by Susan Braun

Looking for music and art events to get involved with this coming weekend, October 2-4? Well, here are some great ideas!

The much anticipated Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Opening Night Gala, “Ode to Joy”, will be held at Kleinhan’s Music Hall on October 3rd, 2009. The concert, which begins at 8:00 pm, will be preceded by an optional black tie event including drinks, hors d’ oeuvres and dinner! In the first half of the program, Music Director JoAnn Falletta, and the BPO will be joined by the world-renown violinist, Gil Shaham, in a performance of Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy. That will be followed by J. S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, featuring Mr. Shaham and his wife, Adele Anthony, a very accomplished violinist in her own right. After the intermission, the BPO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will present Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for a grand finale. You may purchase tickets for either the Opening Gala, which includes the concert, or you may opt for the concert only. For more information about this and upcoming classical and pops concerts, go to

There will be plenty of art to see in Buffalo this weekend.

You can get your exercise and your visual arts fix on the evening of October 2nd by joining the Allentown First Fridays GalleryWalk when 16 venues with works by 50 artists will be open from 6 until 9 pm. This free monthly event brings people together to view art work, dine at great restaurants and visit local businesses in the Allentown area. Welcome to El Buen Amigo and Nest Interiors as new participants! Here’s a sampler of the galleries that will be open:

  • Betty’s (restaurant)
    Ilania Kaplan Stanger, paintings
    370 Virginia Street
    8am to 10pm
  • C. J. Jung Center
    Dianne Baker, “Transformations”
    Mixed Media Assemblages
    408 Franklin Street
    6-8pm—Artist Talk at 7pm
  • El Buen Amigo
    Latin American Cultural Association (LACA)
    Building Bridges to the Community
    Works by Nancy Richert, Brian Federick, Ann Miliken, Betsey Roshner and Dan
  • Mika
    114 Elmwood Avenue
    11am to 9pm with opening reception 7-9pm
  • Indigo
    Work by 12 NYFA MARK artists
    74 Allen Street
  • Nest Interiors
    Work by Sandra Bartz
    68 Allen Street

A complete list can be found at

The Burchfield Penney Art Center has devoted most of the gallery space to a wonderful exhibition entitled “Art in Craft Media”. This first craft biennial features works created by Western New York artists who use clay, metal, fiber, glass and wood, all media associated with the craft arts. You can view a wide range of works including such standouts as the “Coffee Cup Conveyor Belt” by Alicia Eggert, tongue-in-cheek embroideries on found objects by Lily Booth, fiber works by Nancy Belfer, disintegrating window screens by Andrea Marquis, beautiful wooden furniture including the “Scotch Cabinet” by Douglas Figler and a silver necklace by Suzanne Hofmeister that is included in a display of other works by Hofmeister and Temi Kucinski. To learn more about the Burchfield Penney Art Center and this exhibit, check out

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gallery_walkby Doug Sitler

Allentown is most definitely one of Buffalo’s most celebrated and beloved neighborhoods. The historic district is chock-full of art galleries, restaurants, shops, and some of the city’s most colorful residents. A great way to fully explore Allentown is by participating in the monthly “First Fridays Gallery Walk” event: a free self-guided art gallery walk throughout the beautiful and inspiring neighborhood.

Allentown’s cozy streets built generations ago provide the perfect setting for some urban exploration and an intimate look at Buffalo’s energetic arts scene. Most of the arts spaces are doors apart, thus you can experience numerous showings in a relatively short walk. Some of my favorite stops are Buffalo Big Print (the name says it all), College Street Gallery (small gallery with an ever-changing exhibition schedule), Hero Design Studio (nationally recognized poster art designers), and El Museo (featuring multi-cultural artists). There are also some new additions to the Allentown arts scene that I am eager to survey, including the arts collective Sugar City on Wadsworth Street.

After your gallery exploration, there are no less than 37 food and entertainment establishments awaiting your visit. Some restaurants, including Merge and Allentown Hardware, feature ongoing art showings inside their establishments so essentially you can dine within the confines of an art exhibition.

For more information and a map regarding the First Fridays Gallery Walk in Allentown, click here

sampleby Carolyn Batt

One of the most eclectic neighborhoods in Buffalo is the Allentown Historic Preservation District. Home to some of Buffalo’s best architecture, shopping, and nightlife, Allentown is also home to one of the nation’s largest outdoor art festivals. One of the biggest attracting points of visitors to this Bohemian neighborhood though is its offbeat restaurants that you can’t find in other cities.

Allentown offers a variety of creative dining options that are unique to this neck of the woods. Start off by stopping by Betty’s, Buffalo’s best kept secret. Located in a beautifully restored century old house in the middle of a residential neighborhood, Betty’s boasts homemade breakfasts, lunches and dinners with a variety of vegetarian and local foods. This secret is quickly catching on as Sunday brunches oftentimes finds people lining up around the corner for spinach potato pancakes or the scrambled tofu hash.

Try the Falafel Bar for lunch. This newest location of the popular Buffalo Mediterranean eatery features authentic falafel, hummus and other popular Middle Eastern foods. The tabouli is not to be missed here! Grab a fresh fruit smoothie or fruit juice made to order before antiquing or checking out one of the dozens of art galleries around the neighborhood.

Catch dinner at Sample Restaurant—where you can literally sample a variety of gourmet cuisines. Try the carrot ginger soup, served in a shot glass or the steak frite—seared sirloin steak and Worcestershire aioli served atop a house made french fry! If you’re still hungry, don’t worry, Sample also serves a variety of small plates and desserts to compliment.

Allentown offers more than two dozen restaurants within a one mile radius—all independently owned. For a complete listing and description of the dining options available, visit our website.

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by Doug Sitler

nietzchesOn Friday night I headed down to Nietzsche’s in historic Allentown to catch one of my favorite local rock bands – The Steve Johnson Band. Nietzsche’s is a venerable Buffalo music hall that has provided music seven nights a week for over 25 years – from solo artists to bombastic rock bands, the club has seen it all. The fact that Nietzsche’s is located in Allentown is an added bonus, as it has always been my favorite neighborhood in Buffalo; full of cool shops, funky art galleries, great restaurants, and late-night hangouts.

Walking though the front door of the 300-person capacity club is like stepping into an art exhibit. From floor to ceiling, the club’s walls are adorned with interesting paintings and sculptures created by local artists and the club’s patrons. The place attracts a wide variety of patrons, with “music lover” tending to be the characteristic that brings everyone together. One of the more interesting features of this club is the ceiling. A quick glance upwards reveals autographs by Phish, Rusted Root, 10,000 Maniacs, Ani DiFranco, The Tragically Hip, and other famous performers that have graced the club’s stage.

With the club’s owner Joe Rubino quite often holding court at the corner of the bar, Nietzsche’s features two areas where patrons can experience music. In the front of the bar is a small stage that tends to feature acoustic performers. In the rear of the club is where the large main stage resides, with elevated seating on the sides of the venue, and an ample dance floor to groove the night away. The weekend shows tend to start at 10:00 p.m., with the cover charge rarely exceeding $5. Whether you go to the club to see “the next big thing,” or just to have an enjoyable night in a creative setting, Nietzsche’s will fit the bill.

Click on the following links to find out more about Nietzsche’s ( or the Allentown neighborhood (