BlackBird Cider Works - Cider Hall

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Last weekend BlackBird Cider Works opened their new Cider Hall at 155 Chandler Street in Buffalo. When visiting the spot it took me to a pretty cool neighborhood (Black Rock neighborhood) that I haven’t explored a lot of recently. The Cider Hall is a decent size with a decent amount of seating and offering an assortment of cider, cider flights, light food and craft beers.

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The outside (while not completely finished with the patio area) was a pretty cool spot offering graffiti art collages on most of the outside building walls and a nice lawn that I think will become a pretty cool hangout in the warmer months. Overall I loved the space and can’t wait to take more friends and family to visit over the upcoming Holiday season.

-B

I tend to like drier ciders so I asked for recommendations from the staff, this is what they gave me for my flight - Dry Oak Aged, Semi Sweet Oak Aged, Chandler Street Cherry Tart, Cherry Perry. ALL of them were delicious, but I think if I had to pick a favorite it would have been the Dry Oak Aged.

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Featured Exhibition: Robert Indiana: A Sculpture Retrospective

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I was looking for something to do earlier today so I stopped by the Albright Knox art gallery and visited the Robert Indiana exhibition that is currently on display. Today is the last day for the exhibition, but his Numbers ONE through ZERO are on display at Wilkeson Pointe until September 2019.

It was a nice way to spend part of my day. Check out my photos below showcasing some of his work that was on display.

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TWO - Robert Indiana’s Favorite Number

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A Hot Spot at 500 Seneca - Winkler & Samuels

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Wine 

Purveyors

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For those that know me, they know I love wine, like LOVE wine and for those that don't know me, you just learned something new about me. I think at some point in my life I may try to make my own wine, but for now I'll just continue to educate myself on all the different kinds that are out there. Which makes a great segue into my blog post for today, Winkler & Samuels a great, fairly new business in town. 

Located inside 500 Seneca {next to Tommyrotter Distillery} Melissa Winkler a certified sommelier  has a long family history with the neighborhood where Winkler & Samuels sits. Her family previously owned and operated F.X. Winkler and Sons, Buffalo’s oldest grocery store, which stood down the street from her business for 111 years.

The best way I can describe Winkler & Samuels is that it is a top notch wine store with a lot of offerings you don't get at other local stores in town. Not only does Melissa pick each wine out, but she sorts it by region - old vs. new. Its organized making it easy to find your favorite bottle or look for a new kind, it's clean, personal and offers wine you may not see at the typical wine store in your neighborhood.

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I personally love that it is so close to my work so I can stop there on my way home and I love that Melissa is there to offer suggestions or guidance based on what you like or what you're looking for. She's legit, she knows what she's talking about and won't steer you wrong. 

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What's even better? Their wine cellar, located downstairs from their retail store, it costs $25 a month and gives customers their own storage for up to two cases of wine in a climate controlled room. There is more to the membership to! As a member you receive 20% off wine services, free home delivery, 20 % off wine education classes and more. 

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Wine Cellar

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So what's one of the best parts of owning your own wine store? One of the best parts of the business is finding new wines and sharing the experience with customers. Carrying wines that are not carried everywhere else offers a unique opportunity for customers to come in and try varieties they may have never known about. 

 On tour of the private event area... Mackenzie smiling ...A man enjoying his wine sample

On tour of the private event area... Mackenzie smiling ...A man enjoying his wine sample

So why Buffalo? Because its a great place to live, its allowed Melissa to open her own wine store and the quality of life is great.

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Private event area 

 Another part of their private event area - under construction

Another part of their private event area - under construction

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What's in store for the future? Continuing to grow the wine cellar program, continuing education classes {they offer a lot, check out the event calendar here}. And if you're looking for a place to host an event, they have a great private event space, so follow along as Melissa continues to grow Winkler & Samuels 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

-B

{A special thank you goes out to my friend  Mackenzie for organizing this interview for me and coming along on the venture xo}

 My purchases :) not all of these were for me, some were for a donation. 

My purchases :) not all of these were for me, some were for a donation. 

Blog-versary Celebration

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On the last Friday of 2017 I celebrated with some of the most important people in my life at the Barrel Factory. 5 years ago I began this journey into the "blogging world." Not knowing what I was doing {and sometimes I still don't know}, but enjoying every minute of it. I've learned so much and have been lucky to have the opportunity to experience a lot of new things and meet some amazing people I otherwise wouldn't have.

