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Samuel Langhorne Clemens – Mark Twain – spent just 18 months of his 74 years in Buffalo.But what a tumultuous year-and-a-half it was.Twain arrived in Buffalo in mid-August 1869 as a bachelor and left as a married man with an infant son.He arrived as an enthusiastic co-editor and co-owner of a newspaper and left as a man who would never practice journalism again.Twain…

Mary Kay Heneghan calls it the journey of Irish dance, the path taken by the high-stepping students of Rince Na Tiarna. Many of her dancers begin lessons at age 4 learning in Gaelic to count the steps they will perform on stage. Heneghan, 46, started Rince Na Tiarna 27 years ago, taking its name from a Gaelic phrase that means “Lord of the Dance.”Each week Heneghan tea…

Buffalo real estate broker Cristen Gregory learned early that vegetables could become the focal point of a tasty meal. That's what happens when your parents favor a European diet.“The main emphasis of the meal was never meat,” said Gregory, a Toronto native and vegetarian whose business card, unsurprisingly, is green.For lifetime veggie lovers like her, it's easier to …

As a little girl, I matched love with stories. Into the world of books, where magic is the norm, two people overcome obstacles and then “live happily ever after.” When small, when that ending arrived, I wondered no more about what came next.As I grew up, I puzzled over the “after.”“What will we find to talk about?” George asks his father on the morning of his w…

Not long ago, while a few of the presidents of Buffalo’s collection of international Sister Cities got together to brainstorm, the head of the Kanazawa, Japan, group started to hum “La Vie en rose,” and suddenly it was settled. The song about how love makes life rosy would be the theme of next Friday’s 14th annual banquet tribute to Buffalo’s warm relationships w…

There are few modern comedy legends on the level of Bill Cosby. Known and beloved by practically all, he is everyone’s neighbor, everyone’s husband, everyone’s father. After all, he’s been making the American public laugh for almost five decades – it’s no wonder we feel like we know Bill Cosby and that he knows us. His performance Friday night in Kleinhans Musi…

Every morning as I walk half-asleep into the dark living room before sunrise to check the thermostat setting, I am startled by the cello case standing in front of me.This hard case on wheels recently replaced a soft-style one, and the cellist in the family has taken to storing it upright – empty and partially opened – smack in the middle of the room. Since the actual c…

Spring accessorizing calls for a lighter touch, which may explain the ladybugs on your shoes. That’s right, we’ve seen the lifelike embellishments on several warm-weather accessories – but the fun doesn’t stop with charming insects. Light-hearted caps, two-tone clutch bags, patterned tights, unique flower motifs, clear shoes and colors both bold and pastel are amon…

With St Patrick’s Day fast approaching, signs of the iconic holiday are everywhere – shamrocks, the color green and Irish dancers.Almost everyone has seen Irish dancers in action, and for most, they never fail to impress. It seems almost impossible to be able to dance with just the bottom half of your body, while keeping your hands still. (Maybe that’s because our ge…

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, you are likely to spot Irish dancers at the parade downtown on Sunday, at your school or even restaurants and bars. We are known for our quick feet, still upper bodies, elaborate costumes and curly hair. What you may not know is that there is an entire world of Irish dancing beyond just the public performances. We train as hard f…

They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but Marty Wendel knows better.On his family’s spread in East Concord, Wendel has been wringing dollars out of sugar maple sap for 45 years, ever since his dad told his 10-year-old self that if he wanted money for a minibike, “I’d have to earn it.”So he borrowed some buckets and got to work. He knew how to work because he was …

You don’t even have to be a wee bit Irish to tap your inner leprechaun. Come March, we’re all yearning to celebrate loud and proud. A day set aside in Ireland for spiritual renewal and prayer is an excuse for blarin’ o’ the green, eating corned beef and cabbage, and raising a pint or two.March 17 marks the death of the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick, who live…

Many animals wear their emotions on their faces. Those who find themselves in the unfamiliar atmosphere of an animal shelter communicate their worry and uncertainty with flattened ears, narrowed eyes and tucked tails. And when that fear and anxiety is captured in a photo, would-be adopters might pass that animal by.Capturing the joyful, curious personalities of animals in …

It turns out that Norman Bates was a movie geek. And Mama Bates – whose name was Norma – wasn’t a scolding frump but a hot-to-trot, if deeply disturbed, man-killer herself.And all this time, we thought Norman was just a psychopathic mama’s boy who knocked off his mother, stuffed her corpse with his home taxidermy kit, dressed in her frumpy clothes and turned into s…

Houses have a way of telling a story. For David F. Quagliana, that story came in an old newspaper he found under a sheet of linoleum. What he read took him back to his days at School 68 where he often ate lunch with a certain girl and helped her with her homework. ¶ After eighth-grade graduation they attended different high schools, and he never saw her again. Years lat…