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Cover Story

Torn Space: All the City's a Stage

by Thomas Dooney

Most times, an actress or an actor is the star of the show. Sometimes a visionary director or a genius composer is the main attraction. Once in a rare while, a production element—a runaway chandelier, a getaway helicopter or a breakaway gown—deserves above-the-title billing.

Mayor Brown's Apprentices

by Cara Gallivan

Feelings of restlessness and powerlessness at times plague Buffalonians in the face of the many and mounting challenges that face our hometown. And sometimes the very efforts of our elected officials and civil servants are only further maddening. But lest we feel completely robbed of influence in the city for whose future we care so much, Mayor Brown’s Citizens’ Participation Academy calls for applicants this month. Participants will learn first hand that City Hall is no Mount Olympus from which elected officials control over our beloved city’s fate. The eight-session program aims to make residents feel more connected to local government, schooling them in its structure and operations, informally and interactively. Citizens have opportunities to learn from city commissioners and program directors how to impact areas of personal concern, including economic development, public safety and education. If they are accepted, that is. With the selectivity of this program in mind, we took to the streets to find out what you would hope to get out of the CPA, were you to apply yourself (or even know of its existence).

Letters to Artvoice

I happened upon your article (“Brave Hart,” Artvoice v5n10) this week via another soldier from the 172nd Chemical Company. My name is Frederick Feeley and I served with Sgt. Hart during the deployment to Kuwait in 2003. I remember being there for a year, sitting behind those same fifty-caliber machine guns and up in the towers. I remember the way that information would flow from the front lines and the stories that began to drift in. I remember being stationed toward the end of our deployment outside of the Kuwait International Airport and seeing the faces of those who had been in battle and seen the atrocities that the war had provided.

Getting a Grip

Carbon Culture

by Michael I. Niman

People living within five miles or so of any major American waterway can hear their psychotic roar on hot summer evenings. They’re “dick boats”—long, sleek, overpowered speedboats that can cut a sunset cruise into a deafening four-minute drag race. Their nickname is based on common beliefs that their owners are compensating for anatomical deficiencies.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I predict you will dream about at least three of the following things in the coming week: a flying carpet, a genie’s lamp, the food of the gods, a wizard’s wand, healing ointment, a silver chalice and enchanted mud. “So what?” you might be saying. “What do dreams, no matter how fun they might be, have to do with my pursuit of happiness in the cold, cruel world of my waking life?” And I say unto you, Leo, that these dreams will mysteriously transform your psyche in such a way that you’ll be able to accomplish magic that may have seemed impossible before.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Australian Jeffrey Lee is the last surviving member of the clan that controls the Koongarra uranium deposit near Kakadu National Park (east of Darwin), and federal law requires his permission for the French energy company Areva to extract the estimated 14,000 tons, perhaps worth the equivalent of $4.2 billion (US), but Lee vouches never to sell because “if you disturb that land, bad things will happen.” “This is my country,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald in July. “I’m not interested in money. I’ve got a job…I can go fishing and hunting. That’s all that matters to me.”


by Geoff Kelly

Tree-cutting crews from Ohio-based Arborturf Environmental Services moved into Allentown last week as the city entered into the final phases of FEMA-funded tree removal. On August 2, this storm-damaged maple at the corner of Arlington Place and College Street, nearly 100 feet tall, was taken down, along with two similar trees in the same block. It’s one of around 7,000 trees the city has lost as a result of the storm. The crew brought it down expertly in about two hours, in stages—first the big limbs, then the crown, then the trunk.


Missing in Allentown

by Buck Quigley

The 5th Annual Music is Art Festival moves into its new location at the 168th Erie County Fair on Saturday, August 11. Proceeds from the popular festival will benefit the many school and community programs offered by Music is Art.

You Auto Know

Mini Maximizes

by Jim Corbran

You’re excused if you’re wondering why BMW (the parent company of MINI) didn’t simply choose Maxi as the name for its new, upcoming, larger MINI. Sure made sense to me; that is, until I thought back to the 1970s when the MINI was a truly British car, designed by Alec Issigonis and built by British Motor Corp. (previously known as British Leyland) as the Brits’ answer to Germany’s “people’s car,” the VW Beetle.


by Anthony Chase

Shakespeare in Delaware Park is, any Buffalonian will tell you, one of the great things about our city. From mid June to the third week of August, every night from Tuesday to Sunday, hundreds of people flock to the hill behind the Rose Garden, thousands every summer, to see fully staged outdoor productions of Shakespeare’s plays…for free. And we’ve been doing it for 32 years.

Book Reviews

Complete Minimal Poems by Aram Saroyan

by Andrew Rippeon

Radish King by Rebecca Loudon

by Linda Benninghoff

Film Reviews

Not So Plain-Jane: Becoming Jane

by George Sax

Enchanted: Stardust

by M. Faust

Film Clips

Introducing the Dwights

by George Sax

Rush Hour 3

by M. Faust


48-Hour Film Project

by Laura Masters

Buffalo has a rich history in filmmaking that goes all the way back to 1897. That was the year that Thomas Edison came to town with his kinetoscope and shot some of his earlier films, including shorts of the fire department putting out a fire, the police department on parade and the East Side stockyards.

Left of the Dial

Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist

by Joe Sweeney

Flight of the Conchords: The Distant Future EP

by Donny Kutzbach

See You There

A Midsummer Night's Block Party

by Caitlin DeRose

King Sunshine

by K. O'Day

Scott H. Biram

by Donny Kutzbach

Portugal. The Man

by K. O'Day

Calendar Spotlight

Blind Baby's Holiday

Karate High School

Band of Horses

Tom Sartori

Marc Scibila

by Laura Masters

The Winter Sounds

Ask Anyone

My partner loves to have sex in public places, but I’m new in town. Can you recommend some spots? (Please bear in mind that I’m a bit of a germophobe.) —Al Fresco