Martin Luther King Jr. Park Buffalo

Martin Luther King Jr. Park on the East Side of Buffalo, NY, is home to a giant splash pad. Kids enjoy this part of the park in the summer, for sure. It’s also home to the Taking It To The Streets celebration each August, organized by Anita Williams. The event features a health fair, school supplies/clothing for the taking, pony rides, live music, food, vendors and more. –Mark Weber of Beautiful Buffalo

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Glen Park Art Festival

The Glen Park Art Festival takes place the last weekend of July. In 2016, the festival celebrated its seventh year. Located on Glen Avenue in Williamsville, between Rock Street and Mill Street, the Glen Park Art Festival got its start because Mayor Brian Kulpa and Dick & Sharon Rich thought it would be nice to celebrate music, dance and art in the Village of Williamsville, in one of the region’s most beautiful parks. The community-oriented festival features some 140 local vendors, as well as food from local restaurants. With a space for kids to make art, high schoolers selling their art, and even a carousel, it’s a festival atmosphere. Meanwhile, the Town of Amherst stage hosts dancers, singers and musicians, providing a variety of entertainment from Friday night thru Sunday night. The Glen Park Art Festival is a highlight of the summer in Western New York. If you haven’t been, it’s worth a visit. –Mark Weber of Beautiful Buffalo

Taste of Buffalo 2016

Every July for as long as I can remember, downtown Buffalo hosts the Taste of Buffalo, where you can use tickets to get all sorts of food and drink from local restaurants. The Taste of Buffalo 2016 went well as you can see from the pics of nice weather and people enjoying Niagara Square and Delaware Avenue in Beautiful Buffalo.

Chinese New Year Buffalo Style

Happy Chinese New Year. Some greetings for you…

新年好 / 新年好 (Xīnnián hǎo)

“New Year goodness!”

In Mandarin: /sshin-nyen haoww/
In Cantonese: /sen-nin haow/

恭喜发财 / 恭喜發財 (Gōngxǐ fācái)

“Happiness and prosperity!”

In Mandarin: /gong-sshee faa-tseye/
In Cantonese: Kunghei fatchoy /gong-hey faa-chwhy/

步步高升 / 步步高陞 (Bùbù gāoshēng)

“A steady rise to high places!” — “on the up and up”

In Mandarin: /boo-boo gaoww-shnng /
In Cantonese: /boh-boh goh-sshin /

Want to see how people celebrate Chinese New Year Buffalo style? Many people came together at the UB Center for the Arts to enjoy performances from people of all ages. Here is a video of the Year of the Fire Monkey festivities taken by Mark Weber:

 

 

Photos from Buffalo’s Erie County Fair

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Buffalo, New York is in Erie County, one of New York State’s largest and most prosperous counties. Its 175th annual Erie County Fair in 2014 hit record attendance. 1,220,000 people attended the 12 day summer event, which featured local art on display, farm animals, rides, music concerts, demolition derbies, shopping, carnival acts, dancing, comedy, food and plenty more! For more info, click here. –Mark Weber

City of Night Buffalo

For a spiritually depressed person, he or she needs to go back to where they came from in order to reignite their fire. Imagine, for instance, the moment you were baptized, or “saved,” or whatever it is you experienced that brought you new life…the same goes for cities. What made a once great city great? And can people go back to where the greatness started in order to catch the spirit once again?

Buffalo had its heyday many moons ago, when its hulking grain elevators helped elevate it to one of America’s Top 10 cities in terms of wealth and population. Buffalo’s grain elevators were effectively the middleman between farmers and people who needed to eat—so, in a big way, Buffalo helped feed America and its growth. With the grain elevators, trains, and a strategic location between New York City and Chicago, Buffalo was quite the hub of activity for many, many decades. After the 1950s, though, when the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, and trucking became more popular than boats and trains, slowly but surely Buffalo’s grain elevators went from bustling to idle. Couple that with the loss of Bethlehem Steel, another giant employer which helped build and grow America, and Buffalo became a sad shell of its former self. In essence, its light grew dim. The city lost faith and hope, mired in a long, painful depression.

However, something has been happening in Buffalo, New York, as of late that seems to signal a renaissance—a spiritual rebirth, if you will. The government is somewhat involved—ideally by getting out of the everyman’s way—while the creative thinkers, musicians, artists and doers are paving the way for Buffalo’s dramatic, intriguing and all together unexpected new life. Depressed Buffalo? Not so much anymore.

“City of Night,” the brainchild of the Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo, comes from young, civic-minded people like Dana Saylor and her group of fellow Buffalo believers who came up with something as out-of-the-box as could be: having a one-night sight-and-sound art experience on the grounds of—and inside, no less—Buffalo’s old grain elevators.

Most Buffalonians had never stepped foot onto the grain elevator property until “City of Night,” let alone had the awesome experience of going inside these gigantic, tall structures, standing in cement rooms once filled with grain.

The area, affectionately now referred to as “Silo City,” had largely been abandoned and as ugly as urban decay could be–not just for a couple years, but for generations. The grain elevators were and are a symbol of Buffalo, New York. Left to rot and die, they almost did. But then people with vision said, “You know, what if…”

“City of Night 2014” was like an eclectic cross between “Burning Man,” “Woodstock,” the “Erie County Fair,” “Disney World,” “Coney Island,” and the coolest party you could ever attend… Artists, musicians, dancers, merchants, food trucks, and some 15,000 or so guests came together for quite “the happening.” This was not a down-and-out Buffalo. This was a sure sign of Buffalo’s rebirth.

When hundreds gathered at the edge of the Buffalo River to release fire-burning lanterns into the nighttime sky, it symbolized lighting the flame of Buffalo once again. What had grown dim was—and is—now rekindled, literally looking upward for brighter days ahead and a better future for a city well worth saving.

You feel it in the air in Buffalo these days. The city is far from perfect, but for the first time in anyone’s memory—even the elderly—there are several large cranes dotting the downtown skyline. For other cities, cranes are the norm. For Buffalo, cranes and “City of Night,” and newly developed areas like “Canalside” and “Larkin Square” all point to one thing: a new Buffalo, re-purposed for a new century, ready for new growth, and fundamentally ready for new ideas by new people instead of entrenched in the old ways of nothing positive ever getting done. What an amazing time to be living in Buffalo, NY!

Hats off to City of Night’s Dana Saylor and her crew of Buffalo believers, from the people who drove the shuttle buses, to the volunteers who strapped admission bracelets onto visitors, and those who dressed up in costumes to entertain, as well as those who coordinated this truly one-of-a-kind, magnificent celebration of what makes Buffalo a place people want to be. It’s time the world re:think’s Buffalo. “City of Night” is a perfect example of visionaries coming together to help transform a city. The Buffalo you thought you knew is not the same Buffalo it is now becoming. Visit and see for yourself. –Mark Weber, BeautifulBuffalo.com