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The Buzz

Table of plenty

Buzz has had our eye forever on El Palenque – it means "the arena" – on Niagara Falls Boulevard. It seemed so down-home, housed in a former Denny's. Also it seemed so popular. Now we know why! Last week, we met a few friends there, and while perusing the menu, we all ordered beer. Large or small? "Large," we said. We are Buffalonians, right? A moment later, a waiter returned hefting huge, heavy glasses, 4 inches in diameter, about 8 inches high, filled to the brim with Dos Equis Amber. Bottoms up! One of our friends is still in shock. "It was a Mexican place," she marvels. "It wasn't even the Hofbrauhaus." Hey, the world's getting smaller, and the beers are getting bigger. We'll drink to that.

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Circus maximus

Last weekend's Shrine Circus in Hamburg was packed for the Saturday matinee. So jammed were the bleachers with parents, tots, big guys taking up two spaces, etc., that ushers were reduced to asking, "Is there anyone who does not have a ticket?" and then falling back on: "OK, everyone, shove over." Ha, ha! Like being a kid again! The music added to the mood. The keyboardist, the circus' unsung hero, began the show with "Shangri-La." At the end, performers paraded to the tune of an upbeat "I'll Be Seeing You." Midshow, as ladies in leopard skins swung on trapezes, we heard Duke Ellington's "Caravan." And the best number? Instead of Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" – too obvious – they played Jethro Tull's "Bungle in the Jungle." Genius!

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Ageless and evergreen

Buzz took our Christmas tree down, reluctantly, on Ash Wednesday. Now we wish we had kept it. Just the other day, we noted, with envy, the big wreath still over the door of Hertel News and Tobacco. Plus, a guy in Snyder still has his tree up – and he plugs it in, too! We were chicken! On the bright side, it's only eight months till the season starts again.

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The buzz

For three days in a row, Buzz has heard new spring birds: first the chickadee, then a cardinal, then a mourning dove, perched on our phone wire. Most impressively, we saw a guy kayaking. When it was 28 degrees! A friend laughs: "He's made of tougher stuff than I am." ... The receipt that reached around the world! At CVS, buying stuff we didn't need, Buzz got a sales slip so long that the clerk told us, solemnly, "Now I want you to go plant a tree."

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Quote

"Feng shui practitioners believe that an open toilet can literally suck your home's energy down the drain, flushing it away forever."

– Advice from "Welcome Home," Chronicle Books

e-mail: mkunz@buffnews.com