Buffalo: Our Favorite Things



 

It is shopping season, true, but the holidays are also times when errant family members come home, friends organize parties, and everyone dresses up in their best. The city gets dressed up too. We try to capture some of that festive ambiance in our December issue. This is the time to defy drab weather with bright spirits—and vivid colors.

 

Clockwise, from upper left:

Watch out
It’s not just about the tick-tock; we love when fashion gets funky and punctual. This blue watch from Turnstyle offers both flair and function. —Erin Habes
Turnstyle Designs, 298 Ashland Ave., 262-9674, turnstylebuffalo.com

Azure earrings
Bold geometric shapes make a statement with these beautiful translucent panes of ultramarine Lucite framed in sparkly gold. Striking and modern, Lucite is easily as beautiful as a more traditional gemstone. —Erin Habes
Blush, 1005 Elmwood Ave., 768-0110, shopblushny.com

A classic skyline on a clear day
This micro slice of two iconic buildings is one that I have often appreciated when taking summer walks to Canalside, but it is most spectacular against a clear blue sky. The stone of St. Paul’s and the terracotta of the Guaranty building glow in the sun, revealing their magnificent form and texture. There is an abbreviated timeline of architectural history here—between Richard Upjohn’s nineteenth century Gothic to Louis Sullivan’s early skyscraper, almost fifty years have passed. It is more a story of different aspirations than of generational progress. St. Paul’s adheres to ecclesiastic requirements that have governed church building for centuries; the Guaranty is a bold architectural statement that expresses the prosperity and confidence of its builders. Today, the Guaranty is occupied by a different business, Hodgson Russ law firm, while St. Paul’s continues to serve its Episcopalian congregation. Spirituality and commerce, both aiming high, coexist in this beautiful juxtaposition against a blue Buffalo sky. —Elizabeth Licata
Intersection of Church St. and Pearl St.

 

Clockwise, from upper left:

Mike A@The Lafayette’s Aviation
Mixologist Tony Rials, who holds court at the Hotel Lafayette’s gorgeous Art Deco lounge, is one of the most creative cocktail artisans in Western New York—or maybe even in the US, for that matter. From the start, the drinks program at Mike A’s has reflected that creativity. As part of his daily routine, Rials has been known to make rye bread/whiskey infusions, freeze martinis with dry ice, and “fat wash” various alcohols. His methods may sound bizarre to the uninitiated but the results are invariably smooth and delicious. Rials’s Aviation is made in the traditional manner with gin, Crème de Violette, Maraschino, lemon juice, lemon zest, and bitters. —Elizabeth Licata
Mike A, 391 Washington St., 253-6453, mikealafayette.com

Pleated clutch
This adorable pint-sized purse with a peek-a-boo polka dot lining and true blue hue looks great with or without the detachable chain. —Erin Habes
The Clothes Bar, 4401 Transit Rd., Williamsville, 565-0194, clothesbaronline.com

Love tee
Sometimes, all you need is a great T-shirt. Team this casual-cool top with a pair of skinnies and share the love. —Erin Habes
The Clothes Bar, 4401 Transit Rd., Williamsville, 565-0194, clothesbaronline.com

 

Clockwise, from upper right:

Vera’s Earhart
Artisanal cocktails finally arrived in Buffalo when Vera Pizzeria opened in the Elmwood Village. The bartenders at Vera believe that the art of the cocktail is a truly American-born tradition and that it has been neglected for far too long. The restaurant specializes in its own spins on long-forgotten concoctions like the Jack Rose (a favorite of Ernest Hemingway), an adapted Aviation (c.1916) they call the Earhart, and an adapted Blood and Sand (c.1922) they call Blood and Smoke.
I’ve found that the best time to arrive at Vera is right when it opens, so there are plenty of spots at the bar and plenty of time to watch one of their talented mixologists creating my drink. The Earhart, shown here, is made with vodka, St. Germain, fresh lemon, blackberry, and strawberry. —Elizabeth Licata
Vera Pizzeria, 220 Lexington Ave., 551-6262, verapizzeria.com

Cooking in cerulean
Big or small, I’d love to own them all, and so would any dedicated cook on your holiday shopping list. Le Creuset’s century-old commitment to producing excellent enamel-coated cast iron cookware is evident upon first use. A favorite among chefs, its brightly colored signature exterior immediately denotes evenly temperatured cooking, heat retention, and endurance. —Christa Glennie Seychew
Blue Hill Kitchen & Home, 1374 Hertel Ave., 551-0824, bluehillkitchen.com

