is being taken to the next level.
                Invented by Lake Shore Central School District bus driver Victoria DeCarlo, an over 19 year veteran, the Steffi is the latest piece of equipment to ensure the ever important safety of our children.
                “Everyday school bus drivers have an issue with kids struggling to see their hand signals when they cross the road,” DiCarlo said. “In New York State, it’s mandatory for drivers to use their forefinger and thumb to cross our students. Drivers have to drag their hand across the windshield, indicating to the kids that it’s safe to cross. What happens is that most of the time they cannot see us and end up standing on the side of the road for longer than need be, which is very dangerous. We have also been running into the issue of kids crossing themselves because they cannot see the drivers’ hand signals. Their lives are literally in our hands.”
                DiCarlo believes in the idea of the Steffi itself so much that she made the prototype during her time off of work. She then named the new device after what she refers to as one of the most dangerous stops along her bus route.

Monday, July 16, 2012

News: Dinosaur BBQ to open Buffalo location

Dinosaur BBQ, the BBQ kings of Syracuse, Rochester, Troy and Harlem, has officially annouced that it will be opening up a location on Franklin Ave, Buffalo NY in the summer of 2013.

Now with D BBQ and Fat Bob's Smokehouse within a mile or so of each other, animals around the planet are going to have to fear Buffalo, NY....

Review: 1,2,3,4 then we got a lot more: Feist @ The Harborfront

I feel i should start off this music review with 2 important notes. 1) Walking into the harbor last night, i wasn't the biggest Feist fan in the world. I thought they were very good, but i was a casual listener. 2) I have seen over 500 musical performances in my couple decades on this earth, so this is not my first time at the rodeo.

With that out of the way, i'd like to say one thing: Wow.

I walked in a casual listener, and i walked out a bonafide Feist fan. The vocal complexities she displayed were truly impressive. I had the pleasure of seeing Florence + The Machine last summer, and what Florence is to pure vocal power, Feist is to range and dynamics. Not to mention her 3 backup singers all were great singers too. It's almost not fair how many good female voices are in this band. From the lowest of lows and highest of highs, from strong chorals to soft whispers, she had the crowd captured from the beginning and entranced through the end. Easily one of the best Buffalo Place shows i've seen.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Events: Seether Do What They Do on the Waterfront (Sort Of): Brian P

Seether wasn’t great last night, and if you were one of the many people there in attendance, chances are you agree with me. Well, if this wasn’t the first time you’d seen the band live that is. So, OK, if this was your first time seeing Seether, then they probably kicked ass in your mind but coming from someone who has seen the band half a dozen times live, this was a fairly lackluster show to be honest. 
Sure, the setlist wasn’t all that terrible but the severe lack of new material was disheartening, as only a few songs were performed off their tremendous Holding On To Strings Better Left to Fray record (“Tonight,” “Country Song”). It is, however, really hard to complain about the bountiful amount of old material (“Gasoline,” “Needles,” “Fine Again,” “Broken,” “Driven Under”), which came early and often, but the severe lack of crowd interaction and the feeling that the band was simply going through the motions kind of killed that nostalgic vibe. And that’s not even to mention the band’s predictable ending, closing their set with “Fake It,” before ‘encoring’ (sort of) with “Remedy.” The band didn’t color outside the numbers at all here. 
A cover (or two) would have been nice, and not even a surprise one was necessary (even though the band does insanely good Nirvana covers), “Careless Whisper” would have killed. Alas, we got what we got, and I guess it’s hard to expect much from a free show.
-Brian Patrick, Get Exposed Music

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Events: Triple A All star game: Picture

Events: Triple A All-Star Game

Tonight is the night for baseball enthusiats, the 25th annual Triple A All-Star Game is downtown at Coca-Cola field.

If you're planning to go, but don't have a ticket yet, I'd recommend hoping on the website and ordering now, there are less than 500 tickets left as of this morning. There is going to be some beautiful weather today, and with a fireworks show afterwards, a special lineup of local celebrities before and during, and of course, great ballpark food and drinks, why wouldn't you want to spend the night at the ballpark?

Opening ceremonies start at 6pm, ballgame starts at 7pm, fireworks immediately following the game,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Opinion: I'm done hiding how awesome Buffalo is.

In most hero stories, there comes a point where the main character is knocked down, beaten up, and looks down and out. Inevitably, they get themselves off the mat, dust themselves off, and get back to work.

Ladies and gentlemen; Buffalo, NY is your newest Rocky story.

                                                                    (Rocky IV)

As we all know, the steel industry vanishing in the 70's was our version of Ivan Drago (or for the younger generation, our "He who shall not be named"), and for the next couple of decades, we laid on the mat, trying to figure out a way to overcome all the obstacles put in our way. We weren't going to be Apollo Creed, but could we ever be Sly Stallone?

To steal a phrase from a certain campaign from a couple years back, yes we can. (and are).

All of this bubbled up to the top today as I was driving from the south towns, along the lake, back home into the city. The sunset was gorgeous, and it illuminated the shoreline, the giant, hulking windmills that always make me think "that's the beautiful future of energy right there". All of the places along the waterfront were jam packed, Dug's Dive didn't have a parking spot to spare. Boats where out all along the water, people were jogging and walking along Gallagher beach, along the pier, and everywhere I looked people were having a great time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Events: Taste of Buffalo

Stop eating.
Right now. Trust me.

