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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 with 18 mun…

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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 Music Hall refle…

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 cello…

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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 among the ot…

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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 generati…

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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 for…

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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 the son of…

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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 lived at the…

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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 sashimi a…

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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 late…

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I knew the baby I would adopt was in China. I couldn’t explain it more than that. People asked me, “Why China? Why not here?” I always answered, “Because our baby is Chinese.”In our late 30s, Eric and I were busy with two biological kids; intense, intelligent, great kids, with fairly demanding needs for attention and support. However, we both felt our family seemed incompl…

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You ate your weight in holiday goodies, but that was OK because you vowed to start exercising in the new year. But it’s been so cold. So you say you’ll start running outside in just a few weeks, when the weather gets better. Didn’t you say that last year, before all that barbecue and beer got in your way?Meanwhile, your weight keeps on doing a Jackie Wilson impression … go…

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There’s a new conductor in town.Erin Freeman holds no official position with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, but suddenly it seems she is everywhere. She is conducting tonight’s concert, a tribute to the Rat Pack. Sunday, she is conducting the BPO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in Handel’s “Messiah” at Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church.The associate conductor of Virgi…

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A cube is a cube is a cube – or is it? This was just one question faced by local interior designers as part of the White Room Challenge, an all-new attraction at this year’s Buffalo Home & Garden Show, which opens today.As part of the challenge, designers from the Interior Design Association of Western New York were given one of seven 12-by-12-foot white rooms and four ele…