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Cover Story

Bringing Down the House

by Peter Koch

Michael Gainer doesn’t sleep, he waits…and thinks. He’s simply too busy to sleep, and besides, recently he’s got a whole lot to think about—soliciting foundations, screening employment applications, honing his business plan, getting various permits from the city, networking with related organizations and companies, obtaining gap funding and lining up future jobs, to name a few things—the pen-and-paper drudgery required of a budding not-for-profit. Oh yeah, and taking down houses. That last bit may sound outlandish, but it’s not when you consider his organization’s purpose: deconstructing and reusing Buffalo’s worn out buildings. As ambitious a project as it sounds, especially given the 20,000 or more ragged, abandoned buildings in Buffalo, it’s only the tip of the iceberg compared to what Gainer hopes to accomplish with Buffalo ReUse. To understand the scope and vision of the project, you have to speak with Gainer himself, as I did on a recent Friday morning.

Letters to Artvoice

“Stumped” and now “Timber” certainly the Lorax is alive and well at Artvoice (Artvoice v6n24&28). Buck Quigley’s hot investigative journalism is “speaking for the trees” like no other voice in the city.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): How should we visualize the phase you’re in? Are you coming back home after a harrowing journey to the abyss? Or are you about to launch a quest straight into the heart of the dawn’s blinding promise? Paradoxically enough, Leo, you’re doing both. You’re coming and going at the same time. You’re graduating from an ancient lesson and beginning a new course of study. Hints of the future are mingled with the last gasps of the past.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ It is increasingly difficult these days for a girl to go through the stage of “plain old kid,” according to a June Arizona Republic story, because clothing fashions seem to move from “toddler” directly to some form of “teen” (including “tween” and now “pre-tween”), with spaghetti-strap dresses and “ultra miniskirts,” but in tinier-than-ever sizes. In fact, reported the newspaper, GapKids recently offered a “white, crocheted string bikini you’d likely see Anna Kournikova wearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue (except that it) was for a 12-month-old.”


Can the Senecas Buffalo Judge Skretny?

by Bruce Jackson

Two large flags—one belonging to the United States, the other to the Seneca Nation of Indians—flutter on black poles twice the height of the new steel shed on Perry street near the Michigan Avenue intersection. The shed is dark blue and windowless. It is a structure of the type and size that usually contains construction equipment or supplies.


The Little Blue Gambling Parlor

by Cara Gallivan

It’s been just over two weeks since the Seneca Gaming Corporation opened the doors to the Buffalo Creek Casino and invited patrons to start dropping their cash into the little blue gambling parlor’s 119 slot machines. The SGC regards the facility as temporary, in that it will eventually be replaced by some larger, flashier compound with far greater capacity and a full complement of shopping, dining and drinking venues. Opponents regard the blue steel box as temporary, too, inasmuch as they are working to get an injunction to have it shut down immediately, arguing that the federal government erred in designating the land as eligible to host a gambling operation. We asked a handful of folks whether they had visited the little blue gambling parlor yet. Here’s what they said:


The Bully's Pulpit

by Geoff Kelly

Today Judy Einach announced that she was dropping out of the race for the Niagara District Common Council seat being vacated by Nick Bonifacio, who is retiring. Or possibly making himself available for a new job, should Jim Keane become the next county executive. That’s a different story, to be explored in these pages soon enough.

Flash Fiction

The Hill


"My computer put a machine shop inside yours."

That Quiet Painted Moment

Play Ball!

Toronto's Game Day Experience

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Going to a big league sporting event today can really hit the wallet hard—game tickets, parking, refreshments, perhaps a scorecard, program or a souvenir. For some families such an outing works out to just an occasional treat.

Film Reviews

Bait and Switch: Captivity

by M. Faust

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream of Movies: Paprika

by George Sax

Coming to America: Golden Door

by M. Faust


A Claim to Fame

by Donny Kutzbach

Three More and Out

by Jan Jezioro

See You There

The Lemonheads

by Donny Kutzbach

Jammin' at the Ballpark

by Laura Masters

Juliette Lewis & The Licks

by Caitlin DeRose

House of Sweet Magic: A Memorial Screening for Helen Hill (1970-2007)

by M. Faust

Calendar Spotlight


by Caitlin DeRose

Great Northern

Spiritual Rez

Infringement Festival

by Jodi Hahn


Advice Goddess

by Amy Alkon

After my wife’s jewelry business slowed down, she started bartending to pay her part of our bills. She’s 35. A guy about 60 got friendly with her, leaving $50 tips for a few beers. This raised an eyebrow for me. Then she got breast implants and a tummy tuck and still had money…hmmm. After digging through her tall tales, I finally got her to admit Mr. Friendly funded everything. She just started nursing school, and now he gives her over $2,000 a month. She insists he’s just a friend, and the father figure she never had, and he just wants to help. They meet regularly for coffee, and I’ve even heard her on the phone telling him “I love you” (platonically, she insists). We have a four-year-old son together, and I love her and don’t want to leave. Still, she won’t stop seeing him because he pays her bills, and I can’t pick up all the debt she’s incurred. Money aside, she doesn’t want to be without her “friend.” Any ideas? My head’s about to burst.