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Cover Story

Elmwood Village Hotel

by Jamie Moses

In 1923, Lewis Historical Publishing released Municipality of Buffalo, New York A History 1720-1923. In a section about Joseph Ellicott, the man hired in 1797 by the Holland Land Company to survey Buffalo land, and the man who designed our radial street plan, we’re told that Ellicott believed Buffalo would “become the most important settlement in the area, and over time become even larger and more important than the village of Batavia.”

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Of all the arguments made in favor of getting regular exercise, I rarely hear the one that’s most important to me: Do it because it strengthens and tones the power of your will. When you get used to rousing yourself out of your physical inertia, the habit carries over into the mental and spiritual sphere. You find it easier to force yourself out of your comfort zones and push toward the next frontier. You’re less likely to procrastinate and accept mediocrity, and you actually enjoy challenging yourself with worthy goals that require strenuous effort. It’s now the will-building season for you, Pisces. You know what to do.


What Should Buffalo Ask For From a Boutique Hotel?

by Miakka Natisse Wood

What should Buffalo ask for from a boutique Hotel? With quaint shops and cozy restaurants, Elmwood Avenue has always invited Buffalo to enjoy its urban neighborhood vibe. Now, developer Sam Savarina’s plan to bring a four-story hotel to the corner of Forest and Elmwood may mean sharing the strip with out-of-town visitors and out-of-town businesses. And while some are concerned about how this hotel will fit into the area aesthetically, as well as impacts on traffic and existing businesses, others see it as a sign of good things to come. In any case, the community would be well advised to do it right and get what it can out of the developer. What are your wishes for the proposed new hotel and for the neighborhood?

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Obsessed executives have always taken business home at night, but increasingly they take it into the bathroom, with laptop computers, high-speed connections, flat-panel televisions and speaker phones, according to a February Wall Street Journal report. (Said one, “I’m beside myself when I can’t get my e-mails.”) However, there are problems, e.g., “sound-chamber” sound (the hollow voice created by typical bathroom acoustics usually gives away one’s location) and the “BlackBerry dunk” (with one Houston repair shop saying it gets a half-dozen jobs a day of portable devices accidentally dropped into the sink or tub, “or worse”).

Getting a Grip

Weird Corporate Behavior: Regal Theaters’ Hoodie Ban

by Michael I. Niman

It all started just before Christmas when an armed police officer barred my spouse, a 40-year-old sociology professor, from leaving the Regal Elmwood Theater. If she wanted to continue walking the 10 yards to the exit door, the officer informed her, she would have to pull down her hood until she was outside. Or she could be arrested. Of course the pulling down the hood part goes against everything our mothers taught us about winter attire—that we put on our mittens and hoods before we go out into the cold. But the man giving the order had a gun and represented the power of the state.

Puck Stop

Making Over HSBC Arena

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Time sure flies, doesn’t it? This year our temple to hockey and entertainment will turn 10 years old. Seems like we walked into the building for the very first time just yesterday and marveled at the place.

In the Margins

Depth Charge: James Grinwis

by Forrest Roth

The development of the contemporary American short story has benefited from poets who have carried their discipline over to prose poems, or even to the sometimes less adventurous realm of traditional fiction. No surprise, then, that the prose poem has seen a resurgence of late, along with very short stories. It is the latter that James Grinwis is making the most of with a distinguishing poetic élan on the page that neatly blends the two forms together.

You Auto Know

It's BA-A-A-CK!

by Jim Corbran

Years ago—no, decades ago—Volkswagen took their rather nifty Rabbit two-door sedan, dropped in their hottest engine, stiffened up the suspension, added some cool tires and wheels and called it the GTI. It was the forefather of all those souped-up little hot hatches you see these days, only it came with a factory warranty—ready to go right out of the showroom.

Letters to Artvoice

Having successfully avoided—for the most part—Bruce Jackson’s hopelessly one-sided, incessant and interminable series of anti-casino agit-prop pieces in your publication, I finally broke down yesterday when I noticed Ken Ilgunas had decided to cover the “casino has killed small business in Niagara Falls” angle, and read the piece in its entirety (“There Goes the Neighborhood,” Artvoice v5n8). As a Seneca who moved to the Falls to take a job at the new casino three years ago I, and any resident there, can tell you Niagara Falls’ problems were around long before the tribe ever came to town. To cherry-pick five businesses and one local character is a laughable and lazy way to gauge the casino’s impact on the community. Having met two of the owners of the aforementioned businesses, I find it difficult to believe they would blame the casino for their woes…unless cajoled. One of the businesses, Kelly’s Korner, a neighborhood tavern in the LaSalle district, is located five miles from the casino site, for goodness sakes!


Past Tense, Active Voice

by Cynnie Gaasch

Joanna Raczynzka, media arts curator for Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, organized “Now Again the Past, an exhibition at least partially inspired by its surroundings. The Carnegie Art Center is a former library, reopened in the past decade as an exhibition space that gives special attention to new media, including video and computer-generated visual art.

Artist of the Week

Caitlin Coleman

by Anthony Chase

Why you should know who she is: Caitlin Coleman is one of Buffalo’s most powerful, charismatic and comical leading ladies. Strongly associated with Buffalo United Artists, with whom she serves as a managing member, she’s been widely praised for her compelling star performances in such plays as The Heidi Chronicles, Poor Super Man and The Mineola Twins, and has a range that runs from tragic realism to screwball hilarity.


by Anthony Chase

The Last Five Years has intrigued the musical theater world since it was first produced in New York City in 2002, a production directed by Daisy Prince with Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott—well before their Broadway pairing in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Buffalo would not see the show until two years later, when The Dramatis Personae company, a group of recent Fredonia graduates, mounted a production at Ujima Theatre Loft with Sara Schoch and Adam Phillips, directed by Dan Zak. The production picked up a couple of Artie Award nominations. Now, MusicalFare has succumbed to the allure of the piece.

Film Reviews

Rebel Hell: CSA: The Confederate States of America

by M. Faust

Ike Was Right: Why We Fight

by Michael I. Niman

Go Speed Racer: The World's Fastest Indian

by M. Faust

Fine Dining

Crazy On Main Street: Vado Pazzo

by Arthur Page

With reconstruction of the stretch of Main Street cruising past the University at Buffalo’s Main Street Campus hopefully ending in the near future, I’d like to make a not-so-modest proposal.

Gewgaws and Gimcracks

Toastmaster Sandwich Maker

by David P. Kleinschmidt

The Toastmaster Sandwich Maker has one purpose in life. It grills cheese sandwiches. Its operation is simplicity itself: Clamp it around a raw grilled cheese sandwich, wait four minutes and pull out a cooked grilled cheese sandwich—no fuss, no muss. (Actually, there is rather a lot of muss if you use too much cheese. It kind of oozes out the sides of the machine and gets in the electrical work and you can never quite escape the smell of molten Brie. But I digress.)

See You There

The M's

by Eric Boucher

GZA and DJ Muggs

by Daniel B. Honigman

Heard in Buffalo, Too

by Marty Wimmer

Tibet-in-Buffalo Film Festival

by M. Faust

Left of the Dial

MF Doom: The Special Herbs Box Set

by Joe Sweeney

Ray Davies: Other People's Lives

by Mark Norris

The Minus 5

by Matt Barber


Thrill Me!

Thrill Me! burst through the placenta of their pernicious serpentine mother in the basement of the Babylon Hotel in the late summer of 2005 in the most calamitous fashion.