7. 1. 6.

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When I began this blog of mine over six years ago I never imagined the amount of love and passion I would have for the city that I am so lucky to call home. Having always loved this region I didn’t think it would be possible to find deeper meaning, deeper roots and deeper passions that I have come to find, but it has happened and there is so, so much to be grateful for in our region.

Since it is “716 day” I thought I would share my list of favorite (favorite!!) restaurants, venues, activities, events, and people I like to follow. I know I missed A LOT on this list (it’s so hard to think of it all), but take a look. Let me know what are some of your favorite things in the 716 - places you like to go, events you like to attend and people you like to follow.

Western New York may be a small region compared to big cities, but it has a ton of talent, pride and passion to share with visitors and those that are lucky to call it home.

Favorites broken down by category:

Brewery: Resurgence – Have you checked out their new location at 55 Chicago? If not, definitely put it on your list of things to do

Restaurants:

  • Southtowns: Alchemy Wine Bar/The Grange

  • Downtown Restaurants: Marble + Rye, Hearth + Press (especially before a show at Sheas), Hydraulic Hearth (love their outdoor patio in the summertime), Cantina Loco is my favorite spot for guac, and chips and they are my favorite spot for margaritas. Love Wasabi on Elmwood for Sushi

  • Northtowns: Share on Main Street, TCB on Transit Road and Greens on Transit

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Cocktails – Duende at Silo City is a pretty cool, chill place, Angelica Tea Room, Just Vino on Main Street, Blackbird Cider on Chandler Street, The Terrace at Delaware Park is a beautiful spot as well, those views of Hoyt Lake are BEAUTIFUL.

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Dog Park: Hands down my Harlie girl loves the Knox Farm – whether its running around at the dog park or walking the trails it’s a happy place for her

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Workout Spot: #REVLIFE is the best life. Any class at Revolution Buffalo is sure to be a fun time. It is my happy place. A place where I take in all the positive vibes that I can. I also love Love in Motion yoga. Kate and Kath bring those feel good vibes with every flow

Outdoor spots: Hands down The Outer Harbor is my favorite waterfront spot and a spot that I never get sick of. Whether it’s a run, walk, the views or visiting Tifft Nature Preserve it has a special place in my heart. Delaware Park and Artpark are also places I love to visit outdoors

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Fun things to do: A fishing excursion with Brookdog Fishing is a blast and I highly recommend for anyone (at any fishing level). The Buffalo Pedal Tours are so much fun, Hatchets & Hops is also a fun place to check out as well as the Silo City tours with Explore Buffalo

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Coffee Shops: Remedy House, Tipico, Public and Overwinter

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Favorite places: The Buffalo Zoo (that’s a given; I mean if you know me you know how much I love animals (more than some people)). The Aquarium is another favorite spot. The Science Museum, kayaking, The Buffalo Central Terminal and the Broadway Market

Shops I love to visit: Anna Grace on Elmwood, Mod Nos on Hertel, Winkler & Samuels Wine Purveyors at 500 Seneca, Pegs Hardware

My spots for wings: Nine Eleven Tavern in South Buffalo is a hole in the wall, but the wings are one of the best in town (in my opinion), I am also a fan of Carbone’s on South Park and Duffs

Favorite social media accounts to follow/motivate me, locally here in Buffalo: Buffalo Boss Babes, Christy at Wild Blossom Hollow, Lloyds, The Buffalo Zoo, Adventures are Waiting (Jess Kelly), BKind City, We Must Dash, Indie Twenty (Rachel), Love in Motion Yoga, Balanced Bright Life (Jessica Reagan), West End Interiors, Yoga Steve (Steve Procknal), and Lauren from Rev @liittlelauren

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Favorite summer time events: Jack Craft Fair and new this year – Door Open Buffalo/Explore Buffalo, I always try and visit Shakespeare at Delaware Park too, it’s a classic summertime activity in Buffalo. Wines in the Wild at the Zoo is also one I always go to. For me being an event planner I feel like I attend a lot of events not just plan a lot so when a new event is created or its an event I have never been to – that excites me more than a recurring event, unless it has “wowed” me.

My bucket list of things to do before summer is over: Visit the new Explore & More, A hot air balloon ride (this has been on my bucket list for years), learn/try to paddle board – all those years at the Harbor and I never had a chance to do it then, visit Shirt Factory in Medina, and take a class with Ren at Rise Fitness.

-B




Polar Bites Tonight!

Tonight the Buffalo Zoo along with the Pro Zoo Board will be hosting Polar Bites, the annual winter fundraiser for the Zoo. Tickets are still available at the door, so come sample some delicious foods from some of your favorite restaurants in town. See you there!

World Elephant Day

Today is one of my top 5 favorite days of the year, I know to some they may think it's crazy, but elephants are one of my favorite animals. They are extremely intelligent and have a great memory that spans over years. They form deep family bonds and are led by the matriarch - being the oldest and often largest female of the herd. They display different emotions - anger, play, joy and grief. They are the largest land animal in the world and there are two different species African and Asian Elephants. The Buffalo Zoo has two Asian Elephants - Surapa and Jothi. You can visit them in the elephant yard and house today for some fun activities taking place for World Elephant Day.

-B

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{my trip to see the elephants at the Buffalo Zoo a couple years ago, this is Surapa inside the elephant house}

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{her keepers doing enrichment activities with her}

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{me and my niece with her}

 

 

 

 

Dancing with Wolves

  13434682_10154302908852372_5390534124490270658_n[2] Friday evening myself and Pro Zoo Board Officers attended the Buffalo Zoo's Catillion. This years theme was Dancing with Wolves. The Catillion is the Buffalo Zoo's Black Tie Gala put on by the Buffalo Zoological Society's Board of Directors. The evening was quite nice, the drinks and food were good and the laughs and entertainment post program were even better.

I haven't attended a Zoo event that I wasn't volunteering or working at in a long time, so it was really nice to be back on the other side for one night. The Buffalo Zoo is one of the best places in town, if you ask me. To be able to support it and help raise awareness about the animals and their mission are why I volunteer there . Below are some pictures of the fun night out.

-B

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{Dancing}

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{Group Shot}

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Put Me In The Zoo

One thing I love to do is volunteer and over the last year and a half I have spent some of my volunteer time with the Buffalo Zoo. It is one of my favorite places to go. Not only is it a great place for me to take my niece and nephew, but if I find myself needing to just disconnect with "life" I enjoy walking around the zoo grounds watching the animals. On Friday I was able to meet up with some Zoo Keepers and ask them a lot of questions in regards to their roles and responsibilities as a Zoo Keeper. It was pretty cool to hear them talk about the animals and the personalities each one of them has. Even with the current construction going on at the Zoo, there are plenty of activities and events taking place and new exhibits to look forward to in the upcoming months.

-B

Here are some of my photos that I took from Friday. We stopped at the Elephant House, Sea Lion Exhibit and Tiger/Lion House.

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{Mindy with Jothi and Surapa}

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{Dallas the Sea Lion}

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{Lioness}

Animals!

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The Buffalo Zoo and Aquarium of Niagara Falls are two of my favorite things in Western New York. I love animals and to be able to learn more about them and visit them in our area is pretty cool. Some cities aren't lucky to have a zoo and/or aquarium, so when I hear some people say these places aren't as great as other big cities, we should be thankful we even have any in "our backyard." If you take the time the next time you visit the zoo or aquarium you will see they actually have more to offer than you think.

-B

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Friday Favorites!

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{I'm looking at you}

This past week has been a crappy one for me to be honest. I've been in a funk and just can't seem to get out of it. I don't know if others go through times when they just need to "refocus" and reprioritize their goals, but that's where I'm at right now and its frustrating. Even though I haven't been in the best of moods, Tuesday I spent my afternoon at the Zoo helping put auction items together for their upcoming Polar Bites event. I took a break to go see Tiberius, the new male lion, but the two females were out instead and let me tell you they scared me a little {look at the picture above}. It's childish for an almost 30 year old to say this, but just being at the Zoo for a little bit this week took my mind off of things I just didn't want to think about. I  think its important when you are in a funk, to go out and do something you enjoy, whatever it is, because sometimes you just need to get away and enjoy some fresh air.

Until next week! Have a great weekend!

