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Off Main Street /

When you’re hot, you’re hot

Buffalo has, in the past, been known to top a few national surveys for having the fattest, drunkest and worst-dressed residents.

But there’s a new one out touting our fair city as home to some of the “hottest men” in the country. And the best part is it’s not an allusion to the weather.

According to the “Hot or Not” app, which rates the attractiveness of people uploaded to its site, Buffalo ranked seventh of all the cities in the country for having the hottest guys.

Buffalo men still pale in comparison to the smokin’ hot dudes of such beauty meccas as: Boise, Idaho; Lincoln, Neb., or Fort Wayne, Ind. But they outrank the apparently less hunky guys of Tulsa, Okla., and Scottsdale, Ariz.

The new list was compiled after a relaunch of the app this month, according to Tricia Tumlinson, a spokeswoman for Hot or Not. Tumlinson admitted being surprised that none of the larger U.S. cities, such as New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, topped the list. Though, since Hot or Not’s app users tend to be between the ages of 18 to 22, it may explain why more college towns are represented among the highest ranking cities.

Curiously, Buffalo did not make the Top 10 ranking of “hottest women,” all of whom apparently live in Stockton, Calif.

Starr-struck at Artpark

City of Tonawanda resident Gary Astridge’s appreciation for the Beatles and their music prompted him years ago to begin collecting the same drum kits that drummer Ringo Starr used in his performances with the legendary rock band.

The unusual drum collection is now getting Astridge, who also is a fine drummer with the BBC Band, to places he never dreamed of – including the house trailer where Ringo and his All-Starr Band were holed up earlier this week while waiting for a rain shower to pass at their show at Artpark.

Astridge had a backstage pass to the show thanks to his efforts earlier this year assisting the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles with its “Ringo: Peace & Love” exhibit, which led to his first face-to-face meeting with the rock legend.

Walking through the downpour at Artpark, Astridge heard a voice from the trailer: It was Scott Ritchie, Ringo’s assistant, asking Astridge for his umbrella. Ritchie needed to fetch something and didn’t want to get soaked. Astridge wasn’t exactly sure where he was supposed to go without getting soaked himself, until Ritchie told him to get in the trailer, where, to Astridge’s surprise, he found himself chatting with Ringo once again.

“Ringo looks at me and goes, ‘Well, Gary, you know any dirty jokes?’ ” said Astridge, who spent about 20 minutes shooting the breeze with the band before Ritchie returned. Astridge recalled: “I walked out of there saying, ‘What just happened?’ ”

Monsignor’s parting words

The Rev. James F. Campbell, rector of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, humbly declined any fuss over his pending retirement after 50 years in the priesthood.

His flock of mostly downtown lawyers and government workers who regularly attend the 12:05 p.m. weekday Mass, had other ideas, however. At the end of Thursday’s Mass, they followed him into the sacristy, heaped him with applause and insisted on a speech.

“Most of you know I was a firefighter before I became a priest and found my place in life,” the monsignor said. “I’ve always considered my vocation a gift. That’s why I didn’t want a celebration. I was given this gift.”

No matter, many thanked the monsignor for his mini-homilies that helped to foster a spiritual community right in the middle of the workday.

“What’s your email?” one of the well-wishers asked, hoping to stay in touch.

“What’s email?” the wry man of the cloth asked.

“Hey, we’re in the legal community and have ways of finding out,” someone replied.

Without missing a beat, Campbell said, “And I’m the chaplain for the FBI and have ways of finding out how you found out.”

Off Main Street is written by Harold McNeil ,with contributions from Sandra Tan, Jay Tokasz and Lou Michel.