Buzz got caught by our Pilates teacher at the Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival holding a beer and a cannoli. Since then she has heaped on us something like 1,000 crunches. But it was worth it to be part of the Italian Festival Feeding Frenzy. One special was: "Buy 6 Cannoli, Get One Free." Gabel's ran out of wine. And where did we dine? Like everyone else, at the booth run by Lorigo's Meating Place, which undersold everyone. Everything there -- a huge sausage, a pound of pasta fagioli or delicious potato-and-sausage stew -- was $3. Mangia! Good thing they left the real bargains -- buck-a-pound mozzarella, 50-cent frozen pies -- at home in their Grant Street shop. We would have needed the National Guard.
The Fab Five
The Beatles' ties to Italian culture are many and obvious. There's "The Beatles in Italy," the rare Parlophone album. And the great 1965 concert in Genoa. (One Italian reviewer, translated by Yahoo!, said of the Beatles bow: "They were turned towards the public with a deep ducking.") Mindful of this history, Buzz braved the rain Saturday to hear the Buffalo group Beatlemagic at the Italian Festival. We loved them! They talked in Liverpudlian accents throughout the sodden set. John said: "Those standing up, clap your hands. The others just eat your pasta fagioli." And when someone yelled, "I love you, Ringo!," Ringo didn't miss a beat. "One of my fans," he said. But wait. What was with that guy on tambourine? One listener cracked: "He must be Pete Best."
In a way, we hate seeing those blue toll booths go. They have such a Cold War look. You expect Khruschev to stick his head out of one of them. Luckily, apparently free from destruction are those nostalgic green signs by the side of the Thruway: "CAR PHONES, DIAL 911." Ha, ha! Does anything bring back the '80s and '90s like a big, bulky car phone? And they've even got the word "dial"! Watching a movie from the late 20th century, Buzz laughed with delight and derision when Anne Archer picked up a big car phone. Our advice to moviemakers: Avoid technology. Otherwise, you'll look dated before you know it.
Buzz delights in the recent capture of the Buffalo graffiti vandals who signed themselves HIM, KORPS! and WORM. We say, make them clean, preferably with a toothbrush, all the buildings they damaged. Better still, let's bring back the stocks, and have them sit there in the public square, so the rest of us can spray paint them. Ha, ha! But let's sober up here. The war is not won. Still at large in Amherst is the notorious spray-painter whose infamous tag, "GARAGE SALE, 6/8 - 6/9 ," we saw spray-painted this week on a large piece of cardboard at Hopkins and Klein. Over a month after the specified dates! How does Amherst stand for this?
Observing the operatic scenario at Salvatore's Italian Gardens, Buzz wonders: If Russ Salvatore ever opens a new restaurant, could we be looking at a reuse for one of those old churches the diocese is abandoning? ... Hear Us Roar: The sign on the door of the Niawanda Park ladies' room reads: "WOMAN."
"We haven't caught that Stanley fellow yet, but we will."
-- Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, at Chautauqua, lamenting the Sabres' Stanley Cup loss