We Make Buffalo

You may have heard of 43 North. The group responsible for the world’s largest international business idea competition. Their primary focus has been to attract startup businesses with innovative ideas and have them set up shop here and call Buffalo home. But the focus of 43 North isn’t just about giving money away. It’s about promoting what we’ve got, fostering continued growth, encouraging public support and celebrating everything that makes Buffalo such a desirable place to be.

A wide variety of home-grown, brick-and-mortar small businesses are driving just as much growth and hype as the flashy out-of-town tech startups. And Hertel Avenue is as great of an example as any area in the region to demonstrate the great array of local entrepreneurs we have right here.

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All on one drag, the variety of shops and uniqueness of their offerings is astonishing. And these snapshots are just a random sampling of many more. These places are putting their stamp on the city. And quite frankly, their success is vital to our success.

So next time you’re out and about, give a nod to those business owners. Give them your support – because they need you as much as you need them. And together, We Make Buffalo.

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Italian Fest Hangover

I just completed the Grand Slam – conquering the Italian Fest all four days.

Yes, I have it easy being just a one block stroll away. But that didn’t appear to stop those that needed to bike or drive their way in. Nor did the weather on Saturday, which still drew a good crowd despite the rain.

As an Italian-American who grew up on so many of the foods and traditions shared at the fest, it’s a great source of pride for me to have the Italian Festival located in North Buffalo – where I call home, and, according to the latest census, more Italian-Americans call home than any other neighborhood in Western New York.

While North Buffalo today is a great conglomeration of people – a melting pot for sure – it’s nice to have the focus on one of the main cultures that helped shape the neighborhood.

To the residents of North Buffalo: you are fine hosts. It’s not a small ask of a neighborhood to close their streets and open their doors so-to-speak to 200,000 visitors. And yet, we wrap up another successful year of showing off “il nostro quartiere e la cultura”. (Google it)

To Campi’s Pizza and Romano’s Bakery: your welcome – I made a significant contribution to your bottom line this week.

To the North Park Theatre: nice touch with showing Italian movies all week!

To The Public House of Buffalo: thank you – your new spot served as a safe haven from the rain on Saturday and your staff, atmosphere and beer list gave me 72 of reasons to come back.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the direction the festival keeps heading with each year seemingly bringing more and more Italian traditions and culture to the forefront. There’s so much more to our heritage than just the typical foods and songs everyone can name, and I think that’s really starting to show at the fest.

Can’t wait for next year! Ciao!