Thursday, November 27, 2008

Holidays in the Elmwood Village

From the Elmwood Village Association:

Greetings! The Holidays are upon us and the Elmwood Village is kicking into its full, festive gear! Our Annual events begin this week with Black Friday in the Elmwood Village. See below for all of the Elmwood Holiday Happenings:

Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lafayette Presbyterian Church

Elmwood Village Association welcomes the holiday season on Friday, Nov. 28 by hosting our annual tree lighting ceremony at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church. Don’t miss the caroling and hot chocolate provided by the church’s Boy Scout Troop. Members of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church lead us in song beginning at 7 p.m. around the tree along Lafayette Avenue. If the weather is bad, we will move inside for the ceremony and caroling.

Black Friday in the Museum District

This Friday, November 28, the museums, shops, and restaurants of the Elmwood Village will welcome the new Burchfield Penney Art Center and kick off the holiday season with a FREE district-wide event – See. Shop. Dine.

The following museums will be open until 10 p.m.:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery (free admission from 3 p.m.)
Burchfield Penney Art Center (free admission all day)
Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society (free admission from 5 p.m.)

Carriage Rides

Each Friday evening (Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12, and 19) carriage rides will be provided from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. along Elmwood Avenue. Please visit us online at or call 881-0707 for location information.

Open Late Fridays

On Fridays throughout December (and Friday, Nov. 28) most of our fantastic stores will be open late! Enjoy holiday shopping until 9 p.m. and find the gifts that you won’t see anywhere else in Western New York.

Community Caroling with Sam Hoyt

On Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m., community members are welcomed to join Assemblyman Sam Hoyt and your neighbors for a holiday sign along at the Unitarian Church. Hot chocolate, candy canes, and even an appearance by Santa will compliment the event.

Santa Saturdays!

Every Saturday during December Santa Clause and his elves will stroll up and down the avenue, stopping in local shops from Noon to 3 p.m. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to meet Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas. This Saturday, Santa will be greeting shoppers along Elmwood in Allentown.

Check out our website for Santa sighting times and locations along Elmwood Avenue at

Artists in Buffalo Holiday Open Studios and Galleries

The Artists in Buffalo will hold their annual Open Studios Friday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 & 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Over 100 artists will have their work available for viewing or purchase. This is the perfect opportunity to holiday shop or get to know the artists of our community in a small gallery setting while enjoying refreshments. Make sure to visit Elmwood’s Neighborhood Collective located at 810 Elmwood Ave. for a great variety of local artisan goodness!

Be sure to check for more information throughout the season!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Buffalo Wiki Opens

From a message just posted on BuffaloHistory:

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is David Monroe. I recently moved to Buffalo in July from Rochester to pursue a job opportunity. Although, I've been very pleased with my choice, I have missed one thing: a website that would give me information on interesting things about Buffalo. In Rochester they have RocWiki -, which has listings of businesses, fun things to see and do, and historic sites. Also, they provide unique background stories to places that even longtime natives find interesting. I kept telling myself, "Someone should make one for Buffalo!" Then I realized, I needed to be the someone; so, I made BufWiki - In a little more than 24 hours, it has grown from 1 editor to 7, and a few pages to almost 100. We have the beginnings of a great collaborative web page. So, I'm inviting folks to join in the fun with their expertise or even simply a listing to their favorite place to eat wings. :-)

Be well,
David Monroe

Monday, November 24, 2008

South Buffalo Land Use Concepts to be Unveiled

Find out more at Buffalo Rising:

"On Wednesday, December 3rd, the City will present to the public and stakeholders the various land use options for the study area. It will be held at the Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road. The event includes an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, a presentation from 6:30 to 7:15 pm, and a workshop from 7:15 to 8:30 pm."

Rochester Corn Hill Holiday Tour of Homes

Tickets available only for the 9 a.m. tour.
Noon and 4 p.m. tours SOLD OUT!

Get your tickets now and kick off your holiday season in Rochester's oldest neighborhood!

Beautifully-decked out homes full of holiday cheer are the perfect way to start the month of December. Step back to the charming early 19th century when seven private homes in Rochester's oldest residential neighborhood open their doors on Saturday, December 6, 2008 for the 2008 Corn Hill Holiday Tour of Homes.

Among the historic homes open this year, the Landmark Society of Western New York is excited to showcase a gorgeous 1883-built East Lake-style brick house with a "Prayer Room" brought back to Rochester from the Orient in the early 1900s, featuring exotic carved woodwork and a hand-painted canvas ceiling. Other highlights include an 1880s-built Queen Anne, a wonderful Italianate from 1854 and an 1850 Greek Revival cottage where guests should be sure to ask the owners about the things that go bump in the night!

These homes weave the tapestry of Corn Hill's architectural styles; from simple to grand, from newer townhomes to historical dwellings.
Get your tickets now and join in the festivities.