-B

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{Just hanging out on a Tuesday afternoon}

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{Walking into the zoo, one of the first animal I saw was this Monkey}

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{The beautiful Ellicott Square Building}

{Women Who Move Buffalo} Katie Jordan at the Buffalo Zoo

IMG_3603 This week's Woman Who Moves Buffalo is person who is not only a colleague of mine, she is a friend and mentor and overall wonderful person, her name is Katie Jordan. Katie is the Senior Events Director at the Buffalo Zoo and not only shares a passion for animals, but she loves Buffalo!

Katie graduated from New York University in 2008 with a bachelor degree in Media, Culture and Communications.  She didn't really have a clear idea of what she wanted her career path to be until she started working with a small firm in New York during her senior year. It was made up of two women who had just started an event business in Manhattan. Since it was only a two person company at the time, she was able to really dive into the business and get some great experience out of it. They relied on her to be part of their team and also gave her the creative freedom to bring her own ideas to the table. Through this, she found her path and learned to love being a part of the events world.

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Katie has always been someone who looks to better the community and really wanted to come back to Buffalo and use her career to do so. "Non-profit work isn't glamorous, but the end result is definitely worth it. To see your work benefit someone or something really puts everything into perspective." To have your work mean something is very important to me. Animal conservation is very important to me, and working for the Buffalo Zoo has given me the opportunity to use my skills and expertise to help a cause I am very close to. I am able to raise funds for the Zoo, while also educating and providing awareness to the Buffalo community about why the Zoo is so important to our city and to the survival of precious species around the World."

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Other than seeing her work mean something, having a job that allows Katie to work closely with some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth is incredible. From being able to feed elephants, getting kissed by a sea lion, working up close with a baby rhino or introducing a baby polar bear to the public, her job is unlike any other and she couldn't be more grateful for it.  Each day is unique and she never knows what to expect.

When I asked her what she loves about Buffalo this is what she said: "When I moved to New York City, I didn't expect to come back to Buffalo so soon. After living in Manhattan, I appreciated what I had left in Buffalo right away. Unlike other cities, Buffalo is a place where life long friends can be found on any given day. I've learned this first hand and can thank community spirit and friendliness for it. Not only are great things on the horizon for Buffalo as a whole, but more and more people are recognizing that the positives are outweighing the negatives in our city, and that is something to be proud of."  

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So working with the Zoo is a pretty neat gig and has a lot of memorable moments, but for Katie she says, BuffaLoveFest, {which she created in 2013 along with a team of community leaders} would have to be her best event/most proudest moment so far. "We wanted to have an event that celebrated everything we love about our city, at the most unique venue in town, the Buffalo Zoo. I really wanted to take advantage of the "BuffaLove" movement so we gathered a group of popular food trucks, Buffalo themed artisans, Buffalo trivia and more."  If you've attended BuffaLoveFest, you've seen tents around the Zoo including a variety of locally crafted beers and entertainment acts (rest in peace Lance Diamond). In it's inaugural year, this event brought in over 1,800 people and raised more than $30,000 for the Buffalo Zoo. This was above and beyond Katie's expectations, but once again proved to her that Buffalo is a supportive community. "A lot of hard work, sweat and even some tears went in to this event, but it was all worth it in the end."  Now Katie and her team are headed into the 3rd annual BuffaLoveFest planning and the event seems to be growing with even more support each year.

Anyone who works in the event business knows that you never stop working. You are always looking for new ideas or trying to make something bigger and better. The events business is demanding since things are always changing and you are always planning ahead and rarely living "in the moment." Because of this, Katie doesn't get to attend as many other events or fundraisers run by organizations as she would like. She would love to go out and support more organizations and check out what they are doing because there is some great work out there that she would like to support.

Overall, Katie is a driving force for a lot of events and activities that take place at the zoo. Some of the most popular being Polar Bites {coming up on Feb. 19} and Wines in the Wild {July 22}. If you ever go to the Zoo or attend one of these events and see Katie make sure to stop and say hi to her! Thank you Katie, for letting me share your story and for all that you do  in our community and for Buffalo's Wildest Place in Town.

{Fun Facts about Katie}

  1. I have coached women's basketball at Amherst, which is my Alma mater, for 5 seasons.
  2. I started dog sitting over 10 years ago and now "pup-sit" over 30 dogs each year.
  3. I live in North Buffalo with my two rescued cats, Agnes and Arlene.
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