Colors and Magic at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Aren’t we so lucky to have these incredible museums right here in our backyard? As kids, we are exposed to them through field trips and as adults we get to relive those moments all over again but with fresh eyes and respect.

Beau and I have been Albright-Knox Art Gallery lovers for life. My school did field trips here and I was able to experience my Mother (now a retired Art Teacher) taking her students to it as well. We went as a family a few times and as a ‘big kid’, Beau and I have attended for live music and special exhibits. Now that we have Chloe, it’s a whole new adventure. We took her for her very first Albright experience last weekend and it was more magical than we expected.

AKG had a hands-on exhibit called ‘Art of the Senses’ which included works you could taste, touch, and hear. Great interaction for people of all ages, especially babies! Chloe was looking everywhere and seemed to love the bright art the most. The museum was packed and rightly so- the second exhibit featured the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami which was colorful, mesmerizing, and imaginative. (Think: the Japanese Lisa Frank)

AKG is stroller-friendly (can carefully take stairs, too, but there is a small elevator). There is a cafe inside you can grab lunch at- a sit down so you can enjoy your time. The gift shop is always fun afterward because you will find unique art supplies, books, and decor. You see classic artists such as Picasso, Monet, and Matisse and they even brought back the ever-popular favorite: The Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras. *bring socks so you can step inside!

We’re pretty cheesy, if you didn’t already know. Every time we had Chloe take some pics, she giggled and posed- clearly she has the cheese, too. Must be in our genes! How can you not want to get a cool shot in the Albright-Knox though??

These exhibits I mentioned have ended their time at AKG, but the museum is constantly curating new exhibits and artists to come. The best place to see what is currently there and arriving soon is on their website: Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Follow their Instagram, too!

This is seriously one of our top fav date places in Buffalo! You can solo, grab a friend, bring the kids and baby, cross generations, or go on a date.

Grab your camera, grab your person…even download their app to play some fun games. We are too lucky not to keep going to AKG again and again, to expose our young selves once again and of course to enlighten the future youth.

Details:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery // 2182 Delaware Ave. Buffalo 14216

Tuesday – Sunday 10-5 // First Friday of each month is 10-10

Parking in lot: $5 for guests

Available street parking behind the museum

Family / friends / solo / date night / day date

Life In Downtown Buffalo

Buffalo, NY view from Canada
Buffalo, NY view from Canada

We may be sliiiiightly biased, but we say The Hotel Lafayette in downtown Buffalo is the best place to stay while visiting the city. As many of our followers know, us Buffalovebirds live in the Hotel and post pictures here and there on our Instagram and Twitter of our building space to share with others.

Guy bird was one of the first tenants (literally) to move in to the newly renovated Hotel back on May 1st, 2012 before it was even fully finished and open. Wanting to make home in downtown, he got wind of the project and set up a tour to get a feel for the apartments. We stepped inside the ‘ruins’ of the Lafayette Tap Room in March 2012 and were greeted by the man himself- Rocco Termini. Well, that was an exciting surprise! Where else will you receive a tour from the developer himself?? He is one cool man. Hard hat intact, he led us through dirt floors, tarps, and piles of tools- getting our exercise to the top floors with no electricity or elevators running quite yet. The space was phenomenal- large, historic, iconic…

The Hotel Lafayette
The Hotel Lafayette

We snagged a floor plan that we loved on spot and have not looked back since. Watching the transformation the rest of 2012 was wild- the lobby, Pan Am, Butterwood, Mike A’s- all turned in to exquisite spaces…we got to meet the hundreds of artisans recreating the tile on the floors, working on intricate ceiling and hallway with Tuscan scagliola techniques, labor loaders for the hotel rooms, the discovery of a former speakeasy underneath the first floor (now Butterwood Sweet & Savory)…It was fascinating chatting with the workers and learning what they were doing and how many hours they worked to restore the building of this French Renaissance-designed icon.

Hotel Lafayette suite
Hotel Lafayette suite

Today, the Hotel can easily be labeled as ‘the building that started the Renaissance of Buffalo’ (in our opinion). We definitely had the beloved Elmwood Village, Delaware, and Chippewa areas- but here was a destination that was the game-changer.