While I have some ideas for where I would like the next 5 years of Just a Blonde in Buffalo to go, I know things don't always go as planned and am just going to enjoy it day by day. Here's to more adventures, more experiences and meeting some more amazing people. 

To everyone that showed up on Friday at the celebration and to those who were there in spirit thank you for being a part of this journey with me. Cheers to 2018! 

I hope you like the new site! 

-B

xo

Here are more photos from the blog-versary party. 

 

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5 years blogging

A lifetime of support

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 Steve Balesteri performing 

Steve Balesteri performing 

The Happiest of Happy Hours at the Strong Museum of Play

Just a couple weeks ago my friend Arica and I along with some of her co-workers attended the Happiest of Happy Hours (an after hours, adult event at the museum). Even though I was there for a special event, the museum was so much fun.

Maybe its just because I was excited to be attending an event at a place I haven't been before, who knows, but they had many exhibits for people to explore. I can't imagine you not having a good time, kid or adult there is something for everyone. So if you're looking for something fun to do while on break this week? Take a fun day trip to the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester.

-B

Fun Times at the Albright

Don't ask me any technical questions about art because I won't have the answer for you, but what I can tell you is that the newest exhibit at the Albright Knox, Out of Sight! Art of the Senses is pretty fun for any age.

{oh hello}

{I could have walked through these beads all afternoon}

Running from now until January 28, 2018 it is something I would suggest you put on your list of things to do over the holiday break. In my opinion you don't need to know a lot about art to be able to enjoy this exhibition. Below are photos from my trip there with my friend Kelsey and if you follow me on Instagram, check out my Insta- story.

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{folding table & chairs}

{Without Beginning & Without End}

{the Carousel, yes me and Kelsey went on this!}

{Takashi Murakami}

{Mirrored Room}

#digiPlaySpace

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my Insta story last night on the newest exhibit to come to the Buffalo Museum of Science, digiPlaySpace. Open to the public beginning tomorrow {11/18/17}  digiPlaySpace is made for both kids and adults and is so.much.fun!!

The exhibit produced by TIFF {Toronto International Film Festival} is an interactive playground for everyone. Guests of the museum can explore new media technologies, get hands on with the 14 interactive digital installations and the Buffalo Museum of Science is only the third museum in the U.S. to host this exhibit.

If you're looking for something to take the kids to over the Holiday break or looking for a fun date night or just something to get you out of the house, I highly recommend checking digiPlaySpace out. It's on exhibit until April 22, 2018. 

A special thank you to the Tweet Team, Visit Buffalo Niagara and the Science Museum for inviting me to the preview night!

#travelBUF

-B 

 

 

A trip to the Darwin Martin House

A few months ago I attended a private tour of the Darwin Martin House {thanks to Lindsay from Nickel City  Pretty for setting it up for the Buffalo Blogging Network.} Being from WNY I have been past this incredible complex multiple times, but had never been on a tour, something that had been on my "bucket list" for a while.

{the attention to detail is amazing}

Mary Roberts the Executive Director took us along for the hour tour and told us about the history, improvements made and some fun facts about Frank Lloyd Wright and the building. I could share a lot of the facts and information with you on here, but that's boring and I think you would get more joy out of actually attending a tour there in person. The complex is operated year round making it convenient for you to check it out!

-B 

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

 

 

My Morning With Seek Axiom and Bkindcity

This past weekend I got to send my Saturday morning with two friends who honestly bring out the best version of yourself. If you know me personally, you know I'm not a big fan of being in front of the camera- I prefer to be behind the scenes, but I wanted to do something different and just have some fun, so I asked Ryan from Seek Axiom to take some photos of me that I can use for my blog. Katie from Bkindcity joined us as well. Thank goodness she did because she fixed me up, provided some tunes for the day and told me what to do because I had no clue most of the time. We started the day at Tifft Nature Preserve. Ryan captured some really amazing photos and some fun candid ones too. Here are some of my favorites from this location.

We then headed up Fuhrmann Blvd. to Wilkeson Pointe {of course I had to get some shots at my work!} Here are a couple of my favorites from that location.

From the Outer Harbor we headed to "my roots" the east side of Buffalo. We visited the Broadway Market while they were having there BBQ & Brews event on the rooftop and we captured some of these shots below.

And then we ended at the corner of Fillmore and Broadway at the new Welcome mural that was created and completed a couple weeks ago.

