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Sai One: Valentine’s Day Contest

02.01.2008 @ 3:14 PM in Buffalo
saionevday.jpg With February now amongst us, that means that Valentine's Day is in just two short weeks. With that said, Angel has a drawing over at his store for a V-day bundle worth about $125! The rules:
  1. Head down to Sai One (818 Elmwood, across from the Lexington Co-op), and take a gander at the glass jar full of Hershey Kisses.
  2. Guess the amount of Kisses in the jar and write the number down on a slip of paper with: your name and your phone or email address, which ever gets a hold of you first. Slip it in an envelope and go about your business.
  3. On February 13th, Angel will pick the entry with the closest (or exact) number to the actual count of the Kisses without going over. In case of a tie, a random draw will decide the winning slip. You'll get a ring or a ping, and you can pick up your prize.
The prize:
  1. One-of-A-Kind Spring handbag, made especially for the contest.
  2. Angel's custom Chocolate body line: lotion, body wash, and bath salts; all infused with the rich and lucsious scent of chocolate.
  3. A Sai One red Ladie's Tank/Panty set.
No purchase necessary, just head over and take a guess. Since the drawing is on the 13th, that gives you the opportunity to gift this as well if you win, making you look super special with your lady and possibly securing third base. saionebagwhite.jpg

Stache: Epoch Fail

02.01.2008 @ 2:14 PM in Buffalo
stache.jpg In case you haven't noticed, Stache has vacated yet another building on Elmwood (830). Here's the official word from Sweet and Dirty's Myspace blog:
  • Well its official, Stache is Goin,Goin Back,Back...Home thats right Erin and I have made the decision to merge Stache back with Sweet and Dirty. For some reason it happened again, I was made an offer i could not refuse. So HUGE! It's an amazing feeling to go back to job security and a PAYCHECK! I've loved every min of having a store and thank you to everyone that supported me! I'm having a big sale on pretty much everything in the store thats not bolted down and then if you want to rip it down go for it. So holla at ur boy for more info, I'll be here. thank you from the bottom of my heart! Joe
In other words: FAIL. Why would anyone take up the "offer of a lifetime" to move from your own independent branded store, on the 800 block of Elmwood no less, to your (ex?) girlfriend's chick store in the back corner of her shop? In, my opinion, Stache is over as a standalone store because Joe didn't have the skills or the care to run his own shop. His hours were off and on, and many time the "open" sign would be lit, but the door locked and no one to be found. In fact, I was never able to make it into his store (on 830) to shop because it was always  "closed." stache3.jpg The sad thing was that his store was actually pretty sweet. From the few local handmade lines that he carried to the American Apparel basics, I think he could have made it work if he was a bit more dedicated to being IN the store and OPEN. You can't sell shit with your lights off. Sweet and Dirty was the start, off Potomac next to Sunday Skate and BMX; Erin (along with her mentors, I'm sure) made it a success. Now, she paid it forward and gave her man his own start, only to have him close two stores and slink back to a corner in the back. I hope Erin has learned a lesson from this: If your lover is bored and wants a piece of your success, give him a job, not his own store.

Tabree Restaurant: Plans

01.29.2008 @ 11:09 PM in Buffalo
astoria.jpg First off, I'll really miss Astoria (423 Elmwood). We never had enough time to prepare; with a shady hasty announcement (two days prior) to staff and patrons that their last day was New Years Eve, I managed to get in for the final supper and spend that last moment with the best cajun-grilled porkchops I've ever had. days later the paper was up and word that a French Bistro called Tabree was going to replace it. However, a "swift transition" it has not been. Its been almost month, and I've seen the lights on plenty of times, moving shadows cast against the privacy paper, but never enough to get a good glimpse of progress. Till now. An accidental (maybe?) gash in the paper granted me a peek and a few photos, including one of the renovation plans.. tabree1_web.jpg
  • It seems they managed to rip up all the old booths and cleared out the partition to the kitchen. On the far right side a bar will go, and the front facing kitchen door will be relocated to the adjacent side. From what it looks like, there will be 27 indoor dining seats, bar included, with the front window areas converted to booths. Patrons of Astoria will notice that the center dividing booth will be rebuilt, extended, and split up into two tables of four and one two seater by the wall
tabree_web.jpg

