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"August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a matchflame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
A moment,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away."

 Elizabeth Maua Taylor

ON THE MOVE From Celeste Lawson

W Greetings, everyone! I hope the summer days and nights have been good to you and for you. Time certainly does fly. It seemed only yesterday we were celebrating the Summer Solstice and the longest sunlit day of the year and we now find ourselves welcoming August, the precursor to the beginning of autumn on September 21st. One of the most exciting things about summer for me is to see the number of out-of-town license plates on our streets and the vast number of individuals who say they planned their summer vacations specifically for a visit to Buffalo.

Each year, Erie County welcomes more than 8 million tourists. They come to this area for a long list of reasons, from our colorful regional history and historical and architecturally significant buildings to our multitude of festivals and our endless choices of restaurants, art galleries, museums, and high quality entertainment. No doubt many of us who live here take these treasures for granted, don’t know about them, or perhaps don’t even care because we don’t understand how they impact our lives, past, present and future. To that end, this month’s column is devoted to sharing a number of options for you to learn more about this region and why so many millions of people are willing to spend their time and money to come to Buffalo and Erie County. This list is by no means the complete menu of opportunities but it does offer range and diversity and ideally, a hunger for you to want to experience more of what is interesting and great about our community. Remember to always keep the men and women who serve in our armed forces in your hearts with gratitude and appreciation for their service to our nation.

Happy Touring!

Best of Buffalo Double Decker Tours – Now thru Sept. 4, 2017, 3pm-5pm

Buffalo’s Best Bus and Naval Park , 234 Furhmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY, 14206

Enjoy Buffalo’s historic past and future. Tour includes a 20-30 minute stop at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. Board the USS The Sullivans and experience the stories of the women, men, and machines that have safeguarded freedom. In two hours, explore:

• How Buffalo got its name

• Pirates and Portuguese fishermen of Buffalo’s secret beach community

• Allentown secrets

• How booze and a Buffalo dentist helped create the electric chair

• The triple hanging at city hall

• The Naval Park and America’s most famous photo

• Canalside

• Downtown architecture

• Buffalo’s Millionaire Row

• New development including Medical Campus

Phone information and reservations: (716) 246-9080. Cost: $25.

Milestones of Science – Now thru Sept. 29, 2017
Sun: 12-5pm, Mon-Sat: 8:30am-6pm, Thurs: until 8pm

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY, 14203

The Public Library is proud to offer a selection of the 35 most significant rare books in the Milestones of Science collection. Alongside the magnificent books on display are attractive graphics and immersive information on the authors and the revolutionary ideas posed through their publications. Interactive activity stations, representative props, and illustrative banners and wall panels further illuminate the presented themes. Information: (716) 858-8900. Free.

Building Buffalo – Now thru Saturday, Mar. 31, 2018

8:30am-6pm, Mon-Sat; Thurs, until 8pm

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY, 14203

This exhibit, “Buildings From Books, Books From Buildings, focuses on an outstanding collection of rare and exquisitely illustrated books encompassing the history of architecture and landscape design from the late 15th through mid-20th centuries. Information: (716) 858-8900. Free.

Graycliff Conservancy Tours – Weekly on Saturdays and Sundays

Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff, 6472 Old Lake Shore Road, Derby, NY, 14047

The Conservancy offers a variety of different tours led by a trained docent.

All tours are by reservation. Information: (716) 947-9217. Cost $12 - $44.

The Martin House Complex Tours – Now thru Oct. 27, 2017

10am; 11am; 12pm; 1pm; 2pm; 3pm

Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House, 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY, 14214

The Martin House Complex – Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1904 masterwork is open for tours. For reservations and information, call (716) 856-3858. Tours: $14 - $37.

Old Fort Niagara Lighthouse, Now thru Oct. 9, 2017, Noon – 3pm

Old Fort Niagara, 2 Scott Avenue, Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown, NY, 14174

The lighthouse is located adjacent to its parking lot within Fort Niagara State Park. Approximately 70 steps to the top of the tower leads you to a panoramic view of Old Fort Niagara, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, Youngstown, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. However, you must be 4 feet tall and sign a waiver. Information: (716) 745-7611. Free.

