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 4/11 – 4/13

Finally, we feel spring! Elmwood is getting wild again, Hertel is blossoming once more, people are filling up Delaware Park, and more go by foot downtown. It’s time to clean up our city and get involved! We are the game changers!

 

FRIDAY

  • All weekend: Holiday Valley in Ellicottville will be bumpin’ of the start of warm weather festivals with the Enchanted Mountain Music Festival. Bluegrass…roots…folk- grab your floppy hat and go. All weekend tix are $75…or $25 for each concert attending. All day on Saturday, you can get a ticket for $50. Bring the kiddos- under 12 are free. Check out link for more details and booking lodge packages as well as the band lineup.
  • Kick off your evening with The Albrights, who are performing at Buffalo Iron Works at…..tonight. Poutine is an added bonus! Take the subway in or park in the up & coming Cobblestone District.
  • It’s going be,like, practially 50 degrees tonight for Cecelia’s happy hour on Elmwood. Half off martinis begins at 4pm- the perfect way to cap off your hectic work week.
  • It’s M&T’s Second Fridays at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Happy hour and live music, poetry readings by Judith Goldman and exploration of the galleries until 8pm.

 

 

SATURDAY

Today starts the Mummies of the World exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Running through May 12th, get a look at the world’s largest mummy collection of private collectors and see how the mummification process worked. 45 humans and animals from all over the world take on Buffalo. It’s as if the Bodies exhibit was mummified. $18 – $22

This sounds like trouble: Buffalo Wine Festival 2014 at the Convention Center. Tastings from all of our local wineries including Schulze, Vizcarra, Heron Hill, and many more. Afternoon tickets: 1-4pm $30; evening tickets: 6-9pm $35. Prizes to be won (if you can remember how to write your name). Check the website here for all the details. Hit up Osteria166 across the street for some House Burrata and Flat Iron pizzas.

Theatre lovers and supporters- Shea’s Black Tie Gala goes down at 5pm on Saturday. An elegant black tie affair with cocktails, hors d’ourves, and sit-down dinner. Silent auction and performance at the 710 Main Theatre for some on-stage humor. $275 individual; $500 couple. Call 716.823.1170 or email to jschaller@sheas.org to reserve.

Go to the other end of the spectrum and you may become the next Peep champion as Broadway Market hosts a Peep eating contest at 1pm. Free. Registration at 9am. Call 716.893.0705 for details. You’ve got 60 seconds to puff up.

 

 

SUNDAY

Perfect day to head to Coca-Cola Field for a ballgame! C’mon, it won’t rain. 😉 The Bisons take on Pawtucket at 1pm. Walk to Pearl Street or the Hotel Lafayette for a cold one and food afterward.

Get out to Hertel Ave. for a film at the North Park Theatre. ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’ runs at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, and 7:30. Geoffrey Rush stars in ‘The Best Offer’ which runs at 9:30pm. Grab brunch before you head in- we suggest Crav, Kostas, or Bertha’s (right next door to the theatre).

Don’t forget to cast your votes for the Artvoice ‘Best of Buffalo 2014’! Do it now, it closes 4/15.

Email Ashley@elmwoodvillage.org to sign up for clean up in Elmwood Village. Click the link to see when and where this all goes down.

GET INVOLVED with Buffalo’s FIRST Cherry Blosson Festival. From April 23 to May 4, the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park will hold 12 days of music, Japanese cultural presenters, and activities. Check the website on how to become a volunteer! Listen to shakuhachi music and watch an ikebana flower ceremony on April 26th, too.

Weekend Bash 3/28 – 3/30

We’ll take the rain any day over snow, bitter wind, and single digit temps! Buffalo is in the 40s all weekend and that means Elmwood will be bustling, traffic will be heavy, and we leave our jackets at home. Heat wave!

FRIDAY 3/28

  • Make your reservations RIGHT NOW to Bistro Europa on Elmwood. They close up this location on Monday in prep for their big move to Connecticut St. This is your last chance to hold court in the original hot spot. Call 716-884-1100. Check out their menu updates at europabuffalo.com or on their Twitter @europabuffalo
  • It’s the last weekend to catch ‘Once’ at Shea’s. This eight-time award winning Broadway show gives you a beautiful story of a musician who finds inspiration with a new girl in his life and how the growing love inspires the music. Do not miss this! Click here for tickets. The show closes 3/30.
  • Buffalo Quickies opens this weekend and continues through April 19th at the Alleyway Theatre. Seven quick plays all take place in one evening- everything from homework to the wild wild west, planned accidents to spicing up your marriage. Located in the Theater District of Buffalo, grab dinner nearby at Encore (sushi), Rue Franklin (dress up for French), or Bambino (pizza, wine, late night). [bambino boasts online reservations- do it in the car or before you hit the underground]

***remember, Perfetto is temporarily closed…hmm…unfortunately, we need to keep this off our downtown list for now…

 

SATURDAY 3/29

  • RED is in its last weekend at 710 Main Theatre. (all about that theater district this weekend!) Art. Paint the town red. Winning six Tony Awards, this is a not-to-be-missed performance run in our city of Buffalo. Hurry because it ends 3/30! Tickets here! Get your food fix at Kaydara Noodle Bar on Main St. (hello, pho), Founding Fathers on Edward St. (free nachos), or Seabar on Ellicott (you better reserve quick).
  • Wu Man performs Saturday and Sunday at Kleinhans with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Who is Wu Man, you ask? She is a virtuosic pipa player. What is a pipa, you ask? A pipa is a traditional lute-like instrument from China (often associated with ‘the sound of China’). Still curious? Recall back to Incubus‘ ‘Aqueous Transmission’ in the early 2000s. That cool sounding plucked string you hear in the beginning is a pipa. Yep!! So go book your tickets to this East Meets West concert NOW.

