"We're not going to be intimidated by some little kid's book. That wizard's going to be wearing cement shoes by the end of the summer." - Mario Puzo's editor, Jonathan Karp, on the final Godfather tome's battle with the next Harry Potter book.
\ What is wrong...
... with these pictures? (1) A young woman is posed in that Niagara Falls photo booth that makes it look as if you're going over the falls in a barrel. But she sports a $6,865 jacket! (2) A young couple is seated in the Bacon and Egg Pancake House - and neither one weighs over 100 pounds. (3) A woman sprawled next to the sofa art and '70s paneling that are the hallmarks of any Falls motel - and she's wearing a $600 silk Prada nightgown. Are these dreams? Heironymus Bosch hallucinations? No! They're images from Sunday's New York Times fashion spread, shot entirely around Niagara Falls. OK, the Times does say that dining at the Skylon Tower is "a little bit like sitting backward in your parents' station wagon." But that's where reality ends. What, for instance, is with the woman taking advantage of Jet Blue's $49 fares? That $2,000 wool jacket and $845 leather pants must have bankrupted her.
Here's looking at you, Kidder
You don't expect to meet people from the movies. But it happens! Last week, Buzz and our brother, George, were lounging in a Toronto park, and we got playing with a couple of dogs, and the dogs' owner came up and started talking, and she wound up being Margot Kidder. (Not Nicole Kidman. Everyone we've told about this thinks we mean Nicole Kidman.) Kidder, who lives in Montana, was in Toronto to perform in "The Vagina Monologues." She looked good, as if she had put her much-reported-on problems behind her. We talked about hockey and about northern Canada, where Kidder was born and where George is planning a trip. Buzz liked Kidder's easygoing style. Wendall disrupted a Frisbee game, and Zelda chased a squirrel, and she shrugged, good-naturedly. Even when a wino approached, she treated him with equanimity. "Did anyone ever tell you you look like Lois Lane?" the man asked, his voice slurred. Kidder just nodded. "Yes."
The stock exchange
Buzz loves junk season. You never know what will turn up. Wandering a Crescent Avenue block sale, we met the singer Alex Lynne, running the cash box at her mom's house. Hmmm. Those must have been Lynne's boots, on the table marked "Free." If we picked them up, would her talent rub off on us? Meanwhile, on Nottingham Terrace a few blocks away, a Saunders and Witter estate sale had jammed the street with cars. A teenage girl had taken the situation in hand, telling new arrivals: "The police are ticketing, but if I see them coming, I'll come into the house and warn you. I'm being a Good Samaritan." Eventually a boss figure - the girl's mother, we figure - emerged. "Get in here," she told the kid. "I need your help inside." Snapped the girl: "I'm being a Good Samaritan." Snapped the mom: "I need you more in here." Buzz paused in our inspection of an end table. You don't get this kind of drama at the mall!
Buzz doesn't necessarily consider cell phones dangerous. We think cell phone talkers who drive terribly - and yes, there are tons of them - would be driving terribly anyway. (Phoneless, they'd just be eating a Whopper or cranking the car's bass or doing something else for distraction.) So we're not outraged by cell phones. We're just puzzled. A guy is jogging in Delaware Park, his phone rings. "Hello? ... Nothing." A woman is drifting through the downtown market, contemplating the season's first strawberries. Ring! "Hello?" Most incredibly, we saw a gal lurching along with a friend in a roofless, doorless Jeep - and even she was on a cell phone! Why do these people want to interrupt the carefree joys of summer? What could be so important? Hello?
Talk about catholic tastes. A band calling itself Holy Angels Academy plays the Showplace on Grant Street on Wednesday, opening for Alkaline Trio. Also on the bill is Dashboard Confessional. ... Spotted at the Hyatt, listening to Jackie Jocko: high-power attorney Tom Eoannou. Eoannou, who defended Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney during their recent Buffalo trouble, told Buzz that the night before they were to testify, the two country guys played a concert for the staff of the Mansion on Delaware. A private concert, indeed: The entire staff on hand consisted of two waitresses. ... Hip cat, hip setting: Guitarist Jimmy Ponder plays the Colored Musicians Club Friday and Saturday. Two sets each night, starting at 9.