Picturesque Buffalo – Now thru Sept. 3rd, 2017 – 10am start time

Open Air Buffalo, 14 Lafayette Square Buffalo, NY, 14203 - (716) 854-3749

The one and only open-air autobus. Artfully composed buildings and landscapes will be featured on this tour given by passionate experts of The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture. Fee: $20.

Buffalo Whirlwind Tour - Now thru Sept. 3, 2017 –10am start time

This is the tour for everyone. Fun, fast, and info-packed. The tour tells the story of the city through what you see on the ground. You’ll see scores of beautiful buildings and houses by prominent national and international architects and the streets and neighborhoods where Buffalonians carry on their everyday lives. Fee: $25.

Double Decker Bus Murder Mystery Tour – Now thru Sept. 2, 2017, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Start tour at Flying Bison Brewery, 840 Seneca St., Buffalo, NY, 14210

Buffalo Double Decker Bus Tours, 500 New Babcock Street, Buffalo, NY, 14206

Murder Mystery-Double Decker Death! Death at Doug’s Dive

Enjoy a humorous ‘Who Done It?’ while visiting local watering holes during this tour. Find out about Doug, the owner of Buffalo’s most notorious waterfront dive. Set in the year 1866, Buffalo’s colorful red light district comes alive following Doug’s death! This is an interactive evening of sleuthing. See the crime scene, interview witnesses, and collect clues in order to solve this mystery based upon true events in Buffalo’s history. Performances run approximately 2 hours and include the murder mystery, double decker bus ride, and stops at three or more historic taverns in Buffalo. Information: (716) 246-9080. Cost: $30.

Canalside Waterfront Tour – Now thru Sept. 4, 2017

Mon., Tues., & Wed., 6:30pm- 8pm; Fri., Sat., & Sun., 12:30pm-2pm; Sun., 6:30pm-8pm.

Start tour at 234 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Near entrance to Wilkeson Point, Buffalo, NY, 14203

Buffalo Double Decker Bus Tours, 500 New Babcock Street, Buffalo, NY, 14206

A great way to explore Canalside and the waterfront. Tour focuses on the city’s amazing waterfront history by bringing to life Buffalo’s rise from backwater village to world renowned port. 90 minute tours cover Buffalo’s notorious red light district, a.k.a. “the most evil square mile in America.”

Follow the lives and losses of Buffalo’s Irish grain scoopers. Information: (716) 246-9080. Cost: $20.

Tap Takeover Cruise, Now thru Aug. 22, 2017, 7pm -9pm

Grand Lady Cruises, 5 Austin Street, Buffalo, NY, 14207

Cruises run 2 hours and include live music, beer samples, and appetizers. Full cash bar on board for non-beer drinkers and discounted pints from the featured brewery. Boarding at 6:30pm, sailing 7-9pm. Cruise along the Buffalo River and Lake Erie. Chat with the brewers themselves and find a new favorite beer for summer. Information: (716) 873-4630. Cost: $38.

Tasting Tuesdays – Now thru Aug. 22, 2017 – 4pm-7:30pm

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14218

During Tasting Tuesdays, the Botanical Gardens will open a small café inside the Botanical Gardens for a casual farm to table experience where guests can enjoy fresh imaginative small plates and creative herbaceous drinks from chef Avi Altman of Obviously Avi Catering. Tables will be located among the tropical surroundings for guests to relax and enjoy delicious savory dishes and sweet treats. Dishes, drinks, beer, and wine will be priced individually. Tickets for Tasting Tuesdays are included in regular admission to the Botanical Gardens; $11 for adults, $10 for seniors (62+), $9 students (13+), $6 for kids 3-12, and free for Botanical Garden Members and age 2 and under. Tickets are available here or inside the Botanical Gardens at the admission desk. Information: (716) 827-1584.