This weekend's approaching, and the QCLA crew highly recommends you check out the countries largest 2 day food festival, The Taste of Buffalo. From 11am-9pm saturday and 11am-7pm sunday, you have 18 unadultered hours to stuff your face with food from over 50 resaurants featuring 13 different ethnic food types!

Plus as they've been doing for the past few years, each stand will have one healthy option for those watching our wastelines. Apps, entree's and deserts are all over the place, plus several different wineries have stands if you're into the grapes!

But don't think this is just limited to (a lot) of food. From the taste of Buffalo website:
"The Taste has two stages featuring the best in continuous musical entertainment and a DJ with karaoke hosts the Huron Street Labatt Blue party tent. The Culinary Stage located in the New Era parking lot on Delaware Avenue is a competition kitchen that features Nickel City Chef, Buffalo's version of Iron Chef, and a variety of culinary personalities that showcase their culinary talents. Many of the sponsors have interactive exhibits and offer free samples. It's also a great place to people watch."

Last year, my brother in law spun the wheel at the Ford Motors exhibit and won $30, not bad!

Plus, entry is free, you just have to buy the tickets to be able to purchase the food, and most items range from $2-$4 price range. Remember to stay cool this year, with heat regularly in the 80s and 90's so far, it'll be important to stay hydrated and cool. Especially those of you with small children!

QCLA Coming Soon:

QCLA is pleased to announce that in the coming weeks, we will be doing a "Top 10 places in Buffalo (to bring an out of towner)", with the low down on the best parts of Buffalo!

Also, we will be introducing our Queen City Spokesmonsters! Sculpted by artist Zach Jenney, the QC Spokemonsters will be your WNY travel guides for years to come! Stay tuned for thier introductary "news conference"!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sports: Buffalo Sabres: Addition Through Subtraction

Perhaps more than most Sabres fans, I thought they weren’t tough enough.
The “core” of the team was undersized and they under achieved.
The Sabres addressed all of that this week!
First the accusations of Behemoth John Scott and the trade for the physical and, at times dirty (just ask Jordan Leopold) Steve Ott, from the Dallas Stars which also included the best offseason loss thus far. 
Say it out loud with me “Derek Roy is no longer on our team.”
Feels great doesn’t it?
It is a little bitter sweet.  Aside from sharing the name, he was incredible when he first moved up to the NHL.  His determination and his effort were unparalleled on our team and on most NHL teams.  Roy faded away though, watching the diving was painful even though his production in the way of points and TOI never dipped.  Countless stories of him avoiding scrums and hits on the ice and reminding teammates “it’s just a game” angered me and most other Sabres fans.
 Since the news of his departure has made its way through our great city, so have the endless jokes about bars going out of business and Chippewa missing its constant fixture.
All of that aside, the Sabres are better, and without a doubt tougher today.  Darcy addressed the biggest criticism his Sabres had albeit a little later than many Sabres fans wanted. 
Steve Ott doesn’t bring just the physical/agitator game that fans of the opposite teams can’t stand to see.  Ott score goals too, in his time in Dallas Ott averaged 15 goals and 35 points per season.  Ott is in elite company with 75 goals and 700 PIMs over the last five seasons, the only other player to post stats like that is Scott Hartnell.  A goal scoring menace that I would love to have as a Sabre
Now we can all be sure of one thing this upcoming season, when someone takes a run at our goaltender, hits one of our stars from behind into the boards or hacks our best player’s knee, we won’t sit and wait for the league to make a decision.  Our team will!
Hockey is only three months away, three months of 80 degree weather, sunshine, and BBQs.  For now enjoy this and hope that by winter every professional football and hockey team cringes at the thought of playing the Bills and Sabres.
~Derek McIntyre

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Events: Buffalo Harbor 4th of july

The city of Buffalo really outdid themselves this year for the 4th of july celebrations. Thousands of people flocked to downtown for live music, good food, and one heck of a fireworks display, and I don't believe a single sole left unhappy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

QCLA is alive and well

QCLA just took 2 roadtrips which interupted the blog for a week or so, but we are back and ready to announce some exciting things in the next couple of days!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Events: Allentown Arts Festival

This past weekend was the Jekyll and Hyde of weather, and the resulting crowds showed up and the hugely popular Allentown Art Festival. Saturday was wet and rainy, and although a hearty crowd showed up, its wasn't as packed as it usually is,
That all changed Sunday. What an absolutely packed festival it was Sunday, the vendors must have absolutely loved it. Plus it was a sunny, 80 degree day, and you could smell all the outdoor foods a half mile away, and it made for the perfect recipe for arts, food, and fun!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Events: Thursday at the Harbor Week 1

