As I braced myself to brave the cold outside; for you know the typical winter evening in Buffalo is not exactly your best friend..

As I drowned my tiny frame in sweaters and coats and scarves and mittens..

As I walked for a block and a half, from Tacoma to Hertel, I could not have cared less if there was another Blizzard of 77; for I had serenaded into a different world! A world where lights line the storefronts..


Neon signs glorify a century old theater building..


Carolers Fa La La compliments the gentle jazz..


Your lovely baristas strike a pose for your camera..


Buffalo has found a new friend in a festive red stocking, in an artist’s renderings..

Stocking Buffalo

Moon has landed in a store’s display window..

Moon on Hertel

And Eiffel Tower is gleaming in another..

Eiffel Tower

Santa’s little helper is perched on a ladder..

Santas Little Helper

And as far as your eyes can go – the sidewalks are lined with lights, and garlands, and pine cones and Christmas trees, and people galore.


Happy People. Smiling People.

People, who like yours truly, braved the cold and came out –
Not because they are celebrating the holiday season;

They are celebrating their neighborhood! They are celebrating Hertel!

And why shouldn’t they, for if the board outside Blue Collar is anything to go by, Santa wants you to shop local!

Santa wants you to shop local

So this holiday season, let us all Shop Local. Eat Local. Be Local!


Small Business Saturday

It’s that time of year again, when shopping becomes the lone, daunting task on everyone’s mind. The time when people voluntarily skip Thanksgiving dessert and desert their loved ones to stand in long, possibly cold, outdoor lines with crowds of sleep deprived people who are all unhappy about shopping at a time you’re not supposed to shop.

Sounds like a blast. (heavy sarcasm)

Folks, your shopping experience can be so much more rewarding, for you and your local community!

Enter Small Business Saturday. It’s a national campaign that draws a contrast to big-box “Black Friday” and is based simply on shopping local. Last year I vowed to do my part in Buffalo and had a great day split between the shops in the Elmwood Village and on Hertel Avenue.

Small Business Saturday

Blue Monk Christmas AngelAs I walked from store to store, I was energized by the hustle and bustle taking place miles away from the malls. I was greeted by friendly and appreciative shop owners and I found truly unique gifts. It felt great to be supporting the folks that really are the lifeblood of our community (and that wasn’t just the “Christmas Angel” beer I had with lunch at Blue Monk talking).

So this year, use the Black Friday ads to stoke the fire beneath your roasting chestnuts, relax and rest up for Small Business Saturday!

Oh, and while you’re out and about, you might as well hang around for the North Park Tree Lighting taking place at 6 pm near Room.