by Pete Burakowski

Sick of your friend going on and on about how he grabbed his kitchen table at IKEA and found his sweet man bag at the mall?

One-up him by saying you got the same things handmade by a Roycroft master artisan! That’ll teach him!

On June 26 and 27, swing out to East Aurora for the Roycrofters at Large Summer Festival, where you’ll meet dozens of artisans from across the country selling furniture, pottery, paintings, leather goods and more.

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by Karen Huefner

Compliments of the Urban Dictionary

A Greek word used to describe a jubilant emotion of/during ‘celebration’.

Examples:

“Hooray! OPA!”
“It’s a boy! OPA! Cigars For All!”
“Come on, be a man, take another shot of Ouzo… OPA!”

Find your own reason to shout at The Buffalo Greek Festival (June 4-6, 2010)

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by Pete Burakowski

If your daughter is turning 13, the biggest thing you could do for her birthday would be to have Miley Cyrus perform. It would be awesome. You’d be the best parent ever.

If you’re the University at Buffalo and you’re planning the 35th anniversary of your June in Buffalo new music festival, you’d schedule composition superstar Steve Reich to be there. And they did.

Reich, Augusta Read Thomas and a handful of the most buzz-worthy composers and performers in the world will take part in concerts, master classes, open rehearsals, lectures, seminars and installations from May 31 to June 6.

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by Matt Steinberg

The inaugural National Garden Festival is coming to town this summer, and it’s an event like no other in the country. It’s a five week celebration (June 18 to July 25) of our garden walks, talks, tours and events. The Festival will be like a great, green umbrella under which garden tours, the Japanese Garden, the Erie Basin Marina Gardens, the Botanical Gardens, the Rose Garden, the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmer’s Market, the Olmsted Parks, Garden Walk Buffalo, garden symposia, and new special events will be presented to garden lovers, gardening enthusiasts and culturally inclined travelers who revel in the kind of tree lined streets, Victorian architecture and locally owned shops and restaurants that are found in abundance throughout out the Buffalo region. For more information, check out its new video and website, NationalGardenFestival.com.

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by Susan Braun

If you want to catch fine performances by two of Buffalo’s most accomplished actors, Anne Gayley and Roz Kramer, take yourselves to the Kavinoky Theatre to see them reprise the roles they played 20 years when Peter Schafer’s comedic play Lettice and Lovage was first produced. The show, which opened on Friday, April 30th, is directed by Kathleen Gaffney. Lettice Douffet (Anne Gayley) is a tour guide at an old British mansion that does not have an exciting historical past. To make up for this perceived lack, Lettice embellishes the facts with great enthusiasm until she is unceremoniously fired by Lotte Shoen, the Human Resources Manager at the British Preservation offices.

Conflicts between creativity and fact are quickly resolved as Lottie, suffering from guilt, comes to visit Lettice at her apartment. She brings information about a new job as well as a glowing letter of recommendation. Lettice invites her to “quaff” a potent English cordial which she concocts using an herb called lovage. And so begins a new friendship.

For information about tickets and show times, contact the Kavinoky Theater at either 716-881-7668 or www.kavinokytheatre.com.

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by Pete Burakowski

Fueled by transportation along the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal, manufacturing, and milling, Buffalo saw astronomical financial and population growth throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Along the way, some of the greatest American architecture was built (like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House and Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building), Buffalo became home to the largest number of millionaires per capita in the country, communities of hard-working blue collar families were born, and Buffalo’s waterfront earned the reputation as one of the most dangerous and vice-ridden in the world.

It’s one thing to read these stories in a book. It’s another to walk Buffalo’s streets and see for yourself where history was played out. Buffalo Tours helps you do the latter.

With dozens of tours with titles like “Crime & Scandal,” “Gold Medal Grain Elevators,” and “Splendors in Stained Glass,” Buffalo Tours offers fun, informative looks at each aspect of Buffalo. Like to have a pint with your tours? They even have a series of happy hour walks that begin and end at local pubs.

The Buffalo Tours schedule runs through October and the tours are a bargain – most are either $10 or free!

http://www.preservationbuffaloniagara.org/page/buffalo-tours/

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by Matt Steinberg

If you’re craving Italian food, Buffalo has you covered. From Chef’s downtown to Cecelia’s in the Elmwood Village to Lombardo’s in North Buffalo, there are a ton of places here where you can satisfy your pasta jones. This is also community that loves mom and pop places – we are serious locavores. This being said, there is a chain place out in the ‘burbs that you should seriously consider trying. Bravo! is located on the ground level of the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga, and I had a fantastic lunch there recently. My friend, who is an Italian cuisine connoisseur, recommended that we go there, and I wasn’t disappointed. She started with a delicious tomato bisque, followed by a perfectly pressed mozzarella, tomato and pesto panini, while I had salad and a wonderful plate of lasagna that seemed to be homemade. The decor is a fun, family friendly Romain ruin, and the menu had something for everyone’s taste.

I know what you’re thinking – it’s a chain, and it’s in the mall. But don’t let that stop you – Bravo isn’t your typical mall eatery. It’s definitely worth a trip.

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