JUNE, 7 2012--Buffalo’s free Thursday concert series Thursday in the Harbor kicked offthursday night at the Warf, and did not disappoint.
The Cult, Along with Against Me! and the Icarus Line opened the concert season at the harbor.  
If this was any indication, we are in for an awesome summer of live music. 
Against Me! Showcased their unique sound which can only be described as Flogging Molly, meets Dropkick Murphys, meets The Sex Pistols.  Against Me! drew a large audience of younger teenage fans while the headliners let many of us remember the days of post-punk, hard rock glory of the 1980’s
Following Against Me! The Cult (one of my all-time favorites) took to the stage.  I have waited to see The Cult for years, and thanks to Buffalo Place I was able to see them free of charge.
Ian Astbury, The Cult’s frontman can still get it done, his voice paired with Billy Duffy’s guitar brought a smile to my face and was even enough to keep the young fans of Icarus Line and Against Me! From leaving

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Events: Buffalo Corporate Challenge

     Buffalo's biggest short distance race happens this evening in the form of the Corporate Challenge (tied with the Turkey Trot), in which QCLA and over 13,000 of our closest friends will be representing area business's in a 3.5 mile race through the beautiful streets of Buffalo, NY. The Buffalo Corporate challenge is the biggest in the country, the only other one in the same ballpark in the Chicago race of the same name.
     Not surprisingly, this is also one of the biggest party events of the year for all who are involved, as companies put up giant tents all over the grounds of Delaware Park, and the smell of hotdogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob waft all around the park (i would have mentioned the beer, but that smell doesn't really waft). Plus there is usually some frisbee, Kanjam, and other fun pick up games, since the park is more than large enough to accomodate everyone and more.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sports: Hockey Heaven rates high

Once again in this Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Buffalo market has shown itself a force to be reckoned with for TV ratings.The rating are in for games 1 and 2 of the finals, and here's the top markets:

Game 1:
1) Buffalo, NY  7.8
2) New York, NY 5.1
T-3) Los Angeles, CA 4.2
T-3) Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN
T-5) Oklahoma City 3.5
T-5) Pittsburgh, PA 3.5

Game 2:
1) Buffalo, NY 6.8 rating
2) Los Angeles, CA 5.5
3) New York, NY  4.1
4) Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN  3.6
5) Pittsburgh, PA  3.4

Buffalo topped both cities that are playing in the finals, plus other hockey hotbeds like Pittsburgh and Minneapolis. This is very impressive, and a sign that Buffalo, as a top 100 market in the US, has some considerable pull for NBC (are you paying attention, NHL Draft/Winter Classic deciders?).

-Bob Z

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Events: Buffalo Greek Festival

This past weekend had many wonderful events happening arounf downtown Buffalo, PRIDE Festivities, The Gus Macker 3v3 Basketball tournament, and of course, The Greek Festival.

We attended the Greek festival fairly late on sunday afternoon/evening, and the place was still pretty rockin. Live bands, lots of food (whats a Buffalo Festival without lots of food?) and a fun, friendly atmosphere that everyone could enjoy. I of course had to try the Loukoumades, known in english as "Honey Balls", which are deep friend dough balls coated in a honey and cinnimon glaze. Absolutely delicious! Eating deep fried food while watching customary dancing, and doing some shopping under the tents was an excellent time!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Buffalo PRIDE

It's that time of year again, when the annual Buffalo PRIDE Parade and festivities come to downtown Buffalo! It's always a fun weekend full of events, parades and more, so some on down to PRIDE weekend in Bufflo, one of the bigger pride festivities in the United States!

This is an exert taken directly from the Pride Center of WNY's website : (

Pride 2012: Transformation

This past year has been a time of Transformation with change and growth happening on many levels. We have experienced Transformation in our legislation, in our communities, in our identities, and in ourselves. We have had legal successes with achievements such as the passage of Marriage Equality and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Pride Center experienced growth with unprecedented funding to work with people in the transgender and gender queer communities to improve access to testing, education, and treatment of HIV, STIs, and Hepatitis C in WNY. As a community, we have also felt the changes forced with great loss, and we pay tribute to those who have passed with our In Memoriam section in this year's Resource & Pride Guide. Even from loss, we find seeds of hope and change with greater recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender realities; increased time and resources being devoted to changing the behaviors such as bullying that wound one another; and we find strength to continue the fight where those who came before us left off. From the roots of marginalization, evolve new opportunities for health and equality. There are many areas where we conti nue to work for Transformation. People are joining together to work for the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discriminati on Act (GENDA) to expand equal rights and working to create safe affordable housing options to end homelessness. Our communities are stronger and more vibrant than ever, and the power of Pride to Transform our society and improve the realities of people’s lives is reflected in all of us. It is with that sentiment that I invite all of you to celebrate this year’s Pride and continue your own Transformations.

Friday, June 1st, 2012
Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

Niagara Square, in front of City Hall

Saturday, June 2, 2012
Dyke March and Allen Street Festival

Line up at 4:00 p.m. at Kleinhans, step off at 5:00 p.m. east on North Street to Elmwood Avenue, South on Elmwood Avenue to Allen Street, east on Allen Street to Franklin Street, ending at the Allen Street Festival.

