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Michael Farrell

Buffalo News contributor Michael Farrell is a freelance writer, novelist, and graduate of St. Bonaventure University.


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The modern coffee joint — whether chains like Starbucks or Spot, or independent neighborhood addresses — often comes with certain expectations from its clientele. Caffeinated drinks, both basic and elaborate. Comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi; breakfast and lunch dishes to satiate those cranking through drafts of term papers; and acoustic indie rock to complement your …

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Are Buffalo’s summers beautiful? Of course they are. The season’s usually so idyllic that it still stands as generations’ justification for braving the region’s sometimes calamitous winters—and that’s no small bargain. But within the thrill of the summer months, it can be easy to forget that, when weather and football results break the right way, the region’s fall can s…

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It’s easy to get sad about the departure of Buffalo’s summer. The short sleeves. The patio drinks. The daily schedule of outdoor concerts, free exercise classes and gentle morning breezes, the kind that caress like only a thankfully calm Great Lakes gust can. It’s a shame to see it all go away for the year, but it would be much harder to say goodbye if not for one un…

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Because of its spot on the calendar, this year’s Borderland Music + Arts Festival — set for Sept. 21 and 22 in East Aurora’s bucolic Knox Farm State Park — can bill itself in a handful of ways. It’s a goodbye to summer, occurring on the season’s last two official days. It’s a welcome to fall, happening on the doorstep of the region’s arguably most beautiful season. And …

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Every traveling Buffalonian has encountered The Annoying Chicken Wing Discussion. It’s an exchange that includes one well-meaning stranger asking if wings in Buffalo are really that good (usually right after insulting the city’s weather, industrial economy and/or football history), and requires one Buffalo native to answer in the affirmative — and then explain why. Answ…

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For many in Western New York, biking is a warm-whether activity, something you do to enjoy summer vibes whether pedaling to work or strapping on your Bern helmet for a casual weekend cruise along the waterfront. But for a region that has made long-overdue improvements to its implementation of biking infrastructure and support of cycling culture over the past 10 years, l…

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It’s already started, hasn’t it? The sadness. The longing and feeling of loss. The irrational panic of it all slipping away, yet it hasn’t even happened yet. Dramatic? Yes — but in Buffalo and across Western New York, the end of summer can feel like this. After a few months of pristine climate and a local landscape pulsating with ambitious activity, the season transi…

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We love our beer – illustrated by the fact we turned historic grain silos into a six-pack of Labatt looming over Buffalo RiverWorks. Our passion for beer and the talent and vision of local brewers and business owners have organically created a Buffalo brewery district. These 11 breweries – with a 12th soon to open – are within 1.8 miles of each other in three distinct c…

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Buffalo has had (and still has) its share of signature festivals, whether Kerfuffle, Edgefest and the forthcoming Borderland in late September. But when determining which affair best exemplifies Buffalo and its diversified music sensibilities, one could make the case that none have cradled the city’s evolving ethos as well as Cobblestone Live. Set for its third sessi…

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Since Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed coined the phrase “rock 'n’ roll” in 1951, decades of performers have become legends under the genre banner. And whether with their sound, specific songs or onstage theatrics, some of these icons have made an indelible impression on the generations of musicians. With this noted, it is understandable that some bands intentionally or…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

In the 1986 John Hughes classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the film’s title character leaves viewers with multiple pieces of advice, including the following: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The same could be said about Buffalo summers. Every year, they’re gone in a blink, booked with a surge of cookout…

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When then-Pilot Field opened its gates on April 14, 1988, it not only debuted a premier downtown park that would influence the design and direction of professional parks in the decades that followed. It also established a summertime destination that connected locals and visitors alike to the ethos of the city—one often defined by sports fandom, frothy brews and culinary…

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There's an ample contingent that welcomes summer months as a time for laid-back ease, with days and nights best spent with no agenda, no concerns and no care for the constraints that clamp down throughout the region's less idyllic months. This may sound lazy to some. To others — such as the late English banker, scientist and scholar Sir John Lubbock — it's entirely purp…

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Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay seems like an odd place to hatch a plan for heightened appreciation of Buffalo’s maritime history. Not for Mike Vogel and Paula Blanchard, the chair and co-chair of the forthcoming "Basil Port of Call: Buffalo," a four-day family event that will bring the most dramatic tall ship fleet to the city’s waterfront since the Erie Canal’s 1800s heyday…

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The calendar reads June, but it still doesn’t feel like summer. Yet. Blame it on a spring that never happened, or recent weeks that have felt more applicable for brown ales than beach parties. But if you want to get technical, summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21 — which makes this year’s scheduling of 107.7 Alternative Buffalo’s Kerfuffle all the more appr…