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The fat of the land

Let us uncork our new tourism slogan: “The Rest of the World Has It Bad … And You're In Buffalo, Drinking Wine!” Don't thank us. Thank Oscar Torres, a twentysomething who works for the Federal Reserve Bank and was here on business throughout the last month. He finally had to leave a few days ago, and his next assignment is for Puerto Rico, not here. But it was fun while it lasted. Oscar was here to audit Buffalo banks, but he wound up auditing Jackie Jocko. He made friends, dining with them in the lounge. He went to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Shostakovich concert. “The tickets are such a bargain!” he rejoiced. “At Lincoln Center you pay about $150.” Best of all, he completely missed Hurricane Sandy. “It feels a little awkward that my friends back home are all suffering in the storm, and I'm here in Buffalo, drinking wine,” he admitted, in the thick of it. Hence our slogan. Which Torres will have time to ponder, as, back in joyless New York, he sweats on the treadmill. You guessed it: While he was here, he gained weight.

Silver bells, silver bells …

… it's Christmas time in November! Buzz, dismaying our friends, is always the first to jump aboard that yuletide sleigh. We love cruising along on a 70-degree day, tuned into one of our fine Christmas stations and hearing Bing Crosby singing “Deck the Halls.” And we love the early Christmas trees, put up before the leaves have all fallen. The pink aluminum tree, at the Airport Plaza Goodwill. And the Tree @ the Lafayette, dominating the Hotel @ the Lafayette's lobby. (Extra points for their glittery reindeer.) Finally, we cheer The News' Christmas tree, massive and gold-laden, which went up in the lobby last week. We have weeks to enjoy it! Back to “Silver Bells”: Ring a ling, hear them ring! At no time soon it will be Christmas Day!”

Land of milk and honey …

… and grape jelly, and powdered sugar! This was the week for New York to admire us. Broadway conductor Ted Sperling flew in to conduct the BPO, and his first concert here was a Coffee Concert – a Friday morning event where the audience is treated to tons of free coffee and doughnuts. “This is the first time I've been in Buffalo. Also the first time I've given a concert at 10:30 a.m.,” Sperling said, as the crowd, all of us high on caffeine and sugar, laughed happily. He added: “It's the first time I've ever seen doughnuts this big and bagels this small!” Hey, that's just the start of it. Welcome to wonderland.

The buzz

If New York is the Big Apple can Buffalo be the Big Doughnut? We're full of tourism ideas today. … At Premier Liquor, gawking at hundreds of gift sets with glasses and gilt-trimmed bottles, Buzz wondered as we wandered: How can the store resist playing Jerry Darlak and the Touch's “Doing Our Christmas Shopping (At the Liquor Store This Year)”? They should have it on a loop, for the looped. … That seasonal low-hanging fruit: One radio commercial starts out simply, “ 'Tis the season for home improvements.”

Quote

“Chilling with my friends, just kicking back, stress slips away eating chicken fat.”

– Abdominal and the Obliques, Toronto rappers, praising Buffalo wings