Sunday, June 3, 2012
Pride Parade and Festival

Line up at 11:00 a.m. on Elmwood Avenue starting at Lafayette, step off at 1:00 p.m. Festival at Canalside along the Historic Erie Canal Harbor 1:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sports: NFL: A Return to the playoffs: Derek M

Is it September yet?
 I’m sure most of us are already thinking about the football season, about the entire week building up to a party at the Ralph.  Monday mornings spent talking with coworkers about the Bills game from the day before, asking friends where they’re sitting or where they are planning on parking for the pre-game festivities. 
Just a few more months Buffalo!
                For now, the “one-and-done” summer sporting events have already started and now we have a great concert season to go along with it.  For the summer, sports are not our focus like it will be again in the fall.  We can only take so much talk about the Lakers’ impending dismantling. (slow-down ESPN, the season isn’t even over yet.) Baseball has been fun, seeing teams like Baltimore and Tampa fight over the A.L. East lead while we watch the Yankees and Red Sox fight for last place.  This week the Yankees seem to have found their stride, and put their ducks in a row.  Now that the shock of losing the most consistent part of their game (Mariano Rivera) has settled in, it seems so has the rest of the “all-world” team.
                The Big story...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Events: Buffalo Marathon: First Person Perspective

QCLA and 5000 of our closest friends ran a half or full marathon yesterday: For those of you who have never run a half or whole marathon, there are two things to remember. 1) its more fun than you probably imagine, and 2) it's harder than you probably imagine! Yesterday your friendly neighborhood QCLA ran the half marathon under absolutely perfect conditions, high 60s and cloudy (remember running weather and beach weather are two totally different things!). Last year it hit sunny and 80 and was exceptionally hot and difficult.

  The course itself was changed this year too, and i have to say i think its a big improvement. It went from 4 overpasses down to one (that you used twice) and for someone like myself, who isn't an iron man, it was much better. It brought you close to the waterfront during several different portions, which is always a good thing. Plus all the spectators lined along the streets was super gratifying, with bands of people lined up at random street corners and roads. Nothing can lift your spirits like random people cheering you on...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

QCLA Gets a Makeover!

Do not adjust your TV sets. QCLA has had a makeover! There might be more fun stages in store soon, so don't be scared, change is good!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Local Music: Complete Thursday at the Harbor and Artpark Buffalo Concert Series

The lineups for both major concert series in Western New York are out, which means its the unofficial start of summer! I'll list them all below in chronological order, with some of what i consider are the highlights and definite recommendations.
TATH = Thursday at the Harbor (Canalside) Free Shows.
BPRTH = Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor. (Canalside) Paid Shows
Artpark F= Free Artpark shows
Artpark P= Paid Artpark Shows

June 7th - The Cult, Against Me! and The Icarus Line :TATH
                   Come on now, the Cult to kick off the summer fun? What could be better!

June 14th -Fitz and the Tantrums,Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds and ZZ Ward:  THAT
 June 19th – Kansas.  Artpark P
                    Carry on our wayward son, right into western new york!
June 20th- Ziggy Marley. Artpark F
                     Ziggy puts on a great show. Tons of energy. Check em' out for free!
June 21st - Built to Spill, Matthew Sweet and Hey Rosetta! TATH
June 26th- Foreigner. Artpark P
                    Be Honest with youself.  Isn't it a little unamerican to NOT want to see foreigner?
Come on down, belt out some of your secret favorites, and have a great time.
 June 27th- Tokyo Police Club. Artpark F
                   I am more excited for this show than any other on the lineup besides Andrew Bird. Saw them  at Soundlab a few years back and they are one of the most high energy shows you'll ever see. Great uptempo music and great vocals.
June 28th - Fountains of Wayne.TATH
June 29th: Sam Roberts Band and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals . BPRTH
               I saw Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the Bonaroo Music Festival, and they put on a hell of a show. Sam Roberts Band comes to Buffalo fairly often and they also know how to put on a really good performance. Many people i know are most excited for this show.
June 30th: moe and Conspirator . BPRTH
               Hometown boys M.O.E. make thier yearly return to the thousands of fans down on the harbor front. Mainstays and big time players on the jam band scene, its always exciting when they come back to town. Expect this to be a sell out.
July 3rd: Huey Lewis and the NewsArtpark P.
              I am trying with all my might not to make a "hip to be square" pun right here.... whew, succeeded.
July 5th - Arrested Development. TATH.
                  Kick it oldschool!

July 10th: Sublime with Rome. Artpark P
                  Sublime, without Bradley of course, comes to Buffalo for the first time since a warped tour about 10 years ago.  Enjoy some neo raggae and heavy bass.
July 11th: Lowest of the low. Artpark F

July 12th – Seether. TATH
July 15th: Feist .BPRTH
                   Feist has been one of the most popular, and talented, artists of the past 5 years. With a great voice, harmonies and super catchy tunes, you can head on down and have them stuck in your head for a week.

July 16th: Andrew Bird. Artpart P
                  Far and away the show i personally am most excited for. This man plays every instrument himself, and beautifully so. Deep, layered song, with wonderful movement and melody. An absolute must.
July 19th: Young the Giant, Bahamas and The Ruby Spirit. TATH
July 24th: Heart. Artpark P
                 You know you want to go.....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Restaurant Review: Well La-Tee-Da!

QCLA took a nice walk into Allentown from our humble abode on a beautiful Wednesday evening for a nice dinner at La Tee Da on Allen Street, next to Rustbelt Books, and it was absolutely perfect.

