Binging on Buffalo, New York

With a smile on my face, because it’s the beginning of the 10-mile Slow Roll bike ride through the Fruit Belt neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, with my friend Debra, her sister Tina and Tina’s daughter Roxy. It was a beautiful evening for hundreds of people to enjoy the ride. Never mind that it had been more than 25 years since I had last been on a bike but I survived to tell the story. (Aug. 6, 2018)

When my dear friend Debra asked if I’d like to come hang out with her in Buffalo, her hometown, I did not hesitate to say yes. I found an airline ticket and booked it the next day. My brother, Hermes, whose a pilot, said he really likes Buffalo…but my son, Vernon, said “Buffalo? What’s in Buffalo?” Well, including Debra and her family…everything. And seeing the city through the eyes of a local gives it the warm and homey feel of a city that’s bursting at the seams to be recognized for more than just its wings. Yes, what we call Buffalo wings, well in Buffalo….its just wings.

I left Dallas Tuesday on a 5 a.m. flight and when I got to Buffalo at 11 a.m., Debra had us off and running. First stop was the Ansley Wilcox House where Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th president of the United States in 1901 just hours after the death of President William McKinley. McKinley was shot and critically wounded by an assassin in Buffalo while attending a public reception at the Pan American Exposition. And, after that step back in presidential history, we took in the art and history of the local and national African American trailblazers featured at the Freedom Wall, an outdoor gallery of local, national and historical African American trailblazers. Located at the northern entrance into the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor, these stunning pieces of art are at the nexus of Buffalo’s deeply rooted African American heritage. Needless to say, by the end of the day, I was too pooped to post.

And, on Wednesday we began the day with a wonderful two-hour tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex and were joined by Tina, Debra’s sister and Tina’s friend Denise, a docent at the complex, for the tour. I was enthralled by Wright’s creative architectural acumen brought to life not only by every thought out piece of design from the floor to the ceilings and all of that was brought to life by our incredible guide and docent, Jeri Mazur. And, if that wasn’t enough, after a delicious lunch, we spent the afternoon at Niagara Falls joined by Debra’s other sister, Bev and Bev’s daughter, Alex. The photos taken don’t speak to the power of the Falls…the experience of being up close and personal was utterly amazing.

It’s just been two days and we’ve been busy in Buffalo and loving it…come see for yourself.

The Niagara Falls crew, Bev, Alex, Tina, Debra and me, Diana, still dry and before embarking on our first Niagara Falls adventure in Niagara Falls, New York. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Walking bridge over the Niagara river just ahead of the Niagara Falls. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Niagara Falls in New York (Aug. 2, 2018)
Lining up to pick up our yellow rain gear for the Cave of the Winds at Niagara Falls on the U.S. side. (Aug. 2, 2018)
The Cave of the Winds was our first step on our Niagara Falls adventure. For this spectacular walk through, you get a yellow plastic poncho and sandals to protect you from the sprays of water coming from the roaring falls. From information plaques, these platforms and walkways are supposedly taken down each year, due to the potential damage from the winter buildup of ice, and then reconstructed in the spring. (Aug. 2, 2018)
The mighty Niagara Falls during the walk through the Cave of the Winds. (Aug. 2, 2018)
I was mesmerized by this rainbow at the Cave of the Winds in Niagara Falls. This photo doesn’t even remotely capture its beauty. With the window blowing and the water misting in the air, it was difficult to get good photos at all, but this rainbow sighting was awe inspiring. (Aug. 2, 2018)
The last time I was at Niagara Falls was more than 15 years ago and that visit was on the Canadian side when I was visiting with my son and family in Toronto. My mom and I took the Maiden of the Mist (next up our activity list) and enjoyed it, but this time, on the American side, it’s even more spectacular than I had remembered. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Heading to the tent to pick up our blue rain gear for the Maid of the Mist boat ride to get up close and personal with the Niagara Falls on the U.S. side. In the distance is the Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge, commonly known as the Rainbow Bridge, an arch bridge across the Niagara River gorge. It connects the cities of Niagara Falls, New York, United States (to the east), and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada (west). (Aug. 2, 2018)
Niagara Falls from the Maiden of the Mist boat ride. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Niagara Falls from the Maiden of the Mist boat ride. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Tina, who had never done the Maiden of the Mist boat ride at Niagara Falls and didn’t really want to do this one, showing us her slightly frightened side…but she really ended up enjoying herself. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Debra and I getting in a selfie, while trying to stay dry…and not succeeding very well…during our Maiden of the Mist boat ride at Niagara Falls. The boat ride takes you up close and personal to the power and majesty of the Falls. (Aug. 2, 2018)
