Hot 5 in November

An opinionated to-do list

The Buffalo​ ​Cocktail​ ​Classic​ is November 5 at The Foundry Suites.


So many peculiar cultural concepts are linked to November. Of course, there’s the ritual eating of large semiflightless birds. And, off the top of my head, I know that November is also when men (and women, I suppose) grow their mustaches. Writers who don’t have enough cortisol in their systems are reminded that it’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for the uninitiated). And, since trick-or-treating in the dark had been a concern (to parents, not to kids), Daylight Savings Time now ends the first Sunday of the month. November is a great month to welcome the dark and uncanny back into your life after the relentless balmy, sunny Indian summer.


Crystal Chakra Healing

According to the Chopra Institute, “In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, chakra refers to wheels of energy throughout the body.” Each chakra needs to stay clear in order to allow energy to flow. I don’t know about you, but my chakras could certainly use a good scrubbing. The Reverend Ellen Bourn, RN, homeopath, and medium uses crystals to heal your spiritual and psychical energy. For $39 you can get your wheels cleaned and take home a sweet set of seven stones—one for each chakra—to keep up maintenance on your own.

November 1, 6:30–9 p.m. at Be Healthy Institute (40 Main St., Hamburg; or 648-3400)


The​ ​2017​ ​Buffalo​ ​Cocktail​ ​Classic

The Buffalo​ ​Cocktail​ ​Classic​ is back for its second year with ten of Western New York’s best bars and restaurants fighting to see who makes the best craft cocktails in town. The weapons of choice are Tommyrotter Distillery’s award-winning vodka, gin, or whiskey. After attendees sample and vote on the ten cocktails, they may want to dance it off with the help of live DJ and then hit up the food vendors. There’s also a cash bar with additional libations for when that second wind hits. puts on the event with presenting sponsor, Compeer of WNY. For more info, contact Lauren Spoth at 261-9111 ext. 715,

November 5, 5–8 p.m. at The Foundry Suites (1738 Elmwood Ave., more info here. )


Nature’s Gathering

Speaking of retox, here’s another opportunity to brush up on your wine, beer, and snack consumption—and pick up some beautiful art. Enjoy a sampling of regional wines, craft beer, artisan cheese, and hors d’oeuvres at this nature-themed art sale. Representatives from wineries, including Midgard Winery and Midnight Run Wine Cellars, offer samples of wine while you enjoy the artwork of Western New York Artisans. Attendees can purchase wines and artwork to take home. Tickets are $15, which is what a decent glass of wine will cost you in a fancy-shmancy city restaurant these days. Bargain!

November 11, 5–8 p.m. at Knights of Columbus Hall (2735 Union Rd., Cheektowaga; or 683-5959)


Brain Candy Live

I really miss Myth Busters. It had enough grody-ness to interest kids and actual science to keep adults interested and often surprised. Happily, Adam Savage brings his curiosity and wit to the live stage along with YouTube phenom Michael Stevens for an evening full of crazy toys, incredible tools, and “mind-blowing demonstrations for a celebration of curiosity that’s an interactive, hands-on, minds-on theatrical experience like no other.” It’s family friendly, and you just may get called on to volunteer in the shenanigans. 

November 22, 7:30 p.m. at Mainstage Theatre (Center for the Arts, UB North Campus, Amherst; or 645-6915)


Poinsettias, Expect the Unexpected

I wasn’t sure what not to expect from poinsettias, so I did a little research and, to my surprise, came across some unexpected information that I have cribbed from the University of Illinois Extension website: Some people with latex allergies have a skin reaction after touching poinsettia leaves. An Ohio State University study showed that a fifty-pound child would have to eat more than 500 leaves to have any harmful effect. (By the by: keep your kindergarteners away from OSU.) In Mexico, the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow ten to fifteen feet tall. (Say what!)

See for yourself at this six-week show.

November 24 through January 7 at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens (2655 S. Park Ave.; or 827-1584)        


Wendy Guild Swearingen is senior editor of Spree.


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