Brilliant blooms that last for months
These Black and Blue salvias were found in a mixed container planting at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, and they are excellent illustrations for why sometimes in gardening, you can’t have everything. Salvias like these are annuals for Western New York, but given their long season of beauty, what difference does it make? Very few flowers achieve a gorgeous true cobalt blue like these, and most of the ones that do are annuals. So accept it. Plant these at the beginning of summer and enjoy them until the hard frosts of November. —Elizabeth Licata
Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg, 649-4684, weknowplants.com

 

Clockwise, from upper left:

Knuckle clutch
Bright, textured, and dressed with large stones, this clutch doubles as jewelry. —Erin Habes
Blush, 1005 Elmwood Ave., 768-0110, shopblushny.com

1088 Delaware
What developer today would dare to think of cladding a building’s exterior in powder blue brick? Spree architecture critic Barry Muskat asked this question in our pages in 2003, and I imagine many viewers of 1088 Delaware are continuing to ask it. Delaware Avenue’s two tall blue apartment buildings (between Gates Circle and  West Ferry) don’t get a lot of love from urbanists and architecture buffs, but I happen to like them. Both of them. Modernist residential architecture is in short supply here; the few examples we have provide an interesting and somewhat refreshing counterpoint in streets that are lined, for the most part, with distinguished historic structures. These big blue skyscrapers provide an interesting pop in the series of sober gray, brown, and red brick offices that dominate this section of the city.
It gets better inside; I’ve been in a fifteenth floor residence here, and the views are amazing from the abundant windows with which this structure is so generously equipped. These blue behemoths are now two of my favorite sights as I travel up and down Delaware—I hope that as time goes by, more Western New Yorkers will come to appreciate them. —Elizabeth Licata

Indigo vase
Add a splash of color to your home with an audacious accent piece like this indigo vessel from Homeward Bound. Filled with a plume of peacock feathers, it’s sure to make a statement. —Erin Habes
Homeward Bound, 927 Elmwood Ave., 873-4764, shophomewardbound.com

 

Clockwise, from upper right:

Old Main dome
One hundred years ago, the midtown Buffalo skyline sparkled with a new addition, a golden dome atop the primary building of the relocated Canisius College, which had grown out of its Washington Street location next to St. Michael’s Church. The shiny new dome crowned a building that came to be known as Old Main, both for its location on Main Street and its venerable status as the main campus building.
Times have changed—the campus now sits on thirty-seven acres with some fifty-six buildings. In 1971, access to Old Main and its golden dome, visually and virtually, was blocked by the addition of the tall and trim Churchill Academic Tower, which may have been a clever use of tight space, but was widely reviled by alumni and others who appreciate historic architecture.  
Gold is gold though, and the dome still shines from certain angles. It remains a beacon for Canisius alumni, many of whom populate the halls and corridors of power in Buffalo to this day. The sight of the dome has been a comfort, an inspiration, and a nod to nostalgia for many, whether or not they actually attended the college.
 According to Canisius president, John J. Hurley, a 1978 graduate of the college, “the color gold defines Canisius. It is the color of our great symbol, the gold dome that sits atop Old Main. It is the color of our athletic teams, the Golden Griffins. It is a color that for me connotes tradition, richness, and excellence. While the campus has expanded from the single building on which the golden dome sits, we still say that everything that happens at Canisius happens under the golden dome.” —Maria Scrivani
Canisius College, 2001 Main St.

24k lamé
Dressed up for night or worn with casual pieces for a daytime look, these gold jeans from designer Adriano Goldschmied provide comfort and panache—an especially good idea when dressing for the holidays. —Cassandra Elsaesser
Research and Design, 4109 North Buffalo Rd., Orchard Park, 662-0800, researchanddesign.com

Five & 20 rye
Chautauqua County’s spankin’ new distillery has released its first, an amber-colored rye whiskey made of New York State rye and distillers malt, aged for sixteen months in charred American Oak. The distiller used a blend of two cooperages and three different barrel sizes to achieve this rye’s subtle honey essence. —Christa Glennie Seychew
Five & 20 Spirits, 8398 West Main Rd., Westfield, 793-9463, fiveand20.com