 

SUNDAY 3/30

  • Take each other (or the family) to Maple Weekend in Gowanda at Maple Glen Sugar House. Take a tour of the sugar house and overlook the process of how maple syrup is made and watch demos on tree tapping. Take a ride through their sugar bush with horse-drawn wagons and overload on sugar.
  • The 6th Annual Edible Book Festival happens at WNY Book Arts in downtown from 4-8pm. Watch these books be on exhibit, judged…and then eaten! Check out the site for more details. Can’t just live off edible books for dinner- so make sure you swing by Pan Am in the Hotel Lafayette, Tappo, or Soho on Chippewa.

Buffalove: Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Buffalonians

Sometimes it’s the thought that counts. And if you can’t think, then here is a little gift guide for you to make Valentine’s Day memorable for the one you love!

Get in to Valentine’s Day by hiring a barbershop quartet:

Hire a local barbershop quartet to pop in to your lovebirds’ workplace to serenade them with some love songs! The Friends of Harmony sing through out Niagara & Erie County for you- complete with a flower, two songs, a card, and a photo! Call (716) 684-7313 to set up this memorable moment!

SHOP LOCAL!

For the love who is far away: a Buffalo pillow from room & room2! (located on Hertel and inside the Hotel Lafayette) Send them some Buffalove!

(photo on room’s facebook)

Want to send more than just a pillow to your long-distance love? Ship out Buffalo-In-A-Box where you can pick out their favorite items to give a little piece of the Queen City!

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Peg’s Hardware | Buffalo cufflinks…A unique gift for your guy at Modern/Nostalgia on Hertel:

(photo on Mod/Nos facebook page)

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Wednesday 2/12 is the #heartofelmwood event. During business hours, participating shops offer specials and give thank to you, the consumers, for supporting them. Click here for a list of shops participating. This would be a great time to get your Valentine’s Day gift!

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Men’s Fashion Blogger, Buffalo Dandy, offers you bow-ties for your beau! Visit his Etsy shop here.

Ginghambone Bow Tie

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Lisa of Gridlock Laquer creates nail potions of Buffalove: below is her Valentine’s Day trio- perfect for your girly girl.

I tested out Gridlock Laquer & found myself feeling even more 'Buffalo-y'! It is scented, too!
I tested out Gridlock Lacquer & found myself feeling even more ‘Buffalo-y’! It is scented, too!

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Blue Collar Men’s Shop on Hertel Ave. is the perfect local stop for the guy that sweeps you off your feet. Keep him looking cool with a Herschel wallet:

(photo on Blue Collar’s facebook)

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NEARBY IDEAS!

Pick up a funny (yet probably true) card at Urban Outfitters in the Walden Galleria Mall. This one is there now:

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Pick out a beautiful Anthropologie necklace for your lovebird, who shines & sparkles in your eyes:

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Pop in to Williams-Sonoma and grab some pancake mix to make breakfast-in-bed for your lovebird!

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

Maybe you want to brave the mass-mob that will descend on Dinosaur BBQ tomorrow on 2/12 in downtown Buffalo. Opening their doors at 4pm, BBQ, brisket, poutine, and burgers will take on the Queen City. Plan on attending the opening weekend for Valentine’s Day dinner. Book a reservation online for peace of mind!

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Date on Purpose is hosting a social at Buffalo Iron Works in the Cobblestone District on 2/14. $20 a ticket which includes apps & two hours of open bar. Learn more about the event happening in April and how to become a bachelor/bachelorette. So grab all the single ladies (or dudes) and mingle!

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Date Night: Weekend Bash 10/5 & 10/6

October is here! Create dates together in this crisp autumn air!

Sat. 10/5:

Buffalo Porchfest: from 1-5pm today, Elmwood Village homes will be bustling with music. The first ever porchfest to hit the 716, this neighbor-focused event is another tally on the city’s label of ‘Good Neighbors’. View & print the map here to check out all the music that will happening on porches along Elmwood & side streets. Make sure to bring an umbrella to share & stop along local businesses along your way!

Niagara Apple Fest is taking place today & tomorrow at the Niagara County Fairgrounds in Lockport, NY. free, $5 to park. While in Lockport, check over our archived post on Lockport here and hit up all the hot spots. Need some coffee? Espresso? Dirty chai? Head over to the latest cafe, Cream & Sugar, where you will experience chalk art and homemade hot fudge. Perfect place to warm up together. Tell them the buffalovebirds sent you!

Sun. 10/6

Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence, NY will have their World Pumpkin Weigh Off on Sunday beginning at 10am. While there, can you guy work your way through the corn maze? Limit yourself at the cider & donuts line? Challenge accepted!

The Rings, The Registry, & The Rest event is happening at Reeds/Jenss on Maple Rd. in three different time slots through out the day. Maybe some lovebirds out there are getting ready to play something big?? Meet with the best wedding purveyors of Buffalo at this limited ticket event. Sign up online now! (p.s.: see you there!)

WWE Battleground: some lovebirds out there like it rough! Head over to the First Niagara Center to watch Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, and many more muscle it out! At 7:30, after 2 years, the PPV action is back in Buffalo! Looking for ideas on where to eat before & after? Stop by the Hotel Lafayette at Pan-Am for wings, the staple of Pearl St., & Bada Bing on Chippewa. Take the subway for ease.