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Too much pizza? Wings not hot enough? An international discussion in Buffalo

This Buffalo has wings

It’s always interesting to hear what outsiders think of Buffalo. AtBuffalo, the University at Buffalo alumni magazine, had the capital idea to get three international students together over sundaes at Parkside Candy to talk about their experiences at UB. The interview ran in the summer 2016 issue.

Moderator Jessica Kane asked the students if there was anything that people in the United States do that confused them.

Paula Elksne, an undergraduate student from Latvia, had a ready observation.

“I don’t understand why pizza is such a big thing; it’s everywhere,” she said.

“What?” Kane responded to the comment

“Pizza. Like for all student association events, it’s always free pizza and I’m like, ‘How is that a thing? Why is that so important?’” Elksne elaborated.

Devashish “Dev” Agarwal, from India seemed to agree.

“The first week of orientation we had pizza for, like, five days on a stretch and then I didn’t eat pizza for the whole semester because I was so tired,” Agarwal said. “I go back home, I’m in India for the second day, and my friend says, ‘Hey, Devashish, I’m celebrating my birthday and we’re meeting at Pizza Hut.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not coming. I’m done.’ We literally changed the venue because I was like, ‘I’m not eating pizza anymore.’”

Later in the interview, Kane asked the students what their impressions of Buffalo were before they arrived.

Jin Kim, who is from South Korea, had another observation.

“One more expectation before I come to Buffalo was that I thought I would be seeing more buffalos,” Kim said.

“The animal?” Kane followed.

“The place’s name is Buffalo,” Kim responded “I even didn’t know about the Buffalo wing, the salty and a little bit spicy sauce, I didn’t know that was from here. And that it’s good to eat.”

However, Agarwal said chicken wings don’t live up to the spicy food he loves to eat back home in India.

“I came here and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll eat hot wings,’ and then I was like, ‘Oh, no. I’m used to more. Come on, Buffalo, you can do better,’” he said.

We call that a challenge.

Drawing the beer line

When Community Beer Works wanted to sponsor an event at Larkinville for fans of the Tragically Hip to watch the broadcast from Canada of what is expected to be the band’s final concert, fans cheered the idea and then showed up in droves Saturday night.

But the cheering stopped amid complaints of poor audio quality, bad customer service and the broadcast being stopped before the show was over.

As a result, Community Beer Works has issued an apology and will refund money to unhappy fans.

“For those who didn’t have a good time – and there were many – we’ve offered a refund of their donation,” said Chris Smith, co-founder and vice president of the venue. “We love the band and we wanted to find a way to say goodbye. The music is part of who we are. We wanted to create a moment to share with as many Hip fans as we could, never with the intent of making money. We are heartbroken – we wanted to share in the moment, too.

To get a refund, people can email hiprefunds@communitybeerworks.com.

All proceeds from the $10 ticket were earmarked for the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital and Smith said the venue will replace any money lost to the fund because of ticket refunds.

“We understand people weren’t buying a ticket, they were making a donation. Since the experience wasn’t so pleasant, we want to make that right,” he said.

Some of the people who attended the event Saturday took to social media, including Facebook, to complain.

And their criticism wasn’t limited to the sound problems.

“Tonight’s show of Tragically Hip show total joke no sound, 45 min wait for beer,” one commenter said. “All these companies to promote their last show, and no respect to the fans or artist.”

Off Main Street is written by Tiffany Lankes with contributions from Stephen T. Watson and. Email: offmain@buffnews.com

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