Clockwise, from upper right:

Spun spheres
Louise Sano of Global Chic travels the world in search of standout accessories—like this delicate, crochet-redolent necklace—ensuring that no one else in WNY will have one like it. Originally from Rwanda, Sano was one of the founding members of the West Side Bazaar, where she sold her artisanal items before opening Global Villages in 2012. She recently launched her second store, Global Chic, where she carries her “modern” pieces; Sano says Villages is a separate brand, which she defines as more “traditional.” (To help make the distinction, Chic’s shopping bags are zebra-print, while packages from Villages are wrapped in leopard.) Thanks to Sano, Grant Street is becoming a destination for fashion fanatics, with her artfully arranged window displays attracting shopaholic writers to her wares like bees to honey. Be forewarned: a quick stop to one of Sano’s shops can easily become an accidental spree. This writer has the drawer full of accoutrements and animal-print bags to prove it. —April Diodato
Global Chic, 242 Grant St., 887-3950

Glowing beech hedge
A sturdy sentinel of green most of the time, Temple Beth Zion’s beech hedge makes a striking statement on a street full of dramatic structures, Buffalo’s Delaware Avenue.
It is even more dramatic during the turn of seasons, when the hedge morphs into a golden hue. Louis Raymond, a landscaper who has appeared on national television programs, wrote in his online blog, A Gardening Journal, Fagus grandifolia (the botanical name for American beech) makes a “peerless” hedge. Its “tan winter foliage...is unique in its translucence in low winter light.”
The drama of beech has been appreciated for a long time. What is reputed to be the tallest beech hedge in the world was planted in England in 1745, and now stands 100 feet high.
This Buffalo beech hedge is not that tall, but we would bet it is just as beautiful. As Raymod further remarks, the American beech, grown as a hedge, “looks merely dignified in the summer, but out-and-out astonishing in the winter.”
It is that glow that relieves a drab day near the end of the year, and halts a winter weary passer-by, perhaps inspiring this take on a hallowed anthem: “O beautiful for golden hedge/for amber woven lane...” —Maria Scrivani
Temple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Ave.

Gilded fixture
This metallic lamp was designed by the talented Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell. Laviani has made a name for himself as a designer of many things, but his unique and bold work with lamps is what made him famous. This piece, the gold-plated Bourgie, is a seductive conversation starter that will add glam and a true “wow” factor to any space. —Cassandra Elsaesser
room buffalo, 1400 Hertel Ave., 939-2692, room-buffalo.com

 

Clockwise, from upper right:

It’s a wrap!
Multiple layers are key in cold weather. Bundle up in style in this striking sherbet-hued cashmere wrap by Belford, from the one and only Mabel Danahy’s. —Cassandra Elsaesser
Mabel Danahy’s, 3099 Sheridan Dr., Amherst, 831-0773, mabeldanahy.com

Pink cadillac
Handcrafted by Playsam, this piece is as welcome in a nursery as it is on a desk. The Scandinavian toymaker combines hints of both nostalgic and modern design to create clean, whimsical objects anyone with a penchant for the playful can appreciate. —Cassandra Elsaesser
Michael Donnelly Interior Design, 1390 Hertel Ave., 308-6520, michaeldonnelly.org

Tennis Shoe
This mixed media artwork by Jim Dine is not just really cool-looking. It is also iconic in its expression of Pop and painterly abstraction meeting at an aesthetic crossroads. Dine has demonstrated an affinity for common objects (sneakers, tools, bathrobes) throughout his career; in this case, the object is bound to the canvas by a thick coating of paint. It also surrounds the homely, rough-and-ready sneaker with an ethereal field of exquisite pale pink—another interesting crossroads. An astute and highly respected art dealer, the late Linda Hyman, deserves credit for buying and then donating this wonderful piece to the Albright-Knox collection.
(Jim Dine, Tennis Shoe, 1962. Painted tennis shoe and laces with paper collage and oil on wood; overall: 19 x 21 1/2 x 5 inches. Collection, Albright-Knox Art Gallery; photo by Tom Loonan) —Elizabeth Licata
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave., 882-8700, albrightknox.org

