Zumba in the park, Formal Fridays at the bank, and the rockets’ and dietitians’ red glare - The Buffalo News

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Zumba in the park, Formal Fridays at the bank, and the rockets’ and dietitians’ red glare

Dancing queen

Wednesday, Buzz joined the big crowd that turned out for the free Zumba class held weekly at 7 p.m. in Niawanda Park, courtesy of the Buffalo Athletic Club. What fun! The beat’s not as deafening as indoors, so you can lose your pounds but keep your hearing. There is the added athletic challenge of uneven ground. (“Watch out for the hole,” a neighbor called over.) Plus, you get new motivations. One was – aaaiieee! – an audience. There’s entertainment in the park, and it’s you! The other was that harbinger of hipness, a Lloyd Taco Truck. Got to replace those lost pounds – so we can do it all over again next week!

A formal affair

Last week Buzz floated jazz singer Diane Armesto’s idea of Formal Fridays, as opposed to Casual Fridays. Now we find that they exist! We heard from software engineer Carl Bender of a group of gentlemen at Manufacturers and Traders Trust (let’s use M&T Bank’s formal name). “I started it a few years back when working on the Brokerage side of M&T, just by wearing a shirt and tie when they started allowing jeans on Friday,” Bender emailed Buzz. “I’ve heard that it’s really picked up over there.” Meanwhile, in his new department, Formal Fridays are catching on. “There’s a handful of us here in Central Technology who do it now, but there are about 10 who participate sporadically,” Bender wrote. Among them is one woman. “She’s having a blast with it.” Bender laughs about the questions with which puzzled Buffalonians pepper the formally clad: “Do you have an interview today?” or “What’s the big occasion”? He has an answer ready. “We ask everyone if they want to join in the fun.”

Sparks flying

Was this the scolding-est Independence Day or what? Dietitians nixed our potato salad and hot dogs. The radio cautioned against sparklers and firecrackers. But darn, those Canalside fireworks made up for it. Downtown Buffalo was like New York City, with traffic and blaring horns – and with good reason. Days ahead of time, people were buzzing about these fireworks, how because they were sponsored by Russ Salvatore, they’d be more extravagant than ever before. And sure enough! Salvatore did honor to his name, which means “savior.” He saved us from an awful lot of killjoys.

The buzz

Kaisertown, once again, missed the memo about backyard fireworks. A friend there reports: “If Iraq had half the firepower that my neighbor launched last night, they wouldn’t have had to ask the U.S. for help.” ... Seen at the Broadway Market, eating breakfast at the tables where the old men play cards: the Buffalo Zoo’s Donna Fernandes. Good for her! We look forward to jostling her at the fish counter.


“Declare your independence from high prices.”

– Fourth of July ad on the radio

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