Tickets remain only for the 9 a.m. guided tour. The noon tour and the new exclusive candlelight tour at 4 p.m. are both sold out. Tickets must be purchased in advance for $18, and are available through a secure server, by phone (585) 546-7029 x10, or at The Landmark Society offices at 133 S. Fitzhugh Street, Rochester.

Click here for more details.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Buffalo Movie Tour

Architectural historian Chuck LaChiusa gave a tour of movie locations, movie theaters, and famous screen stars from Buffalo. Some of the stops included the wonderfully restored Riviera Theater, Shea's, and the baseball fields where scenes from Robert Redford's The Natural were filmed.

For more information, visit

Hockey Night in Canada pays tribute to Memorial Auditorium

First aired by the CBC for the Ice Bowl broadcast, January 1, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Altar of Veit Stoss lecture


This Monday, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society will host an exciting talk presented by the WNY Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation.

November 24, 7 p.m. Free and open to the public:

WWII Plunder and Recovery of the Magnificent Wit Stwosz Altar

The gorgeous 15th century altar of St. Mary’s Church in Krak√≥w, Poland was at the center of some high drama during World War II. It was stolen by the Nazis, recovered by the Americans under the guidance of General Dwight Eisenhower, and returned to Poland under Soviet rule. Agata Wolska, archivist for St. Mary’s, will tell this fascinating story.

Rotary Rink Tree Lighting

On Sunday, November 23, join Buffalo Place at the Rotary Rink for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. This year Buffalo Place is teaming up with Sabres goalie Ryan Miller to light Downtown's Tree, while raising awareness for theRoswell Park Cancer Institute. This event also marks the official opening of the FREE ice skating season at Rotary Rink.

The Rotary Rink is located at Main and Chippewa and is right next to the Fountain Plaza rail stop.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mickey Mouse's 80th Birthday Party!

Information from

Happy Birthday, Mickey!

The Buffalo International Film Festival presents: MICKEY MOUSE'S BIRTHDAY PARTY, A Day Long Celebration of Walt Disney at Shea's Buffalo, December 13, 2008

Presented in Collaboration by Buffalo International Film Festival and Shea's through the courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

Buffalo, NY –The Buffalo International Film Festival and Shea's Performing Arts Center are proud to present MICKEY MOUSE'S BIRTHDAY PARTY, three separate and unique screenings celebrating Walt Disney and The 80th Birthday of Mickey Mouse, the most timeless character of world cinema, on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2008 at Shea's Buffalo Theater. This is a benefit for many local children's charities, Shea's restoration efforts and BIFF.

On November 18, 1928, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon with sound, Steamboat Willie, premiered in New York City. The world was never the same again. A tiny, singing, dancing mouse went on to become the most enduring and beloved movie character of all time: a timeless, ageless being. As Walt Disney himself said, "It all started with a mouse."

This extraordinary event is unique in the whole world and will never be repeated. It is the only authorized Birthday Party for this wonderful occasion. Shea's and BIFF are thrilled to bring it exclusively to the residents of Western New York. Anyone within walking, running, driving, or flying distance should get themselves there!


Together, the screenings will tell the story of how Walt Disney and his partner Ub Iwerks were facing bankruptcy when their successful character Oswald the Rabbit was taken away from them. In a moment of inspiration, followed by desperate labor, Mickey Mouse was born and serendipitously found his voice at the same time.

Mickey's Birthday Party will also pay tribute to Ralph Kent (aka Kwiatkowski), a Buffalo, NY boy who became "The Keeper of the Mouse," the studio's official artist for likenesses of Mickey.

The event will also include the history of Pat Powers, a Buffalo native, who provided Powers Cinephone to the Disney Brothers and made Mickey's "talking" debut possible.

The Program Book includes special messages to Buffalo, NY from Leonard Maltin (the host of all the Walt Disney Treasures DVD Sets and Entertainment Tonight's film critic), Brad Bird (Pixar's Director of Ratatouille and The Incredibles), Don Hahn (Producer of Fantasia 2000 and Beauty and The Beast), John Canemaker (Academy-Award Winning Author of many Disney books), and Maurice Sendak (author of Where the Wild Things Are, and the best-known living, children's book author in the world).

Mr. Sendak, it is worth noting, was born the same year as Mickey, 1928, and considers him his hero. He has also visited Buffalo, NY in the past and thinks it is one of the most beautiful cities in the country.


Mike Iwerks of Disney Imagineering and great-grandson of Ub Iwerks, the man who drew the very first Mickey Mouse cartoons, will introduce The Hand Behind the Mouse, a documentary made by his cousin Leslie Iwerks as a tribute to Ub and Walt.

J.B. Kaufman, author of Walt in Wonderland, Walt Disney's Silly Symphonys, Walt in South America and a forthcoming book on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is a film historian on the staff of the Walt Disney Family Foundation who is working on the new Disney Family Museum which will open in 2009. Mr. Kaufman is also an expert on early Mickey Mouse.

Edward Summer wrote screenplays for Mickey Mouse at The Walt Disney Company. He is also President of The Buffalo International Film Festival.