Soft and chic pink
Every home needs a cozy living room blanket to chase off the chills. Why not faux fur? Soft in feel and hue, this pale, baby pink throw is inviting, luxurious, and warm.   —Cassandra Elsaesser
Michael Donnelly Interior Design, 1390 Hertel Ave.; 308-6520, or michaeldonnelly.com

 

Clockwise from top, center

Cerise cashmere
You’ll be in the pink with this cashmere sweater. It offers a stylish way to warm up on a blustery cold day, and its vibrant color can enliven a winter wardrobe in an instant. Trimmed with heather grey and elevated by a distinct neckline, it’s a smart option ‘cause cashmere never goes out of style. —Cassandra Elsaesser
Mabel Danahy’s, 3099 Sheridan Dr., Amherst, 831-0773, mabeldanahy.com

Amaryllis
Now is the time to grow the most exotic of houseplants. The good news is that they’re also among the easiest. Buy, plant, water, voila! A stalk shoots up and four huge, gorgeous trumpets burst into bloom—and stay in bloom for weeks. The payback for this bulb purchase is so out-of-proportion to its cost that it almost seems unreasonable to ask for more. Yet, many indoor gardeners can and do demand that their amaryllis rebloom year after year. If that’s not you, don’t let it stop you; buy one, and enjoy it one season just for the beauty of it. —Elizabeth Licata

Raaka’s virgin chocolate
Raaka’s guilt-free, fair-trade chocolate features beans unmuddied by roasting. It’s also wrapped with recycled paper, made with organic sugar, and all of the cocoa husks that remain after processing are donated to a gardening program at a public school. Yes, it’s all very “Brooklyn,” isn’t it? But that’s doesn’t make it wrong; in fact, it makes it very, very right, and once you’ve nibbled on the edge of a Raaka bar, you’ll agree. Try the seventy-one percent dark chocolate with sea salt, or the one made with beans that have been soaked in a bourbon cask. In addition to being delectably complex in flavor, each of the bars is gluten free, soy free, nut free, and vegan. —Christa Glennie Seychew
Lexington Co-op, lexington.coop; Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, nickelcitycheese.com

 

Clockwise, from upper right:

Fresh leather
A chic hobo bag can be a lifesaver—roomy enough for all your necessities, yet sleek and stylish. It’s the perfect on-the-go handbag. —Erin Habes
Turnstyle Designs, 298 Ashland Ave., 262-9674, turnstylebuffalo.com

McKinley Monument stanchions
Central to Niagara Square’s urban rotary—surrounded by Delaware Avenue, Niagara Street, Genesee, and Court Streets—McKinley Monument is a layered tribute to slain President William McKinley, who was shot while visiting the 1901 Pan-American Exposition just four miles to the north. Italian marble lions, turtles, and ornate pools encircle the central ninety-six-foot obelisk, which is made of both Italian and Vermont marble.
Surrounding the area, squat stanchions form a gateway composed of marble and steel, each covered in a deep patina of acid green oxidation. This shade adds lovely highlights to the texture of the marble, creating a functional color field painting. —Nancy J. Parisi
McKinley Monument, Niagara Square

Lean, green taco machines
Lloyd is Buffalo’s first food truck. Co-owners Peter Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo chose green automotive paint that is bold and unforgettable–the colors are described in Sherwin-Williams terms as Electric Lime or Center Stage, depending on which of the three Lloyd trucks one is considering. Dorsaneo reports that they “felt that the green worked better than any of the other color schemes we drafted up.”
The vivid trucks cut through both rainy and sunny days like sabres through an avocado. Legions of Lloyd devotees see the brilliant, gleaming green trucks and start salivating like Pavlovian dogs. Haven’t gotten your Lloyd on yet? Look for a four-wheeled green taco machine in your neighborhood. —Nancy J. Parisi
Lloyd Taco Trucks, whereslloyd.com

 

Emerald frock
Be festive and fabulous in this party dress. The brightly hued laser cut (and lined) fabric is perfectly accented by intricately embellished details, such as multihued, dimensional rosettes and modestly applied ivory sequins. Created by designer Julienne Weston, it’s a unique take on the standard holiday dress, and is sure to get you noticed.  —Erin Habes
Anna Grace, 799 Elmwood Ave., 332-7069, shopannagrace.com

