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Public Comments…Anyone? Anyone?

A-dog-and-pony-show-was-just-one-of-the-many-actsSo you’ve heard about the new UB medical school, which is planned to rise nearly 200 feet into the sky at the southwest corner of Main and High streets? Did you know you’ve missed the public comment period by a month? Did you know there was a public scoping meeting on October 22, 2012 held “to provide an opportunity for the public to identify specific issues and environmental impacts that should be addressed in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Phase 1 of the School of Medical and Biological Sciences”?

Here at Artvoice, we never receive notices about these kinds of meetings. Wonder why. We’re a newspaper and stuff.

Anyway, this October 22 event appears to have been one of the most pathetically under-attended meetings in the vast annals of dog and pony shows. Only one person signed in. And she didn’t have any questions to ask, according to this court reporter’s account of the meeting.

The event lasted a grand total of 22 minutes, including scintillating banter among Christopher Marcella, director of design for the State University Construction Fund; Christopher McGrath, project manager for the State University Construction Fund; and Pat Heaton and Ben Brazzell from EDR Companies, an environmental consulting firm based in Syracuse and Rochester that was working on the SEQR for the project.

The meeting was held at—where else?—St. John Baptist Church.

Click here if you are interested in looking at the piles of literature that have been generated around this secretive “Project 30B08.”


GoBike: People Powered Movement

GoBike: People Powered Movement

by Elizabeth Lewin

PPM_POSTERYAYY-463x600With summer right around the corner, it seems like more and more people are peddling their way around Buffalo. Who doesn’t like to feel those rays after a chilly winter? Besides, May is National Bike Month, so why not save some change for a change? In honor of this month, local community organization, GOBike Buffalo, is holding their first bicycle inspired art show to benefit their mission and increase awareness among residents. “The intersection between the cycling community and art community here in Buffalo is a lot closer than people think. A lot of cyclists are also artists and vice-versa. I wanted to explore that relationship and share it with others,” says Community Outreach Coordinator Tivona Renoni. This People Powered Movement will feature the work of local artists, writers and advocates all of whom are moving together to transform the City of Buffalo into a healthier and sustainably friendly community through the eyes of art. “Personally, I think it’s very important to educate people about the importance of getting out and about in the community in a way that not only keeps them healthier, but keeps the environment healthier. Not to mention, it’s pretty easy on the pocket, especially in times like these,” Renoni says.  These one of a kind pieces will be displayed at two openings on Friday, May 17th from 12-2pm and 7-9pm at 515 Main Street (also known as Main (ST)udios). This exhibit is FREE.  The goal is to have people walk away inspired to do something different for themselves and for their surroundings. So, if you’re not busy, get your bike out or borrow a friend’s and join the movement on Main. Be part of what organizations like GOBike Buffalo are doing to keep this place up and moving. For more information visit:

A Handful of Best of Buffalo Photos

All photos by Cy Alessi

Buffalo’s First Fashion Truck Hits the Pavement

Buffalo’s First Fashion Truck Hits the Pavement

By Elizabeth Lewin

imageWe’ve all seen that infamous neon green truck rolling around town. Tacos, burritos, you name it, Lloyd’s Taco Truck and all its goodies will have your tummy talking. And how about those simple yet deliciously prepared sandwiches trucks stationed in downtown’s up-and-coming Larkinville? Then there’s my all time favorite, the historic and all too familiar hot dog stands ready and willing to satiate your hunger on-the-go. But what about that mysterious hot pink “look-a-like” truck rolling around town? This past weekend, I met Crista Botticello, founder and owner of Buffalo’s first ever mobile boutique. Think, “fashion on the go.” Makes you want to say Ooolala, doesn’t it? Well that’s exactly what you’ll be saying as your driving down the city streets. Ooolala Boutique On Wheels is officially in motion. Watch out foodies and look out fashionistas. “I was traveling through Boston and I saw that they had fabulous fashion trucks and I immediately had to bring this back to Buffalo, so that’s exactly what I did. In less than a month I purchased a truck and we had Buffalo’s first fashion truck,” says Botticello as she elegantly held onto the side of her pink truck hair.  “I noticed a demand and I felt that it was time to move my storefront and go with my passion,” Botticello says. And this is only the beginning. “The Western New York Women’s Exposition was a great place to park…it was nice to see so meet people from different places all interested in the same thing,” she says. Innovation seems to be a pattern here in Buffalo—young entrepreneurs motivating their peers to expand their ideas into something tangible. The goal? To have a second truck rolling around town sooner than later. As for those restrictions, Botticello assured me that they have faced no problems as of yet and hopefully those days are behind them (thanks to their predecessors). Ladies, even if you missed this past weekend’s event, I guarantee this summer you’ll still catch a glimpse of glamour as you go. So, watch out, next time you’re at a red light, you might see something “Pretty In Pink.” No not Molly Ringwald, but a fashionable brunette in some killer cowboy boots. Look out gents, there’s a new gal in town! —elizabeth lewin