First off, the ambiance of the entire place is very inviting, nice and cozy in the main inside area, while feeling a little bit upscale, it's not stuffy at all, and they have a great semicircle bar right at the front. As you walk through, you realize what the main attraction really is, the patio in the back. It is absolutely gorgeous. A full bar, a live band that plays every Wednesday night (The Mick Hayes Band), playing great dinner tunes that you find yourself bobbing your head to. ("Superstition" gets me every time). Talk about being able to enjoy a nice summery evening in Buffalo.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Construction: MLK Park

MLK Park, next to the wonderful Buffalo Museum of science, is showing much improvement and activity with the large splashpad being restored.

The splashpad with be for swimming/activities in the summer time, a reflection pool in the spring and fall, and ice skating in the winter (future Sabres NHLer's, like Patrick Kaleta, maybe?) For this area of the city, the project couldn't have come soon enough, and hopefully this leads to more investments in the area, and more people going to see the great exhibits at the science museum and enjoying a day in the park.

Construction: Sunset Through the Donovan

Not the highest quality picture..... but with a camera phone while driving, what do you want! haha.
Progress on the Donovan Building ( One Canalside) from the 190. A Beautiful sunset in downtown Buffalo, and progress on one of the upcoming jewels of canalside, make for a nice night.

Bob Z-

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sports: Summer Sporting in Buffalo: Derek M

We all have our addictions, and in Buffalo, our addiction is our sports teams.  So let me be the one who gives it too you, let me offer everyone a perspective on sports that is Buffalo from Buffalo.
We are in a unique time of the year, no playing Monday morning quarterback, no talking to the cashier at the corner store about who the Sabres should grab at the deadline.  We are about to start summer in the city that can actually enjoy all four seasons.  Our short and simple conversations about sports last about 30 seconds and end with “we’ll see”.

We’re all holding our breath for the fall, to see if the new front four of the Bills defense can actually put the hurt on Tom Brady and Mark Sanchez like we all hope they can.  Whether or not the Sabres can live up to the expectations they put on themselves last year remains to be seen.  But for now we get to enjoy the “one and done” sporting events and the long, grinding, unending and not too important baseball season, (which is very exciting come fall).

First and foremost,

Hat Tip: Buffalo Rising nails it again:

Buffalo rising has an excellent blog on the beautiful new University at Buffalo Medical Campus building thats going to be built downtown. This is exceptionally exciting, and $375 million dollars well invested by UB. This is one of the grandest projects to come downtwon in years (Which is saying something, with the recent Lafayette and Statler redo's being as beautiful as they are).

For more, please check out for much more information.

What an exciting time to be a Buffalonian!!!
-Bob Z

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Events: Beerology at The Buffalo Museum of Science

What could possibly be better than science and beer put together? Well i would have a hard time finding an answer to that question. The annual "Beerology" happened last night at the Science Museum, and it was a sold out event as always.

There were a multitude of local and regional brewery's showing off their finest Lights and Mediums (we only spotted one truly dark beer), and their was a ton of deliciousness to go around. Some brewery's that attended were Great Lakes, Ommegang (one of my personal favorites), Flying Bison, Brooklyn Brewery, Southern Tier, Pearl Street, Community Beer Works and more.

My personal favorite was a

Friday, May 4, 2012

QCLA: Local Music : I Can See Mountains

2012 has been an incredible year for new bands and has been key in the growth of Panic Records. The Seattle, WA indie label is extremely excited to welcome yet another up and coming band to the Panic family, Buffalo, NY's, I Can See Mountains.

I Can See Mountains got its start in the summer of 2011 with the simple intention of doing whatever felt most natural. After months of writing, perfecting, and re-writing, they recorded their debut EP, Hope You Never Get It, in September 2011 at GCR Audio in Buffalo, NY with Jay Zubricky (Pentimento, Every Time I Die).

"We cannot predict the future, nor will we try, but what we will continue to do is pour every ounce of our hearts, souls, and minds into this band. This is what makes us happy. It’s our creative canvas. We want to take our band to the furthest and highest levels. And if that means the stars, then so be it."

Panic Records will be re-releasing I Can See Mountains’ debut EP, Hope You Never Get It, this summer on 12" Vinyl, CD and Digital formats.

Check out the song “Tournesol” on the band official Facebook page now, but rest assured you’ll find yourself humming it for the remainder of the week, month...year! SUNFLOWER!!!

-Brian Patrick

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Places: Botanical Gardens: A gem of Western New York

For those of those who have never visited the Erie County Botanical Gardens, you are missing a jewel of the WNY area. A few years ago the ownership switched over from the county, to a non profit group, and admission went from free to a minimal charge. Let me tell you, it's well worth every penny. They maintain the gardens so beautifully that its the perfect place to stop for warmth in the winter, and sunshine in the summer. It's also a great place for photographers, new and advanced, to hone your skills on some beautiful objects that, thankfully, don't move.

Located on South Park avenue in South Buffalo, near the Basillica (which is a beautiful building unto itself, i would recommend walking the half block down to it), and near the Sorento Cheese plant (considerably less beautiful... haha).

The Gardens have 6 different houses (1 used mostly for wedding and events) including a several story waterfall, and carved dinosaur shapes bushes (which the kids love), a huge koy pod, the worlds largest publically displayed Ivy Display, a great covered area for pictures next to a fountain, a hand carved several foot large checkers boards, a desert landscape, and much much more. Please make sure to enjoy every room, and be there a couple hours.

Here are some pictures from the gardens:

-Bob Z

Construction: Buffalo State College Technology Building

It looks like the new Technology Building on the Buffalo State Campus is slowly taking shape. They've been working on this for about a year and a half or so now, with about another year until completion. This, coupled with new dormatories, brings some excitement to the campus, with obvious signs of progress. This is also a big deal because Buffalo State is one of the only Colleges in the country to have an accredited Communications degree, and this building will provide even more hands on opportunities for the students in not just this, but all cirriculums.

Also condiering that education is one of the largest employers, and fields, in the WNY region, anything we can do to expand our footprint in this field (along with, of course , the medical cooridoor and the new regional tourism down at canalside). Buffalo State, along with the University at Buffalo, are practically mecca's now for downstate students looking for quality education at an affordable price (plus the opportunity to get away from thier parents for a few years!)

This is always my favorite phase of the construction on new buildings, you can see the exoskeleton taking shape, but you're still able to see inside and work being done all around. An exciting time indeed.

-Bob Z

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Exciting Announcements #1 and #2!

2 Exciting announcement for QCLA!
First off: Brian Campbell of Get Xposed music will be hoping on board for a weekly local Buffalo music article! Brian has years of experience as a writter for both local and national bands, including articles, reviews and more!

Secondly: Liz J , winner of the Mercedes Benz of Buffalo "5 Most fashionable People in Buffalo" in 2011, will be contributing a weekly Fashion blog, focusing on local business and fashions!

I can't express how excited i am to expand the QCLA family!!! Come back soon for great articles from Brian and Liz!

-Bob Z

Construction: And so it begins: The donovan building

Artist rendering

Looks like Benderson Developement is starting to strip off the outside facade of the Donovan building, the first step in the reconstruction of this old, highly visible (from the 190 and the skyway) building into the new law offices of the Phillips Lytle LLC law firm and a flagship Courtyard Marriot Hotel. Also scheduled are shops and restaurants on the bottom floor.

Its exceptionally exciting that this project is getting underway, being as it will be an anchor in the new inner harbor front area. With all the increased pedestrian traffic, plus hotal space and fun summetime activities, i expect this area to be jam packed pretty regularly. Not to mention its right by the arena, so any home games vs Canadian teams will probably be packed.

With good news like this, and the Lafayette Hotel opening in late may, you can't help but feel excited for downtown and the harbor. It truly feels like a new day in Buffalo, NY.

-Bob Z

*edit, looks like Buffalo Rising and Queen City spotted this on the same day (i noticed it on the way to work this morning), they have it posted as a blog too. Well done Buffalo Rising!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Buffalo Rising Blog

Great blog once again by, about PUSH Buffalo (People United for Sustanable Housing) and their development of the MAssachusettes area of the west side. I follow PUSH pretty regularly, and the community improvements they're making to that area is astounding.

Link to the Buffalo Rising Article :

Push Buffalo Website:

Check out PUSH, they are a great organization!

-Bob Z

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

City Finance: A1, not just a steak sauce anymore

So good news for Buffalo finances (and in turn our own), Moody's credit rating agency has upgraded Buffalo's credit score to an A1 rating, for the first time in city history.

What this means for us is that the city, when it borrows money (mostly for capital improvemnet projects) it will now borrow at a lower loan rate, therefore owing less in the long run, which is better for the city because it can either 1) have more money on hand for improvements or 2) not raise taxes next time things get a little tighter.

Good news for a city thats rounding the bend!

Bob Z

Monday, April 9, 2012

Events: The Worlds (yes, WORLDS) Largest Dyngus Day Party!

Today is the big day, so roll yourself out of your Easter Food coma, put on your best Red and White clothes, practice your Polish Accent, grab the pussywillows and squirt guns and get on down to Downtown Buffalo!

But first, a little history on how this became an event that expects 100,000 people to participate in this years festivities! (Thank you to for the following)

"HOW DID IT START? There are many stories that attempt to explain the origins of the day. Many Polish customs date back to pre-Christian practices of our Slavic ancestors. The custom of pouring water is an ancient spring rite of cleansing, purification, and fertility. The same is true of the complimentary practice of switching with pussy willow branches. Since 966 A.D., Dyngus Day has been associated with the baptism of Prince Mieszko I. Tradition states that Prince Mieszko I along with his court were baptized on Easter Monday. Thus, Dyngus Day and its rites of sprinkling with water have become a folk celebration in thanksgiving for the fact that the first king of Poland was baptized into Christianity, bringing Catholicism to Poland. In more modern times, the tradition continued when farm boys in Poland wanted to attract notice from the girls of their choice. It was custom to throw water and hit the girls on their legs with twigs or pussywillows. Cologne was used instead of water by the more gallant lads. The ladies would reciprocate by throwing dishes & crockery and Tuesday was their day of revenge, imitating the same tactics."