A sage sanctuary
The subtle shade of the Roycroft Inn’s exterior shingles is a Benjamin Moore color called Hubbard Squash. Other paint companies use the word Roycroft in their color nomenclature: Sherwin-Williams has, for example, Roycroft Bronze Green and a much darker Roycroft Bottle Green.
Depending on weather and time of day, the Inn sometimes looks gray, or even blue. A promotional Roycroft print, showing the steps which ascend to the Inn’s veranda, depict shingles of a pine green shade highlighted by the words “History Creativity Artistry.”
The Inn’s color is not nearly as vivid as the green of Roycroft pottery for sale across Grove Street. This pottery, all functional, runs from moss to emerald.  —Nancy J. Parisi
The Roycroft Inn, 40 S. Grove St., East Aurora, 652-5552, roycroftinn.com

 

Clockwise, from upper left:

Allendale Theatre
Currently the home of Buffalo’s well-regarded Theatre of Youth, the Allendale is a beautifully restored Allentown gem. Built in 1913 and saved from demolition by the Allentown Association in 1986, the neoclassical revival style theater features decorative pilasters, a domed ceiling, and a proscenium stage dressed with a thick, soft leaf green curtain. —Christa Glennie Seychew
Theatre of Youth, 203 Allen St., 884-4400, theatreofyouth.org

Vintage viridian
Inspired by bicycle handlebars, modernist architect and designer Marcel Breurer began experimenting with tubular steel as an apprentice at Bauhaus. This set of his Cesca 1928 chairs is a vintage find any day, but CooCooU/27’s “anoline” green pair is rarer still. —Erin Habes
CooCooU/27, 27 Chandler St., 432-6216, coocooumodern.com

The mighty Niagara
An unforgettable green experience, the color of both Niagara Falls and its feeding Upper Rapids may best be described as shades of emerald. Depending on weather conditions, the color of the water roams all the hues between blue and green. Beyond the Falls, the water still moves with a powerful current and grows darker in color, sometimes a nearly black-green. There are several vantage points from which to look down at the water—in Lewiston, both the seasonal Silo Restaurant and year-round Water Street Landing provide perfect views. —Nancy J. Parisi
Silo Restaurant, 115 N. Water St., 754-9680, lewistonsilo.com; Water St. Landing, 115 S. Water St., Lewiston, 754-9200, waterstreetlanding.com

 

Clockwise, from upper right:

On the Outer Harbor
According to the official Manual of Traffic Signs, green denotes markers that act as “guide and information signs.” Ubiquitous along most US roadways, these simple green indicators point the way to routes, streets, and attractions.
At the crossroad of Fuhrmann Boulevard and Route 5 is a very large, relatively new highway sign, mounted on two sturdy steel legs. The sign points to nearby attractions, such as Tifft Nature Preserve, Gallagher Beach, the boat launch, and the US Coast Guard’s encampment.
The sign’s medium green happens to be the exact shade of green announced by Pantone (an official authority on color) as 2013’s “Color of the Year”—or number 17-5641/Emerald.
It’s clear lettering is the standard issue white, sans serif. But while most green highway signs display text in upper and lowercase letters, this sign is all caps, as if it were excitedly screaming the cavalcade of places within close proximity. We can hardly blame it. As the efforts along Buffalo’s waterfront become increasingly evident with every passing day, we are nearing all-caps excitement, too.  —Nancy J. Parisi

A clutch clutch
Don’t think clutches only work with eveningwear. This soft leather bag with a foldover detail is the ideal mate for a pair of jeans. Its muted Persian green tone easily transitions from day to night. —Erin Habes
The Clothes Bar, 4401 Transit Rd., 565-0194, clothesbaronline.com

Winter shares
Long after the outdoor farmers markets have folded up their tents, many lucky Western New Yorkers continue to receive fresh food from local growers. Winter shares may not have the range of warm season offerings, but there are plenty of oven-ready squash varieties and brassicas—such as the bright chartreuse Romanesco shown here. —Elizabeth Licata

 

Clockwise, from upper right:

Silver bullet
Elegant and sleek, the sensuous lines of this silver vase add a distinct design element to any bouquet. Versatile and at home in almost any setting, it’s the perfect gift for most anyone. Ró’s recent transition from reimagined vintage boutique to a shop featuring both curated vintage pieces and  handcrafted goods made of repurposed resources make it a go-to for hard-to-find holiday gifts. —Cassandra Elsaesser
Ró, 732 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, 240-9387, rohomeshop.com

