Last weekend, scenes from a mall were surely nothing next to scenes along Elmwood Avenue. The tiny Scoop Shop, a consignment store that goes back to the 1940s, was a challenge because of the crowd, and Buzz embraced that challenge, scoring a skirt (for ourself, naturally) off a sale rack. At Positively Mobbed – oops, we mean Positively Main Street – you could not get in the door. Yay Buffalo! We love this spirit. Speaking of which, the Buffalo History Museum gift shop has to restock its butter lamb Christmas ornaments, which melted away in record time. “We sold all 30,” a staffer told us. “It’s funny,” she added. “What do butter lambs have to do with Christmas?” God knows how Buzz was able to answer with a straight face, but we did: “The ox and lamb kept time. Pa rum pa pum pum.”
Star of Elmwood
On Wednesday, Buzz did nothing but clean the house. Thursday, we cooked. Friday, we cleaned again. Saturday, we were a basket case. Witness what happened to us when, out in the shopping frenzy, we stopped into Animal Outfitters, the pet supplies shop at 986 Elmwood. The owner is Omar Zahzouhi, but the real creature in charge is his German shepherd, Star. Star used to be a prison dog, assisting in prisoners’ rehabilitation. Hence her mellowness. When a dog would walk in, Star would get up, tail wagging, and go and, ahem, sniff the new arrival. “Sometimes she gets a little bossy,” Omar apologized. (One customer smiled and said his dog could use a little bossing.) Buzz was struck by how Star, in the middle of all this action, made us a priority. She came over and leaned on us, looking up at us solicitously. We must have looked in need of rehabilitation! But not to worry, we sighed happily. It’s nothing that a little shopping can’t cure.
A Buffalo-style holiday ...
... doesn’t mean that your turkey was served with blue cheese (though that’s not a bad idea, now that we think about it). It means other things. Attempting to return to work Monday morning, Buzz had to laugh, finding ourself in a long line of slow traffic, all stuck behind the Whole Hog barbecue truck, lumbering along at its own pace. Gives a new meaning to the phrase “road hog.” ... Love when a bar presents you with a splotched-up wine list, as happened to us at Bullfeathers. Nothing speaks so eloquently of good times. ... Finally, this was the one week when everyone cooks, even people who don’t. At a corner store on Clinton Street in Kaisertown, two teenagers confusedly confronted a celery stalk. “Is this celery?” one asked. The other one spoke up, helpfully. “It’s green.”
The annual Buffalo book-signing at the Buffalo History Museum isn’t so much about buying and selling as it is about putting an ink-stained finger on the pulse of our community. At Saturday’s event, the liveliest attention seemed to swirl around author Dan Collins, whose book, other than the fact that he was from Hamburg, had nothing to do with Buffalo. Its title: “Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun.” What an idea! We bet it sells a million copies.
Animal Outfitters also boasts, besides Star, realistic-looking stuffed dogs, including a Lab in the window. “The Lab gets barked at a lot,” said owner Omar, adding that another, more accessible, stuffed dog is bitten now and then. ... Certain things just sound better in Spanish. The marquee of the Herman Badillo Bilingual School trumpeted an upcoming “Conferencia de Padres.” All we can picture is a million priests. ... Only in Buffalo! Well, only in Tonawanda. Thursday, from 10 a.m. till 8 p.m., it’s the unyts Ugly Christmas Sweater Blood Drive by Buffalo Zombies for Charity, at the blood donation center at 96 Niagara St., Tonawanda. The zombies say: “Call 512-7940 and make an appointment today.”
“We made our way through the tailgate-filled parking lots into the Joyce Center. After performing for the former varsity-letter winners and their families inside the Monogram Club, we devoured their buffet.”
– Excerpt from “Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun”