Monday, September 29, 2008

Shooting Buffalo

At the wedding last weekend when we'd talk about our trip, people kept asking Emily and me why we wanted to go to Buffalo (and to Cleveland, where we're going today).

Number one, why not? I will happily go anywhere. There are interesting things to see in almost every wide spot in the road. Second, Buffalo is not just anywhere. It was burned to the ground in the war of 1812, and spent the next several decades building back up, hitting a massive boom around the turn of the century, when the Erie Canal brought shipping business and loads of cash to the region. Louis Sullivan, the Saarinens, HH Richardson—there's a ton of interesting architecture here. Also, Buffalo 66 was made in Buffalo.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House. (There are a bunch of his houses up here but this is the only one we had time to see.)

The decline of a boomtown, while very sad, is at least as visually interesting as its rise.

Downtown is full of nice buildings, though they're almost all empty.

Cities like Buffalo always have some cool old bars.

Kazimierz Pulaski gets his props in Buffalo too.

The waterfront park is really nice. There's a gigantic view across Lake Erie toward Canada.

The Seneca were the first people here, and then the Iroquois as a whole, and then the French.

The grain elevator was invented at the Erie Basin.

The observation tower at the marina.

There's a military museum on the waterfront.

Does that lightning bolt really seem dangerous?

Finally: Buffalo Wings were invented here, at the Anchor Bar, by an Italian lady in 1964. We decided that their bleu cheese could have used more chunks, but that the wings were the best either of us had ever had. They're just extra meaty and cooked to perfection. The "suicidal" wings are extremely hot but don't lose any flavor. Highly recommended if you're ever in Buffalo.

Next up: Cleveland. Get ready to live.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Forgot to tell you guys good-bye, bon voyage,and thanks for the party. Well, actually, I did at the party, but not after. Also, I have a very old t-shirt that says "I wing it at the Anchor!" Cast-off from an ex, and I never knew what it meant. Have a great trip!