One of the best things I got out of this day was not just pretty amazing photos, but it was the opportunity for me to be around new friends, to learn more about them and to just have fun and live life in every experience I get to have. Each experience we get to have shapes us into the person we are and right now in my life I want to seek more opportunities, so in the words of Seek Axiom "Seek everything you have yet to experience."

Thank you Ryan and Katie for a fun day full of laughs, I can't wait to do it again! - xo - 

-B 

BNBA Brewers Festival

This coming Saturday is the 4th Annual BNBA Brewer's Festival at the Outer Harbor {Wilkeson Pointe}.  Tickets are still available and its sure to be a fun time by the water. For more details click here.

Happy Opening Day Buffalo!!

Happy Opening Day Buffalo!!! Even though I'm not there to celebrate opening day in Buffalo, I'm reppin' my spirit in Poland. Its a great time to come down to Coca-Cola Field and celebrate everything the Buffalo Bisons Organization is doing this spring and summer.  Make sure to celebrate with us as we celebrate this wonderful season.

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

Rock On..at the Guitar Exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science

Last week, I joined the Tweet Team for a night at the Science Museum. We had the chance to meet with the amazing staff and check out the new {and so cool} exhibit Guitar. Going on until May 7th the Guitar exhibit showcases the history of the instrument, all the different types of guitars and the famous people who played them and so much more!

If you're not one that likes crowds or can't make it on the weekend the Science Museum offers extended hours on Wednesday evenings until 9 pm. And this Saturday the Museum is hosting Get Out Your Guitar Day, a national holiday, in celebration of guitars and guitarists, so if you're looking for something to do, this will be a great event to attend, for both kids and adults!

-B 

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream - Opening Night

Walking into the Key Bank Center last night, a lot of what you saw was little girls dressed up in their favorite Disney princess dress, some with tiara's on their heads and others with a light up wand in their hand. Growing up I think almost every girl has a dream to be a princess {I know I did}. Last night, thanks to Feld Entertainment, I was able to attend Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream with my 6 year old niece, my sister and my cousin Lisa. It made for a fun girls night out and was an absolute blast.

From Tiana opening the show, to the classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and my favorite Princess, Cinderella, the end of the show was the best. Rapunzel was a show stopping piece ending with a celebration of all your favorite Disney Princesses and Disney Characters out on the ice. My niece got so excited seeing Princess Jasmine and Princess Aurora.

{Princess Tiana}

During the show the message was the same, Dare to Dream. Each Princess that was on the ice had a dream and it came true. I think that is something that makes Disney Princesses so magical, each Princess has a story and they never give up on their dream, making it a wonderful message to pass along to young kids in the audience. If you're looking for something to do this weekend tickets are still available {click here}.

Here are some of my pictures from last night. 

{Cinderella's Carriage}

{Cinderella and her Prince}

{Rapunzel and Flynn}

Thinking Warm Thoughts at the Botanical Gardens

A couple weeks ago my niece and I went to the Botanical Gardens to attend their Dollar Days promotion along with checking out the new exhibit. My friend Jen and her daughter Aila came with us. Because tonight is the Lumagination Launch Party and tomorrow kicks off the almost month long special event, I thought I would share some of my photos that I took from my visit.

I attended Lumagination last year {see that post here} and it was a great event and a different and fun way to see the gardens. To learn more about the event, including dates, times and admission prices click here.

-B

{All photos in this post - Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

 

Supporting Explore Buffalo

This past Saturday if you follow me on any social media platform you know that my Dad and I attended the Grain Alley Gala hosted by Explore Buffalo. This was one of my Dad's Christmas presents this year, since we had such a good time at last years gala at Sheas, I thought I would keep the tradition going. The gala was taking place at the Barrel Factory, a venue I have not been in up until Saturday night and need to go back to, to explore. Snowy Owl Kombucha!, Elevator Alley Kayak and Lakeward Spirits are all tenants inside the building {see my post on Lakeward Spirits soon!}.

{The Erie Mule}

The gala was nothing short of great, from the live music, selfie station, tour of the distillery from Adam, the specialty cocktails and great auction items {my Dad and I went in and put a guaranteed bid on cocktails and a tour of the SS Columbia Project for up to 6 people} we couldn't have had a better time and all for a great organization!

{Look at how dapper my Dad looks at the selfie station}

As I approach this year, I'm focusing more on the "adventures" {big or small} that I can take with the people that mean the most to me.

Until next time...