How do you take photos awhile trying to stay dry on the Niagara Falls Maiden of the Mist boat ride? You don’t. But it was so much fun. Thanks Tina for taking this photo of me in my misty blues. (Aug. 2, 2018)
The main house or Martin house of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York, was designed by Wright in 1903. The landscape around the front and sides of the main house and complex are being renovated. Wright’s innovative architectural design for the prairie style Darwin D. Martin house is considered to be one of his most important designs during the first half of his career. A 70 year career that included more than 1000 architectural designs with more than 500 structures being completed. Yet, he considered the Martin house as his “opus.” We toured the interior of the Martin house but photos were not allowed of the interior…and too bad because Wright’s design elements can be seen throughout the home. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Our tremendous docent and guide Jeri (in the middle with the blue shirt) explaining the design of the gardener’s house one of the homes on the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Another view of the Gardener’s Cottage of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York. Although porches and entrances were built at the front of the house during the early 1900s, Wright’s design calls for the entrance and a small porch to the side of the house. Although we toured the interior of the Gardener’s Cottage, but photos were not allowed of the interior. (Aug. 2, 2018)
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 2, 2018)
The pergola walkway connects the main house or the Martin house of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York, with the conservatory. (Aug. 2, 2018)
The grounds and view from the pergola of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 2, 2018)
The Winged Victory of Samothrace, also called the Nike of Samothrace sculpture (a copy) flanks the end of the pergola of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York, and can be seen inside the conservatory. The sculpture, of the Greek goddess Nike, was considered a Wright favorite and he used reproductions of it in a number of his buildings. (Aug. 2, 2018)
The Barton House was the first building constructed at the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 2, 2018)
After our tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York, we were famished and had a late lunch at Kostas Restaurant. From the left, Denise, me, Debra and Tina. (Aug. 2, 2018)
I love that Buffalo, New York, is sprucing itself up, but it would have been nice to photograph the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic site…without the scaffolding. But the first thing Debra took me to after she picked me up from the airport on Wednesday…and of course breakfast…was to this site. The statue to the right is President Theodore Roosevelt who took the oath of office as President of the United States on Sept. 14, 1901 after President William McKinley was assassinated while attending a public reception at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic site in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 1, 2018)
An exhibit displayed inside the house and former home of Ansley Wilcox and his family is where the story begins of how the house and circumstances, the assassination of President William McKinley came to be. (Aug. 1, 2018)
A photo of Theodore Roosevelt at the Theadore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic site, which is the former Ansley Wilcox home in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The Ansley Wilcox home in Buffalo, New York, being readied for the swearing in of Theodore Roosevelt after President William McKinley was assassinated while attending a public reception at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The library room of the Ansley Wilcox home in Buffalo, New York, where President Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office is now the Theadore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic site in Buffalo. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The dining room of the Ansley Wilcox home of the Theadore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic site in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The Freedom Wall at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, New York, is a bold and empowering sight to behold and features portraits of 28 notable civil rights leaders from America’s past and present, created by Buffalo-based artists John Baker, Julia Bottoms, Chuck Tingley, and Edreys Wajed. The selection and order of the final 28 subjects shapes a unique story about civil and human rights work in American history, with an eye toward contextualizing national work and local impact. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The Freedom Wall at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 1, 2018)
