Some great people are participating in “Cycling the Erie Canal.”

Fifteen years ago the 400 mile 8 day “Cycling the Erie Canal” event got off the ground.  It was the brain child of Parks and Trails New York.  I had the opportunity to come across slightly more than 300 of the 400 riders participating in this tour.  They were at the Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises on Market St. in Lockport.  The riders had a box lunch and took the one hour forty-five minute narrated cruise upon the Erie Canal and through Locks 34 and 35.

This was not a group  composed of only hardcore, technically equipped cyclists.  They came in all sizes, men and women, regional residents, from across the nation, several Europeans and a good number of our Canadian friends and neighbors.  I surprised  to see old dudes like me and children who seemed to be in the are area of 8 years of age.

What a pleasant experience it was getting to speak with a number of this adventurous travelers.

But like all things, this is just not a get on your bike and ride event.  Parks and Trails New York has a guidebook telling everyone how to get ready and what to expect.  I’ve read it and now I am wondering is this something I need to put on my bucket list of things to do.  This group has 5 days left on their journey, I hope they continue to have a great time.



Summer is nearly upon us!

Dear Mike,

Summer is nearly upon us! With numerous events scheduled throughout the Canalway Corridor each week, it’s a great time of year to enjoy the tremendous heritage and recreational appeal of our waterway and trails. We especially want to call your attention to the BIG FOUR corridor-wide events happening this year.
Please also refer to full 2013 schedule of events at:


Best Regards,


Beth Sciumeca, Director
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

What to do in Niagara USA May 17-22, 2013

What to do in Niagara USA…..May 17 – 22, 2013

May 17:  Endangered Species Day
DeVeaux Woods State Park, 3180 DeVeaux Woods Dr., Niagara Falls
6:30pm. Join a park naturalist and learn the ‘who, what, where and why’ about endangered, threatened and special concern and extinct animals in NY. For information and registration call 716-282-5154.

May 17:  Fireworks Display
Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls USA
10pm. View the beautiful fireworks display, as well as the illumination!

May 18:  5th Annual Run with the Rapids ($)
Old Falls Street, 101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls. 716-278-2100
9am. Put your running sneakers on and enjoy a run or walk around Niagara USA! Registration begins at 7:30am. For additional information visit

May 18:  Relay for Life ($)
Old Falls Street, 101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls
12pm. Old Falls Street is going purple! An event that celebrates cancer survivors, remembers and honors loved ones and fights back against cancer.

May 18:  Niagara Bicycle Ride
Devil’s Hole State Park, Robert Moses Parkway, North of the Falls
10am. Bring your bike and enjoy a leisurely ride along with river with stops along the way! For information and registration call 716-282-5154.

May 18 – 19:  NY Heritage Weekend
Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., N. Tonawanda. 716-693-1885
12pm. Celebrate the carrousel’s legacy in the Tonawandas! Enjoy free admission and a variety of fun crafts for the kids!

May 18:  Serenata Celeste Dinner Theater Event ($)
Niagara Arts & Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls. 716-282-7530
6pm. Celebrate the Italian American culture with the NACC! Tickets include dinner, tax and tip.

May 18:  Wine & Food Pairing Event ($)
Midnight Run Wine Cellars, 3301 Braley Rd., Ransomville. 716-751-6200
6:30pm. Enjoy snacks, salad, main course, dessert and wine! Tickets on sale!

May 18:  Live Music at The Topper Social Club ($)
The Topper Social Club, 492-19th St., Niagara Falls.
8pm. Live music featuring Topper’s 40 Big Band night!

May 19:  Apple Blossom Festival
West Creek Rd. at Ide Rd., Newfane. 716-778-7197
10am. Country Fair at the farm village museum-barbershop, schoolhouse, blacksmith, printer, country store and more! Food, music, dancers, crafters, Civil War encampment.

May 19:  Fireworks Display
Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls USA
10pm. View the beautiful fireworks display, as well as the illumination!

May 22:  The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs ($)
Artpark, 450 S. 4th St., Lewiston. 716-754-4375
10am & 7pm. Enjoy two hilarious performances of the True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!