On the first floor, you step in the Art Moderne lobby of the Hotel with fireplaces to warm you, furniture design by Room of Hertel Ave., original elevators, and two wood inlay murals that were discovered behind the old walls. Entrances to Woyshner’s Flower Shop and the beauty bar of Groom Service give you access to grabbing some flowers or perhaps receiving a makeup how-to. Anatomy (a gorgeous dress-making shop) and City Lights Studio photography make home here as well, offering soon-to-be-wed couples a chance to have an ultimate wedding destination at the Hotel Lafayette. Pan-American Grill sits to the right where you can enjoy a cold beer and wings in several spaces while watching a game (our fav being Teddy Roosevelt’s game room because…fireplace). Down Peacock Alley you pass Mike Andrzejewski’s Art Deco Bourbon & Butter and a private dining event room, the Crystal Ballroom, AAA Room, and Grand Ballroom. Wedding events, private parties, dinners, and galas fill these spaces non-stop which makes it a perfect party destination in downtown Buffalo. Floors 2 and 3 hold the boutique hotel rooms and suites for guests visiting the city and also attending the events inside the Lafayette. The rooms are spectacular! Have you seen them?? The interiors were designed by Michael P & team from Room and feature mural photography of the Pan-American Exposition that took place in Buffalo, NY in 1901 on an entire wall (yea, we need that in our future home for real). Double-sided fireplaces, lounging couches, barn doors, rain showers…they are the best rooms in the city for a unique and beautiful room to stay in, hands down.

On secondary levels are two event rooms titled the Greenhouse Room and Courtyard Room, the latter is adjacent to an outdoor enclosed courtyard with cafe string lights, modern seating, and exposed brick walls from the building. The apartments are set up similar to the suites in the hotel space and have large windows that fill your rooms with sunshine and cityscapes.

The fun, and also fattening, experience of living in the Hotel is being able to order food from the downstairs restaurants and picking it up in order to take back up to your room (goes for hotel stays, too). We had to end that quickly (and by ‘quick’ we mean like…two years in…) as we noticed our pants were really snug. It is too easy to run down and get some cheesecake to go from Butterwood’s bakery. We are not complaining. Except for those pants that ‘shrunk’ in the wash!

Butterwood's bakery display
Butterwood’s bakery display

There is nothing we love more (besides dessert downstairs) than bringing family, friends, and visitors to the Hotel Lafayette and showing them around. There have been numerous strangers we have given ‘tours’ to, who were very excited they received an inside scoop and experienced more than they thought they would have coming in to the building.

After the Hotel opened in 2012, we watched the surge of downtown take more chances. Restaurants such as The Lodge, Osteria 166, Oshun, the team of Rocco and Mike A’s Tappo and Dog e Style, The Archer, and (716) have popped up rapidly due to the growth of the city and it shows no sign of stopping (GOOD). Canalside has developed in to an outdoor family destination for all seasons- boasting Concert Series, outdoor movies, free yoga, and now the Ice Rinks for the winter. RiverWorks, located in Silo City area, is the up-and-coming destination of covered ice rinks which is now home to the Queen City Roller Girls, curling, and open skate; a future entertainment venue complete with an upcoming brewery and beer garden. The West Side is swelling with the likes of Martin Cooks, BreadHive, Black Rock Kitchen & Bar, Horsefeathers Market, Pho Dollar, The Black Sheep (movement from former Elmwood Village of Bistro Europa), and Resurgence Brewery all which are so incredibly amazing that you do not know where to begin. We have noticed many young professionals coming in and STAYING because they love every aspect of Buffalo: ethnic cuisine, outdoor events, winter to-do, beautiful parks, bike-friendly roads, gorgeous places to live, and the non-stop growth of new business and restaurants.

The Lodge on Chippewa
The Lodge on Chippewa
(716)
(716)
Black Rock Kitchen
Black Rock Kitchen
Step Out Buffalo's shot of Resurgence Brewery fire pit & patio
Step Out Buffalo’s shot of Resurgence Brewery fire pit & patio

Living at the Hotel, we are able to walk to Canalside, First Niagara Center, the Cobblestone District, Chippewa, Main St. to enjoy numerous theatres, Sabres games, concerts, and huge events such as Taste of Buffalo. If we get tired, we take the subway home from Canalside. Did you know it is free to ride above ground? If you come from the northtowns, you can park at UB on Main St. and ride it anywhere from Shea’s Theatre to Harborcenter. (small cost for underground) How easy is that?

