BUFFALO SPREE turns 50!
First, a little history. Buffalo Spree was founded in 1967 by Richard and Johanna Shotell as a quarterly magazine focusing on a mix of fashion, literary, and local history content with some mentions of food and occasional profiles. In the eighties and nineties, it was mainly an outlet for local and out-of-town writers of fiction and poetry. In 1998, it was purchased by new owners, including publisher/CEO Larry Levite, and transformed into a city/regional magazine modeled after such titles as Philadelphia and Boston magazines. It went from six to eight to ten to twelve issues per year, with some single issues containing as many as 288 pages. In 2017, Spree celebrates its fiftieth year of publication and its nineteenth year as a true city magazine.
History aside, in media, you are what you cover. Even for a milestone anniversary, it's more important to look at the stories than the magazine in which they appeared. Spree is particularly lucky in this regard. Over the past twenty years, Spree has witnessed a transformation in the region it covers, in almost every area, including downtown development, preservation and renovation, food choices, innovative cultural programming, new ethnic neighborhoods, and the arrival of new and innovative leaders. The magazine has also been able to help readers rediscover their home, reminding them of Western New York at its most spectacular, historic, scenic, delicious, and just plain weird.
In this issue, we revisit some of our most-covered places, trends, events, edibles, and people (as shown below.) After that, we do take a little space to talk about ourselves and tell a little of the backstory of what makes Buffalo Spree Publishing tick.
Finally—and so sadly—we ask readers to salute, as we do, Larry Levite, our publisher/CEO, who passed away (suddenly) as this issue was in the making. The offices of BSP will never be the same, and our lives will never be the same without him. If you're enjoying this issue, or any BSP publication, you owe him a vote of thanks for supporting the creative atmosphere that makes everything here possible.
Thank you, Larry!