Crystal skulls
Fine chocolate, formed into exotic (and eerily sexy) skulls and hand-dusted with silver lustre? I’m in. The custom blended chocolate at Oh Pour L’Amour has a distinctly European flavor profile with finessed presentation to boot. These glittering milk chocolate treats—and their twins, golden chocolate Buddhas—might be the coolest stocking stuffer ever. —Christa Glennie Seychew
Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolat, 4476 Main St., Amherst, 240-9815, ohpourlamourduchocolat.com

Snow leopard
Current/Elliott’s lightly distressed silver leopard print sweatshirt features a wide neck and banded edges for easy comfort. —Christa Glennie Seychew
Research and Design, 4109 North Buffalo Rd., Orchard Park, 662-0800, researchanddesign.com

Admirable anchors
The classic, nautical shape of these earrings is modernized with a hint of glimmer and the less-traditional use of silver. —Cassandra Elsaesser
Research and Design, 4109 North Buffalo Rd., Orchard Park, 662-0800, researchanddesign.com

 

Clockwise, from upper right:

"Front Yard"
A massive street party accompanied the unveiling of the Burchfield Penney Art Center’s Front Yard video installation, but the installation was not exactly big news to those who regularly drive up and down Elmwood Avenue. Monolithic silver structures have been seen in various stages of completion for the last month or so; these three towers house the projection technology for the moving images that are flickering across BPAC’s rounded façade. We now have a matte silver/gray façade and three glossy silver forms in front of it—the forms themselves add considerably to the museum’s wow factor, even without the videos. —Elizabeth Licata
Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave., 878-6011, burchfieldpenney.org

Sterling stunner
Second Chic carries gently used and vintage finds, so each outfit you choose feels like an original. With a variety of styles, sizes, and price points, it’s a fun way to shop. Toss aside your little black dress and look for a showstopper like this little silver number. You’re sure to turn heads at your next holiday bash. —Cassandra Elsaesser
Second Chic, 810 Elmwood Ave., 882-8222, find Second Chic on Facebook

Mirror Room
Many have fond memories of the “Mirror Room” ritual at the Albright-Knox. Sometimes, there was a line, but whether there was or not, you had to indicate that you were entering the room and you had to be sure to leave your shoes at the entrance. Consequently, the room often smelled just a bit of feet, but it was always fun, especially for kids. "Room No. 2" was created by artist Lucas Samaras in 1966 and has been part of the AKAG collection ever since. The room hasn’t been installed for years; we look forward to its reappearance. —Elizabeth Licata
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave., 882-8700, albrightknox.org

A link in the chain
Timeless, functional, and chic—this silver necklace is a must-have. —Cassandra Elsaesser
Research and Design, 4109 North Buffalo Rd., Orchard Park, 662-0800, researchanddesign.com

Clockwise, from upper left:

Kleinhans stage
Home to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra since the hall officially opened in 1940, Kleinhans’ pitch-perfect acoustics are among the reasons it regularly attracts the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell. From chamber music to Death Cab for Cutie, musicians appreciate the space’s offerings: an elegant golden canvas from which the music can shine. The main auditorium’s stage glows with a sunny buttercup hue, stunning in its beauty and simplicity.
Kleinhans was the result of dreams actualized by music lovers Edward and Mary Seaton Kleinhans after they left their estate in the hands of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The Kleinhans patronized the Elmwood Music Hall (demolished in 1938), but felt its acoustics and ambiance needed work. They wanted their money to be used “to erect a suitable music hall…for the use, enjoyment, and benefit of the people of the City of Buffalo.” A Finnish father-and-son team, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, led the design, along with architects F. J. and W. A Kidd. The end product is the music hall we enjoy today.
—Nina Barone
Kleinhans, 3 Symphony Cir., 885-3560, kleinhansbuffalo.org

Banana bowl
What did the banana say to the elephant? Nothing. Bananas can’t talk! Areaware’s banana bowl is a fun way to bring humor into your kitchen. Cast from a ripe bunch of bananas, this unusual and elegant bowl can hold fruit or other bits and pieces, and looks lovely even when empty.
—Erin Habes
Room, 1400 Hertel Ave.; 939-2692, room-buffalo.com
 

