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Cover Story

Bye-Bye Skyway

by Geoff Kelly

Last Friday, former Milwaukee mayor John Norquist, who is now president of the Congress for New Urbanism, and Scott Bernstein, president of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, spoke to a crowd of 50 or so at the HSBC Arena’s Harbour Club, whose tall glass windows are dominated by a view of their subject matter: the Skyway. Norquist and Bernstein spoke at the invitation of US Congressman Brian Higgins, who for many years has joined a chorus of local voices begging for the thing to be pulled down.


Skyway Park

by Buck Quigley

The Skyway has taken a beating since it was constructed in 1958. Built as a high-flying arterial to the south from both downtown and the I-190, it was built to soar 110 feet above the harbor to facilitate the passage of Great Lakes freighters from the Midwest to our extensive network of grain silos and railroads—back in the day.


Artvoice Albums of 2006

As we have in past years, Artvoice’s music staff pored over what 2006 left in the record racks and download queues and listened, listened, listened. Here’s what we’ve found to be the best.

Letters to Artvoice

Are we to believe that when a woman from a Jewish background finds fault with Israel’s indisputable repressive government she is suddenly becomes the enemy of “her people” and an abomination, a kind of anti-Semitic Semite (“Letters to AV,” Artvoice v5n50)? In the days of JFK, Bennis would have been called a profile in courage because she has the courage to speak out against a host of injustices perpetrated, not by the people of Israel—many of whom would agree with the allegations she unflinchingly makes —but by their government and the governments which came before this one. Is it because Bennis is Jewish that the letters, critical of her analysis of this long-lasting Middle Eastern conflict, were written with such disdain, even rage?

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

Christmas Madness: (1) In November, the upscale New York City menswear and accessories store Jack Spade removed from its holiday catalog a $40 frog-dissection kit (with a real carcass) after numerous queries from people wondering what in the world the store was thinking. (2) A holiday party for inmates at Britain’s Peterborough Jail promised a fun time with Xbox and PlayStations, along with cash gifts of 5 pounds each (about US$9), which is greater than the value of the candy boxes the jail will give its guards for Christmas. (3) Police in Rock Hill, S.C., put a 12-year-old boy under arrest at the insistence of his mother after he had defied her and opened his Christmas gift three weeks early.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Happy Holy Daze, Sagittarius! My gift for you is the following oracle: A breakthrough you were blessed with in 1995 will be coming back around in 2007. How? Three possible ways: (1) You’ll be inspired to make changes to whatever sprung from that original breakthrough 12 years ago. (2) You’ll be visited by a new version of that breakthrough, on a higher octave this time. (3) You’ll attempt a quantum leap that resembles the original, but happens in a different area of your life.

Getting a Grip

My Shopping Orgy

by Michael I. Niman

Black Friday epitomizes everything that’s wrong with consumerist culture. Families defile holiday time together by rushing out before dawn on the day following Thanksgiving to model pathetic behavior and questionable values in front of their children. Faced with retailer-contrived scarcities of mostly sweatshop-produced products, sleep-deprived, overcaffeinated, middle-class consumers surrender their dignity and face off to battle in a media-hyped big-box circus. It’s social engineering at its finest—a holiday created by retailers and an advertising-hungry media industry to celebrate our out-of-control cargo cult. Traditionally the day after Thanksgiving provided a peaceful interlude for friends and family to spend quality time together. No more. Now it signals the beginning, not of the Christmas season, but of the “Shopping Season.”


Saying "Oh!": John Mohawk, 1944-2006

by Bruce Jackson

Sotisisowah, John Mohawk, a member of the Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Seneca elder historian, died in his Buffalo home on December 10. He was 61. He was buried six days later in the Seneca Nation Cemetery on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, next to his wife, Yvonne Dion-Buffalo, a member of the Samson Cree Band, who died in June 2005.

Fine Dining

The French Connection

by Marla Crouse

I’ll admit it. I’ve been going to Le Metro for years. So when given the opportunity to review their new menu, I was excited. Le Metro is also a bakery where you can stop after work and pick up fresh bread to serve with your home-cooked meals. Many frequent this hot spot for lunch. Their filling gourmet salads are reputed to be the best in town and their sandwich choices feature that glorious bread of theirs. Come evening, Le Metro is a lovely spot for dinner, with a varied menu sure to please.

Book Reviews

Compass of Affection by Scott Cairns

by Tony Leuzzi

In a famous miniature from an early 13th-century Old French Bible, God bends before the world—which he holds in his left hand—and a large gold compass—which he holds in his right. This image of God as architect is the iconic reference for Compass of Affection, Scott Cairns’s new and selected poems. A writer of depth and range, Cairns crafts poems of faith in an age when readers are liable to greet the subject with cynicism. However, Cairns is neither prescriptive nor naïve. Sampling his strongest verse from The Theology of Doubt onward, Compass supercedes his previous new-and-selected collection, 2002’s Philokalia. And although Compass omits a handful of gems from the former book, it is definitely worth getting. Indeed, some of Cairns’s most moving statements emerge from his 27 new poems. If the spiritual bankruptcy of consumerist culture seems an easy target for any poet, Cairns articulates the issue (in “Late Apocalypse”) with stunning originality: “The world—impossible conceit—/ dwindles in its substance even as its matter flourishes,/ and those who might direct it otherwise would be the last/ to jimmy up the works…” In “Trouble” a parent who has put his children to bed considers an unnamed terror that lies beyond that poem’s terminal ellipses. And in “Setting Out” “the slowest pilgrim” eventually forgoes the musty comforts of the hut for the uncertainty of the open road. Equally impressive are Cairns’s translations of poems from modern Greek masters Elytis, Kavafy and Seferis. But for me the most moving poems are those that reaffirm his disciplined religiosity. The third-to-last poem, “Evening Prayer,” begins with a question: “And what would you pray in the troubled midst/ of this our circular confusion…” The question, which remains unanswered, informs so much of Cairns’s work. And for anyone who believes the creation of the world is beyond the limits of our understanding, it’s a question we must never stop asking.


It Was the Year That Was

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

The year 2006 was another exciting one in the world of sports, both on the local and national stages. Here in Buffalo, the dominant story was certainly the Buffalo Sabres, who captivated the entire community with their playoff run. The story continues…the team unveiled its new logo amidst some controversy; Sabres season ticket sales smashed all expectations and the season is sold out; the hot start and top seed in the conference has fans dreaming of a team that will at long last bring the Stanley Cup to Buffalo in 2007.

You Auto Know

Don't I Know You?

by Jim Corbran

The Pontiac G5 was recently introduced to fill a hole in the low end of the Pontiac lineup—a hole that had already been filled for GM by the Chevrolet Cobalt. I suppose some of you are thinking, “Hasn’t General Motors driven down this road before? Didn’t this road help lead to the financial pickle GM now finds itself in?”

Film Reviews

Septuagenarian Slugger: Rocky Balboa

by M. Faust

Passion and Pedagogy: The History Boys

by George Sax

A Yalie in the Puzzle Palace: The Good Shepherd

by George Sax

Film Clips


Red Doors


See You There

New Year's Eve 2006

by Caitlin Derose

Old First Ward Christmas Party and Food Pantry Fundraiser

by Buck Quigley

Dave Constantino Band CD Release Party

by Buck Quigley

Sound In Motion

by Siobhan A. Counihan

Calendar Spotlight

Every Time I Die

by Caitlin Derose

The Crumbs of Insanity

by Caitlin Derose

The Fems

C. O. Jones


by Siobhan A. Counihan


The Common Kings

by Caitlin Derose