We can watch the fireworks out our window from Coca-Cola Field, home of the Bisons baseball team. We can attend the new restaurant openings. Watch the cranes move about the skyline. Bike to Outer Harbor and walk the paths through Tifft Nature Preserve and Times Beach Nature Preserve where the city deer hang out 10 feet from you. We can kayak through the Grain Silos, feel our abs burn on the stand-up paddle boards, hit up every food truck possible at Larkin Square during Food Truck Tuesday, enjoy the water on Liberty Hound‘s outdoor patio, grab ice cream at The Hatch while watching the sun set over Lake Erie, hop over to Canada within minutes to stroll through Niagara-on-the-Lake, shop local in Elmwood Village and Hertel Ave., jog through the stunning Forest Lawn Cemetery, and get pizza delivered from Casa Di Pizza on a whim. We hit up Puerto Rican, Hispanic, Thai, Vietnamese, New American, Japanese, Ethiopian, and Balkan cuisine on the regular and hang out at festivals like the Taste of Diversity, Italian Fest, and the art festivals in Allentown and on Elmwood. We are a 10 minute drive from the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo Science Museum, and the Botanical Gardens. This isn’t even EVERYTHING.

Tifft
Tifft
Hot Club of Buffalo at Larkin Square
Hot Club of Buffalo at Larkin Square
Shea's
Shea’s

We can go on and on- and we will in future posts. The point is- Buffalo, NY is becoming (once again) an outstanding city with beautiful places to stay, exciting things to do, and incredible places to eat. It is where the younger generations are staying, where parents can bring the kids, and where you can plan a weekend getaway. There are endless ideas, smiling faces, and so much more coming up. If you have not come to downtown recently, mark it on your schedule. You do not want to miss out on this.

Hoyt Lake, Buffalo.
Hoyt Lake, Buffalo.
Japanese Gardens, behind Buffalo History Museum
Japanese Gardens, behind Buffalo History Museum
Canalside Ice Rinks (Buffalo News pic)
Canalside Ice Rinks (Buffalo News pic)

Weekend Bash: 3/7 – 3/9

It’s a heatwave today, lovebirds! Friday should be your out-and-about date night no matter what the plan (or lack of plan) is! Head to Allentown, Elmwood, East Aurora, Williamsville- somewhere you can walk hand-in-hand and check out new local spots. Take March in like a lion!

FRIDAY 3/7

It’s First Friday in Allentown tonight- showcasing artists, musicians, and other businesses in the area. It’s free. It ends around 9. So you can still squeeze in some quality time before napping for round two or simply calling it a cozy night in. Check out the link here. Free!

The Buffalo Home Show kicks off this evening at the Convention Center! Running for two weekends, explore ideas and meet with businesses for an array of home projects. This massive event has everything from solar panel installers, real estate agents, decor, landscaping ideas, and windows & doors. After the show, we highly encourage you to walk across the street to Osteria166 for lunch or dinner. (closed on Sundays) At the show Sunday? Then definitely hit up the new Dinosaur BBQ on Franklin- you can reserve on their website as you’re checking out gutters.

Lobster Fest at Delish! Cooking School in Black Rock kicks off Saturday with demos on everything lobster! Want it in a light lemon sauce over angel hair? You got it. Lobster Corn Chowder? Yep. Lobster Summer Rolls? Yes, please. Tickets $45; call (716) 881-2022 Hurry! Now is the time to learn how to be that host that everyone is envious of.

First Fridays at the Albright-Knox means the gallery is open until 10pm and is free! The perfect last minute decision for those who can never make up their mind at 5:30pm.

SATURDAY 3/8

We’d tell you Beerology at the Science Museum, but you’re too late. [sold out]

Every Saturday, El Buen Amigo holds salsa lessons at 114 Elmwood Ave.. Open to individuals and couples, $10/person. Trust us- it is wild, fun, and a great time! Start working that second left foot in to shape!

The last remaining weeks of ice skating at Rotary Rink are upon us. So head to Fountain Plaza and rent skates (adults $3, kids $2) and show off your triple axels. Warm up at Tappo, The Archer, or Pan Am afterward. (Perfetto on Main is temporarily closed…yikes) **like we always say- if you come from ‘The North’, park at UB, take the subway in and take it easy!

The treasured Buffalonian chicken wing turned 50 this past week and it’s pretty much a must-celebrate occasion. Hit up your favorite wing joint and cheer to our famous food! Our top wing spots we like to immortalize this messy feast: Anchor Bar, Bar Bill, Duff’s, and Gabriel’s Gate.

SUNDAY 3/9

We’d tell you Nickel City Chef. But you’re too late. [sold out] BUT- you should be following the live feed on their Twitter: Nickel City Chef

The Farewell Tour of the Irish Rovers is happening at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. Get in that leprechaun and shamrock feeling before the biggest celebration on Buffalo happens next weekend! Shamrock Shakes are now at McD’s.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME: 2am this Sunday- so while all of our smartphones will just do it automatically for us, remember to fix all your wall clocks, old school analog decor, and maybe an old microwave.