Me standing by the painting of Harriet Tubman (circa 1820-1913) by Edreys Wajed at the Freedom Wall at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, New York. Tubman who escaped from slavery in 1849 became known as one of the Underground Railroad’s most daring and successful operatives in helping slaves get their freedom. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The Freedom Wall an outdoor art gallery of local, national and historic African Americans painted by three artists, Julia Bottoms-Douglas, Edreys Wajed and Chuck Tingley at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The Freedom Wall at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The Freedom Wall, an outdoor heritage art gallery, at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, New York, features local, national and historic African Americans and is across the street from the Bethel AME Church. (Aug. 1, 2018)
The historic Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest congregation of African descent in Buffalo, New York. Organized in 1831, the congregation worshipped in a house on Carroll Street and in 1839 moved to a frame building on Vine Street. The original Vine Street Church was replaced with a new brick structure in 1845. The Vine Street African Methodist Episcopal Church, as it was known during the early 19th century, remained on Vine Street until 1928 when the congregation moved to 551 Eagle Street, where the congregation remained for 25 years. In 1953 under the leadership of the Rev. Harry White, Bethel moved to its present location at 1525 Michigan Avenue. (Aug. 1, 2018)
This portrait of Rosa Parks is the epitome of a woman who is both outwardly mild yet inwardly strong enough to stand her ground. Painted by Julia Bottoms as part of the Freedom Wall in Buffalo, New York, Rosa Park (1913-2005) is widely lauded as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” Parks’s commitment to the pursuit of racial justice both predated and extended long after her famous refusal to move to the back of a segregated bus in December 1955. Parks’s act of civil disobedience instigated a 381-day boycott of Montgomery’s bus system, led by a then relatively unknown Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Aug. 1, 2018)
Me standing by the painting of Frederick Douglas (1818-1895) painted by Julia Bottoms-Douglas at the Freedom Wall at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, New York. Frederick Douglas was a former slave and outspoken voice in the abolitionist movement. He was also the publisher of the “North Star,” a newspaper dedicated to ending slavery and promoting civil rights. (Aug. 1, 2018)

Buffalo and Niagara Falls’ proximity to Canada made these areas an integral passageway of the Underground Railroad. A secret network of people assisted the escaping enslaved by providing whatever means necessary…money, clothing, transportation and temporary shelter…as they made their journey to freedom. From a statue in Lewiston, an Underground Railroad museum in Niagara Falls, a park and historical heritage corridor in Buffalo, are just some of the African American stories of struggle and triumph in the Western portion of the state of New York.

The Freedom Crossing Monument on North Water Street in Lewiston, New York, is a tribute to the struggle for freedom across the Niagara River into Canada for the enslaved seeking freedom. Sculpted by Susan Geissler, is a scene from the novel, Freedom Crossing, by author Margaret Goff Clark. The heroine of the story is Laura Eastman who helps Underground Railroad Conductor Josiah Tryon, a Lewiston tailor, to assist an enslaved family to freedom in Canada. Laura Eastman is a fictional character, but Josiah Tryon was a real “Station Master.” He helped countless enslaved people find their freedom in Canada. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The Freedom Crossing Monument on North Water Street in Lewiston, New York, is a tribute to the struggle for freedom across the Niagara River into Canada for the enslaved seeking freedom. (Aug. 5, 2018)
A view of the Niagara River in Lewiston, New York, just steps away from the Freedom Crossing Monument and a free life for the enslaved. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center on Depot Avenue in Niagara Falls, New York, opened earlier this year in May and tells the stories of everyday heroism in the face of impression. The heritage center, to the right, is fittingly located next to the Amtrak train station which is also where to enter the heritage center. Although the Underground Railroad was neither a railroad nor underground, this network of routes, ways and means helped freedom seekers reach safe haven in Canada where slavery was abolished and no person could be claimed as property. (Aug. 5, 2018)
This map of sorts inside the entryway of the Amtrak station in Niagara Falls, New York, is part of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center’s exhibit of the network of people and places known as the Underground Railroad. (Aug. 5, 2018)
This map of sorts inside the entryway of the Amtrak station in Niagara Falls, New York, is part of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center’s exhibit of the network of people and places known as the Underground Railroad. (Aug. 5, 2018)
This map of sorts inside the entryway of the Amtrak station in Niagara Falls, New York, is part of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center’s exhibit of the network of people and places known as the Underground Railroad. (Aug. 5, 2018)
