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One man's trash

Whoever says nothing's funny about hazardous waste just hasn't taken advantage of the Erie County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program (we're copying this off our souvenir pencil, which we got in exchange for a tire that's been in our garage forever). Saturday, the program took over the parking lot of Praxair in Tonawanda. The scene resembled Delta Sonic, with cars moving in slow, steady queues. Beaming workers were everywhere, dressed like Devo and showing endless good humor (they'd even unlock your trunk for you). One Tonawanda motorhead delivered something like 18 tires, in addition to an ancient pail of sludge that no one, including him, could identify. As he pulled up in his rusty Buick, someone barked at him: "We don't take cars."

As the Sphere turns

Poor Sphere. Wasn't it just two years ago that the nightclub dreamed publicly of bringing old-fashioned romance back to the site of the old Town Casino? Alas, it could be that old-fashioned romance isn't a good financial bet in this day and age. Otherwise, Sphere wouldn't have to court the Chippewa Street crowd, as they're doing now, with cards showing a scantily clad woman in stilettos, and the words "We'll Never Stop Partying" and "No @#$(*& Cover All Night." Is this the same place that handed out roses to women just this past Valentine's Day? Please, Sphere, find a way to turn the charm back on.

Rain men

At the Italian Festival this year, wit and wisdom rained down like -- well, like the rain. A kid in a hoodie sweatshirt brushed past Kevin O'Connell and said: "Kevin, man, I'm going to have to tell my parents I met you, man." Frank Sinatra's (the real Old Blue Eyes) longtime piano player, 90-something Bill Miller, his thin white hair blowing in the wind, gave the secret to his good health: "I don't let anything stress me out." When the drizzle stopped, Vegas lounge king Frankie Scinta grabbed the mic and said: "I said a prayer to St. Anthony there'd be good weather." O'Connell rebounded: "Well, I said a prayer to St. Doppler." Funniest of all was Frank Sinatra Jr., who wore a heavy jacket, as if he were giving a USO concert. He kept saying: "Thanks for hanging around in spite of the chilly weather." Obviously, he doesn't know Buffalo. As long as it's not raining, we're fine.

Under a bad sign

Quick, what's the creepier billboard -- the airbrushed picture of Smokey Robinson Jr. on Michigan Street downtown, or that skull at Colvin and Kenmore, with the cryptic words: "Are you coming or going?" (Buzz is sick of billboards that leave you guessing. Whatever you're hawking, just come out and say it.) Adding to the ominous mood, Ivy Restaurant, on Hertel, sounded last week like some kind of doomsday prophet. Their marquee howled: "OH, GOD BUFFALO PLEASE/ LET SOMETHING HAPPEN HERE." A phone number followed, and the words "SUNDAY BRUNCH." Oh, dear. The weather had better get better, fast.

The buzz

Best plus to Artpark: You can bring your beverage into the amphitheater! In Kleinhans Music Hall once, Buzz saw one old pro sneaking his drink in in his pocket, but for most of us, this is a rare treat. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Artpark series continues at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, when the orchestra will be joined by the Peking Acrobats. (We want to see one jump out of the tuba.) ... Maybe it is summer after all. Spotted at Wehrle and Cayuga: the ultimate fun-in-the-sun car, a Plymouth Superbird. ... Who needs the Fourth of July? Or the Cinquo of May? Joe Head plays at the Place at 7 p.m. Owner Kevin Moriarty says: "I just picked a date. We're going to celebrate July 27."


"Why not?"

-- Cop at the Italian Festival, asked if we were allowed to drink on the street


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