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Elmwood Avenue, From the Top

Half & Half Trading Company

A stroll through the often overlooked northern end of Elmwood’s popular shopping district

Bidwell Park is one of the nicest areas that the Elmwood Strip has to offer, with coffee shops, art galleries, dining, clothing, gift shops, and plenty of greenspace in which just relax and eat a gelato.

Kick your holiday shopping trip off with a coffee from Caffe Aroma on the corner of Elmwood and Bidwell, and then go right next door to Talking Leaves to shop for the bookworm in your life. Check out How Music Works by David Byrne, in which the legendary Talking Heads vocalist writes about everything from the music industry to the history of the LP and cassette tape and recording technology of the 21st century.

Poster Art

Next, make a stop at Homeward Bound, adjacent to Mezza Restaurant, on the corner of Elmwood and West Delavan. Homeward Bound is the perfect spot to shop for Christmas decorations—like an awesome peacock feather ornament—or something to hang on the wall all year round, like a giant print of New York City on a burlap canvas ($130). Head north on Elmwood and take a stroll through Bidwell Park before stopping at Animal Outfitters to pick up some peanut butter- or chicken-flavored dog biscuits for the furry critter in your household.

If you’re hungry for something a little healthier than dog biscuits, take a lunch break at Ashker’s Juice Bar, where you can try a Zinger—fresh squeezed orange, carrot, lemon, ginger, and apple juice—and a black bean veggie burger made with fresh ingredients. For dessert, head next door to Zillycakes, a custom cake studio and cupcake bar with monthly specials. November cupcake flavors include maple bacon, rosemary corn, and vegan pumpkin.

Shoot across the street to Poster Art to pick up a “Love BFLO Football” t-shirt or a print of your favorite poster. For some original handmade art, check out ZGM Gallery, right next door at 1045 Elmwood Avenue. Owners Don and Diann Zinteck carry photography, sculpture, and paintings from a variety of mainstream and underground Buffalo artists. Take a look at the Femme Fatale series by artist Cari Feltz-Abdo or gander at a humongous painting by local artists Dario Mohr and Mark DiVincenzo titled Satan vs. Michael. On Friday, November 23, an exhibit featuring the art of George Palmer, Don Haug, Lisa Palmer Haug, Mark Palmer, Chris Haug, and Tessa Haug will open in the upper gallery, with music provided by Chris Haug, Doug Yeomans, and Rob Lynch. Then from Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 2, ZGM will host a Holiday Open Studios event, which will feature locally made jewelry, ceramics, small paintings, and photography priced between $25 and $100.

For women’s clothing, head over to Half & Half Trading Company (1088 Elmwood Avenue) and grab a warm winter hat, some cute socks, or a new sweater. If you’re hungry for dinner by now, grab a bite at Saigon Café for some delicious Thai food, or Cole’s for Buffalo wings and a beef on weck. If you’re in the market for a new axe, check out the huge selection of guitars and accessories at Allentown Music (1113 Elmwood Avenue); if you’re just the listening type, go next door to the newly opened Allentown Music Too for CDs and used vinyl records.

Filigrees Gallery and Boutique, at the corner of Elmwood and Forest, has a wide variety of products, from t-shirts to jewelry, hula-hoops to and paintings. “Everything is locally made from the bottom up,” says owner Melissa Campbell. “We make the stuff here and buy from people who live here. It strengthens our community and creates jobs for our artists.”

If you’re ready to relax after a hard day of shopping, finish your day off with a drink at Mixology, a brand new, beautifully decorated bar right down the street at 443 Forest Avenue, where once there was the Royal Pheasant.

Bidwell Park has something for everyone on your shopping list so take a walk over, buy locally, and get all of your shopping done in one trip.

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