This map of sorts inside the entryway of the Amtrak station in Niagara Falls, New York, is part of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center’s exhibit of the network of people and places known as the Underground Railroad. (Aug. 5, 2018)
This map of sorts inside the entryway of the Amtrak station in Niagara Falls, New York, is part of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center’s exhibit of the network of people and places known as the Underground Railroad. (Aug. 5, 2018)
It would be difficult to tell the story of the Underground Railroad without this woman’s courageous acts of selflessness and desire to free the enslaved….Harriet Tubman, who after escaping slavery in 1849, went on to become one of the Underground Railroad’s most daring and successful operatives in the years preceding the Civil War and then a scout, spy and nurse for the Union army. She was so notorious among slaveholders that at one point a $40,000 reward was unsuccessfully offered for her capture. This poster stands in the entryway of the Amtrak station in Niagara Falls, New York, and is part of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center’s exhibits. (Aug. 5, 2018)
Inside the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center in Niagara Falls, New York, is this exhibit of the dining room area of Cataract House, a world class hotel, in Niagara Falls where Southern enslavers with their slaves would stay. This is where waiters, porters and cooks operated a highly effective stop on the Underground Railroad. (Aug. 5, 2018)
Posters of the dashing waiters, porters and cooks, behind the elegant facade of the Cataract House, a world class hotel in Niagara Falls, New York, who operated a highly successful network on the Underground Railroad. This poster stands in the entryway of the Amtrak station in Niagara Falls, New York, and is part of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center’s exhibits. (Aug. 5, 2018)
A display at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center in Niagara Falls, New York, tells the story and highlights the achievements of the waiters at the Cataract House, a world class hotel in Niagara Falls, who risked their freedom to help others achieve theirs. (Aug. 5, 2018)
A display at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center in Niagara Falls, New York, tells the story of how everyday hard working people at the Cataract House, a world class hotel in Niagara Falls, risked their freedom and their lives to help others achieve their freedom. (Aug. 5, 2018)
This exhibit of the Suspension Bridge at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center in Niagara Falls, New York, a border crossing between Canada and the United States. It was first built as a footbridge in 1848 and in 1855, it was rebuilt with railway tracks on a top level and carriage road below. The bridge was part of the Underground Railroad, a network of routes designed to smuggle the enslaved from the United States to freedom in Canada, a country that declared the liberation of any slave who entered. Before the American Civil War, fleeing slaves had only four main routes into Canada, of which one was crossing the Niagara River. Harriet Tubman was said to use this passage to help some enslaved find freedom. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The wooden structures of the Suspension Bridge, which stood from 1855 to 1897 across the Niagara River, were replaced and this is what you see now which is across from the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center in Niagara Falls, New York. The bridge was part of the Underground Railroad, a network of routes designed to smuggle the enslaved from the United States to freedom in Canada, a country that declared the liberation of any slave who entered. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The West Ferry Street Bridge connects to Broderick Park over the Erie Canal in Buffalo, New York. Broderick Park is listed as a designated Network to Freedom site by the U.S. National Parks Service and recognized by historians as an historic terminus of the Underground Railroad between the United States and Canada. (Aug. 3, 2018)
At Broderick Park, at the foot of the West Ferry Street Bridge in Buffalo, New York, is this tribute with flags from the United States and Canada along with a plaque paying tribute to the men and women who crossed the water from this area over to Canada…which can be seen in the distance. Broderick Park is listed as a designated Network to Freedom site by the U.S. National Parks Service and recognized by historians as an historic terminus of the Underground Railroad between the United States and Canada. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The plaque at Broderick Park in Buffalo, New York, commemorating those involved with helping the enslaved find freedom and those of whom were enslaved seeking freedom. All involved risked their lives in the name of freedom. (Aug. 3, 2018)
