Buffalonians think about Toronto as an adventurous way to spend a day off or even weekend; it's a massive metropolis with a breadth of different cultures, food and entertainment, it's less than two hours away, and the exchange rate is icing on the cake.
But as Buffalo begins to make noise as a city on the rebound, Toronto media is suddenly more curious about progress south of the border - and even the historical roots behind what makes a re-emergent Buffalo cool.
Toronto Star guest travel writer Rick McGinnis, hosted by local tourism agency Visit Buffalo Niagara, penned more than a thousand words on Buffalo's architecture, highlighting the brilliance of architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Hobson Richardson - who also inspired buildings in Toronto - as well as praising the efforts of local organizations to carefully renovate the landmarks without sacrificing their original beauty. The big, colorful photos are nice, too.
In discussing some of the typically forbidden tours offered at the Richardson-Olmsted Complex and Hotel Henry, McGinnis writes, "It’s the sort of bold move you’d expect from a city that knows it has a lot to show off."
McGinnis explores beyond the Martin House and the Richardson Complex, though, mentioning the Graycliff Estate, the boathouse on the Black Rock Canal and the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum.
Accompanying the piece on architecture is a quick tour of where to eat, drink and stay in Buffalo, which you can read here. The title could be replaced with "A Hipster's Guide to Visiting Buffalo," but at least it goes deeper than "go see Niagara Falls, shop at the Walden Galleria and try Anchor Bar chicken wings."
The Star draws attention to BreadHive, the worker-owned cooperative just profiled by The News' Mark Sommer, as well as trendy West Side coffee shop Tipico, versatile Hydraulic Hearth in Larkinville and Ru's Pierogi, among others.
While this quintet of businesses - creative projects by savvy, young entrepreneurs - might be a microcosm of the New Buffalo, it's certainly not a representation of Buffalo's complex character as a whole, especially how that's reflected through its food. (But that would be tough to do in 500 words, I suppose, and probably was not the writer's intent.)
Still, calling a restaurant barely open a year "probably one of Buffalo's most authentic tastes" is a risky endeavor, particularly when pierogi are involved. You will make a lot of families and businesses in Polonia quite unhappy.
Taking a bit of a different direction than the Star, the Boston Globe turned its focus specifically to Frank Lloyd Wright and five structures he designed - several of which were completed after his death - digging into more than just the Martin House and the Graycliff Estate.
Kim Foley MacKinnon's piece gives a short history behind the Blue-Sky Mausoleum, Fontana Boathouse and Wright Filling Station, unknown to many Buffalonians. The author's best line comes from the paragraph on the gas station, which mimicked a home - perhaps a little too much.
"It’s hard to imagine a gas station with fireplaces not being a safety hazard, but it’s as elegant as any other Wright building," MacKinnon wrote.