Be a Good Neighbor

A letter to our neighbors:

Within the past month our beautiful corner of the city was ravished by two devastating fires – one on Lovering Ave and the other on Saranac Ave.

Today, a drive by either of these houses will leave you in tears. Putting a moment of thought into “what would I do if this was my house?” will probably leave you feeling helpless and hopeless.

Well, we can’t speak for either of the families that fell victim to these fires, but we’d assume that’s how they’re feeling. So as residents of the City of Good Neighbors, now is our time to step forward, like we always do, and help our fellow citizens.

Separate efforts are underway to help these families get back on their feet.

For Ms. Flynn of Lovering Ave, City of Good Neighbors tee-shirts are being sold with full proceeds going to her and her family. The website asks that you do your part by buying a tee and then sharing the link. “Kind of like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge but helping out a Buffalo neighbor in need!”

For the Siwirski Family of Saranac Ave, a donation site has been set up through Incredbily, but not surpisingly, over $5,500 in donations have been received in less than 24 hours.

Please visit both sites to learn more and help out. And if nothing else, spread the word to your neighbors. Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families in this time of need. God Bless.


Charlie, Karen and Ray Fashana


ICYMI: Delaware Park is Sweet

You’ve (hopefully) read a number of posts here about things to do at Delaware Park. (Reference: “Doubles at Delaware”“In the Meadow”“BuffaLOVE Fest”).

I’m about 40 blogs short of really covering Delaware Park, but it should be clear to all that I think the Park is the real deal.

Well, now, so does the American Planning Association. Recently, the APA named Delaware Park one of the 2014 Ten Great Public Spaces in America!

Boom. Chalk up another accolade for Buffalo.

If you take a look at the characteristics needed to earn such a distinction (and there are A LOT), it’s clear that this was no fluke.

Be sure to read the full write-up…I bet there’s a lot you probably didn’t know about this backyard gem of ours.

10-3-2014 9-04-41 AM

Life is a Combination of Cupcakes and Pasta!


On every refrigerator, overshadowed by some silly magnets, photos of our furry friends and occasional family recipes from mom and grandma, lies an old sticky note telling you to “Take That Dream Vacation NOW”.

Mine goes something like this:

1. Go to a locals-only Italian town.

2. Learn how to make pasta from scratch.

3. Drink Red Wine. Lots of it.

So when I heard that The Pasta Peddler was moving to Hertel I took it upon myself to pay the store owners a visit and give them a warm “Hello Hertel” welcome.

And boy, am I glad to have done so!

What started as a hobby almost twenty years ago in Eric’s father-in-law Mike’s basement, has come a long way to become The Pasta Peddler we know today – proclaimed by many as the finest artisan pasta available in Buffalo.


This is only one of the many feathers in his cap, for his wife offers a delectable selection of cupcakes and other baked goods – Wait For It – at the same store, making the location on Hertel a joint venture between The Pasta Peddler and Blackbird Sweets.


What makes them unique though are their future plans, as the owner very enthusiastically informs me about the possibility of a not-for-profit winter market (thanks to a big and spacious retail space), and a pasta-making class in the near future which hopefully would involve some wine drinking as well!


He already had me when he used two of my favorite words in a sentence: Wine and Pasta. But throw in some Buffalo knick-knacks scattered around the store, a tiramisu flavored cupcake aptly named “Hertel”, reclaimed wood counters from Buffalo Reuse, a la monferrina pasta machine (its like the Hermes of pasta machines), the fact that he is a fellow NoBo resident and Buffalo Believer, I am more than happy to buy pasta from him for the rest of my life! And I am sure, so are you.

So stop by the store and show them some Buffalove! Do not forget to try the raviolis and the dark chocolate salted-caramel “Blackbird” cupcake, you will thank me later.


The Pasta Peddler and Blackbird Sweets are celebrating their move to Hertel with a grand-openeing on September 27th, 2014.


In Buffalo, the crisp air can roll in without much notice and the glorious summer can abruptly feel like fall. Yesterday it was 87. Today it’s 63.

I’m ok with that though. It usually means football season has begun, fall beers are on the shelves, and our weekly food habits begin to shift. In our house we’re already starting our regular fall routine of making homemade sauce, chilis and stews. You know, the hearty foods to help bulk us up for the winter.

It also means our weekly quota of chuck roast and ground beef will increase exponentially. Cue Johnny’s Meats – quite possibly my favorite place out of them all on Hertel Ave.


Maybe its because they’ve been around for 60 years, or that my family has been customers for nearly as many. Maybe it’s the specialty italian sausage. It could be the old school look and feel of the meat market or the culinary knowledge of its butchers. It’s probably a little bit of everything that makes this place the best for meats in all of Buffalo, not just North Buffalo.


So stop in. Get the meat that will give your sauce the flavor you’re looking for. Ask them for some recommendations. Try something new. Like any great butcher shop, these guys know their meat, know what to use, when, how and why.

I can smell the sauce already. Enjoy! And of course, go Bills.



In The Meadow…

We can build a snowman in December. By my calendar it’s still summer, I’m talking about the Meadow Cafe in Delaware Park.

Meadow Cafe

It’s a healthy lunch and juice joint, a people watching paradise and an oasis for the park’s devoted exercisers. You may remember it as the Juicery.

They really did a great job recreating the once popular spot, with tons of tables and chairs nestled both in the sun and the shade, great food and juice drinks, water bowls for the dogs, and flower lined views of Buffalo’s greatest park.

View from Meadow

AdirondackI had a spectacular morning posted up on an Adirondack chair with my son watching the walkers, runners and cyclists. My friend Ben jogged passed us three times, each offering a funny smile and an increasingly tired expression. I chatted with my friend Rachel and met her year and a half old puppy, Penny. Some other folks gave some thoughts about having kids and another kind person offered musical babysitting services.

Just another Buffalo Sunday in the Park.

But possibly the most fun I had was piecing together the fragments of conversations overheard as people whiz by and trying to make a story out of them. Based on what I heard from four different groups of folks, here’s some advice:

If you want that kind of person in your you a boathouse..then the ..burr under your’re going to have deal with New York State.

So that’s how I passed the time today. Hope you’re having as much fun as I am!

Meadow Cafe Sign