At Broderick Park in Buffalo, New York, with the Peace Bridge, connecting the United States with Canada, which can be seen in the distance. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Broderick Park in Buffalo, New York, has a small exhibit of information on the Underground Railroad and this poster about Harriet Tubman’s enormous role in getting enslaved people to freedom. According to the poster, many of Tubman’s trips north brought her into Buffalo where she may have worshipped at the Michigan Street Baptist Church located in the now Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Paved historical markers throughout the walkways at Broderick Park in Buffalo, New York, provide information on enslaved persons who sought freedom and crossed the waters into Canada. The water looks calm, but it has a steady current that flows rather mightily down towards Niagara Falls. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The walkway at Broderick Park in Buffalo, New York, with the historical markers providing information on enslaved persons who sought freedom and crossed the waters into Canada, which can be seen in the distance. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The walkway at Broderick Park in Buffalo, New York, with the historical markers providing information on enslaved persons who sought freedom and crossed the waters into Canada. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The Colored Musicians Club Museum is part of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor in Buffalo, New York, is considered the only remaining African American club of its kind in the United States. In 1999, it was designated a historical preservation site. The Corridor serves as a focal point to learn about Buffalo’s rich African American history. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Colored Musicians Club Museum in Buffalo, New York, began as a social club for members of the Local 533 union. Originally, there was only one Buffalo musicians union, Local 43, and this whites only union refused to include African American musicians. As a result, a separate union, Local 533 was organized in 1918. Before the Colored Musicians Club found this, its permanent home at 145 Broadway in 1934, it was housed in various other locations. The Colored Musicians Club received its charter and became incorporated on May 14, 1935. The club, which bought this building in 1944, rented space to Local 533. The club gave its members a sense of community while also providing space for practice, rehearsals, and performances; while downstairs, rented space for the union to hold its meetings. (Aug. 4, 2018)
Inside the Colored Musicians Club Museum in Buffalo, New York. From its beginning, it hosted jam sessions with some of the foremost jazz artists in the country including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimmy Lunceford and Ella Fitzgerald. (Aug. 4, 2018)
Inside the Colored Musicians Club Museum in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A display case inside the Colored Musicians Club Museum in Buffalo, New York, tickets to Local 533 events, member books, membership ledger, union application, contracts and a receipt dues book among other items. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A photo of members of the Colored Musicians Club participating in a parade in Buffalo, New York. The photo is part of a video exhibit at the Colored Musicians Club Museum in Buffalo. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A photo of members of the Colored Musicians Club in Buffalo, New York. The photo is part of a video exhibit at the Colored Musicians Club Museum in Buffalo. (Aug. 4, 2018)
According to the description, this rare photograph, which was taken at the Colored Musicians Club in the 1950’s can be seen at the entryway of the Colored Musicians Club Museum in Buffalo, New York, shows Be-Bop trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie at the piano. Elvin Shepherd holds his trumpet and observes Dizzy’s chord changes while Wilbur Trammel plays his tenor saxophone. Shepherd was a renowned trumpet player who later became a master of the tenor saxophone after buying Trammel’s horn. A third trumpet player, Miles Davis, is standing at the door on the left with John Coltrane peering over his shoulder. This scene is typical of the musical activities and the caliber of musicians who played at the club. (Aug. 4, 2018)
This colorful mural at the Colored Musicians Club Museum in Buffalo, New York, is at the entrance of the museum’s exhibits and is by William Cooper. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Michigan Street Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York, is considered one of the oldest properties in Buffalo and has provided a stable continuous force for more than 170 for African Americans throughout the community. Reverend J. Edward Nash (1868–1957) served the congregation from 1892 to 1953 and his home, the Nash House Museum is located nearby along a walkway and small park-like area. The brick building was erected in 1845 and became a legendary Underground Railroad station, providing sanctuary for hundreds of freedom seekers before they crossed the border to freedom in Canada. It was a central meeting place for abolitionists and anti-lynching activists. Over the years, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington each graced its sanctuary. The church is part of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor which serves as a focal point to learn about Buffalo’s rich African American history. (Aug. 4, 2018)
