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This Modern World: 2014 Year in Review

This is the second part of a two part series. In case you missed it last week, you can find part one here!

TMW2014-12-31colorLARGE


This Modern World: 2014 Year in Review

This is Part one of a two part series. Check back next Thursday for Part Two! TMW2014-12-24colorLARGE


Best of Buffalo 2014 Winners List

For those of you who missed last night’s award ceremony at the Town Ballroom, the list of this year’s Best of Buffalo winners is in! Check back Thursday for the final wrap-up in this week’s upcoming issue. To review all our nominees, or compare this year’s winners with past winners in the archives, visit the Best of Buffalo homepage.

Dining & Nightlife

BEST BAGEL
Bagel Jay’s

BEST BAR FOOD
Coles

BEST BBQ
Fat Bob’s Smokehouse

BEST BEEF ON WECK
Charlie the Butcher

BEST BRUNCH
Betty’s

BEST BURGER
Grover’s

BEST CHEAP EATS
Mighty Taco

BEST CHEF
Mike Andrzejewski

BEST CHINESE
Red Pepper

BEST COFFEE
Caffe Aroma

BEST DELI
Joe’s Deli

BEST DESSERTS
Dessert Deli

BEST DINER
Lake Effect Diner

BEST DONUTS
Paula’s Donuts

BEST ETHIOPIAN
Lucy Ethiopian Cuisine

BEST FISH FRY
Papa Jake’s

BEST FOOD TRUCK
Lloyd Taco Trucks

BEST FRENCH
Rue Franklin

BEST BEER SELECTION, BEST FRENCH FRIES, BEST DAY-DRINKING BAR
Blue Monk

BEST GERMAN
Scharf’s Schiller Park

BEST GREEK MEDITERRANEAN
Acropolis

BEST HOT DOG
Ted’s

BEST ICE CREAM
Anderson’s

BEST INDIAN
Taj Grill

BEST ITALIAN
Mulberry

BEST JUICE BAR
Ashker’s

BEST LATINO
Niagara Cafe

BEST MEXICAN/TEX MEX
Cantina Loco

BEST MIDDLE EASTERN
Mezza

BEST NEW RESTAURANT, BEST WINE LIST
Tappo

BEST PANCAKES, BEST VEGETARIAN
Amy’s Place

BEST PATIO
Cecelia’s

BEST PIZZA
La Nova

BEST PLACE TO EAT AT 2AM, BEST SUB
Jim’s Steakout

BEST POLISH
Polish Villa 2

BEST SALAD, BEST SOUP
Globe Market

BEST SAUSAGE
Spars

BEST SEAFOOD
Seabar

BEST SOUL FOOD
Gigi’s

BEST STEAK
Buffalo Chop House

BEST SUSHI
Kuni’s

BEST TAKEOUT/DELIVERY
Partners Pizza

BEST THAI/VIETNAMESE
Sun

BEST WINGS
Duff’s

BEST BARTENDER
Pat Gilmartin, Allen Street Hardware

BEST UPSCALE BAR, BEST NEW BAR
The Lodge

BEST STRIP CLUB
Tiffany’s Cabaret

BEST PLACE TO WATCH A GAME
Mes Que

BEST PLACE TO SHOOT POOL, BEST NEIGHBORHOOD PUB, BEST KARAOKE, BEST JUKEBOX
Essex Street Pub

BEST PLACE TO DANCE
Allen Street Hardware

BEST PLACE TO PLAY DARTS
Gordon’s

BEST LIVE MUSIC
Sportsmen’s Tavern

BEST HOOKUP JOINT, BEST DIVE BAR
The Old Pink

BEST HAPPY HOUR
Century Grill

BEST GAY BAR
Q

BEST BOWLING
Voelker’s Bowling Center

RESTAURANT THIS CITY NEEDS MOST
Better and more vegan and vegetarian joints

The Fine Arts

BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS
Matthew Witten

BEST BURLESQUE
Mistress J Kiss

BEST CULTURAL ASSET
Albright-Knox Art Gallery

BEST DANCE COMPANY
Neglia Ballet

BEST DANCER
Ashley Vita Verde

BEST DRAG PERFORMER
Jimmy Janowski

BEST FASHION DESIGNER
Ali Eagen

BEST GENRE-DEFYING ARTIST
Buffalo ComedySportz, Alrowe Price (tie)

BEST MOVIE THEATER
North Park Theatre

BEST NEW ART SPACE
Pausa Art House

BEST PAINTER
Matthew Patterson

BEST PHOTOGRAPHER
Mark Callen

BEST POET
Joel Lesses

BEST PUBLIC ART
The canoes at the Albright-Knox

BEST SCULPTOR
Julie Silver

BEST SPOKEN WORD ARTIST
Josh Smith

BEST STANDUP COMIC
Chris Gullo

BEST SUPPORTER OF THE ARTS
M&T Bank

BEST THEATER COMPANY
Irish Classical Theater Company

BEST VIDEO/FILM ARTIST
Tragic Hero Productions

BEST WRITER
Donna Hoke

  People & Places
BEST ACTIVIST CAMPAIGN
Gaunches Unite!