[would you like a larger peak? click above to embiggen]

Aside from the bar in the main dining area, and the new booths, there doesn't look to be too much more change from the original set up. I have no idea what a French bistro will offer, but they have a bar so I'm all for it. I just hope they can hurry it up. Though I'm excited for a new place to eat on Elmwood, I know Tabree won't be anything like Astoria. It was Lolo and Dimmer, Chris and Goldpenny that made Astoria memorable, not to mention the incredible food. So many good times were had. I even met Angel for the first time in the back kitchen; I have Astoria to thank for helping me cultivate some of my best friends on the block. Oh well, here's to new memories and some good food, eh?
  • Update: I heard in a roundabout way that the owners plan to open in April, which is a lot longer time than even I expected. However, I also heard of some very interesting plans to create a giant waterfall in the patio area.

Pier 1 demolished, Bank of America coming soon.

01.05.2008 @ 5:26 PM in Buffalo
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[click the pic to embiggen via flickr]

They ripped down the vacant Pier 1 on Wednesday, and in its spot will soon be a shiny new Bank of America, relocated from the Utica street. A slight bit of irony is that last August, Warren Buffet bought some Bank of America and sold his Pier 1 ownings. Anyways, The Elmwood village dug their claws into this one --per usual-- and the new plans are for a faux two story building with 4 bike spots, a greenspace and OMGPARKING! Miraculously, everything was approved and we should start to see some new construction start soon. On a latter Elmwood note:
  • Astoria is closed for good. -New Years eve was the last night. This is partly do to Elmwood (the EVA and the people) ignoring the Bryant section, and adds to the sad trend of closing stores and turnovers on that block. Solid Ground closed because the owner was a bitch and the food sucked, and Angel moved his store (Sai One) to the 800 block, as did Atelier. Astoria had some of the best food on the strip and no one appreciated that enough. Mythos is the closest equivalent, but its still not the same.

15 Below: Stuff it yourself winter jacket for the Homeless

12.21.2007 @ 2:04 PM in Buffalo

15below_stevelida_1.jpg

Winter sucks up here in Buffalo, and Toronto gets even chillier. While we bundle up in layers or furry coats, the homeless are left to huddle in alleyways with absolutely nothing. Whatever they have, they stuff with newspaper to keep as warm as they can. You can only stuff so many tabloids into a ratty sweater, though.

2007_12_19_144112_jacket_taxi.jpg

Enter 15 Below, an innovative marketing ploy charity operation created by Toronto ad firm Taxi. They've developed a lightweight jacket that is waterproof, windproof, and has multiple bubble pockets all over that can be stuffed with newspaper to provide an effective shield against the cold. 3000 of these jackets will be distributed around Toronto. I wonder if Buffalo can get a few for Sly and the other unfortunates that will end up sleeping in my apartment foyer this winter. Big Question: does it work? see for yourself: [flv width="600" height="338"]http://buffawhat.com/files/video/15b-FL8480x270.flv[/flv]
  • The Fabric The 15 Below jacket is constructed of black Aquamax, laminated with a non-porous hydrophilic membrane. The fabric is waterproof, windproof, lightweight yet strong and durable, as well as breathable.
  • The Construction The lining is constructed of multiple pockets – two in the hood, four in the chest, one large pocket in the back, and one down each sleeve. Newspaper, long used to retain body heat by athletes, can be scrunched into balls and stuffed into the pockets for adjustable temperature protection. The coat is an anorak style, with adjustable cuffs, and drawstrings in the hood and hem help block out wind. The foldaway hood can conveniently be stored in the collar when not in use. Waterproof zippers and taped seams prevent leakage and help keep both the wearer and the paper dry. Underarm eyelets provide ventilation.
  • The Versatility Stuffed, the 15 Below jacket can be worn as a winter coat. Stuffing removed, it can be worn as a raincoat. When not being worn, the jacket can be folded into a backpack for easy transportation, or used as a pillow.
“It’s a lifeline for people without homes. They’re a pretty low-cost, immediate way to address a huge issue,” said Paul Lavoie, co-founder, chairman, and chief creative officer of TAXI. “Our approach to solving problems – of any sort – has always been to question convention. This won’t eliminate homelessness, but it can make a lot of people more comfortable.” On behalf of clients and staff, 3,000 15 Below jackets will be donated to people living on the streets throughout Canada and the U.S. this winter.

