Janne Sirén, the director of the Albright-Knox, looks like a work of art himself. Siren, who is from Finland, is tanned and fit as few Buffalonians are. His teeth are blindingly white. That and his Scandinavian blond hair add up to the kind of look that no native Buffalonian could possibly have, not even if all your ancestors were from Finland. No wonder Buzz, when someone unexpectedly led Sirén over to our desk, was tongue-tied. Sirén pointed to a picture of the Albright-Knox over our desk. “I like this,” he said. We blinked. Had we ever noticed that picture was there? Sigh, for lost opportunities. We could have asked when he was going to buy back “Artemis and the Stag.” But no. Plus we forgot that we can count to seven in Finnish! A German exchange student taught us, years ago. The one time this skill would have come in handy, we blew it!
Sugar and jazz
Such indulgence this past weekend at the Lewiston Food Festival. Did we say the Lewiston Food Festival? We meant the Lewiston Jazz Festival. Same difference, as we say here in Buffalo. And we like it that way. It’s charming to watch the upscale fest celebrating the finer things – jazz, jewelry, Jaguars – while battling our area’s inborn food juju. By the Rising Star Stage, tempting the palates of the virtuosic students from Rochester’s Eastman School of Music were deep-fried Oreos. A place selling “Beer Cocktails” and something called “Bag-O-Donuts” was called Silver Bullet, and we can see why: Those two delicacies would fix a lot of things. And an ice cream stand had the most comforting scoop. Its sign read: “Gelato – the Fresh and Healthy Choice.”
Paul Crapsi is like Buffalo’s own personal action figure. The Buzz Blog, and The News’ Off Main Street column, have chronicled the intrepid campaign of this man who will stop at nothing in his quest to become Family Court Judge. Crapsi shook hands on two hot Sundays at Martin Luther King Park as bluesmen wailed. He laughed off people who laughed at his name. And his adventures continue! When Obama spoke at UB, Crapsi showed up smiling with his arm in a sling. He had, we hear, been attacked by a huge dog while going door to door. The dog reportedly twisted his arm up to his shoulder! Ouch! Our source, who sent a photo of Crapsi with his sling, marveled: “And I thought the Republicans and Democrats were tough.”
Summer being one giant food festival, Buzz swung down Grant Street to Guercio and Sons. We love the store’s no-nonsense, institutional precision. You can choose between Burghul Wheat No. 3 and Burghul Wheat No. 5. Then there are the 5-kilogram chocolate bars. You choose between dark and milk chocolate. And once you decide that, you choose between “Refined” and “Intense.” Would you got that choice about other things in life, too, including people. “What are you in the mood for, refined or intense?” Hmmm, let’s think about that …
Should you run into Janne Sirén, be prepared. Courtesy of Google Translate, here is how you say, “When will you buy back ‘Artemis and the Stag’?”: “Milloin ostaa takaisin ‘Artemis ja Stag’?” … Romance, Buffalo style! Two boy-meets-girl stories we heard this week: “We met on the Miss Buffalo” and “He delivered a pizza to her.”
“Buffalo is a whale that fell asleep at the bottom of the ocean. Buffalo is a 3-year-old that doesn’t cater to vegetarians. Buffalo is a new poem.”
– Start of “Things American: Buffalo,” by Brian Mihok, americanshortfiction.org