Doors Open Buffalo

Yesterday with the talents of the Explore Buffalo staff and volunteers, Doors Open Buffalo took place. Offering inspiration and an appreciation for Buffalo’s unique history and architecture through free public access to significant building interiors.

From a visitor stand point I thought it was a great opportunity to visit historical buildings filled with beautiful architecture and so many stories. While walking thru the streets of downtown, it looked like hundreds of people took advantage of this great opportunity. While I didn’t get to visit every place on the list, the ones I did get o visit didn’t disappoint.

Kudos to Explore Buffalo and all the participating buildings for a great day!


above: my photos from Hutch Tech

above: my photos from the Avant Building and M&T Bank (formerly Buffalo Savings Bank)

above photos: DL&W

A Staple on the East Side of Buffalo


I said this in my blog post from 2015, the Broadway Market has been a staple in my childhood. Growing up on Fillmore my family and I would frequent the Market on what seemed to be a weekly basis stopping at the comic book stand (Blind Eddie’s) to pick up the latest Betty and Veronica comic on the corner of Fillmore and Broadway afterwards. Since moving to the suburbs in my junior high years we still would visit the Market but not as often. Fast forward to my adult life now and I visit it multiple times a year and with this week being Holy week I am there a couple times within just a few days.

Seeing the Market back in the 1980’s-1990’s and comparing it to now - my oh my how it has changed, I can only imagine how it was when it first opened. From being a place that people would make a part of there daily and weekly routines to now only visiting during the Easter season, it makes me thankful for the time I was able to see it really active.

The Market was created “As immigrants flocked to the east side of Buffalo in the late 1800’s. They looked for the continuation of old world customs in their new and unfamiliar environment. While they wanted to enter the mainstream of city life, they also sought to preserve their Eastern European traditions and heritage. The Broadway Market would prove to serve these needs quite well.” (The Broadway Market -History).

“Started by a group of citizens on a city donated parcel at 999 Broadway in 1888, the Broadway Market quickly became a community meeting place–a place ideal for combining business with socializing and for sharing with one another the latest in gossip and news from the old world. “ (The Broadway Market - History).

As people visit the Market during this week to pick up their traditional Easter pieces, it makes me think what is being done during the rest of the year to help activate the Market. I know last summer they tried to host a series of farmers markets, how successful was that I’m not quite sure. In a news piece Spectrum News posted on 4/14/19 it sounds like plans to make improvements are in the works and over the course of the next couple of years visitors should be able to see those improvements, hopefully calling people to visit more often than just during Holy week.

Visiting my friend Shanna in Milwaukee this past Fall she took us to Milwaukee Public Market - a gathering place where people can eat, get fresh food and even take a cooking class from time to time. To have something like that in Buffalo I think would be great and I think taking ideas from that Milwaukee Public Market and applying to the Broadway Market may be what it needs to reactivate and reinvigorate that area on Broadway and the Market in general. Right now in my opinion Its the dedicated vendors who have been there for decades and the families who are passing down there traditions to the younger generation that keep the Broadway Market thriving. Hopefully if the City invests in the East Side and allots money for improvements in the Market it will last for many more years to come, I guess only time will tell. Maybe its because its been a part of my life, but I feel that at the end of the day the elected officials need to invest more time and efforts in seeing the Market improve.

Lastly here is a shameless plug - follow me on Instagram as I visit the Market this week and come visit me on Monday, I’ll be one of the judges for Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa contest at the Market beginning at noon. Come join in the Dyngus Day festivities.


A special thank you to Aniela Baj from Council Member, Fillmore District David Franczyk’s office and Beverly McLean, President of the Friends of the Broadway Market District, for providing me with information for this piece.

The Buffalo Lighthouse

Being at the Outer Harbor for last few years, I decided this year for the end of season staff outing I wanted my staff to get something out of the Harbor (outside of just the programs and events we run) so I scheduled a private tour of the Buffalo Lighthouse with Mike Vogel.

We walked the property, learned about the history of the space and future plans. And at the end of the day we were able to experience a cool opportunity that provides much history about Buffalo.