All three will introduce the screenings and, at the 2:30 show, explain the significance of each of the wonderful short films in the program. There will be "Talk-Back" sessions after each screening in The Smith Theater adjacent to the Shea's.


The dozen films to be shown -- which include Steamboat Willie (1928) and Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940) -- are extremely rare 35mm prints directly from the Disney Archive. There will be three separate movie screenings of completely different film programs on the huge Shea's screen using authentic carbon-arc projection just as the films would have been shown 80 years ago. Those who have seen some of these films on television will be astounded at how they look -- huge -- as they were meant to be seen. The two silent films, Alice's Wild West Show (1924) and Oswald the Rabbit in "All Wet" (1927), will be accompanied live on the Shea's Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. A complete list is below.

SCHEDULE, Saturday, December 13, 2008


Introduced by Mike Iwerks of Disney Imagineering and also Ub Iwerk's great-grandson, this award-winning feature-length documentary tells the story of Ub Iwerks, who designed Mickey Mouse in collaboration with Walt Disney who was his hometown friend. The screening also includes: The Skeleton Dance (1929) (the first Silly Symphony cartoon) and Jack Frost (1934), (a rare, CineColor, Iwerks/Powers cartoon supplied by the Academy Archive). All are 35mm prints.

2:30 p.m. MICKEY MOUSE'S BIRTHDAY PARTY, Featuring 10 ORIGINAL Mickey Mouse cartoons in 35mm prints direct from the "Disney Vault."

Introduced by J.B. Kaufman, Historian, Walt Disney Family Museum and
Edward Summer, Mickey Mouse Screenwriter.

ALICE'S WILD WEST SHOW (1924) with Live Wurlitzer Organ!
OSWALD THE RABBIT: ALL WET (1927) with Live Wurlitzer Organ!
PLANE CRAZY (1928) – The First Mickey Cartoon animated almost single-handed by Ub Iwerks, but not released until after Steamboat Willie.
GALLOPIN' GAUCHO (1928), the 2nd Mickey cartoon (also released after Steamboat Willie).
STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928) The first Sound Cartoon featuring Mickey and his public debut.
THE BAND CONCERT (1935) – The First Technicolor Mickey
THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (1940) from Fantasia


The original, uncut Roadshow Version unseen in any theater since 1990.

Introduced by J.B. Kaufman, Historian, Walt Disney Family Museum and Edward Summer, Mickey Mouse Screenwriter.

Guests include J.B. Kaufman, Mike Iwerks and Edward Summer.

Sponsors include: Villa Maria College Animation Program, Drama Lighting, The Mansion on Delaware, Semanchin and Wetter, ScottAlexanderWood Design, Steven Kerr Design

Individual Event Prices are:
Mickey's Birthday Party: $20 adult; $15 student (with ID) $10 children 12 and under)
Walt Disney's Fantasia: $20 adult; $15 student (with ID) $10 children 12 and under)
The Hand Behind the Mouse is $5.00 for all seats.

Special combination tickets for admission to both afternoon events are $35 adult, $25 student, $15 children.

VIP Tickets, which include special "Talk Back" sessions with the Disney guests, All-Day (3 Movie) passes, and reserved seating, are $75.

Tickets are on sale now and are available by calling Ticketmaster at (716) 852-5000, online at and at Shea's Ticket Office, 650 Main Street. For information, go to, or call 847-0850.

Buffalo Architecture in the New York Times

The National Trust for Historic Preservation chose Buffalo as the site of the 2011 National Preservation Conference because we were dazzled by the same thing [New York Times architecture expert Nicolai Ouroussoff saw –- the richness in Buffalo’s landmarks, neighborhoods, and the great landscapes in between.

-– Roberta Lane, program officer & regional attorney in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast Office.

To read the New York Times article "Saving Buffalo's Untold Beauty" (and send it to everyone you know), it can be found online here.

To read the National Trust article Roberta Lane is quoted from, visit their blog at Preservation Nation.

Finally, click here to read more about the National Trust for Historic Preservation's placement of the Prospect Hill neighborhood on their "Seven to Save" list.

Buffalo receives national African American Heritage Tourism designation

From the Convention and Visitors Bureau:

"Buffalo earned the designation of being the second authenticated African American Heritage Tourism Destination in the United States by the Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC). The CVB hosted representatives from the Travel Professionals of Color Heritage Team in Buffalo on July 23-24 to determine if the city met the requirements to become an Authenticated African American Heritage Tourism site. This authentication process included visits to Buffalo's African American heritage sites, such as the Nash House and Michigan Street Baptist Church, as well as restaurants and small businesses owned and operated by people of color. This designation will put our community in a better position to receive a larger share of the $42 billion plus spent annually by the African American traveler. In May 2009, Buffalo will host the Travel Professionals of Color’s annual tradeshow and conference. Over 350 African-American and minority travel professionals are expected to attend the four-day educational event."