-B

{Above photos all Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine

Last week my sister, niece and nephew went to see the Festival of Lights at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Lewiston. I haven't been to the Shrine since I was a little girl so I was looking forward to seeing everything from an adults perspective. When we arrived we walked around a little before heading to the gift shop to warm up for a bit, they also have a cafeteria so if you want to grab a bite to eat with the family while you're there, that's an option. The Shrine is open to the public from 9-9 pm and the lights are on from 5-9 pm. The festival of lights runs thru January 6th and its free admission - making it a great place to visit this week if you're looking for something to do.

It was nice seeing all of the lights, remembering the memories I had as a kid and seeing my niece and nephew enjoy their time there.

-B 

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

{my niece in front of the Shrine}

{taking a selfie at the top of the Shrine}

A Classic Museum - A Destination and Attraction for Buffalo

I drive past this venue almost every single day and up until last weekend I had not been in there. I'm talking about the Pierce Arrow Museum, a destination in the Buffalo area. Open Thursday thru Sunday from 11-4 pm this museum offers more than just a venue for those who love classic cars. The museum is a space that shows the great work of Frank Lloyd Wright's Filling Station design along with the history of automobiles and transportation dating back to the early 1900's.

{Frank Lloyd Wright's Filling Station}

Next week if you're looking for something to do the museum has special hours - open December 26 thru the 31st from 11-4 pm and the admission price is $10 ADULTS; $5 CHILD {6 TO 15}. You can also call ahead for a guided tour if you'd like. More information can be found here

Included here are some of the pictures I took while I was there. Another piece of Buffalo history that I'm happy I went to.

-B 

{being tourists in our own hometown}

{classic cars}

 

{a good looking bar used for private events}

Rochester Public Market

frm-mkt-6 It seems like it has been forever since my last blog post. I've put blogging on the back burner because my schedule has been crazy, but I'm hoping I can be more consistent on my posts again.

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A couple weeks ago I went back down the 90 to visit my friend Arica for her birthday in Rochester, while there, we had planned to go to the Rochester Public Market - it was on my end of summer bucket list and since I'd never been to that market before, I thought why not. The Market is huge and has amazing farmers and vendors to shop from!! I got avocados for $1!!! And a bundle of sun flowers for $4!

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{Beautiful flowers and vegetables. These vendors do it right!}

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It's definitely worth the while to take the hour or so drive to pay a visit on a Saturday morning if you can... the market won't disappoint you if you are a farmer market goer, it was a great suggestion from Arica!  Skip ahead to this past week where I ran into my friends from Fudge Factors and I was talking to them about this and they suggested I visit the market in North Tonawanda, saying it is a really nice one, probably the most similar to the one in Rochester. I'll have to add that to my places to visit and compare the two.

Until next time,

-B

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

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{crowd shot}

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{wine sampling}

Friday Finds!

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos} IMG_0956

{the Grove Juice Truck is by far one of my favorite food trucks in the area!}

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{Flying kites and hanging out with some of the best local businesses on Sunday was a highlight from this past week}

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{Yoga night success, a beautiful view of the diamond under the lights}

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{unique and pretty cool artwork inside the silos from Silo City}

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{I'm ready to work - inside a tour of Ralph Wilson Stadium this past week}

"Where Friends Come Together.."

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{hard hat ready!}

Last week I was able to take a tour of the Curtiss Hotel which sits on the corner of Franklin and Huron in Downtown Buffalo. Built in 1912 the hotel is being renovated and should be open in September. Taking this tour was pretty cool, the operators of this property {Mark Croce and his team} are offering free valet parking, smart cars for guests to use while they are in town {for free!}, a rooftop bar {OMG, the views are amazing!}, indoor and outdoor hot springs, coffee service, a 24 hour fitness center {for anyone to use or have a membership to} and a revolving bar and Chez Ami restaurant. Pricing will range from $190-$400 depending on room choice.

Being in a construction zone and seeing the work in progress was pretty cool. I liked it even more, when Conner said it is a place where anyone can go, you don't just have to be a hotel guest to be able to dine at the restaurant or grab a drink at one of the bars. Below are some pictures from the tour. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product in the Fall!

-B

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

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{view of the Curtiss Hotel from the outside}

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{main entrance off of Franklin}

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{inside of the reception area}

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{views from the revolving bar}

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{K. Sweet}

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{views from up on what will be the rooftop bar}

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{these windows are amazing}

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{6th floor views}

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{basement views - Danger}