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Mary Kunz Goldman


Buffalo

Caleb Basiliko, who died March 5 at age 44, left a void in a lot of people's lives. A graduate of SUNY Buffalo State and a fine cabinet maker, Basiliko ran CP Basiliko Custom Woodworking. He also ran a farm in Colden called Basiliko Family Farms, and was a firefighter with the Colden Fire Department. People called him "Captain Caleb," because of his passion for wate…

Amherst

There is one place in Buffalo where the stars always line up right. Since the 1960s, the planetarium at Williamsville North High School has been orienting us to the stars in the heavens. Recently refurbished, it is state of the art, up to any video presentation or light show. Its resident celebrity, nicknamed Jake, goes back to the '60s. Jake is a kind of globe that sit…

Gusto

Nostalgia on the menu We've learned to take a hopeless Sabres season in stride. But losing a bar or restaurant, that can throw us into deep and protracted mourning. Checkers, the historic Hertel Avenue bar, that was one that did not go gentle into that good night. "Such sad news. The best hole in the wall gin mill in Buffalo," one regular sighed on Facebook. Another ch…

Gusto

Like a drive-in theater, a roller rink is something to treasure. Especially an old-time roller rink, with a genuine wooden floor. Such a paradise is the Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda. It dates to 1949, when Herbert and Ella Bale built it, using winnings from the Irish Sweepstakes. It is still owned by their family, who now also own Rainbow Skateland in Lockport. …

Music

Back from Poland, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is getting back into the swing of things. It must be disorienting, especially with April looking more like January. Before the Friday morning coffee concert, you could see musicians making their way through the falling snow toward Kleinhans Music Hall, toting their instrument cases. Such as been the scene countless ti…

Family

"Come help raise money and celebrate life." So reads the invitation to a benefit for Jen Hineman Mitchell, who faces a tough road after being diagnosed in February with stage 2 breast cancer. Mitchell, 34, lives in Lancaster with her husband, George, and their 4-year-old son. She is recovering from her second surgery and is about to begin aggressive chemotherapy. …

Buffalo

When the ice boom is lifted, it's spring. Even if it doesn't feel like it, we have, at last, the cold, hard proof. So has it been since 1964, when the boom was installed. The boom, in case you're new here, is a series of 15- to 30-foot long steel pontoons stretching 8,800 feet across Lake Erie at the mouth of the Niagara River. Its job is to keep ice from floating from …

Gusto

We live in the golden age of string quartets, with countless acclaimed ensembles crisscrossing the globe. Even amid this richness, though, the Danish String Quartet stands out. The musicians -- violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen; violist Asbjørn Nørgaard; and cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin -- have a reputation for trailblazing. The new music they seek…

Gusto

Violinist Tessa Lark, in 2014, won the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Award. But she stays in touch with her roots, which are Appalachian. Lark is from Kentucky, and she loves playing bluegrass. She plays frequently with fiddler Mark O'Connor, and is included in his CD "MOC4," released in 2014. Whatever she plays sounds beautiful: She has on loan the 1683 Stradi…

Attractions

The girls whack the guys with pussy willows and the guys fire squirt guns at the girls. Or is it the other way around? That's just the first quandary that confounds the uninitiated every year when Dyngus Day rolls around. Thousands partake in the celebration, which takes place on Easter Monday and centers in the neighborhood around Broadway and Fillmore where the Pol…

Gusto

Rare diseases need attention, too. That's the message of the folks organizing a fundraiser at the Polish Cadets for cancer patient, Robert Best. The poster for the event has a picture of a zebra -- an informal medical symbol for a rare disease. Best, who was born in Alabama and grew up in Riverside, was diagnosed in February with a rare type of cancer, neuroendocrin…

Gusto

When Easter arrives, a Buffalonian's mind turns to thoughts of Krupnik. The honeyed liqueur, beloved in Poland, has conquered Buffalo thanks largely to Dyngus Day, the big Polish festival Easter Monday that celebrates the end of Lent. So big is Krupnik around here that a few years ago, in a calamity that still makes people shudder, we ran out. That shouldn't happen a…

Religion

For decades, the custom existed mostly only in memory. On Holy Thursday, parents and grandparents would recall, Catholics used to pray at seven churches. Holy Thursday is one of the most solemn nights of the liturgical calendar. Mass ends in stark silence, anticipating Jesus’ suffering and death. The main altar is stripped, and crosses are covered. The Blessed Sacrament…

Gusto

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's tour in Poland has yielded many memorable moments. One instance in Katowice especially charmed the orchestra's music director, JoAnn Falletta. "As we left the empty hall in Katowice late last night after the reception, we passed one lone janitor cleaning up," she said. "He was singing Bernstein's 'Somewhere,' from our Symphonic Dance…

Attractions

Going to a trampoline park requires a leap of faith. Especially if you're a grown-up. I felt funny, heading for Get Air Buffalo Trampoline Park in Cheektowaga. I had bounced on trampolines before, if not exactly recently. A friend had a trampoline, and I had a great time bouncing on it with her little kids. But isn't that who trampolines are for? Kids? Well, I tol…