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Michael Farrell

Buffalo News contributor Michael Farrell is the author of two novels--Running with Buffalo (2007) and When the Lights Go Out (2015)--and has had work featured in several publications, including Buffalo Spree, WNY Craft Beer Magazine and The Boston Herald, where he worked as a reporter from 2004 to 2011. A graduate of St. Bonaventure University (B.A., Journalism) and Pine Manor College (M.F.A., Creative Writing), he enjoys dark beers and corner bars; and owns multiple copies of Bruce Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love."


Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

The gin and tonic still stands as a classic all-season cocktail, whether enjoyed on a shaded front porch or outdoor patio of a sun-swept wedding reception. But with two ingredients — along with its lime wedge and accompanying citrus juice — dramatic variations of the drink are hard to come by. It thrives in its refreshing simplicity, so why deviate from perfection? T…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

The imagery can be deceiving. Carefree men and women, lording over flames at a beach, campsite or in a backyard, and often aided by a propane-powered metallic apparatus the size of a small Chevy. A few shifts of the spatula, a few sips of a chilled High Life, and before long, plates of burgers, salmon and skewers are cooked to perfection for a gathering of salivating guest…

Gusto

Over the past two decades, Buffalo’s Dyngus Day celebration has gone from an occasion of Polish pride set inside church halls to a red-emblazoned bonanza across the city’s Historic Polonia District. The Polka-infused revelry introduces outsiders to an East Side neighborhood that once percolated as a vital rail hub. But the Tyskie-soaked bash only lasts for a day. In its…

Gusto

There’s no revelatory ways left to detail the dynamic of the neighborhood tavern. It’s a subjective enterprise, cherished by its regular patrons and possibly alienating to the uninitiated. Are there notable highlights or peculiarities? Certainly, but inside each of these corner addresses, enduring success is based on one thing over all others: Do customers feel comforta…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Throughout Western New York, residents are living through what could arguably be called the region’s golden age of culinary creation. In every corner of the county you’ll find some ballyhooed restaurant manned by a talented chef whose concoctions are gaining acclaim in the neighborhood and beyond. Going out to eat is no longer a meal or a date. It’s an adventure, one wi…

Buffalo Magazine: Style

The mere memory of a delicious meal amid the ambiance of a particular setting is no longer enough to commemorate an occasion. You need pictures of the event — or it might as well have never happened. Artistically formulated shots of the food, drinks and backdrop. Filtered snaps of any interesting subjects you need to promote your adventure. The pics head to Instagram, a…

Food and Drink

The intrigue of the unknown can be a solid selling point. It works in film, literature and theater, with lingering questions building suspense until the dramatic payoff. But does the same shroud of mystery work with inconspicuous bars lit only with the flickering neon of advertised beer brands? Ask a resident of the Village of Hamburg familiar with the Pyramid Lounge—if…

Food and Drink

According to any real estate chatter or local reporting, Hertel Avenue and its bordering streets make up the hottest neighborhood in Buffalo, with few empty storefronts or available single-family homes to be found. Newly opened shops, grocery stores and forthcoming food halls provide everything a walkable urban swath needs—and the fervor over its ongoing metamorphosis i…

Food and Drink

The traditional picture of the suburbs is painted with subdivisions. It’s cul-de-sacs and strip malls, grocery store parking lots and big-box retailers. It’s not colored with the walkable commercial centers or condensed streets of concentrated city neighborhoods; and it’s not accentuated with vibrant social lairs reserved for downtown bar districts. But the modern subur…

Food and Drink

The parades are over. Green accentuates are back in the drawer; the hunger for corned beef and The Clancy Brothers has dissipated; and the seemingly omnipresent celebration of Irish heritage has receded for another year. This is the way the St. Patrick's Day season peaks and perishes for some. But for others, being surrounded by Celtic imagery—whether genuine or manufac…

Art

Buffalo’s four seasons have a fairly subjective hierarchy. Fall has its fans, with its changing leaves and football Sundays. Winter is cherished by the ski and oversized sweater-clad community. Summer is the region’s reward for dealing with particular harsh iterations of the other seasons. But spring rarely makes its way to the top of the rankings. Whether because of…

Food and Drink

The derogatory tag of Rust Belt is a term in transition. Attached to Great Lakes-bordering cities hobbled by industrial job losses, it’s now a label proudly repurposed across member cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo. The designation has a fighter’s edge to it, so it’s expected to identify businesses and brands with their own personalized serving of blue-coll…

Gusto

If you’d like to enjoy a genuine Irish celebration this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you’ll need to find some barroom-hosted music emblematic of the holiday’s historical spirit. This doesn’t mean settling for the work of Ireland-bred rock bands or the rhyming of Irish stereotypes, so stash tracks off “The Joshua Tree” or House of Pain hits for another evening. Traditional…

Food and Drink

Is the start of March too early to begin celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? That depends. Are you passionately connected to your Irish heritage? Were you raised to cherish Ireland’s culture, history and heartbreak? Do you read Samuel Beckett in the summer, spin The Chieftains in the fall and appreciate the enduring on-screen beauty of Maureen O’Hara all the days between? …

Food and Drink

In the 1996 Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn film, “Swingers,” Favreau’s struggling character Mike describes one of the benefits of knowing about a hidden bar is, “It’s like you’re in on some kind of secret.” Downtown workers and wedding guests who have discovered Statler City’s Lobby Bar likely feel the same way. Tucked off Delaware Avenue with no street signage or obvious…