Inside the Michigan Street Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York, is a tunnel that’s part of the Underground Railroad where enslaved people could slip away without being seen. Thank you Cynthia (Tina) Harris for the photo. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Nash House Museum, part of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor within a walkway path of the Michigan Street Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York, was home to Reverend J. Edward Nash (1868-1957) and his wife Frances Jackson Nash (1895-1987) purchased this Queen Anne home, built circa 1900, in what was a culturally diverse neighborhood. Reverend Nash was the pastor of the Michigan Street Baptist Church from 1892 to 1953. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A close-up of the Nash House Museum, part of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor within a walkway path of the Michigan Street Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
Inside the Nash House Museum in Buffalo, New York, is a wax figure of the Reverend J. Edward Nash (1868-1957) in his library and home office. Reverend Nash was the pastor of the Michigan Street Baptist Church from 1892 to 1953. Thank you Cynthia (Tina) Harris for the photo. (Aug. 4, 2018)
Inside the Nash House Museum in Buffalo, New York, is a wax figure of Frances Jackson Nash (1895-1987) standing in her kitchen. The Nashes were prominent leaders who hosted many notable African Americans in their home and championed the Civil Rights movement. Their home is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Thank you Cynthia (Tina) Harris for the photo. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A historical marker where the Little Harlem Hotel, which burned and was torn down, once stood in the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor and steps away from the Colored Musician’s Club in Buffalo, New York. “In 1934, Ann Montgomery converted her ice cream parlor and Oriental Billiard Parlor on this site into the Little Harlem Hotel. Cab Calloway, Billy Eckstine, Della Reese, Sarah Vaughn and many others performed and stayed here when downtown hotels were segregated.” (Aug. 4, 2018)
An Underground Railroad plaque on the ground by the Michigan Street Baptist Church part of the Michigan Street African American Corridor in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)

This final post is about the art and architecture of Buffalo and its communities that have struggled, evolved and thrived to make Buffalo the second largest city in the state of New York.

Thank you Debra for driving me around, educating me about Buffalo, arranging walking tours, feeding me and introducing me to your family and friends. I’ve so enjoyed our visit and your hometown.

For now, although I’m back home in Dallas, enjoy a smidgen of Buffalo’s art and architecture as I wrap up my stay with some of my favorite architectural buildings, murals a basilica and a 10-mile Slow Roll ride with hundreds of Buffalo’s finest.

Me at a train tree sculpture by the abandoned Buffalo Central Terminal in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The gorgeous 32-story Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York, was completed in 1932. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The colossal sandstone frieze over the main entrance colonnade of the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York, was sculpted by Albert T. Stewart and designed in collaboration with John Wade, the chief architect. The center figure, a woman, represents Buffalo and is ready to record further events of the city’s history in the book she is about to open. (Aug. 3, 2018)
A close-up of the sandstone frieze over the main entrance colonnade of the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Two of the 12 figures emerging from the stone of the third floor windows are said to possibly represent nature’s gifts and/or the months of the year of the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York.(Aug. 3, 2018)
A tower of the 32-story Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York, is designed with terra-cotta tiles representing Native American symbols. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The three-story entrance way gallery with its interlaced zig-zag ceiling connects the columns and walls to the entrance of the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Inside the main lobby of the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York, is covered with patterns derived from Native American signs and symbols. The mural by William de Leftwich Dodge is an Allegorical figure of Buffalo crowned with a sunburst, glorifying the industries and workers of Buffalo. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The two story valued ancillary corridor on the ground floor of the Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York, is decorated with bands of Native American designs. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The elevator corridor inside the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York. The vegetal decoration within the zig-zag bands of the bronze doors is based on the cornstalk, squash vines and Native American flowers. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The overview of the Council Chambers inside the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The overview of the Council Chambers inside the Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York, shows the circular geometry of the sunrise skylight. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Views of Buffalo from the 28th floor Observation Deck at the top of the 32-story Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Views of Buffalo from the 28th floor Observation Deck at the top of the 32-story Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Views of Buffalo from the 28th floor Observation Deck at the top of the 32-story Art Deco style Buffalo City Hall in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The Niagara Square, across the street from the Buffalo City Hall, is the McKinley Monument in Buffalo, New York. The monument commemorates William McKinley the 25th President of the United States who was assassinated in Buffalo during the Pan-American Exposition of 1901. (Aug. 8, 2018)
