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Smoke and mirrors

Buzz doesn't smoke, but for months, we've been grappling with a question that smolders like the end of a Camel. Now that bars have to deal with that non-smoking rule, everything seems so quiet. Where has the party gone? Last weekend, we found out. We popped into the chic Dakota Grill's Cigar Bar on Friday night. We couldn't believe our eyes -- or nose! A woman was at the mic righteously belting "Stop in the Name of Love." Guys were shouting and jostling, just like they used to at the Lafayette Tap Room when Johnny "Clyde" Copeland played there. Plus, we had to put our clothes out later on our porch railing to air them out, which we haven't had the pleasure of doing in years. That old time rock 'n' roll lives on! Only now, it's got itself smart new digs.

To the point

Main Street in University Heights now enjoys the unique position that used to belong to the Kensington Expressway. It's the construction project we can't imagine being finished in our lifetimes. Because of the inconvenience, businesses on the strip are apparently allowed to place signs in the road. Most eloquent is the Steer's sign. It reads simply: "Brake for a beer."

City of good neighbors

So your neighbors blast classic hits all day, their car alarm goes off every hour and they keep tires on their lawn. The good news: You could be $100,000 richer! (The bad news: Your neighbors would be $100,000 richer too. Grrrr...) Here's the deal. TBS, an L.A. production company, is casting a reality show, "Love Thy Neighbor." Wisely, they figure Buffalo will have what they want, which is colorfully warring neighbors. "We are not looking for negativity, animosity or hatred," says TBS' Jennifer Lakin. Which rules most of us out, but just in case it doesn't, here are the rules: You have to live in houses, not apartments. Families should live next door and have at least two kids over 10. And here's one more money-making opportunity: Find the two families that are chosen, and you'll be awarded $50,000. Get on this, everyone! Call (800) 605-5062, or check out

Such sweet sugar

God, give us the wisdom to grow fat gracefully. Bring us, in short, to Butterwood Desserts, the chic little sugar factory in Williamsville. A friend stopped in for coffee and a tiny pastry -- what amounted, really, to takeout. She asked for milk for her coffee. And the waitress, instead of handing her a plastic thingie of Coffee Rich, poured milk into a tiny pitcher and set it next to the cup. Then she arranged a little napkin alongside it. "You're going through so much trouble," our friend said. Smoothly, the waitress responded: "What good is dessert if it's not properly served?"

The buzz

Who can imagine a name cooler than Django? The great guitarist Django Reinhardt came up with a close second -- Babik, the name he gave his son. Buffalonians may now welcome Babik, a trio of two guitars and a stand-up bass. They play that Django blend of jazz, gypsy music and Parisian swing Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. at the Allen Street Hardware Company -- where, we might add, Latin jazz is featured on Thursday nights. ... Is Django Reinhardt any relation to the Buffalo rock 'n roll Reinhardts? Someone has to ask.


"Holy Smoke!"

-- New York Post's headline to story on the papal election