Monday, June 14, 2010

Palmy afternoon in Buffalo, New York

Gee, a GPS makes road trips a lot more fun. You can fit in more of what you want to see when you're not  constantly getting lost.    This time, down in Buffalo for the day, we finally made it to the legendary Anchor Bar where buffalo wings were invented. I still prefer Coles overall for location, atmosphere, variety and prices but have to say the Anchor Bar's wings are excellent and quite possibly the best.  They're certainly the biggest I've ever seen.  And if you like bikes, the rafters are hung with everything from kiddies' trikes to an old Ducati to a new Moto Guzzi.
An arts festival had attracted hundreds of people and closed off a chunk of the city but with the GPS lady's urgent recalculations, we made our way around it and down to Buffalo's South Park.
South Park is part of Buffalo's Olmsted-designed park system, Frederick Law Olmsted being the guy who planned New York's Central Park (among others). Is there anything better than a snooze under a old tree in a quiet Olmsted park in June? I left Pat in the shade and went to explore the Botanical Gardens.
The centrepiece of the gardens is the Victorian conservatory (1900), a massive tri-domed glass, wood and steel design by Lord & Burnham.  L&B were top designers of glass houses in their day and this design was based on the famous Crystal Palace in Kew Gardens, England.
Today, the Buffalo conservatory is one of only two remaining Lord and Burnham conservatories incorporated into an Olmsted-designed park. At 67' tall, the main dome is magnificent, full of palms and tropical fruit trees. A globe introduces the gardens' new theme of "The Buffalo Meridian", a line circumnavigating the globe, connecting the city to other people, places and plants.
Buffalo is full of wonders if you can find your way to them!