Pine Grill Jazz Reunion – Sun., Aug. 6th and Sun., Aug. 13th, 4pm – 9pm

Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, Fillmore Avenue & Best Street, Buffalo, NY, 14211

For the first two Sundays in August, the African American Cultural Center presents the Pine Grill Jazz Reunion to honor the local, national, and international artists who carry the jazz tradition forward. For 23 years, the free concerts have celebrated diversity through tribute to its truest American form — the legacy of jazz. One of our top events in Buffalo! Information: (716) 838-1249.

Buffalo Infringement Festival – Now thru Aug. 6, 2017

Every summer, Buffalo comes alive with scores of events by local and visiting theatre and dance companies, puppeteers, media artists, poets, comics, musicians, cabaret acts, digital designers, and miscellaneous insurrectionists. The Infringement Festival provides artists and audiences of all backgrounds the chance to come together, take chances, push boundaries, and explore uncharted territory because exciting art can happen anywhere, anytime, without a blockbuster budget. Takes place in multiple venues in and around Buffalo’s Allentown District. Learn more and get the schedule at <>.

Queen City Social – Now thru Aug. 23, 2017 – 5pm-8pm

Key Bank Fountain Plaza, 50 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY, 14202

Celebrate all things Buffalo. Local music, craft beer, and food! This event held during the peak of summer features a different (local) live band each week. Show your love for the city and party with the best of Buffalo.

Elmwood Village Summer Concert Series Tuesdays, Now thru - Tues, Aug. 15, 2017, 7pm – 9pm

Free Summer Concert Series on Bidwell Parkway. Bring your own lawn chairs and picnic blankets!

August 1st – Randle & the Late Night Scandals

August 8th – McCarthyizm

August 15th – The Steam Donkeys

Little Rock Concert Series – Tuesdays Now thru Sept. 5, 2017 – 6pm-8pm

Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, One Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY, 14202

Get onboard every Tuesday for the FREE concerts held on the fantail of the USS Little Rock! Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Canalside Boardwalk Bazaar –Aug. 11th & Aug. 25th – 5pm to 10pm

Canalside, 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202

The Bazaar has something for everyone, from fire performers and magicians to aerialists and acrobats. Local restaurants will be on hand as well as a unique mix of artisan vendors.

Buffalo Saturday Artisan Market – Saturdays, Aug. 12th – Sept. 9th, 10am-5pm

Canalside, 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202

Stroll through this outdoor artisan market of locally made products sold to you by the artists themselves! Live music adds to the pleasure of the experience. Free.

Used Book Sale – Thurs., Aug. 17th, 11am – 6:30pm, Sat., Aug. 19th, 8:30am -2pm

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY, 14203

Thousands of books, video, and audio books! Used books, fiction and nonfiction, and books on CD. Everything is $.50! Cash, checks, Visa, Discover, and Mastercard accepted. Information: (716) 858-8900.

Lily Dale – by FLATSITTER, Aug. 18th–19th, 7pm-10:30 pm

Silo City, 20 Childs Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203

FLATSITTER is an interdisciplinary collaborative that incorporates video, film, software programming, performance, and installation. The Dream Wanderer is a transit shuttle that has been converted into a mobile gallery delivering original avant-garde virtual reality experiences to diverse audiences across the U.S. Lily Dale is a virtual reality exploration of spiritualism and the afterlife. Lily Dale – by FLATSITTER is part of the RESPONSE Festival.

Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Festival – Aug. 19, 2017, 3pm–12am

Buffalo River Works, 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203

Take part in this inaugural multicultural music and arts festival celebrating the rich history of Buffalo and illuminating the resurgence of all forms of music, art, media, and culture that resonates in and from Buffalo and WNY. Enjoy multiple stages of entertainment, art exhibits, speaker series, and vendors on display. Visit the Beau Fleuve Backyard Kickback where there will be backyard games and more. Cost: $25.

Any thoughts, you can email me at


Celeste Lawson is a long-time arts advocate, arts administrator, and artist in WNY. Over the years she has worked with arts organizations locally, statewide, and nationally including the National Endowment on the Arts, Americans for the Arts, NYS Council on the Arts, the NYS Council on the Humanities and the NY Foundation on the Arts.