Indian Blood: Buffalo History Lesson for Christmas.

12.10.2007 @ 3:14 PM in Buffalo
Indian Blood
  • This story is set in Buffalo, on December 25, 1946. INDIAN BLOOD takes you back to a time when bad manners were a catastrophe and foul language was unheard of coming from a young boy’s mouth. A warm and delightful comedy that is both heartwarming and funny, INDIAN BLOOD centers on an incident in the lives of two cousins who cause trouble at The Nichols School. They blame their “Indian blood” for the mischief that they cause. Packed with references to Buffalo-area points of interest, this show will surely delight local audiences. 
You need an imagination to enjoy this show. That sounds snarky, but really; 50% of each scene is invisible, placed only by the thorough description of young Eddie, who has to jump put of character in order to exposit.  Thank God for the upstanding and charismatic performance of Ronald Wendschuh as "Grandfather," who swept in at the perfect moments to revitalize the air and keep me awake for the rest of the show. Indian Blood I hope the first paragraph is enough to satisfy those in search of a real structured review of Indian Blood, because I can't really give one. I liked it, I didn't love it, but I'd tell anyone to go. It's a Buffalo play, set in Buffalo, writ by a Buffalonian, and riddled with enough references to make any out of towner feel like a local. I dare a group of friends to play Buffalo Buzzword Bingo, just hold your victory shout to a nudge, lest the aisle-nazis get you. 3.jpg Despite the slow start, give the show a chance, and perhaps you'll catch what makes this play a great addition to the holiday spirit: "Indian Blood shows that no matter what the heyday of Buffalo was, families were still fucked up, Poles have always been funny, and family is the absolute strongest thing anyone can have in this city."

Hero Design: 13th Months on Allen

12.01.2007 @ 11:23 PM in Buffalo
hero_nate.jpg Last night was a long night for me, however the best part had to be Hero Design's 13th Months on Allen party. I drug(dragged?) Angel with me, and we headed to 93 Allen around 7:30... A homo has to show up early, but not too early; gotta make that fabulous entrance. Apparently, yuppies feel this is appropriate too, as uninteresteding folk converged into that small storefront around the same time, making for a very multicultured congestion. I guess thats what rubbing elbows with the snobs really is. party_1.jpg Whatever though, it was great that everyone showed up: hipsters, yuppies, homos, these crazy kids from Syracuse that snatched a box of Dunny's before I had a chance to a few months ago (bastards), and all the other friends and family of Beth and Mark's. The boys from that Block Club magazine also made an appearance. I got a kick out of being able to impart some of my love and knowledge of the toys to Patrick, and got them to experience the joy of opening a blind box item. I also imparted the importance of cluttering you desk with toys instead of papers, makes you look creative and less stodgy. Patrick from Bloc Party (right) It felt like turning someone on to crack, but the good kinda crack. Angel gifted me with a few Dunny's and a new toy called a Cloth Head. I traded Beth the Bumblebee Labbit for the plain mustard one on display. Patrick and Angel traded Dunny's as well; granted they were identical, but the deal was made before they opened the boxes. bethsdad.jpg I managed to snag Mark and ask him a couple of questions about his first 13th months on Allen. Click the play button to listen. [audio:http://buffawhat.com/files/audio/Buffawhat-hero.mp3] PS. when Beth was bagging up something for Angel, she managed to set another bag on fire with a candle.  It was so funny we had her sign it as a 1/1 edition piece.  That was the ultimate collectable. I'm getting it framed.

You know you are an Urban Hipster when:

11.21.2007 @ 2:30 PM in Buffalo

hipster.jpg

  • You think Buffalo has an awesome music scene and cite the Goo Goo Dolls being mildly famous in the late 90’s as evidence of it.
  • Fidel Castro hats seem like a good idea.
  • You think the glare people give you when you’re constantly pulling out your iPhone is one of jealousy.
  • You think of being a regular at the old Pink as a life goal.
  • You fail to see the shocking similarities between the quality of the products being sold at the Elmwood Art Festival and Walden Avenue Super Flea.
  • You’re completely oppose to chain restaurants and refuse to eat at them on principle. Thankfully, Starbucks is just a coffee shop and it doesn’t count.
  • You pretend you don’t eat at Pano’s.
  • You pretend you do shop at the Lexington Co-Op.
  • Two words. Emo glasses.
  • You read Artvoice for something other than News of the Weird.
  • You think a fishing store will destroy the city but have no problem shipping the Bills to Canada.
  • You think JP Losman should be the Bills starting quarterback. Not because you think he’s better suited for the job (you don’t actually watch football), but because you like his haircut and he lives in your neighborhood.
  • You remind everyone how great it is you drive a Hybrid just in case one of them wants to give you that medal you feel you’ve earned for it.
  • You won’t shut up about how great the city is but you don’t have the balls to send your kid to the public schools
  • You refuse to drink anything but wine and microbrews at a bar and turn your nose up and anyone who doesn’t but you’ll still drink Pabst Blue Ribbon to be ironic.
There are few more, so check out the post on WNYMedia. John you are the best at what you do.

The Sai One Custom Hoodie

11.20.2007 @ 4:04 PM in Buffalo
Sai One Hoodie Rock. Star. Angel made me this Hoodie over the weekend. By hand, fit for me. I feel like a big ol' homo wearing custom made threads. Ok, a warm big ol' homo cause this sucker is toasty! This was a prototype and I think Angel has plans to make a few more in different variations. If you want one, stop by his store on 818 Elmwood and let him know, or email him. Just remember, its Sai One; meaning this is the only piece in this style he'll make. Check out the flickrset with larger shots of the hoodie

Bat Boy: the Musical

11.12.2007 @ 10:10 AM in Buffalo
I'm an idiot on three parts:
  1. I forget that despite my claims to being counter-culture to the queer norm, I really am a big homo who enjoys musical theater.
  2. I drudgingly walk past Studio Arena on my way to work at Marcella's. I neglect to realize that a robust theater community has made their home in Buffalo.
  3. I waited till the end to see "Bat Boy: the Musical." - Out of my disdain for supermarket tabloids, poorly photoshopped "anomalies," and pop culture kitchfests, I didn't give it a fair chance... until the lights went out and the opening number blew me the fuck away.
Bat Boy in its regional premiere came to Studio Arena by way of Musicalfare, and sadly is no longer playing. I saw it in its closing weekend, last Friday. If Mike [Sawicz] had told me of the handsome bearish actors, or about the "woodland orgy," I'd have been there opening night. batboy_1.jpg To say the show was hilarious is disrespectful. "Bat Boy" was a genius concoction of witty storyline, spot on casting, and clever props, blended together by a powerful rock score.
“Ripped from the headlines of The Weekly World News, Bat Boy The Musical is a classic love story with a serious bite. This delicious twist on the modern day musical comedy tells the amazing story of a strange boy with pointy ears, his struggle to find a place in a world that shuns him, and the love that can create both miracles and madness.” --from www.batboy.co.uk
The story wasn't original, I've seen a million shows and movies, after school specials highlighting the importance of being accepted for who you are. What makes "Bat Boy" so remarkable is that it was told with as much spoof and absurdity as humanly possible. Edgar, a mysterious boy with pointed ears and fanged teeth, found in a cave in West Virginia, and taken in by the town's veterinarian family, much to the dissaproval of the town. In "My Fair Lady Fashion," Edgar learns to speak and is cultured, thanks to BBC tapes, and soon longs for the respect of the town. What he doesn't know is his twisted past, a past that some are eager to keep covered up; even if it means killing a few people. I have to say, the woodland orgy scene was one of the most fulfilling moments of the show, and my evening. I actually missed parts of the scene as I was too busy oggling the handsome and talented Philip Farugia (shame he's married, but god what a voice he has) in sweaty wifebeater, fur kilt, and bear mask getting it on with a badger and a deer. It was also good to see the equally talented Marc Sacco, who I've only heard of and had yet to see him in action. As for the rest of the performers, I had no idea that Buffalo had so many great voices. I can't single out anyone else (I'm new to this, remember?), and it would be biased to filter out just the handsome bears in the cast. Perhaps when I see a few more shows I can get specific. I'm really hoping the success of "Bat Boy: the Musical" brings it to stage once more. It was a refreshing bite of cult-culture [new phrase, so bite it grammar nazi's] I've been missing out on.