Ah, Buffalo, City of Light and beer!
Flew into Buffalo last week to visit my sisters in our old hometown of Tonawanda. How wonderful to stand among the milling crowd in the airport and hear that lovely western NY accent! After living in Kentucky for twelve years, hearing “y’all” and “God bless your pea pickin’ little heart” up the yin yang, I miss that unique western New York sound I grew up with.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Kentucky.
I wrote a novel to celebrate the southern dialect. While I worked as a nurse, I collected the funniest aphorisms and put them in a story about a girl who inherits a mechanical bull business. I even made up a few of my own. Here’s one: She’s as stubborn as a two-headed mule. Pretty good, right?
Doors Open Buffalo 2019 took place last Saturday.
What a wonderful opportunity to explore some of Buffalo’s finest architectural gems. And there are so many!
First, we stopped at Shea’s Buffalo. They were having a private affair, however, so I couldn’t get into the amazing lobby to take photos. I had to be satisfied with taking a pic of the sign.
Does Shea’s still have all those levels or tiers of seats?
As a kid, I remember going all the way to the top level, where you were basically looking down at the screen.
Then, we dropped in to the Electric Tower on Washington St. There were long lines to access the elevator so we went on to the Hotel at the Lafayette. We took a short tour that included the gorgeous Crystal Ballroom. Of course, we had to stop at the Pan American Brewery bar for a beer.
I chose the Lackawanna lager. Delicious!
Then on to Buffalo’s Ellicott Square for a conversation with Mark Twain and a look at the elegant Romanesque mosaic floor and elegant wrought iron scrollwork on railings and banisters in the lobby.
Then we headed over to the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Plaza to see the famous “French Connection” statue, honoring Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert and Rick Martin. The three French-Canadian players are famous in Sabres history and earned the famous nickname after the 1971 film of the same name.
Of course, since we were so close, we had to walk over to Perry St. in the historic Cobblestone District to admire the red brick façade of the Labatt building. A couple more steps brought us to the Labatt Brew House and Draft Room. A sensational wall sculpture greets you on one wall. A beer color scale with giant glass tubes holds a different color beer available. Photo op!
At this point, our architectural tour had turned into a pub crawl.
A short walk from Labatt led us to the Lockhouse Distillery, whose claim to fame is that they are first distillery to operate in Buffalo, N.Y. since prohibition. Oh, and their cocktails are delicious, too.
From the Lockhouse we walked back in pouring rain to the 716 bar and grill to have a beef on weck. Oh. My. Goodness. So mouthwateringly good.
Buffalo, also called the Queen City and the City of Light, has recreated its waterfront into Canalside, rehabbed its old factories into lofts, and carved out new cafes and restaurants all over the city.
It’s truly becoming a destination city with lots to do and see. I must leave for home tomorrow. Good-bye, Buffalo and Tonawanda, until we meet again!