Apple of my eye
Open since 1933, Mazurek’s is best known for its excellent rye bread, but the small bakery is also adept at crafting tasty desserts. My fave is the Apple Dumpling, a delicate pastry filled with local apples, spice, and sugar. With a flaky crust that would make any pie jealous, this dumpling has a a unique, crunchy cinnamon-scented apple interior. At only $1.90 each, a box of six make an excellent  holiday gift, though you’ll want to call ahead since they are made to order.
—Christa Glennie Seychew
Mazurek’s Bakery, 543 South Park Ave., 853-7833, mazureksbakery.com
 

Egg yolk earrings
These aureate earrings, brought to Buffalo from Thailand, are sunny, simple, and chic.
—April Diodato
Global Chic, 242 Grant Street, Buffalo, 887-3950 

Honey-toned delight
Pale yellow egg yolks are whipped smooth as silk, then blended with sugar and sweet marsala wine to create a thick custard. Next, milk is added and the treat is frozen, transforming into remarkable gelato. This is the zabajone gelato at Gelateria Luca and it’s unlike any flavor you’ve had before. Smooth, creamy, and slow-churned, it has an unexpectedly intense flavor and a gorgeous, butter yellow color to match. Even better, it contains less fat and calories than American ice cream because it is made with milk instead of cream.
Zabajone gelato plays well with others, too. Mix with chocolate gelato and it reminds one of dense, fondant covered cake. Swirl it with lemon sorbetto and find a zesty taste that’s even lighter and brighter than the rest. Few gelato flavors blend so well with a companion.
—Nina Barone
Gelateria Luca, 988 Elmwood Ave., 882-5353

Knit blazer
Nothing can alter your mood like wearing yellow. No matter what happens, you feel compelled to smile! This mustard sweater-meets-blazer look by Dolce Vita features a fresh, white contrasting stitch. Rock it with a mix of prints or wear it as a statement piece with denim. —Erin Habes
Modern Nostalgia, 1378 Hertel Ave.; 844-8435, shopmodnos.tumblr.com

Brilliant bangles
Imported from India, you’ll want to stack these sunny yellow bracelets up both arms. With a few gold ones sprinkled in to mix things up, this pop of color and shine will brighten any look.
—April Diodato
Global Villages, 216 Grant St., 887-3889, globalvillagesbuffalo.com

Liberty Bank building
A reliable stop on Buffalo architectural tours, the Liberty Bank Building isn’t the tallest building in the city, but it’s one of the more popular downtown skyscrapers. Designed by British architect Alfred C. Bossom, the building was constructed in 1925. At twenty-two-stories, it features Statue of Liberty replicas at the top of each of its two towers; their impressive torches burn a fiery yellow color against the night sky every evening. In Buffalo Architecture: A Guide, Francis R. Kowsky says: “Facing east and west, they are prime symbols in the iconography of Buffalo as a city with a strategic national position. Indeed, Bossom may have remembered that Bartholdi originally envisioned his colossus at the mouth of the Suez Canal, where it was to have marked an international coming together of far-flung civilizations.” The German-American bank had taken the name Liberty after World War I, and an Italian immigrant sculptor, Leo Lentelli, was commissioned to create the iconic Lady Liberty statues for the bank’s new building.
The beloved yellow brick building is home to a number of different businesses today, with office tenants ranging from attorneys to financial firms. It also houses the Mid-Day Club, a lunch meeting place for about 200 members and corporate supporters, which has been tucked away in the building for more than sixty years. Tourists and Western New York passersby regularly admire the building’s namesake statues, although many do not know the story of why they adorn the towers.
—Nina Barone
Liberty Bank building, 424 Main St.

 

Snazzy faux snake
Thin belts have been in style for several years now, and this vermilion number isn’t likely to become passé anytime soon. Sporting a skinny belt can transform a shapeless outfit into a super-slimming look, worn high or low, over a dress or with jeans. There is one slender belt you should own—a bright one. —Erin Habes
Turnstyle Designs, 298 Ashland Ave., 262-9674, turnstylebuffalo.com

Gimme! coffee
Skip the murky brown water in a bleached paper cup at your local drive-thru and brew your own beautiful beverage with the help of Gimme! Coffee, Ithaca’s conscientious, artisanal coffee roaster. Gimme’s sleek red gift box sports three packages of fresh, perfectly toasted, heavenly scented beans (whole or ground). I could go on for another few paragraphs about coffee that is classified as “shade grown,” “microlot,” or “single origin,” but instead I will simply tempt your taste buds with the notion of the perfect cuppa—rich, aromatic, warm, and sublime. —Christa Glennie Seychew
Five Points Bakery, 426 Rhode Island St., 884-8888, fivepointsbakery.com or gimmecoffee.com

