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


Starting Point: Hertel and Parkside

Friend, fellow blogger, and ad community all-star, Katie Krawczyk, recently started a series focusing on various Buffalo neighborhoods.

To my great delight, Hertel was one of the first!

Check it out at 43North’s website. And if you don’t know about 43North, be sure to surf around their site as well. Some pretty great stuff going on over there…



Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House: Beyond The Architecture


The drive to Parkside, Buffalo’s first suburb designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a hop, skip and a jump away from Hertel, is bound to leave you astounded. And rightly so, because the sight is one of magnificent opulence. Pardon me, “organic” magnificent opulence.


For it is in this historic neighborhood, at the conjuncture of Jewett Parkway and Summit Avenue that Frank Lloyd Wright’s celebrated Darwin D. Martin house stands in all its glory.


Completed in 1907 (yes, nineteen-o-seven), the six historic structures spread over a sprawling 29,000 square feet exemplify Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy about organic architecture, and his now-famous quote “form and function are one.”


But there is more to the Darwin Martin House than meets the eye. Behind this perfect-prairie facade lies the dedication and hard work of volunteers – almost 400 of them. They could be serving as your docents or chaperones, helping you pick out a souvenir from the beautifully curated pieces of the museum gift store, or simply fluffing the cushions in the main living room (Frank Lloyd Wright cushions, pretty big deal!).


As a new volunteer at Darwin-Martin House myself, I can first-handedly vouch for the appreciation that the board and the staff has towards all of their volunteers. Be it the Director of Volunteers agreeing to chat with me for the blog, proudly beaming when telling me that her volunteers are the face of this organization and the most rewarding aspect of her job; or the Director of Retail Operations giving me a tour of the gift shop, narrating the story of every single art piece or souvenir that he offers in the store – it does not take long for one to realize why 400 people devote their time to this Buffalo monument (after all we do have a lot of options).

MHRC 10-8-1319096-1

So next time when you are on the tour, look beyond the architecture. Stop by the museum store to chat with the retail-store volunteers, ask your chaperones and docents for their stories. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Special thanks to Angela Laviano-Hamister and Joseph Incao for their precious time and cooperation.


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House is currently in Phase V of an expansive restoration project estimated to cost $50 million, out of which $40 million has already been raised.

Hello Old Friend

I hate goodbyes. I hate goodbyes in the airport. I hate goodbyes at parties. I hate goodbyes at the doorstep of your family or friend’s house that you don’t want to leave. Goodbyes are the worst.

I said goodbye to my friend Beth over seven years ago. Beth was looking for a fresh start so she packed up and headed to the West Coast. A goodbye like that is never fun because you never know when you’re going to see them again. Beth and I did stay in touch over the years thanks to modern technology and we managed to squeeze in a few face-to-face visits.

Fast forward seven years and three cities later on Beth’s U.S. tour, I now get to say hello. Hello Old Friend. In fact I could yell “HELLO!” out my kitchen window and as of today, Beth could probably hear me and shout it right back (or maybe “Hello Hertel!”). My old friend is back in Buffalo, North Buffalo to be exact. Beth is back in Buffalo for a variety of reasons but I’m sure she’d tell you that family, a good job and the buzz about Buffalo on the rise is what actually made her pull the trigger.

What made her choose North Buffalo? I’ll let her weigh in on that:

  • Hertel has a hip/fun vibe.
  • Great access to Delaware Park so I can get my run on.
  • Short commute to work.
  • My bestie lives there and she’s a reliable source on the cool places to live.
  • I want to have direct access to Kostas every day.

Hello Old Friend. Welcome Home.

Congratulations North Buffalo. We got another good one! Who’s next?