BEST ACTIVIST GROUP
PUSH Buffalo

BEST INDIVIDUAL ACTIVIST
Greg Hinaman

BEST ANNUAL FUNDRAISER
Ride for Roswell

BEST LOCAL BLOG
Buffablog

BEST LOCAL PRINT JOURNALIST
Jeff Miers

BEST LOCAL RADIO PERSONALITY
Shredd & Ragan

BEST LOCAL TV PERSONALITY
Don Paul

BEST LOCAL TWITTER
@sabres_101

BEST URBAN GARDEN
Massachusetts Avenue Project

FAVORITE LOCAL ATHLETE
Jim Kelly

BEST NEW IDEA YOU’VE HEARD FOR WNY
Keep developing the waterfront

WORST NEW IDEA YOU’VE HEARD FOR WNY
A sports stadium on the waterfront

BEST PEOPLE-WATCHING SPOT
SPOT Coffee on Elmwood

BEST PLACE TO WATCH A SUNSET
Erie Basin Marina

MOST INSPIRING PLACE
Niagara Falls

MOST OVERCOVERED NEWS STORY
The weather

MOST UNDERCOVERED NEWS STORY
The failures of Buffalo schools

THING YOU HOPE WILL HAPPEN THIS YEAR
Bills make the playoffs

WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE…
Carl Paladino

AND FEWER PEOPLE LIKE…
Carl Paladino

Shops & Services

BEST ANTIQUE SHOP
Miss Josie’s Vintage & Antiques

BEST AUTO MECHANIC
Towne Motor Car

BEST BAKERY
Five Points Bakery

BEST BARBER SHOP
Vito’s

BEST BIKE SHOP
Campus Wheelworks

BEST BOOKSTORE
Talking Leaves

BEST BUTCHER
Federal Meats

BEST CAR DEALER
West Herr

BEST CD/RECORD STORE
Record Theatre

BEST DESIGN COMPANY
Vinyl Graphics

BEST DRY CLEANING
Colvin Cleaners

BEST FISH MARKET
Hayes Seafood Co.

BEST FLORIST
Maureen’s

BEST FURNITURE/HOME DECOR
room

BEST GIFT SHOP
Everything Elmwood

BEST HAIR SALON
Fawn and Fox

BEST HEAD SHOP
Terrapin Station

BEST HEALTH CLUB
Buffalo Athletic Club

BEST JEWELRY STORE
Aurum

BEST LIQUOR/WINE STORE
Premier Wine & Spirits

BEST MENS CLOTHING
Blue Collar Buffalo

BEST MUSIC STORE
Allentown Music

BEST NEW SHOP
It’s a Mod Mod World

BEST ORGANIC FOOD
Lexington Co-op

BEST OUTDOOR MARKET
Elmwood-Bidwell

BEST PEDICURE/MANICURE, BEST MASSAGE, BEST DAY SPA
Excuria

BEST PET STORE
Elmwood Pet Supplies

BEST PIERCINGS
Cowpok

BEST PILATES/YOGA
East Meets West

BEST PLACE TO FIND COOL T-SHIRTS
Pasteurized Tees

BEST PRODUCE
Wegmans

BEST SHOE STORE
Shoe Fly

BEST SPORTS/OUTDOORS STORE
Turnaround Skates

BEST TAILOR
Chayban

BEST TANNING
Total Tan

BEST TATTOOS
Hand of Doom

BEST THRIFT STORE
Amvets (Elmwood)

BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING
Anna Grace

Music
BEST ACOUSTIC ACT
The Leftovers

BEST BLUES ACT
The Poor Boys

BEST CLASSICAL MUSICIAN
JoAnn Falletta

BEST CLUB DJ
DJ Deek

BEST COUNTRY ACT
West of the Mark

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC
John Patrick, Igloo Music

BEST FEMALE VOCALIST
Melody Nardone

BEST HIP HOP ACT
A. J. Jordan the Crescendo

BEST JAZZ ACT
Custode and Parisi

BEST JAZZ MUSICIAN
Bobby Militello

BEST MALE VOCALIST
Jim Candytree

BEST OPEN MIC NIGHT
Nietzsche’s with Josh Gage

BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC ACT
Whiskey Reverb

BEST ROCK ACT
Super Killer Robots

BEST ROCK/POP/BLUES MUSICIAN
Shawn Duchscherer

BEST VOCAL ENSEMBLE
Buffalo Choral Arts Society


Kathy Weppner: Why Are American Troops Fighting for Shirtless Chris Lee?