 

Clockwise, from upper right:

Crimson Arcata
Ethan Allen’s red sofa is brilliantly colored, fresh, and fun. Adding any red piece to your home’s decor is a good idea, but a large crimson sofa? Well, that’s more than a dash of daring. Made of excellent materials and superior quality, Ethan Allen’s Arcata collection comes in shades other than crimson, but once you’ve considered it, we think you’ll go for bold. —Morgan Culhane
Ethan Allen, 3875 Sheridan Dr., Amherst, 839-4484, ethanallen.com

Williamsville Water Mill
Just above the twenty-seven-foot-high Glen Falls sits a faded red building with the year 1811 painted on its front. This historic structure is the Williamsville Water Mill.
Glen Falls attracted millers in the seventeenth century, starting with Jonas Williams, who built the mill. It formed the industrial base of the Village of Williamsville, along with a stone-lined raceway that carried the water from the mill pond to the mill. The raceway has since been covered and flows unseen beneath Main Street and the mill’s surrounding buildings.
The Williamsville Water Mill is now one of the few remaining water-powered mills in the entire state, and the only such structure in Western New York. Today, the mill is used for apple cider production (which began in 1908), and fresh-pressed cider can be purchased onsite. —Morgan Culhane
Williamsville Water Mill, 56–60 Spring St., Williamsville

Red velvet cake
Today, red velvet cake attains its deep red hue through the combination of red dye and cocoa. Muscoreil’s version is carefully layered with cream cheese frosting and topped with red crumbs and white chocolate. While several versions of the recipe exist today, the original achieved its red shade through a chemical reaction when buttermilk’s natural acidity met the red-tinged anthocyanin in the cocoa powder commonly used in the 1920s. When rationing was in place during World War II, bakers used boiled beet juice to mimic the color. Often thought of as a Southern recipe, red velvet cake was actually a signature offering at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel for decades. —Morgan Culhane
Muscoreils, 3960 Niagara Falls Blvd., Wheatfield, 692-9081, muscoreils.com

From top to bottom:

Jewel-toned bag
This modern, versatile, hexagon-shaped bag can be held or worn cross-body with its detachable silver chain. It can carry only the essentials, which means you won’t be tempted to overfill it—the benefit of a minified purse. The fabric is speckled with hundreds of metallic red pinpoint-sized polka dots, creating a disco ball-like sheen.
Its multifaceted surface could appear to be vermilion, ruby, or deep burgundy, depending on the light and the angle at which it’s held. The hue of the gemstone clasp is changeable as well, ranging from coffee-toned to bronze. A chameleon-like clutch such as this would suit an equally mercurial owner. —April Diodato
Allen Street Dress Shop, 89 Allen St., 883-0871, thedressshop.com

Lozenge-laden necklace
This ornate necklace incorporating several shades of red will pair perfectly with an understated holiday frock (and win you countless compliments).—April Diodato
Global Chic, 242 Grant St.

Clockwise, from top:

Fire engine jacket
Red might just be the new neutral. This bold take on a wardrobe staple is well structured with a no-nonsense attitude. Sporting utilitarian front pockets and feminine collar details, you can easily dress it up or down. —Erin Habes
Turnstyle Designs, 298 Ashland Ave., 262-9674, turnstylebuffalo.com

Red lace dress
It’s so satisfying to spot a must-have on the racks. We love this party-ready muted red lacework shift with princess seaming and a hemline flattering to almost any figure. It simultaneously screams fun and fashion. —Erin Habes
The Clothes Bar, 4401 Transit Rd., 565-0194, clothesbaronline.com

Very cherry pates de fruits
Le Petit Chocolatier’s dainty collection includes macarons, mendicants, and these pate de fruits, packed full of fruit flavor and balanced nicely with subtle acidity. This version, made from Singer Farm Naturals tart cherry concentrate, screams warm weather, sunshine, and cherry blossoms upon first bite, and leaves nothing behind but a smile and hint of granulated sugar.—Christa Glennie Seychew
Le Petit Chocolatier

 

 

 

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