The Lafayette Square Civil War monument in Buffalo, New York, built in the early 1800s was named after General Marquis de Lafayette who fought in the American Revolutionary War commanding American troops in several battles and who visited Buffalo in 1825. Four 8-foot bronze statues representing the infantry, artillery, cavalry and navy encircle the base. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The 10-foot-6-inch female figure atop the Lafayette Square Civil War monument in Buffalo, New York, is said to be an allegorical figure representing the Union. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The Brisbane Building, located by the Lafayette Square, was built in Buffalo, New York, in 1895. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Hotel Lafayette, located by the Lafayette Square, is a seven-story French Renaissance style featuring decorative vitreous red brick and terra cotta trim and was built between 1902 and 1911. The original building was designed by the firm of Bethune, Bethune & Fuchs, including architect Louise Blanchard Bethune (1856–1913), considered to be the first American woman known to have worked as a professional architect. (Aug. 3, 2018)
A display inside the Lafayette Hotel in Buffalo, New York, commemorates the first woman architect, who designed the hotel. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The 23-story Liberty Bank Building office tower in Buffalo, New York, was built in 1925 and is a rare example of Neoclassical architecture in downtown. The Liberty Bank was originally called the German American Bank but its name was changed to the Liberty Bank after World War I to remove any connection to that war’s main enemy. Two Statue of Liberty statues on the roof, sculpted by Leo Lentelli in 1925, were a part of its new image. One statue faces In west and the other faces east. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Another view of the Liberty Bank building in Buffalo, New York, with its two rooftop Statues of Liberty…one facing east and the other facing west. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A close-up of the Statue of Liberty on the rooftop of the Liberty Bank building in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The 10-story Dun building, considered Buffalo’s first high-rise, is a fine local example of 1890’s Beaux-Arts and Renaissance Styling in Buffalo, New York. Built between 1894 -1895 at 110 Pearl Street, the building was designed by E. B. Green and William S. Wicks. Today, it’s also called the flatiron building and continues to contribute its distinctive shape to Buffalo’s downtown skyline. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A close-up of the bull’s-eye windows of the Dun Building in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Dun Building, at Pearl and Swan streets, in Buffalo, New York, now also called the flatiron building. (Aug. 4, 2018)
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church across the street from the Guaranty Building, now called the Prudential Building, in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Guaranty Bank now called the Prudential Building in Buffalo, New York, with its embellished terra-cotta designs, was completed in 1896 and designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Guaranty Bank now called the Prudential Building in Buffalo, New York, with its embellished terra-cotta designs, was completed in 1896 and designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Guaranty Bank now called the Prudential Building in Buffalo, New York, with its embellished terra-cotta designs, was completed in 1896 and designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Guaranty Bank now called the Prudential Building in Buffalo, New York, with its embellished terra-cotta designs, was completed in 1896 and designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Guaranty Bank now called the Prudential Building in Buffalo, New York, with its embellished terra-cotta designs, was completed in 1896 and designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Guaranty Bank now called the Prudential Building in Buffalo, New York, with its embellished terra-cotta designs, was completed in 1896 and designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. (Aug. 4, 2018)
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, New York, sits on a triangular lot bounded by Church St., Pearl St., Erie St., and Main St. Construction began on the church in 1849. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The interior nave of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The interior nave of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The Ascension of Christ stained glass is also called the Great East Window at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Buffalo, New York. The window was designed by Henry Holliday & Co. of London, England at a cost of around $3,000 and was installed in 1889. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The decorative tiled floor at the altar of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
