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Gearing up for some garden tours? Grab your calendars because they’re coming up fast and continuing all summer long. You’ll find more than 20 of them listed here from around the region, and many are still accepting garden entries. They’re self-guided, so you can proceed at your own pace.Most are part of the fourth annual National Garden Festival, which runs June 21 t…

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“Touched by an Angel,” a jarring piece of theater in the Tyler Perry mode by local playwrights Phil Davis and Taura “Chyna” Stephens, swivels around a seemingly impossible conundrum.Young Angel, a 19-year-old college student, is nursing a deepening anger for her overworked mother Cheryl (Daysha Witt). Cheryl, torn between providing for her daughter’s education an…

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Bert Gambini grew up in Tonawanda watching two Sicilian women, his mother and grandmother, cook the dishes that fed their family.Looking back now, that was where his love of cooking began, but they didn’t make it easy.“They never wanted me too close,” said Gambini, The News’ May Cook of the Month. “My mother would say, ‘Don’t hover,’ and my grandmother woul…

Lifestyles

Buffalo-area chefs are taking the stage at two Manhattan culinary showcases in coming months.For the first time, the James Beard House has invited a foursome of Nickel City Chefs to present a dinner Oct. 16. Plus, leading Buffalo chef Mike Andrzejewski has been booked for May 30 at City Grit, a less formal but much-lauded kitchen stage that opened in 2011 at 38 Prince St.…

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“Welcome to Ujima … where excellence is second nature.”So said audience greeter Gary Earl Ross on the recent opening night of a play by Kia Corthron, “Breath, Boom.” Ross was right. A production at Ujima certainly strives for excellence, very often achieves it, and sometimes Lorna Hill’s acting company is willing to wait for the best, knowing it will surely com…

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Evelyn Mietlowski laughed as she recalled the January day when her 3-year-old grandson Oliver was visiting and asked her, “Can we plant tomatoes?” “Ollie,” as he is sometimes called, has plenty of time to learn about seasonal planting. But one thing he already knows: Tomatoes grow on a vine, not in a bin at the supermarket.He and his 5-year-old brother, Trever, are…

Lifestyles

If you wanted to write a suspense story about two slim notebooks containing the handwritten records from the 1880s and 1890s that chronicle the birth of Cradle Beach, you would have a difficult time outdoing the truth.About half a century after they were written, the notebooks, the only surviving records from that era, were apparently loaned to a longtime camp trustee who …

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Dr. Eric H. Schroeder wanted to be a dentist since he was an 8-year-old boy growing up in Lancaster. He credited his family dentist for planting an interest that Schroeder could not shake. He worked for two years as a dental technician before entering the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, where today Schroeder teaches a course in gum assessment.Schroeder was…

I’ve been back at The Buffalo News for only two months, long enough to be called a moron, a coward and someone who doesn’t believe he has any flaws.And those are just from my friends.Kidding. Well, sort of. I used to play tennis with the guy who implied I was a coward.I should direct the woman who wrote the last comment to my therapist, who would explain I invent some …

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Tragedy is when I get a hangnail” said Mel Brooks in one of the more illustrative apothegms of our era. “Comedy is when YOU walk into an open sewer and die.”That’s the way I’ve always remembered Brooks’ classic delineation since I first read it about six or seven presidents ago.He says it, much less effectively, in reverse in Robert Trachtenberg’s documentary…

As I view landscapes, while driving through our suburbs and cities, and hear people’s questions, I see and hear serious mistakes – many that risk the health and survival of trees.Some are based on myths and old-fashioned ideas, because in previous decades folks just didn’t know certain horticultural principles, or we didn’t have some of the plants and products we n…

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Ask Stephen L. and Pauline Dyson what first sold them on their Williamsville home, and they don’t hesitate: the bookcases. Once you tour the place, you know why.Two home libraries are filled with books, including an entire wall in the upstairs study. Other books are found on bookcases in the living room. An accent pillow on a side chair near the front door quotes Thomas …

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According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, one in four Americans will have an alcohol or drug problem at some point in their lives. Ninety percent of adults who are currently addicted started smoking, drinking or using drugs before the age of 18. If that isn’t concerning enough, CASA also found that the number of teen illega…

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When the Thermals last visited Buffalo in May 2009, Memorial Auditorium was a crumbling, half-demolished mess. That was the lasting impression for drummer Westin Glass, who remembers taking the short walk from Soundlab past the former arena with guitarist Hutch Harris and bassist Kathy Foster.Fast forward four years and the waterfront is still a hard-hat area, but there’…

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Fabio Viviani has earned the right to sit down. Saturday, the hunky television chef from Florence will welcome fans at the BJ’s Wholesale Club in Amherst. From 11 a.m. or thereabouts, he’ll have brief chats with strangers from behind a table and sign copies of his new cookbook, available for sale nearby, at a price significantly lower than the $24.99 printed on its cov…