INTERVIEW: Peter Johnson and Victor Marwin of Grain Cycles


There’s something a-brewing in Studio #212 at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (1201 Pine Ave, Niagara Falls, NY 14301) that many Western New Yorkers will be excited to hear about. The brainchild of Against the Grain Woodworking‘s Victor Marwin and Peter Johnson, Grain Cycles have arrived to give the many cyclists and enthusiasts in […]

Babel’s Patti Smith and her “monastic mess”


After waxing on about the “Lovecraftian” look of downtown Buffalo—the morning’s fog still hadn’t lifted by 6:45pm during my drive along the 190 to Kleinhans—Patti Smith disarmed the largest crowd in Just Buffalo Literary Center‘s Babel history with the words: “If you get bored or tired just tell me. We can talk about anything.” It’s […]

Overtaken by the story … Babel’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


The change was gradual, but 2014-2015 really cements it for Just Buffalo Literary Center‘s Babel series. What began as a venue for renowned writers to read their works and engage the audience in a conversation about story genesis and process has become somewhat of a publicity tour. Is this a natural evolution? Perhaps this year’s […]

Top Ten Films of 2014: A deluge of sci-fi doppelgängers and one-word titles


I don’t want to label 2014 as a good, bad, or average year. I want to call it inventive, original, and delightfully dark. Whether it’s doppelgänger paradoxes leading to murderous rage, the bleak carnage of war, prison violence, or psychologically debilitating struggles to be great, my favorite films had an edge that cut to the […]

The 87th Oscars recap through tweets …


I’m not sure why I keep filling myself with false hope that the Oscars will one day be an entertaining show to watch. The optimism is almost completely unfounded by this point. Whether they go weird (Anne Hathaway and James Franco), safe (Billy Crystal), hip (Seth MacFarlane), or try and steal another show’s success (Neil […]

Picking Winners at the 87th Annual Academy Awards


Things look pretty cut and dry where the Academy is concerned in 2015. The Oscars are always a somewhat watered-down look at what really mattered in the past year of cinema and this installment is no exception. In fact, it may be all water at this point. That doesn’t mean there can’t be some intriguing […]

Writing holds a mirror to your inner self … Babel’s David Henry Hwang


Two plus months and a few snowstorms later, David Henry Hwang finally made it to Buffalo. The second speaker in Just Buffalo Literary Center’s 2014/2015 Babel Season, Hwang probably would have waited even longer if the elements necessitated. He’s that generous a human being. Artistic Director Barbara Cole illustrated such with an anecdote concerning a […]

INTERVIEW: A.J. Fries, painter


An inaugural member of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center’s “Living Legacy” artists in 2012, A.J. Fries has gone from a young boy roaming the halls of Buffalo’s cultural institutions to a respected member of its world whose work now rests in more than one local museum’s permanent collection. How’s that for a hometown success story? Winner […]

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition preview


TIFF may be known for the film festival that makes up its name’s acronym, but they offer so much more ever since the TIFF Bell Lightbox opened a few years back. Along with an extensive screening schedule of new releases we in Buffalo may never see on the big screen, the organization has set itself […]

The least cool writer in all of New York City … Babel’s Colum McCann


Irishman Colum McCann was a breath of fresh air at the 2014-2015 season premiere of Just Buffalo Literary Center‘s Babel last night for one reason—he didn’t live a tragic life. His talk left a little to be desired as an agenda to talk about how literature and art is the truest path to peace proved […]

The 2014 BxNF Buffalo International Film Festival Preview


Many people may not know this, but Buffalo has two annual film festivals. One happens in spring—The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival—and one in fall. Now that October has arrived, it’s time to start checking out what the latter has to offer. Formally founded in 2005 by Edward Summer, The Buffalo International Film Festival is less […]