Its ubiquitous name notwithstanding, Main Street is not the beating heart of downtown Buffalo. Delaware Avenue is. Its businesses, architecture and proximity to the Elmwood strip make it the true main street of Buffalo, and therefore, a great location for downtown celebrations, such as the annual Allentown Art Festival.
It's a lesson the organizers of the annual Taste of Buffalo have obviously learned, with their decision to move the gastronomic jamboree off Main Street and onto Delaware Avenue and around Niagara Square. For reasons both practical and aesthetic, it's a smart decision, one that can only bolster the festival.
As a matter of pragmatism, those who attend the festival do not like the destabilizing effect that the Main Street train tracks have on the precariously balanced samples of food they are carrying. What is more, Delaware Avenue is a wider street, providing greater elbow room to the ever-growing crowds that attend.
As much as anything, though, Delaware Avenue is simply a more satisfying place to be. It is the Buffalo that Buffalonians love best; the face it wants to show to the world. Other areas, including Elmwood, Hertel and Parkside, have their charms, but Delaware Avenue defines Buffalo best.
The star of the show, of course, is the food. Taste of Buffalo attracts dozens of restaurateurs, who set up booths to offer samples of their wares. It's a great way to check out restaurants you haven't yet tried, in a festive atmosphere that takes advantage of Buffalo's (usually) fine summer weather.
But, as any chef will tell you, presentation counts. By moving the festival to Delaware Avenue, organizers have taken a highlight of Western New York's summer and made it better.