Start your cultural adventure in Buffalo at the Martin House Complex, an architectural gem designed by the incomparable Frank Lloyd Wright. I can honestly tell you that it’s a one-of-a-kind experience to witness Wright’s design talent and innovation with your own eyes (and one that shouldn’t be missed).
Buffalo is also home to both the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The Burchfield Penney was specifically designed for patrons to interact with the displays; many regional artists are featured throughout the museum, including renowned watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield. Located right across the street is the Albright-Knox, an art gallery nationally recognized for its collection and long-standing dedication to modern art. If you’re into contemporary art, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center is located in Babeville, a rehabbed church turned event venue developed by none other than Ani DiFranco.
Where to see shows
I’ve seen many wonderful Broadway shows and musicals at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. My grandmother took me there to see Guys and Dolls when I was 10 and I’ve been a fan ever since. There’s also the Buffalo United Artists Theater, which is an off-Broadway performance center dedicated to showcasing LGBT artists, playwrights and performers.
Where to wander
In order to get a good feel for Buffalo’s diverse vibe and community, simply take a walk through the Elmwood Village and Allentown district. You’ll find plenty of boutiques, coffee shops, independent bookstores and restaurants to keep you busy for hours. Down by the waterfront, Lake Erie’s cool breeze will wash over you as you stroll along the water’s edge. Speaking of water, Buffalo is only a short drive to Niagara Falls—a natural wonder that can’t even be described in words. Add in all of the art and food festivals and special events that take place throughout the year, and the question quickly becomes “what not to do?”
Where to eat
There is no shortage of good food in Buffalo. From local staples like “beef on weck” to our world-famous chicken wings, there are many different local pubs and fine restaurants to choose from. I’m partial to Betty’s myself, a quaint little restaurant and café located in Allentown. It’s a gay-friendly spot known for its sunny disposition, funky/friendly staff and wholesome food. (I highly recommend going there for breakfast.) Vegetarians and vegans alike can get their food fix at Merge, a local eatery dedicated to sustainable and organic food options as well as to preserving local music and art. If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience, Hutch’s Restaurant and Tempo are considered premier dining destinations. There’s also Mother’s Restaurant and Allen Street Hardware Cafe, which are both located right in the middle of Allentown—or the “gay” side of town.
Where to go out
If you love to dance and mingle with the many colors of the LGBT community, Club Marcella is the place to go. From Thursday to Sunday, you can enjoy club music, theme parties and events, and live eclectic performances. But if you’re looking for something more low-key, Nietzsche’s is a dim-lit and laidback bar that showcases live bands and folk musicians. There’s also Ambush night, which happens on the third Friday of every month at a different bar in the Buffalo area. Ladies young and old come out to mingle, meet other women, and experience the variety of different venues.
— Lyndsey D’Arcangelo