Nightly Falls Illumination
May 1 – August 15:   9pm – Midnight

Fireworks Schedule
Every Friday, Sunday & Holidays at 10PM

Ongoing Events in Niagara USA:

May 3 – June 9:  John Pacovsky Exhibit
Niagara Arts & Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls. 716-282-7530
A solo show representing hyper realism and surrealistic style paintings.

« Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation «
10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
1-877 FALLS US « « @NiagaraFallsUSA

A Womad Festival is ideally suited to a city like Buffalo, NY.

WOMAD Festival  Festival is ideally suited to a city like Buffalo, NY.  WOMAD’s (The World of Music, Arts and Dance)  celebration of diversity plays to this area’s history.  It is an event for everyone regardless of age, race, creed, color, national origin, etc.  WOMAD would draw visitors from across the Torbufchester region and beyond.  It would showcase a Buffalo, NY community on the rebound, its people, attractive vistas, cultural diversity, foods, etc.

Music, arts and dance are have played a big part in our history.

Music, arts and  dance have always  brought our communities together.

The idea of holding our very own WOMAD festival  could be an event everyone could get behind as a large all-inclusive community wide effort and we love our festivals.  We have the room. Why not add one more event to our wonderful summer’s calendar?

This is what the Canadian Encyclopedia had to say about WOMAD at the Toronto Harbourfront:

Of Harbourfront’s many festivals, WOMAD has drawn the greatest notice. Originated in England in 1981, it has been held annually in different British cities and latterly in several other European countries, as well as in Toronto. WOMAD/Harbourfront became Canada’s most important forum at the turn of the 1990s for world music, rivalled only by the VANCOUVER FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL. In 1990, it offered 48 ensembles comprising some 240 performers representing 25 countries. Notable among its artists at Harbourfront have been Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Pakistan) in 1988 and 1990, Billy Bragg (England) in 1989, Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited (Zimbabwe) in 1990, and Mzwakhe Mbuli and the Equals (South Africa) in 1991.

WOMAD profits could be spread among participating groups like the Philharmonic, Colored Musicians Club, Albright-Knox, Central Terminal, History Museum, theaters, and other groups that choose to take part in planning and volunteering.,

I would certainly be willing to get involved but just but don’t have a clue how to pull it off. Is the idea worth consideration by the people of Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier?

Do you need to see more?  How about the WOMAD Parade?

Bring in Bruce Springsteen for the grand opening of “Canalside” in Buffalo, NY

Bring in Bruce Springsteen for the grand opening of Buffalo’s “Canalside” project if for no other reason than the have him sing his ragtime version of Erie Canal.  Maybe Amusements of America could also be scheduled to provides more family fun.

Buffalo’s Canal Harbor development has been ongoing since 1998, actually the late 1970′s if you consider the Erie Basin Marina Pier, and is in its last years of  construction.  The last piece of the 26 acre project, a part of a 1 mile long redevelopment on the north side of the Buffalo River, most likely will be the  Explore & More Children’s Museum in 2015-16.

Canalside in winter

Canalside in winter

Canalside in summer

Canalside in summer


A public gathering to celebrate the grand opening would be a marketing tool to not only attract visitors but also a well deserved thank-you to all who have made it possible.


Maid of the Mist construction project at Niagara Falls to continue.

Construction of the Maid of the Mist boat landing at the site of the old Schoelkopf Power Plant in the City of Niagara Falls is set to continue. New York State Supreme Court Justice Catherine Nugent Panepinto has agreed to permit construction by the Maid of the Mist Company.   I’m sure the issue will continue on in the courts and I am hopeful that the Maid of the Mist Falls cruise boats have found a home.  There is plenty of room in the gorge and enough tourists for more than one business to handle.

In 2009,  I had the opportunity, along with Kelly Kukucka and Karl Barna, to hike into that portion of the gorge on a now rarely used and rigorous hiking trail leading to the Schoelkopf  Power Plant ruins. We were led by a state parks’ naturalist because we had been directing work crews renovating hiking trails at Whirlpool, Devil’s Hole and Artpark State Parks. I am certain none of the Maid of the Mist opponents and new preservationist group have ever visited the site.  I am equally certain they had not previously been interested in the area until now and all the talk of millions of dollars..