I encourage anyone looking for something new to experience to look into the Buffalo Lighthouse Association. If you’d like to learn more about the 1833 Buffalo Lighthouse go to

Getting ready to climb the lighthouse!   Did you know the Buffalo Lighthouse is the oldest structures on the Great Lakes. Located at the foot of the Buffalo River.  Another fun fact - The Buffalo Lighthouse is the oldest still standing in its original location in the city of Buffalo. It is 60 feet tall and has an octagonal limestone shape.

Getting ready to climb the lighthouse!

Did you know the Buffalo Lighthouse is the oldest structures on the Great Lakes. Located at the foot of the Buffalo River.

Another fun fact - The Buffalo Lighthouse is the oldest still standing in its original location in the city of Buffalo. It is 60 feet tall and has an octagonal limestone shape.

(Photo on the left) Group Shot (missing part of our staff)

(Center photo) City of Buffalo Shots

(Photo on the right) Oh hey guys!

Featured Exhibition: Robert Indiana: A Sculpture Retrospective


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.


TWO - Robert Indiana’s Favorite Number


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.


{folding table & chairs}

{Without Beginning & Without End}

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

{Takashi Murakami}

{Mirrored Room}

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!


{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}



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}

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.


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


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.


{being tourists in our own hometown}

{classic cars}


{a good looking bar used for private events}

Jack Craft Fair

IMG_1393 A couple weeks ago I attended the Jack Craft Fair at the Central Terminal. Being my second time attending the event, I was looking forward to seeing some of the Etsy shop owners face to face. While sometimes ordering online is nice, I am a fan of shopping face to face and meeting with the owners. Vendors lined the main floor of the Central Terminal with amazing pieces of art, furniture, jewelry and more. There was a live band, a DIY section and food and drink available. Even though it was quite warm inside, the backdrop of the Central Terminal was quite stunning. I've been inside that building a number of times and each time I'm there it still amazes me how beautiful of a place it is, its also nice to see it being used for events.

Below are some of my pictures from the event.





{Live band and line up of events}



{view of the main lobby full of vendors}


From The Top Looking Down


{the first view from the tops of the spiral staircase}

I'm a big fan of learning about the history and people in the Western New York area. I'm also a big fan of Explore Buffalo . They provide some really cool tours in and around the Buffalo area and yesterday my Dad and I went on one of them; the Silo City Vertical Tour. Different from the walking Silo tour, you get to go up inside these grain elevators and take in the beautiful views, all while learning about the history of the silos, how they impacted much of the Country back in the 1900's and what the plans are for them now {some are still being used today}. What we thought would be a public tour turned out to be a private tour as me and my Dad were the only two signed up. It worked out really nicely {in our favor}. Larry was are Docent and he was AWESOME! He spoke about the history, the people and told stories making it a one of a kind tour. For me, a person who is deathly scared of heights I am proud of myself for overcoming my fear to go up hundreds of stairs to the top to see the inside of these beautiful silos and to take in some of the most beautiful views of Western New York I have ever seen.

I have been to Silo City before, but to get an in depth tour of this particular area and to learn about the history was one of the best things I've done this summer and I highly recommend anyone looking for something to do to check out the list of dates this is offered. It was one of the best tours I've been on a while.


{Photos are all Just a Blonde in Buffalo Photos}


{We walked across that}


{A beautiful view}


{Inside the walkway to the Perot Malthouse}


"Where Friends Come Together.."


{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!


{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}


{view of the Curtiss Hotel from the outside}


{main entrance off of Franklin}


{inside of the reception area}


{views from the revolving bar}


{K. Sweet}


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


{these windows are amazing}


{6th floor views}


{basement views - Danger}

Touring the Fontana Boathouse

IMG_8564This past Saturday my Mom and I attended Explore Buffalo's tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse. For Explore Buffalo pass holders the tour was free and for non members it was $10. You learned about the building structure, how the Boathouse was brought to Buffalo and what the building is used for today. Saturday was a little chilly, but the views by the water were spectacular. IMG_8596

{view of Lake Erie from inside upstairs}


{Outside on the balcony}

The tour was approximately one hour in length which for me was perfect because sometimes if tours are to long I kind of space out. I learned about a little history, got to take some nice pictures and spent a nice afternoon with my Mom at a place I haven't been to yet. If you've been to any of Frank Lloyd Wrights other buildings in the area {Darwin Martin House, Graycliff Estate} then you should put this one on your list of places to see this summer.


