Hello Hertel’s 2014 Year In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for our blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The stats within the report put huge smiles on our faces. It’s incredible to see that you fine folks are picking up what we’re putting down.

It was our goal when Karen and I started this blog to share good news, extend positive vibes and just flat out have fun writing. I’d say we’re succeeding.

Special thanks to Meg Vaidya for adding her creative flavour and to our regular referrers: Hertel Avenue (@hertelavenue), NorthBuffalo.org (@NorthBuffaloOrg), ichoosebuffalo.com (@ichoosebuffalo) and whatsgoingoninbuffalo.com (@WGOINBuffalo).

Looking into 2015 we’re hoping to keep building on what we’ve started, and we’d love to introduce some more writers, so if you’re interested in blogging some North BuffaLove, let us know!

Have a blessed and prosperous New Year!



From Farm to Hertel

It’s finally happening. A step towards environmental responsibility. A nod of support to our local growers. Another win for Hertel.

The North Buffalo Farmers Market will open for the 2014 season on Thursday, June 19, from 3 – 7 pm. It will be located at Holy Spirit Church on Hertel near Delaware.

I’m sure most of you need not be sold on the benefits the come along with supporting local farmers markets, but I’ll reinforce them:

  • Choosing to eat locally is more than a trend, it is a healthy way of life.
  • Eating local means you have access to nutritional, fresh foods.
  • Eating local means you know the farmer that has produced your food.
  • Eating local is being environmentally responsible as you are choosing to eat without imposing a large carbon footprint.
  • Eating local is economically responsible, as the dollars you spend on food are kept in circulation within our local community.

The market is set to run on Thursdays through November 6, but will take the week of July 17 off so volunteers and their families can attend the annual North Buffalo Italian Festival. (I’m sure if the farmers could grow cannoli or zeppole they’d stay open, but without that, no chance.)

A Grand Opening Celebration is planned for July with music and activities when more vendors will be available and fresh produce is in full season. Food trucks are being invited, and vendors are always welcome to apply.

It was no easy feat to get this market off the ground. Securing a location proved to be much more than “let’s do it here” as most of the 15+ sites that were scouted were unavailable. This made securing growers difficult too, as it’s already late in the season. But now we have the foundation to start building what could be a large, annual marketplace. If we show some mighty Buffalove to the few who can join us this year, then we will reap the benefits next year and beyond!

Kudos to Patricia DiFrancesco Banning, Board Member of NorthBuffalo.org and Market Manager, for her hard work and diligence to make this happen. Without her, we’d still be aimlessly saying “Hey, Hertel should get a farmers market.”

Shop Local – Support Farmers – Eat Well – Celebrate Community

Buy Local Buy Fresh

Let’s plant some trees!

If you’ve been paying attention to NorthBuffalo.org, Hello Hertel or Hertel Avenue’s Facebook page, you should know about the upcoming Spring Clean-Up on April 26. (I’ve been practically crying for signs of spring since February)

If you just learned of this now, not to worry, it’s not too late to sign up to help out.

What hasn’t been as widely publicized is: in conjunction with that clean-up will be a Re-Tree spring planting on a few of our NoBo streets. I’ve been working closely with Ryan Sajdak, NorthBuffalo.org’s founder, and we’ve secured an order of 50 trees!

But I also promised Ryan that we’d have enough people to help plant those trees.

So again, it’s not too late to sign up, and if you’re someone who loves lining an urban neighborhood with some beautiful foliage like me, please check the box on the registration form that indicates you want to help with the planting. And feel free to mention Hello Hertel in the comments section too, I’d love to meet any loyal readers of this blog!

In closing, here are some pictures of the trees we’ll be planting, along with their funny names. Hope to see you on the 26th!

Cercis Canadensis (Redbud)

Cornus X Constellation (Dogwood)

Parrotia Persica (Persian Ironwood)

Prunus Virginiana (Canada Red)

 Eucommia Ulmoides (Hardy Rubber)

Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgo Princeton Sentry)

Quercus Coccinea (Scarlet Oak)

Quercus Rubra (Northern Red Oak)

Resolve To Be Involved!

Happy New Year friends and neighbors!

As I was enjoying my first cup of (Spot) coffee in 2014 this bright and crisp morning, I got to thinking about what many of us have been thinking, talking, and posting about: how great 2013 was and how we’ll dominate in 2014.

Karen and I were blessed with a baby boy (“Sweet Baby” Ray) a few weeks ago, so our primary resolution for 2014 is to figure out the whole parenting thing. Something tells me that will be our 2015 resolution as well, but we’re up for the challenge.

But apart from that, continuing to spread the positivity for Buffalo and pitching in to make our community better tops our list of things to do this year.

If you’re like many of the folks that I talk with, you’re wildly proud to be a Buffalonian, you’re stoked about all the things going on and you’re dying to be a bigger part of it all.

But “how?” you might say.

We were asking ourselves that same question this time last year when we decided we were going to start this blog. It’s nothing fancy but seems to be aiding in raising awareness and love for our North Buffalo ‘hood. In fact, the success of Hello Hertel has surpassed our wildest expectations, with over 15,000 views so far! For us, its a fun and easy way to contribute.

The answer for you is just as simple. Anything you choose to do that shares the BuffaLOVE will work. Shop local. Eat local. Don’t move to the suburbs. Embrace the progress. Ditch the “old Buffalo” mindset. Attend a community meeting. Stop and talk with your neighbors. Join a board or committee. Volunteer. 

All feasible. All impactful.

I see some folks are already taking action. Take a look at NorthBuffalo.org – a grassroots organization spearheaded by Ryan Sajdak that looks to pull it all together. Getting involved with this might be a no-brainer. Looks like there’s a meeting on Friday night…hint hint.

The Washington Post said that BuffaLOVE is “in” for 2014. Yep. Everybody’s sharing it. It’s your turn!