Communify Spring Clothing Exchange

Communify Spring Clothing Exchange

Saturday, March 9

190196_741312926261_219466881_nSpring is around the corner! Which means the looming task of spring-cleaning. In most cases, spring-cleaning of your closet can be the most difficult task. Parting with those cool pair of blue pants you wore a couple times but cant seem to get rid of can be tough. Rest easy because this Saturday (March 9) you will be able to clean out your closet, and pick out a few new cool outfits as well. From 8pm to 10pm at the Pierce Arrow Film and Arts Center, people just like you will bring in their versions of those blue pants they cant seem to get rid of. In these two hours, you bring as many clothes as you want, and exchange with other people just like you who would like to see their blue pants go to a good home. $5 gets you entry and a rack to proudly display your clothing to potential prospects as you peruse other peoples closets. A representative from Second Chic will also be there if you are looking to get a few extra bucks from some pieces you think could be worth money. Anything left over will be donated to Goodwill, so either way, you get a couple new-to-you tops, and Goodwill gets a whole new inventory of great lightly used clothing. Not only is this is great way to find some new outfits; this is also a great way to meet some new people and have a party! The Black Market Food Truck will be there serving you during your two hours of shopping. In addition to Black Market Food Truck, Pierce Arrow Bar & Grill is offering drink specials after the exchange. Really what more could you ask for? Shopping AND beer specials. If upcycling is your thing, fear not, there is a contest for the best use of upcycling from the exchange. Posting your picture to the Facbeook event page enters you into the contest, members at the event will vote for best upcycle and the winner gets a Tim Horton’s gift card. Clothing exchange is a great way to reuse something of someone else that would normally be thrown away. Many people benefit from this great event, you the shopper, the donator, and the Goodwill will receive anything that didn’t go home with happy shoppers. Bring your clothes, an empty stomach, and your party attitude! See on Saturday March 9 at the Pierce Arrow Film & Music Center at 8pm! —kendra sornberger

Public Meetings on Plans to Move Children’s Hospital Tonight, Tomorrow!

Kaleida Health and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus would like you to know the following:

As required by the City of Buffalo Planning Board, we have scheduled a meeting to update any surrounding resident or business person interested in an update on Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo’s plans for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Innovation Center, 640 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, New York.

Please invite anyone who is interested in attending to receive an update on these plans in person from the physician and administrative leadership for this project.

We thank you for your time and hope to see you there.

Click here to download the notice. You might not have gotten the heads up, since the invite wasn’t very widely circulated. Artvoice didn’t even receive the notice, and our office is across the street from the medical campus. Somebody leaked it to us.

Then, the medical journal Business First posted this story a couple hours ago, saying there’s also a meeting tonight.

From the story:

Kaleida has issued monthly updates on progress for the new hospital. Among the updates for June:

  • The hospital’s physician strategic planning committee and its architect, Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott of Boston, are continuing to explore clinical planning and program design for the new inpatient tower. Along with the physician committee, 26 user groups are now engaged in producing a plan for the new ambulatory space and a new hospital.
  • Ciminelli Real Estate is moving toward final site approval for its new 500,000-square-foot medical office building at Main and High streets, which will house an 85,000-square-foot ambulatory care center. Ciminelli is working with both Kaleida and the University at Buffalo    on the design, with plans to begin site work in August, with completion in about 18 months. Ciminelli is also coordinating architectural and engineering plans with the two adjacent projects, the new Women and Children’s Hospital as well as the new medical school for UB.
  • The Buffalo Planning Board has approved the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo environmental impact statement (EIS). At its May meeting, the board also discussed initial building massing, floor plates and hospital access for the new building. Site plan approval for the inpatient tower project is the next milestone.

