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BEST BETS

1. WEST SIDE STORY ... as told through the eyes of its residents.

In 1994 several residents were given disposable cameras to photograph their idea of the West Side. The resulting photos from 15 individuals include their family and friends as well as architecture and cityscapes.

An exhibit of the enlarged photographs is on display at the Big Orbit Gallery, 30-D Essex St., through April 15. Gallery hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The gallery phone number is 883-3209.

2. "Earth's Rainbows" describes the various gems, minerals and fossils that will be displayed at the Buffalo Geological Society's 27th annual show. The show will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Erie County Fairgrounds, 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg.

There will be 17 dealers, door prizes and refreshments, as well as a mini-mine for children 12 and under to prospect for minerals and fossils. There also will be demonstrations of jewelry making and fossil cleaning. Soapstone carver Sandy Cline of Canada will be on hand.

Admission is $2 for adults, free for children under 12; parking is $1. Use the South Park entrance.

3. A piece of bone and a hank of hair ...

"Shamanism, Magic and the Busy Spider" is an exhibition of traditional and contemporary Abenaki Indian art organized for the Rochester Museum & Science Center. The 70 pieces include masks, carvings and hide paintings.

Gerard Tsonakwa, an Abenaki who learned carving from his father, created some of the artwork using stone, bone, hide and antlers to perpetuate the storytelling of the tribe.

Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and holidays. "Shamanism" remains on view through May 21.

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for senior citizens; $3 for students; preschoolers are free. The museum is at 657 East Ave., Rochester. Phone number is 271-4320.

4. A baby cockatiel might perch on your finger.

"It's a Bird's Life," a live animal program by Karen Wallace, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Beaver Meadow Nature Center, 1610 Welch Road, North Java.

The program lasts less than an hour. Then you can see the nature and still life photography of Arnim Ueberschaer of Elma, described as being crisp and beautiful.

Admission fee for the bird program is is $1.50 per person, $5 per family. Call 457-3228.

5. Face-off for Fun tickets can be bought now.

Buffalo Sabres players and their wives host the 1995 Buffalo Sabres Carnival from 1 to 7 p.m. on April 2 at Memorial Auditorium.

Participants can try to soak people in a dunk tank, tour the Sabres dressing room, throw pies and have their pictures taken with players. Most of the games cost 50 cents to $1. Also, a Chinese auction will be held in the Aud Club for Sabres memorabilia and other sports items, including a set of Sabres jerseys.

Pre-sale tickets ($5) are available in the auditorium lobby. They will cost $6 the day of the carnival. Admission price includes a souvenir puck and five carnival tickets. Children under 3 are admitted free. Proceeds benefit Children's Hospital and the Sabres Foundation.

For information, call 626-1827.

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