Although Dyngus Day was always celebrated in traditional Polish neighborhoods dated back to the 1870s, modern Dyngus Day in Buffalo had its start with the Chopin Singing Society in 1961. Judge Ann T. Mikoll and her late husband Theodore V. Mikoll held the first party at the Society's clubrooms on Kosciuszko Street on Buffalo's Eastside. The success of the Chopins' Dyngus Parties during the 1960s led to other Dyngus dances on the Eastside including those at the Broadway Grill, the Warsaw Inn, the Polish Singing Circle and at the New York Central Terminal. Chopins left the Eastside in the 1980s and moved out to new clubrooms in Cheektowaga where the festival attracted a new generation. The Chopins tradition continues with party's taking place at the Heathstone Mannor in Depew." (End quotes)

With the main parade starting at 5pm, games, facepainting, historic tours, and lots, and lots, of drinking. Weather is supposed to be in the high 50's with no rain in sight. What i perfect Polish Holiday!!!

And we'll finish it off with this great pictures from the early 60's and video of food and the parade! Mr. Dyngus and his Court at Chopins on Buffalo's Eastside. (Thanks again to the Dyngus Day Buffalo Website!)

-bob z

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hat Tip

I encourage everyone to go over and check out the blog, one of the best in Buffalo. Great stories about redevelopement of storefront and new businesses moving in. Very comprehensive, and well written.

Give em' a try, but remember if you like them more, youre still contractually obligated to read this blog! (haha)

-bob z

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Niagara Falls improvements

Being as how Buffalo and Niagara Falls are so close together, i like to comment on positives for one of the wonders of the world occasionally as well, and there's a nice one coming down the pipeline.

For anyone who's been up to the American side of the falls, the parks have slowly gotten an....old...feel to them, things seem a little warn down and used. The good news is that there will be an influx of 25 million dollars to help spruce the whole place back up again. Including sprucing up the main viewing area's around the park, redoing the Cave of the winds, what is generally considered one of the best places in all of the falls, plus paying for a redesign of the Amercian Falls Bridge, which is currently in pretty bad disrepair.

This, of course, isn't a silver bullet for the Niagara Falls area, but i think we have learned from the past 40 years or so that there is no such thing as a magic bullet, and steps like these are truly the way to build up the entire Western New York Area.

Photo Credit Derek Gee

-bob z

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Music on the inner and outter harbor

Great news, Buffalo will now have music on both the very popular inner harbor spot (one of my personal favorites) but also on the outter harbor now. Fun time entertainment has reached an agreement for 4 large shows on the area formally the Pier.

This is great for the waterfront, the inner harbor has made huge strides the past couple of years (night and days type strides) but the outter harbor hasn't garnered much attention or momentum, and this is a definite step in the right direction. For more, check out this Buffalo News article

-bob z

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gennessee Gateway Bldg

Looks like the newly remodeled Gennessee Gateway Building in the business district is up and going with tennents. This series of 9 interconnecting building was once a symbol of vibrancy in the dowtown area, and is once again so, with tennents ranging from financial investment groups to computer IT companies, this is an excellent example of adaptive reuse in the downtown area.

For more, check out this buffalo news article

-bob z

Friday, March 23, 2012

Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

There is a lot of excitement over the Bills and Sabres recently (and i'll be doing a blog on both shortly), but i don't want the excitement to overshadow the wonderful Buffalo Niagara Film Festival ( April 12th -22nd.

Featuring 88 films this year, including fascinating documentaries like "Seeking the Current", in which 2 men paddle 500 kilometers of pristine quebec waters before the goverment builds 4 new hydro electric dams, forever changing the landscape. Or if comedies are more your speed, try to get to the showing of " The F Bomb" and comedy about a couple married for 50 years which looks quite fun.

There are also drama's, sci-fi's and much much more. Really, there is genuinly something for everyone.

The awards ceremony will also be held April 21st at the beautiful Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, making this a truly regional film festival. The ceremony is centered around war veterans and people who have lost thier lives in combat, featuring two films that are extremely moving. So if nothing else, come out, support a great cause, and see some truly great independent film work.

I hope to see you at one of the showing, and since its over the course of 10 days, there's no reason not to go!

-bob z

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Light up the night

Looks as though the City of Buffalo is looking into lighting up the grain elevators on the outskirts of the city to showcase the city of Buffalo. I think this is an excellent idea. Look how much improved the peace bridge being lit up is. It's amazing what a few small things can do to improve the look of the area.

Plus, i think it would make the overall skyline more interesting. Anything like this near the waterfront s an absolute improvement.

Also talked about was 3 proposals for the Memorial auditorium site. A childs interactive museum, a firefighters museum, and a great lakes interactive experience. If i only could choose one of these, i would pick the childrens museum for sure, maybe even lure the science museum down to the waterfront and create a fully interactive science/childrens museum that would bring familes and mass to the area. With concerts, restaraunts, the erie canal, and more down there, its becoming quite a family friendly destination!

-bob z

Friday, March 9, 2012

Covering the Kensington?

Extremely interesting article on The Buffalo News about a propsal from a local group to cover over the kensington expressway and, essentially, make a park on top of it.

Its an exceptionally intersting, and expensive, idea that i think is worthy some preliminary exploration. It would certainly help the science museum and the neighboring housing.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Do you love to fly, and does it show?

Delta airlines in coming to Buffalo, with routes from Laguardia airport, increases out daily passenger haul by %60.