The interior rear and organ of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
This statue of young Abraham Lincoln, sculpted by Bryant Baker in 1935, depicts Lincoln sitting on an oak log with an axe near his feet, and a book on his right knee in Delaware Park near the Rose Garden in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Yes, it’s the David, well a reproduction of Michelangelo’s David, and this one was sculpted by Sabatino de Angelis and F. Napoli in 1900 and can be seen from the highway cutting through Delaware Park in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica in Lackawanna, New York…just outside of Buffalo, began construction in 1921 after Father Nelson Baker, superintendent priest of the Catholic parish, unveiled plans to build this shrine in homage to the Blessed Mother. (Aug. 5, 2018)
Another view of Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica in Lackawanna, New York…just outside of Buffalo. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The carerra marble domed niche houses the statue of Our Lady of Victory at the Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica in Lackawanna, New York…just outside of Buffalo. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The copper-domed twin front towers and the Carrera marble domed niche of the Our Lady of Victory statue of the Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica in Lackawanna, New York. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The exterior dome colonnade painting of Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica in Lackawanna, New York. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The interior and main altar of the Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica in Lackawanna, New York…just outside of Buffalo. (Aug. 5, 2018)
The Main Altar of Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica in Lackawanna, New York, features the nine-foot marble statue of the Blessed Mother, which was personally blessed by Pope Pius XI before being shipped to the United States. A swirled canopy supports a large gold cross held aloft by four angels. (Aug. 5, 2018)
Along each side of Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica in Lackawanna, New York, are the Stations of the Cross which consist of life-sized figures in scenes carved from a single piece of marble. The pews, which seat about 1,000, are made from rare African mahogany. (Aug. 5, 2018)
A mural at the corner of Coe Place and Main Street close to downtown Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A mural at the corner of Coe Place and Main Street close to downtown Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A close-up of the beautiful rainbow of the mural at the corner of Coe Place and Main Street close to downtown Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
A mural at the corner of Niagara and Jersey Streets in Buffalo, New York, by Betsy Casanas in 2017. (Aug. 3, 2018)
A close-up of a mural at the corner of Niagara and Jersey Streets in Buffalo, New York, by Betsy Casanas in 2017. (Aug. 3, 2018)
Several of the fire hydrants are painted red with a blue top. This one is at the corner of Niagara and Jersey Streets in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 3, 2018)
The colorful houses of the Allentown community in Buffalo, New York. (Aug. 4, 2018)
Hundreds of people gather for a community bike ride…Slow Roll…in the Buffalo, New York. Slow Roll Buffalo’s mission is to connect communities across borders through free guided bike rides for all ages and skill levels. Including people like me who haven’t been on a bike in years. (Aug. 6, 2018)
With a smile on my face, because it’s the beginning of the 10-mile Slow Roll bike ride through the Fruit Belt neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, with my friend Debra, her sister Tina and Tina’s daughter Roxy. It was a beautiful evening for hundreds of people to enjoy the ride. Never mind that it had been more than 25 years since I had last been on a bike but I survived to tell the story. (Aug. 6, 2018)
Getting ready for the Slow Roll ride to begin, Debra and I are speaking with another participant. In all honesty, I’m concerned, not only about the 10-mile ride but getting on and off the bike, stopping and just being able to manage until the end. Also, thank you to Doc Thomas of Doc Thomas Productions who took the photo. (Aug. 6, 2018)
And, we’re off and running…I’m holding on for dear life, but I completed the 10-mile Slow Roll bike ride in Buffalo, New York, and truly enjoyed every second of it. Thank you LeDonia for the bike loan and to Debra for the encouragement and for keeping an eye out for me. Also, thank you to Doc Thomas of Doc Thomas Productions who took the photo. (Aug. 6, 2018)
After the Slow Roll ride, Debra and I went to Canalside to enjoy seafood at the Liberty Hound and came across this little lady. She’s Shark Girl. She may not be a great architectural feat or a fetching piece of art but SharkGirl is a quintessential Buffalo attraction. Decked comfortably in a blue dress with a pink sash, Shark Girl patiently waits, legs daintily crossed, hands folded, for photo companions…like me…to join her. Oh, and she has a shark’s head. (Aug. 6, 2018)