James E. Brennan - The Buffalo News

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James E. Brennan


Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The bows, ribbons, scissors and brightly colored paper sit on a little bedroom table waiting for the First Lady to continue wrapping her Christmas presents. It’s a sentimental peek into the holiday preparations of Eleanor Roosevelt at Springwood, the lifelong home of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park, about 5½ hours from Buffalo. FDR’s Georgian Colonial-style house is …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

If you love food — eating it, cooking it and tasting it, right where it’s grown — a trip to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, may be your perfect getaway. “The CIA is the Harvard of cooking schools,” explained Kenneth Jones, a student chef from East Aurora. It’s also a gastronomical mecca for people who love to dine and an outlet for hom…

Buffalo Magazine

Slowly and quietly, the monks of the Abbey of the Genesee walk to shiny wooden choir stalls for daily prayer. Some are younger, while many are older with an average age of about 65. Some require canes and walkers and almost all wear long white robes with black scapulars draped over their shoulders. The monks belong to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, c…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

Vacation minutes are precious, especially when you’re seeking a salubrious escape from cold, gray skies and the unpleasantries of polar vortices. Travelers don’t want to waste any time on exhausting airport layovers, chasing lost luggage, rushing to catch connecting flights or missing them altogether when bad weather cripples a stopover city. To save time and avoid some…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

Just 222 steps from Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store, is the Silent Night Chapel, where nothing is for sale. Away from the hurly-burly of holiday commerce, the peaceful chapel in Frankenmuth, Mich., is a replica of the original church in Oberndorf, Austria, where “Silent Night” was composed in 1818. The lyrics to “Silent Night” are pos…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

Many visitors have a story about a bear encounter during a national park vacation. In my family’s travels, we’ve had a couple of them. Our first bear sighting came during a hike in Yosemite National Park in California. My son was in charge of making lunch, so he spread a walloping gob of peanut butter on our PB&Js. I stuffed them in my backpack and we set out across…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

A massive blizzard blasts the East Coast, blanketing airports, train stations, bus depots and highways with two feet of snow. Thousands are stranded as planes, trains and buses are halted by shelter-in-place orders. Weary passengers queue in long lines at ticket counters. Airline call centers are constantly busy and travel sites are jammed with anxious inquiries. Folks …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

When the last dancer has stepped off the floor at Vinyl Night Club and the final pint has been poured at J.D. Oxford’s Pub, Rochester millennials look for the ultimate late night food. And what fills the bill — and their stomachs — is a local culinary specialty: the “garbage plate.” But these piled-high plates are not just for hungry 20-somethings; they’re just as popul…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

There may be no better bargain than travel to Washington, D.C.  Filled with museums, galleries and memorials – most of which are free – it’s an accessible and educational getaway, especially for enthusiasts of American history, art and science. And at a 7- to 8-hour drive from Buffalo (or a flight of less than an hour), getting there is easy and affordable. While the te…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

On a snowless evening, the Spirit of Christmas Past rustles in the stillness of a restored village green. It flickers in the candlelight filtering through wavy glass windows in historic homes. It glistens in the elegant crystal chandeliers and polished brass fixtures of the Governor’s Palace. This is Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg. Today, the one-time capital of …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

One of American literature’s most beloved tales of RV travel is John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley: In Search of America. In this 1960 travelogue, the Nobel Prize-winning author and his poodle, Charley, take a road trip in a truck camper around the United States that included a stop in Niagara Falls. In one chapter, he describes neighbors looking over his RV: “I s…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

What better reason for a road trip then to satisfy your sweet tooth? The crisp crunch of a fresh-picked apple, the allure of pancakes smothered in maple syrup or the taste of a strawberry dipped in melted chocolate — these are the mouth-watering mile markers along the Finger Lakes Sweet Treat Trail. Meandering through Cayuga County, the trail is a self-guided tour th…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

After the final blaze of glory from the fireworks, lasers and 200,000 shimmering white lights draped over Cinderella’s Castle, the dazzled holiday crowd at Walt Disney World slowly begins to exit. As they stroll down Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom, the sounds of Manheim Steamroller’s pumped-up holiday tunes fill the air. The stores are decorated with wreaths, …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

Looking for a novel way to spend a night in Toronto? Many of the city’s top family attractions offer sleepover options you (and the kids) won’t soon forget. Sleep with the fishes Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada offers an overnight adventure called “Sleep with Sharks,” where families can spread their sleeping bags out in a 315-foot-long acrylic tunnel under the Dangerous Lago…

AUBURN – Passion is one of the main ingredients in the creamy delights crafted along the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail."I told my children not to come back to the farm after college unless they had a passion for hard work," said Tom Murray, who runs Muranda Cheese Co. on Route 96, just south of Waterloo.His dairy farm is one stop on the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail (www.flcheeset…