{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}


{it wouldn't be complete without a selfie of my Mom and me}


{Outside view}


{Downstairs storage}




65 Niagara Square - Buffalo, NY

IMG_8361 A few weeks back I took a {Free, donation based} tour of City Hall on my lunch break. It was hosted by Preservation Buffalo Niagara  and it was one of the best tours I have taken. Not only did I learn about the inside and outside of the historic building, but I also learned about the history of Buffalo, the surrounding buildings and the group got to stop in the Mayor's Office, Council Chambers and Observation Deck. Below are some pictures I took while on the tour. If you ever have the opportunity to take this tour I highly suggest you do. For a list of dates in the month of April click here.


{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}


{Council Chambers ceiling}



















Broadway Market: Checklist of Items

pussy willows {Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

Its the busiest time of the year at the Broadway Market and people from all over Western New York and surrounding areas pay a visit to pick up their traditional polish favorites and more. I usually go on my shopping trip with the family on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. It gets a bit crazy in their, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Below are my top 7 items I pick up every year on my visit. If you haven't been yet and are planning a trip there, enjoy!


  1. Pussy Willow
  2. Butter Lamb
  3. Polish Sausage
  4. Pierogi
  5. Wooden Polish Eggs
  6. Horseradish
  7. Placzek with NO raisins



A Nice Way to Watch A Film

IMG_7758 {Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}


Did you know that when Shea's opened in 1926 it was actually built to show silent films?!?  Sunday my Mom and I attended the silent film Sherlock Holmes there. When I first got the tickets I thought it was a play, but then my Mom was quick to point out that it was a silent film {note to myself to read better} no words just a pianist playing scores throughout the films 90 minutes. I was a little skeptical, I'm not going to lie. I was thinking I would want to leave halfway through the film, but it was actually amazing! It was like I experienced something from back in time - a black and white film with no words, just music. It was a nice change of scenery and something different. I highly recommend attending a short film at Shea's if you ever can. It makes for a nice indoor activity to do when the weather isn't so nice out outside.


{A brief welcome and introduction before the film started}

Oh and the best part - it was free! A free film in a beautiful building that celebrated their 90th anniversary this weekend. That's pretty cool Buffalo. Oh and for those who like popcorn and candy to munch on when watching a movie - Shea's had their concession stands open, selling sweet treats {the popcorn and twizzlers cost $8 - that's cheaper than a movie ticket now a days}. Just putting things in perspective, its nice to have a beautiful venue like this offer nice {casual} events like this.


For a calendar of events taking place at Shea's click here


City of Light

FullSizeRender (10)

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photo}

My friend Jen and I were one of the 8,000 some people that attended the illumination event at Canalside last night. While it was a neat experience and nice to see I am going to be honest and say I wasn't "wowed" by the event. Leading up to the event you saw it all over social media and the news that it was going to be this big event and it was {I mean 8,000 people is a lot of people} but it wasn't as lively as I thought it would be.

grain elevators

{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photo}

I will probably get some people who disagree with me, but I'm just being honest. For all the hype that built around it I guess you could say I was expecting more. More of what, I don't know.. I thought the music was mediocre and maybe I wasn't as patient to see the illuminations appear and change. Yes, it was nice to see lights on the grain elevators, yes I think it was cool that we had people and companies step up to make this happen and yes, I think having that many people in our community come out to attend the event was beyond great, but I think I would enjoy the experience of seeing the lights just as much on any other night. Maybe I'm being to critical, but that was my take on the City of Light.