Looks like the folks around Elmwood and Hodge will be getting a taste of what the neighborhood around Gates Circle is still adjusting to—life in the shadow of a huge vacant building thanks to the good corporate citizens at Kaleida Health.


Steam Donkeys Art Festival at DBGB Saturday

Food vendors, bartenders, tie-dye artists, wind chime craftspeople, mounted police officers, bicyclists, tube top aficionados, suburbanites, overworked political canvassers, tattoo/piercing specialists, and members of the New York State Honky Tonk Authority (NYSHTA) are praising this Saturday’s (6/9, 2-5pm) performance by the Steam Donkeys at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar (DBGB) as a new era at the venerable Allentown Art Festival.

 The Steam Donkeys—a noted original music act and global think-tank—plan on unveiling their vision for a new renaissance in people-watching at the performance.

“Let’s face it. Money’s tight for a lot of Americans. While we all support the arts, it often boils down to one simple question: ‘Do I want to spend all my hard-earned cash on a thirty-pound birdbath I’ll have to carry 17 blocks back to my car?'” asks Buck Quigley, front man for the band. “Or, would it be better to spend that money in a cool joint, listening to good live music created by artists living in my immediate community—while trying not to gawk at all the interesting-looking people in the huge crowd?”

“Nothing that comes out of Quigley’s mouth can be trusted,” said one festival insider, on condition of anonymity. “Look at his quote. He says it boils down to one simple question, and then he asks two or three. Either he doesn’t know how to count, doesn’t like artisans, or doesn’t think birds deserve a beautiful place to bathe. In any case, we don’t recall him filling out an application for the Steam Donkeys to rent a booth in the actual, certified festival. Evidently, he’s not so confident in his ‘art’ that he wants to subject it to the scrutiny of our judges.”

Quigley admits he hasn’t produced a single piece of pottery since 4th grade, but says that’s not the point. For many, the festival serves a social role in the life of the city. “A lot of my friends make and sell art at festivals. I know how talented they are, and I appreciate the way they have to struggle to make a buck in our mail order corporate sort of culture,” he says. “But a lot more of the people I talk to look at the festival as a way to get out of the house and kick off the summer—and a lot of them are just about broke. By all means, go ahead. Buy whatever suits your fancy. But if you don’t amble down to the west end of Allen Street, step in out of the sun or rain and enjoy a cool beverage while the Steam Donkeys are playing—well then, friends and neighbors, you will have missed out on an experience that not only makes us better Buffalonians, but better human beings, over all.”

Not since the Music is Art Festival was hustled out of the Allentown Art Festival years ago by the powers that be has a live music event been met with such genuine anticipation and hope for the future.

But ultimately, the reasons for enjoying the Allentown Art Festival are as diverse as the people who attend.

“Say what you want, but I hope it rains,” said one well-inked and grizzled biker/barfly. “I mean, I hope it’s sunny and hot early on, and then just opens up and pours. When that happens, it turns the whole neighborhood into one giant wet T-shirt contest.”






The Spits with TV Ghost, Utah Jazz and The Narcs

The Spits 

with TV Ghost, Utah Jazz, and The Narcs

Friday, February 24

Behold, Seattle’s punk legends-in-their-own-time, The Spits finally make their way to Soundlab on Friday (Feb 24) in support of their latest full length V. For over a decade the trio have consistently churned out a special kind of garage-infused punk anthems. Think Ramones, but more campy and guttural and with a sense of humor to be reckoned with. Relentlessly pounding and catchy with a touch of the bizarre, this music has one home, and that’s on a stage with a drink in hand and fist in the air. On tour with them are In The Red label mates, TV Ghost. Masters of dissecting the sharpest of angles between dark and theatrical no-wave and Cramps-like style and delivery. Get there early for Buffalo’s own Utah Jazz and The Narcs, from Rochester. Doors are 8pm and pre-sale tickets are still available at Record Theatre (3500 Main St. location) and Spiral Scratch Records (291 Bryant St.). —eric kendall

8pm Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907/ $12 advance, $14 at the door. 

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