Kathy from Williamsville calls in to Rush Limbaugh in February 2011 to urge people to attend Tea Party Rallies because Chris Lee

Hi, Rush! You know, I want the average American to listen to me. I have my most beloved son, and he’s sitting over in Afghanistan right now while everybody else here is going about their daily business. And we have elected officials getting on a bus so they don’t have to cast a difficult vote. We have president who just submitted a budget that 42 cents on every dollar will be borrowed from a foreign country so that there’s nothing left if he does make it back for his children and his future. We had a congressman here in the 26th District who put his picture — topless, shirtless — on Craigslist. There’s all of this nonsense, and is this what my son is willing to die for? Is this what our sons are doing really difficult things to die for? We’ve gotta rise up. The average American who disengaged a long time ago because they were disgusted, we had better get off of our couches. We had better show up at these Tea Party rallies. We had better reengage. Because there will be nothing left.

RUSH: The second woman in two days who could fill the job of spokesman for the Republican National Committee!…Well said, Kathy. Trust me, don’t doubt me, your passion is shared equally by millions of Americans that you don’t know. You just had ’em sitting up out of their chairs and applauding. I’m glad you called.

I can confirm in March 2014 that we have something left. 


Congressional Races of 2014

It’s shaping up to be an interesting Congressional election season. 

Republican incumbent Chris Collins will likely cruise to re-election in the sprawling 27th. He has name recognition, bases his every word and deed on Obama-hatred, and a bottomless pit of money with which to purchase perpetual re-election. 

Democrats endorsed a young police officer and attorney, Jim O’Donnell (no relation), to run against Collins. In addition to his J.D., O’Donnell has a Master’s in Economics, which would certainly come in handy against the throwback voodoo economics that Collins espouses. O’Donnell is running because of Congressional dysfunction

My dream is the same dream that people across the district share for their children. The problem is that Congress lately has been doing a better job of getting in the way of that dream than helping it come true. As a Congressman, I would work every single day to make sure that those very simple dreams, those simple ideals, become a reality.

Hopefully, Collins’ childishly nonsensical  “I was against the federal shutdown that I voted fornihilism will take center stage.  O’Donnell’s Facebook page is here

In the 26th, incumbent Democrat Brian Higgins is likely to coast to re-election, as well. This is especially true thanks to the fact that his opponent is not only going to be a tea partier, but is – quite literally – a low-information WBEN caller. “Kathy from Williamsville” is going to take her fact-free jingoism on the campaign trail. She is a walking, talking anti-Obama chain email, and anyone reporting on her should be sure to have Snopes queued up on their mobile browsers. Seriously – there will be no point covering her campaign if you’re not able immediately to vet her pronouncements and cross-examine her on the inevitable fabrications and fantasies she’ll discuss. After all, she has a list of known communists, doesn’t seem to be ready or willing to represent Muslim residents of the 26th (hint: it’s the primitive blood lust), has declared “white guilt” to be “dead”, warned against a hyperinflation that never came, and – like Ronald Reagan – opposes Medicare

That one will be fun. 


Best of 2013

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For me, the best thing of 2013 was, hands down, a good result from a horrible health scare in the family. Everything else pales in comparison. 

So, I asked people on Twitter to give me their best of 2013. Here’s what they said. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A protected user suggested: “BCAT opened, Start-UP NY announced, Harbor Center development, Riverbend project, and BNE made a Buffalo video people liked!”

 

 

 

Last – minute entries: 

– Bills stay (for a time).  Yeah, they lose, but we’d miss them if they were gone.

– Sabres change leadership.  No place to go but up

– Dinosaur Barbeque comes to Buffalo.  2014 will taste better than 2013

– Trader Joes comes to Amherst.  Ditto

– Unemployment rate in WNY dropping.  Good.  “nuff said.

– The Stock Market is UP.  Not bad for a Kenya – born socialist. 

– The Tea Party is DOWN.  Only took the near-bankruptcy of the US Government to do this, but hey – count your blessings.

And: 

Long Live TOY – Defending Children’s Theatre in the Nickel City is one of the most positive stories to come out of this region in years- which is why we decided to try and tell it in Documentary form.

Meg Quinn, TOY’s Creative Director and Co-founder along with others from the arts community fight the Collin’s 2010-2011 Cultural funding cuts in the midst of their 40th season.  The community rallied against Collins to help remove him from office and restore the funding.

Through the prism of a unique non-profit children’s theatre we see the impact and importance of cultural assets.

The film won two audience awards at Buffalo International Film Festival, and many were moved to tears at Sunday’s screening at the Dipson Market Arcade.

A positive story that few will probably see because it’s “just children’s theatre”.

Austin McLoughlin
Mary Beth Murray
Long Live TOY Producers

Long Live TOY – Defending Children’s Theatre in the Nickel City – (Preview Trailer) from AP McLoughlin on Vimeo.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous 2014. If you’re going to be outside tonight for the festivities, please stay warm and safe. 

(The slideshow above displays photographs that talented WNYers have added to the AV Daily Flickr Group.)