You've got to respect preservation guru Tim Tielman's new Open- Air Sightseeing Autobus, if for no other reason that special laws had to pave the way for it. The laws were passed, swiftly -- a miracle in Buffalo. And last week, the Autobus -- a 1994 school bus, painted green, with the roof removed -- made its maiden voyage. Passers-by stared, and a Metro Bus honked in brotherhood, as we set off from the Colored Musicians Club. We passed Seneca Plumbing (Tielman praised the neon sign). And the Seneca casino (the bus jeered). The Autobus doesn't stop at the city line. A future tour, 'How Green Were My Acres,' will focus on Tonawanda. 'They are living in a life-sized diorama of the nuclear family in 1950,' Tielman says of Tonawandans. 'Fifties suburbia is the new frontier in preservation.'
We shiver at that annoying 'cold front,' which weather types have hit on to explain thunderstorms and 70s temps. Buzz hates this alarmist term. We love the heat. We went to Sunset Bay and it looked like San Diego. Well, OK, that ersatz palm tree was a little sickly from spending the winter in 'Cabana Sam' Bova's basement, or wherever they stick it. But you could look down in fivefoot- deep water and see your feet. Plus, just about the whole crowd was fit and toned. Earth to tourism bureaucrats: Get the cameras out here. Fast, before the next cold front.
>Raising the glass
Such action on Third Street, in Niagara Falls! First there was the guy who ran out of a tavern and yelled, 'I'm Vinny! My number is ...' Then there was the -- we love this phrase -- controversial wine bar. Just opened, Wine on Third was criticized in the Niagara Falls media for getting grants and lowinterest loans. Ha, ha! In Buffalo, we waste money on far sillier things every day of the week. Perched on a cute red leather chair, sipping pinot noir, Buzz realized: Any time you have anything at all to show for your taxes -- in this case, an old building saved, a new wine bar -- count your blessings. Toast 'em, too.
>Wright gone wrong
It's a given for Buffalonians. You get together, you have a glass of wine, you get free with criticisms of Frank Lloyd Wright. That's what happened Friday, as a group got a peek at the nifty new wing of the Darwin Martin House. You know that new statue of Nike? It looks great -- except your view is bisected by a wooden beam. UB archivist emerita Shonnie Finnegan said the statue was meant to be viewed from the end of the walkway. But from there, Nike was still cut off at the knees. Hmm. Wright's not around, Buzz hinted. Can we correct this? Finnegan laughed. But what would Nike say? Just do it!
Donna Fernandes, Buffalo Zoo czarina, says when she rejoiced in the elephants at a zoo party, she didn't say she was Republican, as Buzz wrote. She said Donna Gioia, the Friend of Wildlife, was Republican. Is Fernandes? 'The zoo has both elephants and a donkey,' she demurs. Buzz meant no confusion. We would have heard more clearly, but Buki's trunk was in our ear.
'Does this roll of fat make me look fat?' -- 'Bliss' cartoon, in Wednesday's Buffalo News