Load of baloney

It could be a discovery to rival the chicken wing – and like the wing, it was happy accident.

Barb Beckman and John Kennedy, the owners of Buffalo’s Signature Signs, have the website A customer from Ohio called. And instead of reading the site’s name “Buffalo, N.Y.,” he said “Buffaloney.” “Like a lunch meat,” they laughed. Then inspiration hit.

John was taken back to his teenage years, when he worked in the cellar of the Broadway Market, packaging the fresh baloney warm from Wardynski’s. “Buffaloney!” he and Barb said, practically simultaneously, “How come nobody thought of that before?”

He and Barb got busy.

They fried a thick slab of baloney, topped it with caramelized onions, piled it on a chicken finger – with Anchor Bar wing sauce – a slice of Swiss cheese, served on a Kaiser roll with bleu cheese for dipping. “It was delicious,” they said. They loved it so much that they suggested the delicacy to one of their favorite places, the Place.

If the Place doesn’t move on it, Buzz figures, someone will. As Kennedy said: “It was an accident of fate.”

Game on

Where were you when the Super Bowl aired? One family we know went to Holiday Valley. They reported: “No one else was skiing.” Another friend crowed: “No line at Popeye Chicken.”

Buzz and Howard, the guy we married, went out for dinner to a Japanese restaurant which shall remain nameless. A TV over the bar was showing a football game we assume was the Super Bowl, but no one was watching. We were the only customers. And the staff was having a loud party in the other room, yelling and drinking shots. “We are celebrating Chinese New Year. It was two days ago,” the waitress apologized, breathlessly, after we hadn’t seen her in forever. Wasn’t this restaurant Japanese? Well, whatever. “What year is it?” Buzz asked. “The Tiger, the Rat, what?”

The waitress looked puzzled. “I don’t know,” she said. “The, um, Horse, I think.” Must be, because when we left, the staff was getting pretty hoarse, drinking and yelling. A super Sunday, for sure!

Green light district

Black Rock resident Ryan Lysarz, 30, claims to have been able to tell various stoplights apart since he was 4. And thanks to him, Buffalo is now home to what must be the world’s only blog chronicling a city’s historic traffic signals.

We must flash the amber light of caution, because the news is not good.

One bittersweet post pays tribute to the Crouse-Hinds Model M fixed 4-way signal at South Park and McKinley Parkway, one of a vanishing breed. A configuration of signals at Riverside and Ontario streets, lovingly photographed, is also sadly rare. And the historic signal on Bailey Avenue in front of Holy Name of Jesus has disappeared. “Up until five or so years ago, Bailey between Kensington and Walden was a treasure trove,” Lysarz writes. “It was always a joy to drive down this long stretch of Bailey, and take in the many interesting signals.” You know what they say, blink and you’ll miss ’em. Catch Ryan’s blog at

The buzz

Pope Francis headlines get more and more divine. Our favorite this week: “Pope Francis Gladly Blesses Parrot Belonging to Male Stripper.” (“So the Pope, the priest and a rabbi walk into a bar, and the parrot says …”) ... It is, indeed, the Year of the Horse. And a British paper, the Independent, reports that a BBC subtitle, thanks to some glitch, called it the Year of the Whores. “Welcome to the Year of the Whores,” the subtitle read. “People around the globe celebrate.” ... Hearing about the Buffaloney made us hungry, and one thing we like about is that it would boost baloney, which Buzz has placed on the list of endangered foods, delicacies disappearing because of changing sensibilities. A lot of German foods are on our list: Fastnachts, thuringer, liverwurst, Limburger. Start hoarding and freezing these items now.


“The fact that this signal even exists here is both miraculous and puzzling.”

– Ryan Lysarz, blogging on Significant Signals about Grant Street and Potomac Avenue