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 Carolyn Batt

Unquestionably, I had heard the rumors, seen the lines out the door and listened to the dozens of praises I had heard about Amy’s Place. Admittedly though, it took some persuasion to actually get me into this hole-in-the-wall diner in University Heights.

Amy’s Place is not your typical restaurant. It’s an anything goes kind of place—some days the sounds of Ray Charles play softly while you’re dining, and other times Queen and Nirvana are blasting while you’re sitting along the counter. The wall art is a collection of local talent along with the placemats of customers that have sketched while dining, and the people watching- well, that’s almost as big of a draw as the food. You never know whether you’ll be seated next to college students, an artsy family or a young city couple.

I always start off my morning (or afternoon or evening—Amy’s Place is open all day), with a Johnnie Ryan soda—locally made root beer, cherry soda, or cola, made with 100% pure cane soda. There’s something about drinking a soda out of a glass bottle in a diner that makes me feel like I’m suddenly not in 2009 Buffalo.

Then it’s on to the lentil soup. Lentil soup in itself isn’t always the most exciting first course, but at Amy’s Place, their homemade soup is a chunky mix of fresh lentils, seasonings and pasta for an added originality. Their menu contains a mix of Middle Eastern, vegetarian options and dishes created by their own staff. Despite the more than 50 items you can order, I’m pretty partial to the Simply Salim—a mix of fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, fries and hot sauce in a pita with a side of tabouli. It’s definitely one of those “tastes better than it sounds” must-try foods.

Amy’s Place has caused me to have an addiction to an offbeat restaurant that at first glance, may not be your first choice. However, after one meal there, instead of people trying to persuade me, the roles have reversed and I’m the one now suggesting Amy’s Place—for the third time in a week.

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by Ellen Goldbaum
Courtesy the UB Reporter

Whether you’re a total non-science person or the next Einstein, the Science and Art Cabaret was made for you. This is science as never seen before.

The first Science and Art Cabaret, sponsored by UB and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, will be held from 7-9 p.m. October 20 in the Ninth Ward in Babeville’s Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

Admission is free and open to the public; a cash bar will be available.

“It’s an entertaining mash-up of cutting-edge science and technology, with art, music, poetry and performance,” says Will Kinney, UB cosmologist, associate professor of physics and cabaret organizer.

The topic will be “Taking Nature Apart,” and UB’s scientists and artists will be weighing in.

The Science and Art Cabaret is part of the Café Scientifique movement that has swept the U.S. and Europe.

Now, Buffalo has its own place for artists and scientists to connect, created by UB physicists and visual artists who have collaborated on such successes as the UB Physics and Arts Summer Institute and the permanent “Physics and Arts Exhibition” in Fronczak Hall on the North Campus.

“Order a drink at the bar and hear top university researchers discuss their work in context with creative minds from the arts and humanities,” Kinney explains. “We pick a topic and look at it from all angles.

“Physicists, biologists, musicians and poets will riff on reductionism, that peculiar scientific notion of learning about the world by breaking it into component parts,” he says. “What do we learn by taking an organism apart? What do we learn by taking matter itself apart? What don’t we learn? Should we feel alienated or illuminated by the creative destruction of scientific inquiry?”

In addition to Kinney, the panel includes College of Arts and Sciences faculty members Ulrich Baur, particle physicist and professor of physics; Katharina Dittmar de la Cruz, assistant professor of biological sciences; and Gary Nickard, clinical assistant professor of visual studies.

Local artist Patty Wallace will do a reading, and live music will be provided by The Vores (unplugged), Buffalo’s late ’70s alternative band whose music is described as punk rock and surfer, and which features UB artists Nickard and Biff (Kenneth) Henrich, and UB grant writer Catherine Carfagna.

To provide the critical connection to the world of quarks and questions about our place in the universe, particle physicist and UB assistant professor of physics Avto Kharchilava will host a live video link to the control room at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

For more information, contact Nickard at 645-0529 or Kinney at 645-2017, ext. 111.


by Eric Jackson-Forsberg

When Frank Lloyd Wright inscribed a copy of his Autobiography to Darwin and Isabelle Martin of Buffalo, he characterized their role in supporting his career as an architect in characteristically dramatic terms: “To Darwin D. Martin and his wife—hero and heroine of this tale—with esteem, affection and gratitude from their architect – Frank Lloyd Wright.” But, aside from the definitive, Prairie-era commission of the Martin House Complex (1903-05), how did the unassuming Martins warrant such top billing in Wright’s self-styled biographical drama? Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo Venture: From the Larkin Building to Broadacre City, coming to the University at Buffalo Anderson Gallery October 2 – December 30, will illustrate the depth and breadth of the Martins’ role in sustaining the work of America’s greatest 20th century architect.

Curated by Jack Quinan, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Visual Studies at UB and a leading Wright scholar, this exhibition opens in conjunction with the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s meeting in Buffalo. The group is dedicated to saving Wright’s built work, and Quinan was a founding stakeholder. Through more than 130 objects including drawings, photographs, models and original Wright furnishings, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo Venture will explore the rich story of the Martins’ patronage, from the Larkin Building—seminal to European modernism and Buffalo’s greatest architectural loss (and the logo for the Conservancy itself) to unsung, unbuilt projects such as the Rosenwald School for “Negro Children.” The exhibition will make the case that, while Wright’s best-known clients may be larger-than-life figures like Susan Lawrence Dana, Solomon Guggenheim or Edgar J. Kaufmann, his most important client might just be an obsessive, self-made accountant from Buffalo, NY.

The UB Anderson Gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 5 PM and Sunday, 1 – 5 PM. Admission is free. Visit

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