{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photo}


Exploring the Canal and Caves in Lockport

FullSizeRender Last weekend Kate and Brian took a tour of the Lockport Caves with me. The tour was $13 for adults and 75 minutes long {tours run multiple times during the day}. It was a walking tour that went to the Lockport Canals before heading to the caves. It was a nice a morning learning about what the canals were used for in the mid 1800's to 1900's. It was also nice to see out-of-towners on the tour with us. Below are some photos and fun facts I took away from it.



{Kate and Brian learning more about the canals}

caves 4

{Inside the caves}

caves 3

lockport caves

{Canal way}

caves 5


Fun facts:

These are man made caves The canal is 363 miles long Lockport has Locks 35 and 34 It took from 1817-1825 to complete Powered by gravity and is an active spill way Holly Manufacturing Factory - Birsell Holly invented the fire hydrant {First company powered by the caves 10 stories high and 3 city blocks long} Richmond Factory was the 2nd building built off the canal


caves 2


Exploring the Central Terminal

3rd floor When I saw that the Buffalo Central Terminal Restoration Corporation was hosting a tour of the building I had to jump on it. Growing up on Fillmore, the area holds a special place in my heart despite the decline in the neighborhood. It's hard to imagine that a building that beautiful once was booming with business during World War II. My father always talks about how my grandfather would use the trains to travel off to war and how he and my uncle would play roller hockey in the lobby.

Going on this tour gave me a better understanding of how the building was utilized during its hey day and how horrible the City of Buffalo's people in power can be at times. I also learned its those advocates and volunteers who have a lot of passion for the Central Terminal who keep it going and I can only hope one day the building is put to good use again.



Here are some facts I took away from the tour:

  • The Central Terminal process began in the 1880s. It took 43 years (1925) for NY Central and the City of Buffalo to agree on a location.
  • The bones of the structure are made of steel with classic brick art deco. Every 5th row has a row of smaller bricks for structural support. You just don't see buildings built like this anymore
  • The station is 85 years old
  • It took 2 years to complete  the entire building
  • More parking than anywhere else in the city, because it has underground space
  • The Central Terminal was a 15 million dollar project - $5 million went into building the building and $10 million went into reworking train tracks
  • Chicago was the top city, followed by Buffalo and then NYC being third as cities to have the most train travel
  • June 23 1929 was opening day just a few short months before the Great Depression hit
  • At its prime there were 250 trains coming into the Central Terminal a day (that's every six minutes) and 3200 passengers daily
  • WW II is when the terminal was used to its capacity
  • There are 17 floors in the tower with the 17th being a water tank
  • 1500 people worked out of that building, mostly in the railroad industry
  • On a good day you can see the Terminal from 15 miles away
  • In 1999 the tower was re-lite for people to see
  • There are multiple buildings within the main tower - some of those buildings were for electrical control towers, the power house, coat shop, mail and baggage and REA platforms
  • The U.S. Postal Service used railroads the most
  • In 1952 NY Central put the Terminal up for sale. It  dwindled down from 100 trains a day to  50 trains to 8 trains a day
  • There was a belt line in the City up to Toronto
  • The main lobby holds 9 ticket stations and really no benches - the concept was to get people in and out in of the building
  • There were a maze of tunnels underground
  • Last train out of the Central Terminal was in 1979
  • The City of Buffalo allowed the building to go to salvage. The Jimmy Griffin administration wanted to tear the building down
  • In 1997 the Central Terminal Restoration bought the building
  • Tony Fedele was a great owner for the Terminal and lived above the lobby for the 5-6 years while he was the owner. The City raised the property taxes each and then let the building fall apart with graffiti and broken windows.
  • After Tony Fedele's ownership, Thomas Telesco purchased the building for salvage rights and sold artifacts to multiple places including overseas, leaving a good number of the original pieces still missing from the building to this day.
  • Outside of the train travel industry another industry taking place in the Trolley Lobby was the Mafia and that was led by Council member Montana

To see a list of upcoming events that are taking place at the Terminal or to learn how you can help out, visit their website at



memorial drive