Not a lot happens Downtown on a chilly Sunday lunchtime here in Buffalo. In fact most of the bars and restaurants don't even bother opening. Wandering down to the waterfront I passed the Buffalo Naval Park and though it's not usually my thing I decided to take the self-guided tour of the ships on display.
This is how I managed to (with a little poetic license) add a submarine to my modes of transport - it didn't actually go anywhere, but hey, who's counting?
For $8 you can walk around inside the two ships and the submarine and get an idea of what it must have been like to serve aboard them, 24/7 for months on end in cramped awkward conditions especially aboard the submarine which is a lot smaller than I would have thought.
This makes for an interesting afternoon out, as you await the bars' evening openings, and if naval things are your thing then maybe it's a "must do".
For me the only naval I thing I like is the old joke - "She was an admiral's daughter but she did enjoy her encouters with naval seamen." - HA!
The ships are closed Dec-March, open at weekends in November (and the Friday after Thanksgiving) and open 10-5 the rest of the year, tours for groups of 10 or over can be arranged by prior appointment.
If you don't want to do the tour the park itself is free to wander around.
For a taster visit the website below:
After visiting the Albright-Knox gallery, try visiting the Art Center across the street.
Here you will find more 3-dimensional work (I find it easier to keep these images in my brain once they are out of view).
From pottery to crystle necklace, or from stitched bay leaf to giant life size chess board, there are many gems to be discovered. Something for everyone.
Buffalo's City Hall is a building that is much overlooked and often ignored, but Buffalo would not be what it is today without this building. Constructing City Hall where it is, with the style it has, quite literally changed the way the city of Buffalo looks. The buildings eventually constructed nearby and throughout the downtown business district would certainly not have the same design nor even be in their present location if not for City Hall's placement and design. Think for a moment if City Hall had been constructed in a neo-classical style on Main Street between Tupper and Chippewa!
The ground area of the site on Niagara Square is 71,700 square feet and cost $698,930, also making it one of the largest city halls in the country. Ground was broken on September 16, 1929 and the corner stone was laid May 14, 1930. The building was completed for occupancy on November 10, 1931, even though parts of the building were occupied as early as September 1931. The building was dedicated in July 1932.
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The Buffalo Psychiatric Center was designed by America's premier 19th Century architect H. H. Richardson. Completed in 1895, the building is constructed of Medina sandstone, a favorite building material of this era throughout Buffalo. The twin towers are clad in copper and stand 185 feet high. The building is no longer in use, however, the State of New York has recently committed $80,000,000 for its restoration and adaptive reuse.
Louis Sullivan is considered by many to be the father of the American skyscraper. With the Guaranty Building in Buffalo along with the Wainwright Building in St. Louis, Sullivan showed the world how to "go vertical". The building clad in distinctive, Sullivan designed terra cotta with its ornate patterns continuing all the way to the top (the fact that most of the designs were not visible from ground level seemed to be merely a minor detail to Sullivan). As spectacular as is the exterior, the interior details must not be missed.
Note: Check my General Tips for a detail of the terra cotta tile facade.
City Hall is a majestic Art Deco building standing at the geographic and political center of Buffalo. New York. Designed by architects Dietel, Wade, and Jones and built in 1932, City Hall is one of the country's best examples of set-back Art Deco architecture. It is located on Niagara Square. The obelisk monument in front is in honor of President William Mckinley who was assassinated in Buffalo at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.
The building has special significance for me as my grandfather, an Italian immigrant laborer, helped build this wonderful structure carrying bricks up the scaffolding to the masons.
While I'd say the best works they have here are from the abstract expressionists (Rothco, Pollack, deKooning), this museum has a diverse and amazing collection. There's van Gogh, Kahlo, Modigliani, Warhol, Monet, Lichtenstein, Dali, Matisse and so much more. The oldest piece in the museum is from 3,000 B.C., and the works carry you through the years. The collection is wonderful, and I would say this is definately a must for all art lovers. The museum is closed Mondays, but is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. You can get in to the permanent collection free on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Otherwise, the admission costs are $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors and 13 and under are free.
HERE ARE photos, shown in order, of what you will see as you make your way to the International Peace Bridge leading into Canada. Of course, you must have your passport with you!
CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE THEM ALL.
Buffalo borders Niagara Falls (US-side)!!
You can take a bus to Niagara, Canada from there! Equally you can rent a car & drive over, no problem.
Even if you've seen other falls, such powerful falls are all unique. The Canadian horseshoe is very concentrated, so you feel & hear it's tremendous power & spray even from street level.
Take the Maid of the Mist boat ride, facing the horseshoe.. it really goes quite close! This option is far better than the 'Walk behind the Curtain' experience. Most leave the latter disappointed.
When you are driving on Robert Moses Parkway, entering from 190 North from Buffalo, you will find Niagara River flowing side by side. The waters are much calmer here. The river then enters the Niagara Falls State Park requiring you to enter the park too. This you can do by taking 1st left on to Buffalo Avenue and then 2nd left on 1st street. I suggest that you drive to Parking lot 2, which is closest to the American Falls.
The two branches of Niagara River take plunges and become what we call ‘The American Falls’ and the ‘Horseshoe Falls’. From the Canadian side, you will have frontal views of these falls, but from American side, the river falls into huge falls at your footsteps (see pictures).
For this you will have to visit the Three Sisters Islands. These islands are connected with each other and with Goat Island by bridges. You can have great views of the river flowing through the islands and the islets and the views towards the open upstream side of the river and the cloudy downstream side of the river (see pictures).
As you cross the bridge over a branch of the Niagara River and drive towards Parking lot # 3, you will notice that the river starts to turn into rapids. There is a sign post advising that this is the point of no return, meaning that any engine boat this far into the river will not be able to turn back.
Beginning July 9th, Gunter von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart, the international traveling exhibition will be open for the first time in New York at the Buffalo Museum of Science for a limited engagement.
The BODY WORLDS exhibitions are the most popular museum exhibits in history, now having been viewed by over 27 million people across the globe since its debut in 1995. On July 9, 2009 for a 13-week engagement The Buffalo Museum of Science will host this anatomical exhibition. BODY WORLDS gives the general public the opportunity to view the human body in a manner that has never been provided to them, with the ability to visit the muscle structure, respiratory/circulatory system, nervous system, digestive system and others, this exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Buffalo community. Expected to have a great deal of buzz, the Buffalo Museum of Science expects over a quarter of a million visitors to their museum during this engagement, making BODY WORLDS the most popular exhibition the museum has ever had.
Further details on can be found at www.sciencebuff.org.
Buffalo's waterfront has a little bit of everything. There are beaches, boat launches, restaurants, windmills and sunsets to die for. Whatever your choice, you can find it. Our waterfront is made up of the Lake Erie Shoreline and the Niagara River.
Take a drive or take a stroll, but don't miss the beauty and allure of the water.
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