Remember that nasty story about Buffalo last week in the Wall Street Journal? Friday, Buzz and some friends met a tourist – Randolph Mueller, of Vancouver, B.C. – and decided he didn’t need to see it. We shanghaied him to happy hour at the Statler. Gawking at the Statler left no time to gawk at the Journal. From there he was sent with jazz singer Mari McNeil and her husband, actor Dave Lundy, to the Irish Classical Theater to see Noel Coward’s “Fallen Angels” – just to keep him away from newspaper stands. Mueller then enjoyed a nightcap in a historic private home, where the group toasted Canada’s and America’s long friendship, before returning to his room at the Hyatt, singing Buffalo’s praises all the way. This is how to fight bad press, fix it so visitors simply don’t see it. May we propose Adopt-A-Tourist Day?
Black Rock ...
... around the clock! Saturday, the old tavern at the corner of Military Road and Amherst Street reopened under new stars, as Hot Mama’s Canteen. Evening found it hopping with a diverse, all-ages crowd. They have what must be Buffalo’s longest shuffleboard. And an adorable Wurlitzer spinet, painted white. The waitresses had a 1940s look, with look-alike T-shirts and teased, curled hair. Hot Mama was too busy to talk. And on stage was a passionate band, wailing out in a style like collegiate a cappella, graduate level. All good! But there was still one test to go to determine if this experience was authentic Black Rock. Does wine come in airline bottles? Buzz held our breath and .... yes! Two airline bottles were offered, cab and merlot. Perfect.
Those sighs of delight last week? They emanated from the jam band Conehead Buddha. On YouTube, you can glimpse them just a few months ago, playing good-naturedly in Quincy, Mass., to an all-but-empty bar. Then on Thursday, there they were on our waterfront, opening for the band moe., playing to a sea of fans. They must have thought they had died and gone to heaven! Excitedly, the band posted pictures on Facebook: “A few fan shots from our show in Buffalo with moe. last night! Can’t wait to do it all again THIS WEEKEND in Utica!” We’re not sure lightning will strike this band twice. But we love watching bands’ fortunes fall and rise.
You know it’s summer...
.... when an old-fashioned fight breaks out in front of an Elmwood Avenue minimart, with people standing around to watch. ... When the deejay on WYRK-FM prefaces a George Strait song by saying: “This goes out to all those folks helping Moose move into his new house in Lancaster. They’ll be sitting down for a beer right about now.” ... When the tall ship called the Peacemaker leaves our harbor, abandoning it to the warships. Folks, it’s going to be a hot one.
Jazz and philosophy, old bedfellows, reigned last week at M&T Plaza. Jazz pianist George Caldwell played the old chestnut “Taking a Chance on Love.” In his quiet, smoky voice, he said: “That would fix a lot of what’s wrong with the world.”
“Walk in / Strut out.”
– Sign on European Wax Center, salon on Main Street in Williamsville