Welcome to our weekly grab bag guide of things to do and places to go in and around Buffalo this weekend.
Pre-karaoke cocktails and appetizers
You know when a downtown restaurant has fun cocktail names, lavender vodka and a living wall, it will be a 2019 hit. Marble + Rye (112 Genesee St.), isn't just trendy, but also well-received. The News' Andrew Z. Galarneau recommends the burger and pickled onion rings, and gave the small-plates restaurant eight out of 10 plates in 2016. On a weekend night, you'll want a reservation and possibly to arrive early for a drink at the bar or seat on the patio if the weather allows for it. (This Friday, you should be fine.)
Pretend you know the words to that Blink-182 song everyone loves
There are two kinds of karaoke. There's the one with the television screen that looks like it's from 1999, where the words scroll by just a half-second too slow, forcing you to question whether you actually know the lyrics to your favorite song. Then there are the superior karaoke nights with a live band. Rec Room, (79 W. Chippewa St.), has a live band jam, emo, punk and pop-punk hits on Fridays (sometimes the nights are '90s-themed or pop-themed).
For a $5 cover, hear Buffalo's best punk impersonators, and a whole bunch of casual pop-punk lovers just trying to have fun. Karaoke is for ages 21-and-over.
Stock up on local produce
Bidwell Parkway has welcomed back farmers, musicians, families and people to the Elmwood Village farmers market. Every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., vendors set up around the green parkway, selling locally made goods directly to consumers. It's not only a grocery shopping spot but potentially a way to spend a morning picnic-brunch.
Among the items you can grab are make-your-own wildflower bouquets, a Public Espresso cup of coffee, Butter Block pastries, and lots and lots of vegetables. Lay out a blanket nearby and you should still hear the acoustic guitarist who usually plays around the middle of the market.
Pop into an art gallery
Founded in the 1970s to showcase local contemporary art, Hallwalls, (341 Delaware Ave.), has a long, local history. Since 2006, it has found a home inside Babeville. Featuring innovative, modern works of arts, as well as speakers, films and music, Hallwalls is an alternative space for unconventional art.
Two sculpture exhibits are on view through June 28. Ashley Smith's Three Fold Form is a colorful, texture-rich collection of three-dimensional works of art that examine themes of womanhood. To contrast, the hangings in Stephanie Rohlfs' Put One Over exhibit are clean-cut and humorous, featuring boards and squiggly lines of muted colors. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Shop for plants to grow your own veggies
At Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market (428 Rhode Island St.), you'll be inspired to grow your own flowers, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. If the farmers market didn't instill an urge to pick out a houseplant and a tomato vine, then wandering around this West Side cooperative might. If you're not ready to commit to an outdoor garden, houseplants - known for their air-purifying oxygen, interior design prowess and minimal responsibility - are a good alternative. After all, everyone is pretty much into houseplants these days.
A casual bakery brunch
Brunch at Breadhive (402 Connecticut St.), is flexible and casual. Sit inside the bakery's sunny dining area while basking in the natural light from the storefront windows and taking in the scent of fresh-baked bread. The popular tricked-out breakfast sandwiches are made on fresh-out-of-the-oven bread and served with at least one twist of an ingredient, like maple syrup with a standard sausage, egg and cheese, or a tofu scramble with tempeh bacon and turmeric. Stay as long or short as you like, sipping coffee, beer or kombucha on tap.
Read and relax over a peanut butter mocha
A lazy Sunday could be spent napping, catching up on a week's worth of television or reading at a cafe. The first two are probably spent inside your own house, but for the third, try VilaVerde Cafe, (388 Porter Ave.), a small, airy vegan cafe on the Lower West Side that opened last fall. Portugal native Pedro Manuel Freire's menu has a Mediterranean flair for food, and standard coffee shop drinks using oat milk as a dairy alternative.
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