First Snow in Buffalo

First Snow

There’s always something magical about the first snow of the season — something that makes me nostalgic for winters passed. Something that makes me long for pink cheeks and sledding and hot chocolate with little marshmallows.

Something that makes it okay to go outside on the front porch in the middle of the night with my husband in fuzzy pink snowflake and blue polar bear pajama pants (mine, his, respectively) to take pictures.

The snow crept up on me this year. I’d been expecting it since September — this is Buffalo, after all, home of the Lake Effect and the Blizzard of ’77. But the weather has been relatively calm since our early October arrival. Balmy, even. Last week we were still in the 70s, sunny, happy, nary a cloud in sight. So I found myself both surprised and delighted when Alex (yes, Alex of the polar bear pants) interrupted my evening procrastination to tell me about the first snow. And it’s a good one, too — perfect crystal snowflakes floating and twirling to the ground like a thousand tiny ballerinas.

Frozen ballerinas with chapped lips and runny noses whose mothers should have made them wear pants under their pink tutus like mine would have done, but ballerinas nevertheless.

Winter is coming — my first in Buffalo in 11 years. And I can’t wait!

Top 10 Things I’m Most Excited About for Winter in Buffalo, 2008 Version

  1. The annual driving ban when we can enjoy the neighborhood on foot (snowshoes optional) as all traffic is suspended due to 4 feet of snow with nowhere to go.
  2. Aforementioned hot chocolate, now with ginger, spicy hot pepper, and other secret ingredients for an added kick. Bailey’s may or may not be one of the secret ingredients, but since it’s a secret, I can’t tell you! Shhh! *hiccup*
  3. Our first ever family Thanksgiving hosted in our home. By us. With family members attending. Extra Bailey’s — check.
  4. Annual Thanksgiving weekend Lord of the Rings trilogy extended version movie marathon, in which Alex (yes, Alex of the polar bear pants) and I watch all three films back to back, eating nachos and drinking wine the entire twelve or so hours.
  5. Watching kids in the neighborhood fall down in their puffy, immovable snowsuits, which I’m pretty sure Buffalo invented. The snowsuits, not the falling down. Speaking of falling down, bartender, more Bailey’s?
  6. Silk Soy Holiday Nog.
  7. Christmas carolers — a singer I am not, but I do hope we get some. Do people still carol? If not, could someone please come to our house, ring the doorbell, and sing?
  8. Starbucks Caramel Apple Cider. In New York State, they use real apple cider and not just apple juice that they heat up and call cider.
  9. Saving a snowball or two in the freezer and not looking at it again until summer, and of course —
  10. Christmas music! I loves my Christmas music! It drives Alex (yes, Alex of the polar bear pants) crazy, but not me. I love it. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Etta James do Silent Night.

What are you guys looking forward to this winter?

I Heart the Library!

Whenever I let too much time pass between visits, I forget how much I love the library. Amazon.com, on the other hand, loves when I forget it. So does Barnes & Noble, Tattered Cover, and now, my new local indie, Talking Leaves Books.

Having just moved into a new neighborhood — er, county — er, state, if you don’t count that 6-month little stop-over in NYC, I had to get a new library card. Downtown Buffalo has a really super cool library so I was all excited about that, but also, I found a branch right down the street! Like, even closer than my favorite Greek diner which we’ve already hit up about 5 times this month! In fact, I have to walk past the library to get to the diner!

Why, it’s utter genius!

So Alex and I took a lovely mid-afternoon walk down Elmwood Avenue, found the library, and signed up for new cards.

And now I have a bunch of new books for my ever-increasing to-be-read pile:

books1.png

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  • The Year My Sister Got Lucky – by Aimee Friedman
  • The Nature of Jade – by Deb Caletti
  • Lessons from a Dead Girl – by Jo Knowles
  • Little Brother – by Cory Doctorow
  • The Earth, My Butt, and other Big Round Things – by Carolyn Mackler

YA books. Free. Right down the street (on the way to the diner). What more can a girl ask for?

Visit your local library today!

Elmwood Village Fall Photo Spectacular

In our new place, we’re a short walk from Delaware Park, which is one of my favorite fall spots in Buffalo.

Berries

Willows

Trees by Alex

Live Buffalo

Alex

And of course, St. James church, which I’ll be photographing seasonally because I think it’s just stunning and amazing. I’m convinced the bell tower is haunted, too.

St. James

St. James sunset

St. James moon

Overall, fall in upstate NY has been pretty spectacular. Even though our front lawn was destroyed by National Fuel, I guess we’ll always have the park.

Wait OMG I just had the most brilliant idea ever! Maybe I can turn the mess into a creepy graveyard sort of thing for Halloween. I’m sure I can find some old headstones and authentic cobwebs in that spookalicious basement. All I need are a few dead bodies and severed limbs which, when properly scattered about, could create a rather convincing undead-rising sort of thing.

Or, just invite this chick over…

Charlotte by Alex

She’s been keeping Alex company outside his office. I don’t mind spiders. But seriously…

*shudder*

Happy fall, everyone!

Home Sweet Home

So we’ve been in Buffalo for two weeks, and this morning, here’s what we have going on in the front yard:

gas leak

Nothing to worry about. Just your every day natural gas leak. They knocked on the door this morning to tell us they had to shut off the gas (so now I have a legitimate excuse to skip my shower and to go out to dinner instead of the flimsy excuses I pull out of a hat each morning), and within an hour, the front yard was destroyed.

It looks fun, tearing things up and causing destruction with little trucks, but I’m not sure I’d sign up for that job. Too dangerous, messing with natural gas. Just like when the guy came two weeks ago to convert some of the 2-prong plugs to 3-prong plugs. They’re still not 100% properly grounded according to this little test plug thingy Dad brought over, but I’m not about to mess with electrical currents in my free time, just like I’m not about to poke my head into that hole outside even though the National Fuel guys just left it there all gaping and torn up and where’s Jimmy Hoffa and all.

Like many homes in Elmwood Village, ours was built in the late 1800s, which means that we can hear every step on the old wood floors, but the place will probably stand up to an earthquake or zombie apocalypse. It also comes complete with original stained glass windows, built in cabinetry, and uber-creeptastic basement artifacts.

Stained glass

Cabinets

old stove

basement

X-Files?

But the best part is that I finally have my own office! Still a work in progress — we are woefully short on bookshelves at the moment, but we’ll be ordering those shortly. My dad is also going to build me a table-slash-desk, and then I’m going to cover the walls in photographs.

Office

Now that we’re semi-mostly unpacked, we’ve been exploring the neighborhood, too. We’re walking distance from some of the best Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian restaurants in town, not to mention DeLish bakery, where I accidentally bought this exquisitely dangerous German chocolate brownie:

German chocolate brownie

I think I’ll just leave you with that for now. Stay tuned tomorrow for a gas leak update and shots of Delaware Park in fall!