Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grassroots Gardens

I have been involved with Grassroots Gardens for about 4 years now. I kind of fell into it. A friend of mine was working on a community garden at the corner of West and Hudson on the West Side, and told me that the city wanted to take it away to make way for infill housing. I went over to the garden saw how beautiful it was and thought to myself, "NO WAY!" This garden was full of life, it contains a peach tree, tomatoes, squash, beets, chard, carrots, peppers, peas, etc as well as a diverse assortment of flowers. Our little group organized and got about 500 signatures and sent them to Brian Davis (who would not agree to meet with us!) He sent back a letter stating that he had talked to the block club president and that the community wanted this in-fill housing. We shopped our petitions around and found that once you shine a light on something it is easy to ensure that your ideas will be heard. The house was never built and we still have a great garden!

That first year I didn't really garden, I just worked on the organizing end of things. We got together a little group we called, "The Buffalo Garden Group." This group was pretty much me, Justin Weidenbach, and Anna Falicov. Anna put together a great policy brief that we brought to the city, and to Tim Wannamaker (then head of economic development) to see if we could make into some sort of policy or ordinance. This didn't really work, as no real follow up came from the city.

Our little group disbanded shortly thereafter because we had other things to do and our garden was safe, but I became a board member of Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, and then became the Vice President, then President of the board. That was about 3 years ago and the ride ever since has been an amazing learning experience! I have now started gardening much more regularly and have a roof top garden outside my window. If anyone wants to start a Community Garden in Buffalo leave a comment and I will do my best to get back to you. There will certainly be more posts on this in the future.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Handle Meetings with CARE!

So yesterday was a day full of meetings. Mostly regarding an international marketplace that I have been working on over on Grant St. Literally back to back to back meetings. 10am-3:30pm straight! Even lunch was a meeting to plan strategy for a later meeting. By the 3 o'clock meeting I was a bit wiped but manager to keep it together.

I do feel as though the meetings were productive and we are moving towards a concrete project that we can all be proud of, but it was a really tough day. At 3:30 when I had my last meeting I took a 15 minute walk just to decompress. It is tough to be "On" for that long!

The truth is I love my job, I think that city goverment needs people that care. That care for the individual, the neighborhood and the city as a whole. I try to do that as much as I can when I am out in the district or at meetings or wherever I am. It is truly important to care, and to listen. So those are 2 tenents that I try to live by I guess caring and listening! Even when you have literally a day full of meetings. CARE and LISTEN that's how we can make Buffalo better!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blogging Bingo

Check out my friend Jessica's blog post on Gay Bingo! It really was a great time! Also we had a great turnout at the GBC yesterday morning a total of 10 people which was cool. The opening go around was what's your name and what is your favorite mythical creature? We came up with some good ones "Tupac, Unicorns, the Yeti"! Next GBC is on Valentines day so don't forget to show up! Add Video

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Living Cooperatively Part 1 The History

So I live in a housing cooperative, called Nickel City Coop. It is a 13 bedroom mansion located on the corner of Elmwood and North and is completely beautiful. It was purchased back in 2001 by 6 UB students that didn't want to have landlords anymore they wanted to be their own landlord. Ever since then this house has been a coop where 14 people have lived in relative happiness together.
The house is also known as the Granger Mansion was designed by Green and Wicks and built by Edward Granger in 1885 it was built on the outskirts of Buffalo at that point. The Granger's were judges and a green grocer and could afford to build such an opulent house on the "outskirts" of town. The house had a wrap around porch, gargoyles and a beautiful slate roof. Fast forward a couple of years and the invention of the car comes along, Elmwood Ave. "needs" to be widened in order to make way for this horseless contraption so the wrap around porch is removed from the Elmwood side! We still have a great porch, but not a wrap around anymore. Fast forward until around 1995 (I know that is skipping about 100 years or so but hey, that's how it goes) The house is being used for offices and an antique store in the basement. Around 1999 the house goes empty and is vacant until 2001 when our group moves in. I guess vacant isn't the right term, there were homeless people living in the house during that time. Then we buy the house in 2001! Stay tuned for more of the house that almost wasn't next time!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Gentleman's Breakfast Club

Some of my gentleman friends and I have been meeting at Nick's Place (504 Amherst St across from the ReStore) for the last couple of years. We meet there to discuss all of the important issues such as who is going to be the next president and whether or not Elvis is actually dead. In this post I am breaking the first rule of the Gentleman's Breakfast Club which is, "The gentleman's breakfast club does not exist," but hey such is life! I started it therefore I can change the rules. So if any gentleman wants to attend this delicious breakfast come on down to Nick's Place Saturday January 10th the eating starts at 10:30am.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shout Outs

I needed to give some shout outs to both buffawhat (Nate) and BuffaloPundit (Alan), both of whom plugged my blog on their blogs, which certainly have a much higher readership than mine. So thanks gents, here is a shout out to your blogs: and
Thank you both!!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Sometimes I sit in meetings and I think to myself, man people sure do a lot of talking but they sure as hell don't listen that well. I think it all comes down to listening. If you can listen well then you will be able to do well in life. You need to be able to listen to the things that are unsaid, the subtle gestures and the rising tension in the room. Being able to listen and respond correcltly is the thing that can truly make or break any relationship; be it romantic, business or otherwise. I feel that in so much of life everyone wants to talk, and no one can take the time to actually listen. Listening is what we need more of that should have been Obama's campaign slogan. He should have said I will listen, if he would have said that he might have won Arizona too!! Like I said meandering thoughts is what I do best!

Snowflake Soiree

This past Saturday at my house we had the Snowflake Soiree, which as it's name implies is a fancy shin-dig where everyone gets dressed up and is, just plain fancy. I wore my only sports coat and fancy pants combination, without a tie because I don't yet know how to tie them! Maybe one day I will learn! We had really good chocolate, cheese and wine for the evening and it was an overall awesome event. This is what happens when you live with so many great people!
Above is a picture of the cake that Potter brought from Sweet Tooth along with tons of the chocolate around it. Jennifer Ulrich took the picture, I think she takes some great pics!

Buffalo Gay Bingo

I have never been to this event, but have heard lots of good things about it:

The theme for this Saturday's (Jan. 10) Gay Bingo is Leather and Lace Bingo with your hostess with the mostess Gladys Over! It is held St John's Grace 51 Colonial Circle it starts at 7pm, but I hear that you need to be there by 6 in order to get a seat. It is $20.00 for the entire evening of bingo boards and I hear they have a helluva lot of fun! I am planning on going and hopefully bringing a big crew to this evening which I am sure is going to be great!
The name of the game is “Gay Bingo,” but you don’t have to be gay to play. Crowds of around 200 people gather to play bingo—with a twist— on the second Saturday of each month at St. John’s Grace Episcopal Church (located at 51 Colonial Circle in Buffalo). Doors open at 6:00 PM, and the program begins at 7:00 PM. Admission is $5.00, although Bingo “packets” are very popular at $20.00 and include admission. Raising monies for local AIDS services providers. Organizations that have benefited so far include AIDS Family Services, Mark’s Place, and the PACT Program.

Friday, January 2, 2009

First Post of the Rest of your life

HI All,

So my name is Kirk and this is my blog to talk about all sorts of fun and exciting things that go on in my life and in the City of Buffalo. I work for the City of Buffalo, and am interested in making Buffalo a better place by working together. I have seen how through cooperation and coming together we can make this place better. In fact I live in a housing cooperative. I hope that this blog can be a way for me to share my meandering ideas with the rest of Buffalo and actually RE-THINK Buffalo!