Since The Washington Post declared "Buffalove" a trendy slogan in 2014 -- replacing "Keep Austin Weird" -- the term has flourished in Western New York to describe overarching local pride, a music festival in Warsaw, an oft-used Twitter hashtag, a historic preservation-focused development company and -- pertinent for this weekend -- a big party at The Buffalo Zoo. It's probably safe to assume that several recently adopted pets are named "Buffalove" as well.
My, that segues nicely into this week's The 10:
1) BuffaLoveFest, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday in The Buffalo Zoo (300 Parkside Ave.). Tickets on-site run for $30 and include two drink tickets. Parking is free around Delaware Park, while it costs $4 to park in the Zoo lot.
Commentary: This Buffalo Zoo blog post does a nice job previewing the event -- especially if logos get your juices flowing; highlights include food trucks young and old, a trio of popular local breweries and what should be a stirring Lance Diamond tribute. Mike Farrell has more Buffalove in his weekly concert preview.
2) Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.'s grand-opening party, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday in Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. (4350 Seneca St., West Seneca -- rear building, just behind Ebenezer Ale House). General admission is free, but a VIP experience runs for $36.98 and features your first beer free, buy-one-get-one beers all night, a beer-and-cheese pairing, a brewery tour and a branded mug.
Commentary: In winter 2013, I had the chance to meet with the partners in Rusty Nickel Brewing, learn about their plans (both for beer and the brewery) and witness just how much work they'd have to put in renovating a tattered former debt collections agency behind Ebenezer Ale House. Eighteen months later, the arduous, seemingly-never-ending process of opening a business will finally bear fruit. Or beer. (Also intriguing: Rusty Nickel's cereal beer. It sounds like something I wouldn't like, but maybe it'll surprise?)
3) SkyRide Buffalo, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo's Outer Harbor (325 Fuhrmann Blvd.). Registration has closed, but family and friends of the participating riders can hang out after the ride from 11 a.m. to noon at the Outer Harbor, then join the post-race party at Flying Bison Brewing Co. beginning at 1 p.m. They serve beer there.
Commentary: Last year's SkyRide was a roaring success due to the obvious appeal of biking over the Skyway, which lends a breathtaking view of Lake Erie, the grain elevators and the city's skyline. This year, GObike Buffalo presents two loops: the Skyway Loop and the South Loop, which cover 19.2 miles altogether. Flaming Fish Food Truck and Amy's Truck will be on hand at the Outer Harbor to provide sustenance for cyclists with exercise-induced highs (and probably everyone else.) And hey, Bills defensive lineman Marcell Dareus will take part in the ride! He'll probably be pretty sweaty.
4) Buffalo's Largest Picnic, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday in the north side of Delaware Park. Free to attend.
Commentary: An exposure event for Intune Music & Lifestyle Festival, the organizers are trying to set the record for the World's Largest Picnic, which, if you're curious, is over 22,000 in Portugal. You're encouraged to pack your own food and blanket and hang out in Delaware Park -- which you can actually do any day -- but this is picnicking with a purpose! Here's a map where a Facebook-committed 2,200 will picnic.
Commentary: Tim O'Shei went in-depth on one of the Kiss the Summer Hello acts -- R5, which hits the stage at 8:40 p.m. Saturday -- uncovering the path to musical prominence of Disney Channel TV stars. Plus, I really like how Natalie La Rose says her own name like Jason DeRulo, LunchMoney Lewis' moniker in general and how Cody Simpson has mysteriously clung to relevance after all these years.
6) Explore the city metro's embrace of craft cocktails: various locations around Western New York
Commentary: Buffalo.com cocktail aficionado Lizz Schumer crafted this week's Gusto cover story on the area's surging cocktail scene, one that embraces complexity and art just as much as the classic rum and Coke. She went even further to suggest five different cocktails that stuck out to her, including this vibrantly colored 100th Problem from Bourbon and Butter. I'd pay big bucks to see Tony Rials and Jon Karel go toe-to-toe (shaker-to-shaker?) for Top Urban Mixologist. I'm sure there would be other worthy competitors, too.
Commentary: This isn't even a plea to bridge the urban-suburban divide! It's probably not news to anyone that clever projects -- that involve physical activity! -- keep popping up at Canalside, and the Queen City Bike Ferry unlocks (easier) access to cool-yet-underappreciated spots like Wilkeson Pointe and Times Beach. My excitement from learning about those was akin to stumbling upon a bonus level in "Crash Bandicoot."
Commentary: Guess what? This exhibition isn't just dozens of artistic representations of the Eternal Flame (not that that wouldn't be cool, but there's merit in variety.) Colin Dabkowski put together a post previewing the exhibition, which benefits the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, and also posted a photo gallery of some of the works.
Commentary: There was Queen City Roller Girls drama last weekend, as the Nickel City Knockouts forfeited a bout, suffering their first loss of the season [see the QCRG results and standings]. While the Knockouts are still comfortably the top seed for the QCRG Playoffs, which begin June 12, the Devil Dollies' forfeit victory means that there's pressure on the Saucies if they want to finish second (for pride's sake, the playoff match-ups are already set). If the heavily-favored Saucies beat the Kats by 19 or more points, then they should leapfrog the Dollies whether or not the tiebreaker is head-to-head (2-0 in favor of Saucies) or point differential.
Commentary: Colin Dabkowski used the phrase "strategically offensive" to describe "The Book of Mormon" when the Broadway play arrived in Buffalo in 2013 [read the review], and his preview for 2015's stop suggests that, perhaps smartly, very little has changed with the production. Where else would you go to see a play about confused Mormon missionaries? (Don't answer that.)
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who is partial to pandas, Corgis and cheesecake, at email@example.com