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For a century, legend had it that Oliver Street in North Tonawanda had more taverns per block, or mile, or some other measure, than any other place in the state or country. The claim has never been verified, but anyone who ever tried to go from one end of Oliver to the other by having a drink at every bar will attest that there were a lot of them. As Oliver's claim to p…

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The paint was barely dry on one of Buffalo's newest murals when Dr. Christopher Hauglid, who lives a stone's throw away at the Mentholatum on Niagara Street, gave the floral tapestry a thumbs-up. "It beautifies this up-and-coming area, and represents the revitalization of Niagara Street and the whole Buffalo area," said Hauglid, a resident at the University at Buffalo J…

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Since we led with the Erie County Fair for this week's newsletter, it only makes sense to highlight rubber ducks for the weekend. Think of it like the Kentucky Derby, just for inanimate objects near Buffalo's waterfront. The Rotary Duck Derby is a quirky highlight for a weekend notable for quality new events: the environmentally friendly Flutterby Festival on the sidewa…

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This year's Lewiston Art Festival (Aug. 10 and 11) welcomes dozens of professional artists and crafts people along with hosting a section dedicated to art by college and high school students. On Aug. 10, young artists will mark the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival by drawing murals on the street with the theme "Peace, Love and Chalk." The Lewiston Public…

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While every edition of M&T's Second Friday brings something new to the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the August event is particularly special. The show "Charles E. Burchfield: Transitions" opens Aug. 9 with "a significant number" of Burchfield works on loan from private collections and other galleries. They will be on view with works by the artist from the center's col…

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The 53rd annual Lewiston Art Festival will feature the work of 175 professional artists this weekend in the Niagara County village. Artists from 13 states will compete for $6,000 in prizes at the show on Center Street on Saturday and Sunday. Works will include painting, photography, graphic arts, sculpture, artistic crafts including ceramics, fiber and glass, wood and j…

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Summer burns bright and fast like a star, and perhaps your money has, too, so here are free events and activities to last you through the autumnal equinox. For the creative Sunflowers of Sanborn As August rolls on, peak sunflower season begins. A few years ago, when photos of friends in sunflower fields flooded Instagram and Facebook feeds, people found out that the I…

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The poor house doesn't exist in name any longer but you can find it in spirit in Ujima Company's powerful collaborative production "Free Fred Brown!," about a man who is jailed for stealing heat for his family's house. The timely show debuted a couple of years ago and now Ujima and PUSH Green are presenting two free performances at 2 p.m. Aug. 3 and 4 in Ujima's new theate…

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For city dwellers, an occasional urge to escape clusters of buildings, traffic nuisances and cookie-cutter houses must be satisfied. Some fulfill their desire to get away by exploring the Buffalo-area's splendid parks, while others might schedule day trips to Niagara-on-the-Lake or Crystal Beach. From an event standpoint, this week's lineup offers a chance to relax away…

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In the grainy black-and-white photograph from 1903, Mark Twain sits on the steps of a vine-covered porch in Elmira, his white hair unkempt and his face paused in thought. Seated next to him is John T. Lewis, a poor pig farmer who was one of his closest friends. The unlikely pair, who are buried near each other in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery, has found new life in a mural…

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The Transfiguration Church is still in tattered condition. The East Side eyesore that - despite its designation as a landmark - has essentially been left for dead since closing fully in 1993. The three-person local photography collective Buffalo Obscura is eager to shift the focus back to the once-bustling parish during a pop-up event dubbed the Big Tent Revival, from 6…

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In Buffalo, we often tell an underdog tale of a once-flourishing Rust Belt city on the rise, ridden with snow, famous for chicken wings, notorious for inebriated football fans and fiercely defended by lifelong residents. While those are absolutely a part of our story, we leave out multiple facets of Buffalo life in that narrative, such as our theater, arts, culture and …

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The BBC Band, a Beatles cover group, will headline a 1960s-themed fundraising party July 25 for the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University. "Come Together" is the title of the party, open only to those over age 21, set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 25 outside the museum. The event goes on rain or shine, a museum spokeswoman said. Tickets are $20 for most, $15 for muse…

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You could write a book about the recent history of the Italian Heritage Festival, and it would be far from boring. There were brawls in 2016, the final year on Hertel Avenue, precipitating a major location change to the Outer Harbor and an admission charge for the first time. Attendance at the 2017 festival set a record for the Outer Harbor, but social media reaction wa…

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By the time the Albright-Knox Art Gallery closes its doors on Nov. 4 for its two-year expansion and renovation project, it will have raised more than $153 million. But to reach its goal of $180 million – $160 million for construction costs and another $20 million for an operating endowment – it still has about $27 million to go. And with local pocketbooks mostly tapped …