There are 1930s era WPA constructed hiking trails to Schoelkopf which are covered by a number of very large boulder rock slides. The base of the plant is covered in rubble. It is currently inaccessible to the every day tourist.  The power plant itself collapsed in 1956 when when the whole gorge wall gave way.  I feel a clean up  of the area will commence.   Click the link to read about the Schoelkopf disaster.  It is rather interesting.

This project will do more to generate public and tourist awareness for this location than there has been over the past 57 years. Once the project is completed and people get down there for the boats, they will be will be fascinated by the beauty and the views.  They will begin advocating for more and better access.  It will lead to restoration of well prepared trails. Rebuilt trails could potentially make it possible to hike and/or fish the gorge all the way from the base of the American Falls Observation Tower down to Whirlpool St. Park and the Robert Moses Power Plant in Lewiston some 7 miles distant.  The  gorge has the potential to be a great addition to the Niagara Falls experience.  It is quite beautiful and dramatic looking at the Falls from above, from below at the Cave of the Winds, from the Maid of the Mist, and hiking the gorge.  The whole tourist experience will benefit and local history will be learned in the process.



If Cleveland and Baltimore, why not Buffalo?

In Orchard Park, NY there will be a $130 million dollar renovation of Ralph Wilson Stadium, the home of the NFL Buffalo Bills franchise.  The 40-year-old stadium’s lifespan is being prolonged and it is hoped that the future of the Bills’ team in Western New York will be secured by a stadium replacement

One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the current facility is unsuitable for any sporting event other than American Football.  The configuration of the field precludes its use as a multipurpose ground.  Any new facility must be multipurpose.

Cities like Cleveland know that.  Their NFL franchise the Cleveland Browns know that.  Their stadium,  First Energy Stadium, is multipurpose.  It hosts other events, such as college and high school football games, soccer games, and concerts.

The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team announced that on May 29th, it will play an exhibition match against the Belgian Men’s National Team at First Energy.  People from around the nation will come to Cleveland for the match.  Hotel, food, car rental, and entertainment spending will be generated in the community for this match.

Just just this past summer in Baltimore, “M & T Bank Stadium” (M & T is headquartered in Buffalo), the home of the NFL Baltimore Ravens played host to an English Premier League Football (soccer) match between the Tottenham Hotspur and  Liverpool Reds attracting 50,000 fans.  Money was made that day.

In Orchard Park, after the NFL season and local high school football championships,  Wilson Stadium remains unused, unproductive, and non-revenue producing for remaining 95% of the calendar year.  We really have to think about what is of benefit to the community when deciding to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on sporting facilities.  When the time comes, do we really want to invest in single use structures over multiuse?  Please don’t say “yes” to single use.


M & T 3rd Friday’s at the Buffalo History Museum announced.


Every month, M&T THIRD FRIDAYS’ visitors will experience new programs, family events, entertainment, docent-led tours, and more.  Members always receive free or discounted admission to special happenings.

The first of M&T THIRD FRIDAYS launches March 15 with free admission to the Museum and Resource Center all day. Scheduled are docent-led tours of exhibits: 150th Ever After, Oishei Pioneer Gallery, Neighbors, and Spirit of the City: Imagining the Pan-American Exposition.
Also featured is GIANTS of BUFFALO, a new speaker series that spotlights specific industries and fetes Western New York individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in their field.
Radio Giants: March 15 – Sandy Beach, Shane Gibson, Danny Neaverth,
Joey Reynolds , and Stan Roberts

Moderator: John DiSciullo
Director of Production and Promotion for WBBZ-TV
         Music Giant: April 19 – Tommy Tedesco “The Unrecorded Story”
         Sports Giants: May 17 – Dan Starr, Booker Edgerson, and others TBA
This event is free for members of Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Broadcasters Association, Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame with membership card; $10. Nonmembers.

Visit for the M&T THIRD FRIDAYS schedule
or call (716) 873- 9644 ext.301.

The Buffalo History Museum
One Museum Court
Buffalo, New. York 14216