The attack of the doctors, the wellness of Big Wheelie, and an Olmsted mystery explained - The Buffalo News
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The attack of the doctors, the wellness of Big Wheelie, and an Olmsted mystery explained

Back to the ’50s

Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps’ gig last week at M&T Plaza was all the sweeter because it showed how well Wheelie had recovered from a motorcycle accident. He looked hale and hearty, in his sleeveless biker outfit reading “Wheelie.” His daughter was in the crowd, with his little granddaughter. (Imagine being able to say that your grandfather is Big Wheelie.) Wheelie gloated about outliving his cellphone. “It went across two intersections and into a Family Dollar,” he said. Then he pulled out the ultimate prop, a black dial phone. “It’s bruised but still here.” He picked up the receiver with a flourish. “Hel-lo Baby!!” he howled, cuing the band for a new song. What a pro. No wonder County Executive Mark Poloncarz came out and proclaimed him Senior of the Month. “Do I look like a senior?” Wheelie yelled to his fans. “NO!” they yelled back. “I’m glad you said that,” Big Wheelie said. “But I’m not giving back this award.”

Medicine ball

It’s raining doctors. At 8 p.m. Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall, JoAnn Falletta is conducting the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra joined by the Doctors of the World Orchestra, 40 musician/physicians from around the world. Meanwhile, 60 medical students are arriving from Italy for D’Youville College’s annual Mazzotti Anatomy Conference. Friday, according to tradition, they celebrate their arrival with a pub crawl from Children’s Hospital up Elmwood Avenue, chaperoned by 20 professors who know their way around. They wind up at the History Museum’s Party at the Portico, taking place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and featuring Nelson Starr and the Benjamins. Want to meet the doctors-in-training? They’re hard to miss, said the History Museum’s Connie Caldwell. She laughs: “When you have 60 Italians walking down the street, that’s something you remember.”

A walk in the park

Did Frederick Law Olmsted never take little Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. promenading in the park? Because Buzz has noticed that at many Olmsted spaces – New York’s Central Park, Rochester’s zoo, and the National Zoo, to name a few – the famous promenades always go downhill. At first it’s pretty and fun. Olmsted knew his trees and shrubs. But it’s misery at the end when, hot, parched and with little kids in tow, you have to trudge back up. What was with that? We may have figured it out. Wikipedia tells us that in Central Park, wealthy walkers would get out of their carriages at the top of the walk, and be picked up at the bottom. Meaning, we were born in the wrong era. Either that, or Olmsted was in bed with the bottled water industry.

The buzz

Heading down the 190, Buzz became aware of traffic slowing, because of a big green object by the side of the road. Was it ... was it ... Yes! It was Lloyd’s Taco Truck. Had the salsa overheated? Or was this an impromptu drive-thru? (Not a bad idea, now that we think about it.) ... Buffalo’s Mass Mob idea is catching fire, and other towns are supersizing it. A crowd of 1,800 people turned out Sunday for a Mass Mob at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church in Detroit. The Buffalo Mass Mobsters’ next mob will be at 11 a.m. Mass Aug. 3 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 450 Abbott Road.


“We Buy Ugly Houses.”

– Sign tacked up near Delaware Avenue bus stop

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