Well this might not seem like a big deal, increases traffic between Buffalo and the largest city in the US can mean nothing but good things. WIth more visitors to each community, and more business being able to be conducted, it's another in a long line of positive steps for the region.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The winds, they are a blowin'

Good news for clean energy in the region. 4 More wind turbines are up in the Hamburg/Lackawana area, bringing the total to 14 power generating wind turbines. The new ones are 410 feet tall, more than twice the size of Niagara Falls, and trail on the HSBC buidling in terms of hieght in the area.

With the 14 turbines, about 10,000 WNY homes can be powered by wind.

These have also been placed on brownsfield sites, which are unusable by most standards for any other sort of use because of toxicity in the soil, so we're creating energy from area's that were ruined, partially by old forms of energy, if thats not a success story, i don't know what is.

And lastly, i know this isn't the most well agreed with statement, but i think theyre beautiful to look at. Im not sure what it is about them, but theyre like Steel flowers blowing in the wind (i know how cheesey that sounds), and i love to stare at them as much as possible.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I Miss about Buffalo, Part III

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:

Danielle now lives in Ohio, and here's what she misses about Buffalo, NY (Click here for posts from Margot Lane and Chris Nathan)

Good food, scenery and hockey are some of the things I miss about buffalo the most. You never realize what you have till you decide to move 6 hours away to an area that has no good scenic views, terrible food and a hockey team that is still considered to be in the infant stages compared to the Buffalo Sabers. The best thing to do was being downtown and either watching the Sabres play at the arena or watching the game on TV at the penalty box with great friends!! Didn't matter if the won or lost, the Sabres will always be the best team in the NHL.

What goes hand in hand with a great hockey team? Food!! I miss buffalo food more then anything!! Where to start?? Real pizza from Master Market! Delicious subs from John & Marys, Louie’s hot dogs and Anchor Bar wings are some of the places I miss the most. You can’t find food that good anywhere but Buffalo. Fish fry’s, beef on weck, hot dogs, bison chip dip, and loganberry!!! This list could go on and on. My husband grew up in Ohio and has come home to Buffalo a few times with me and can not get over on how amazing the food is! Another amazing feature of Buffalo is the view! To be able to look at a beautiful lake everyday that you drive in and out of the city is amazing. Doesn’t matter if its middle of summer or middle of winter, its something that makes Buffalo the city it is. I really miss swimming, fishing and boating. The view of the lake all the way down the magical Rt. 5. The soothing sounds of moving water. You never realize how wonderful a place is until you leave it all behind.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Donovan Building/Canalside bringing in a Marriot International

Exciting news (if your a Buffalo Revival nerd like me), Benderson development and the Canalside project have announced that a Marriot Hotel will be filling floors 1-4 in the soon to be remodled DOnovan Buidling, right outside the heart of the new canalside, and only a block away from First Niagara Center.

This is a bigger deal than just a regular old hotel opening downtown, mostly because of location. Its proximity to the arena, with dozens of concerts, NCAA Final Fours, Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bandits home games, and much more, is excellent, and with canalside slowly becoming a destination (with childrens experience museum, solar powered carousel, resteraunts, Erie Canal replica, winter skating, all in the works) this is exciting to being tourist mass downtown.

MOre from (you guessed it) the Buffalo News.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Historical reuse

Buffalo has been doing an excellent job recently of rehabilitating old building into mixed use/apartment building. With more young professionals looking to move into the downtown cooridoor, this has made sense.

Which makes it exciting to see that an old hotel from the 1890's on Johnson Park, and registered as a National Histoic Building, will be turned into 42 market rate and above apartments within the next year or so, bringing more much needed mass to downtown. I'm also excited personally because this is in a block near my house which has needed to be renovated for a couple years.

More from The Buffalo News

Monday, February 6, 2012

Some Winter Pictures

Here are a couple new pictures that i have taken of the The city of Buffalo. Hope you enjoy!

Historical Society. Buffalo NY

Electric Building, Buffalo NY

Monday, January 30, 2012

Its all about the (one billion dollars worth of) Benjamins

So governor Andrew Cuomo has promised the City of Buffalo, and the western new york region, one billion dollars in state funding from the capital, similar to how the Albany area lured the nano technology private sector to the albany area.

Exciting times indeed. And before i get any inevitable comments about how we should be giving that money back to the taxpayers and not spending it, I hear what your saying, but public works and private investment is something that this area desperately needs, and this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Along with the $100 million the western new york area won in the competition between the 9 different areas of new york, and there are some real funds available to further the advancement of downtown buffalo. Links to The Buffalo News articles touching on more of this to follow, but your friendly neighborhood blogger has gotta run!

Even if the sports have gotten you down.

What a difference a few months make.... The Bills did end up, in fact, tanking it, and the Sabres, after a great start in Europe, have imploded...

None of this is going to bring the great city of Buffalo, NY down though, because progress is moving in on the waterfront. The recent announcement that a market will be coming to the site of the old Aud site is exciting enough, but even more exciting is the children's interactive museum that has been proposed down on the canal side. With.... (wait for it, wait for it)

A solar powered mary-go-round! Right? how perfect is a children's hands on experience, next to the naval park, with the canal side, the unearthed erie canal and the beautiful bridge. It is indeed exciting times for downtown Buffalo.