Category Archives: architecture

Past and Present…the view from my handlebars 83 years later

These photos are a continuation of a series that I post now and again. I’ll find an old photo from somewhere in the city, print it out, and then try to recreate the picture. Sometimes this is easy, and other times it can be difficult because of the angle of the original shot. Yet other times it is difficult because buildings are missing or there are others in their place. Anyhow, both of these photos are taken in my direct neighborhood. The set directly below is on a stretch of Allen Street near Elmwood Avenue that I pass every single day, and the bottom set is also on Allen Street but at the very beginning where it meets Main Street. The original photos are said to have been taken in 1930; the others I took today. To see more in this series click here, here, or here.

Urban Simplicity.

A Few Intersting Buildings I Saw While Riding Home Today…

One of the many things I enjoy about riding a bike, and one of the many things I enjoy about living in Buffalo, is being able to ride around and admire our incredible architectural history. And I was thinking just this today as I rode home. I had a camera with me so I snapped a few pictures on this cold April afternoon. Anyhow, here’s a few.

From top to bottom…a former Friends Meeting House (now a residence), a former nipple factory (hence the turret’s shape) now residences and food store, the Tift Row Houses, St. Gabriel atop Gabriel’s Restaurant, and the Theater of Youth (originally, the Allendale Theater).

Urban Simplicity.

Things I Saw While Riding My Bike Today (a photo essay)

Firstly I have to say a couple things. Mainly an apology (if these pictures bore you). This is the most photos I’ve posted at one time. But sometimes I simply cannot help myself. I am proud of my beautiful city and it’s long history. Yes, I realize–to my friends “across the pond” who are reading this–by some standards Buffalo is not an old city, but in North America it is. Anyhow, it was such a beautiful spring morning (crisp and not a cloud in the sky) that I felt like taking a bike ride (big surprise, right?). So I packed a couple cameras, lenses, and a tripod on my bike and rode through a few of our cities oldest and original neighborhoods…the Cobblestone District, the Old First Ward, and the area around the Grain Elevators and the Buffalo River. While the First Ward is a residential area, the others are not…especially around the grain elevators. And when I went there this morning it was–not surprisingly–devoid of people; the crumbling buildings in the Cobblestone District was the same. And it felt incredibly beautiful to me…big hulking grain elevators with the sound of nature all around me. There were, for example, wild geese all over the place. It’s as if the area has regressed into an unofficial nature preserve without the help of humans. The abandoned grain elevators and buildings in the Cobblestone District were like architectural ghosts…not really living but not ready to make the transition to the other side. They themselves–without words–have a story to tell about the Queen City. I shot nearly a hundred photos this morning, and here’s a few I thought I’d share.

Urban Simplicity.

Past and Present…The View from My Handlebars (#2)

This is really a continuation of a previous post that is similar. I had the day off today and went for a bike ride downtown (on a cold, cold day I may add) armed with a couple cameras and prints of old photos. All of the original photos were taken–I believe–somewhere between 1895 and 1910. And one of the most interesting things, I think, is how it feels to be standing and taking photos in the same spot–or close to it–as the original was taken. Anyhow, the photos are as follows: St. Paul’s Cathedral in what was then known as Shelton Square (I’ve not heard it referred to as this in my lifetime). The next photo is of the original Buffalo Savings Bank (the Electric Tower, which was built in 1912, is of course not in the original). Next is Lafayette Hotel as viewed from Lafayette Square. The two remaining images are a bit sad, I think…at least the current versions are. The second to last is a view of Swan Street in Buffalo facing east and looking past Main Street. The building on the left and in the distance is the Ellicott Square Building, but in the current day image of today an entire block of buildings on the right side are gone. And lastly, the bottom image is of Buffalo’s original YMCA. The building still stands but is all but obscured by our extremely ugly convention center; the building is now called Olympic Towers and houses restaurants, offices, and a health club. Click any image for a larger view.

Two Views from my Handlebars

The weather this past week has been–as far as I’m concerned–perfect. Idyllically autumn. Crisp, barely a breeze, or cloud in the sky. Also perfect weather to be on a bike. The above photo is a building I pass everyday, and as I coasted past this evening the sun hit it just right. This is also a great example of beautiful Buffalo architecture. And below is a picture of another incredible sunset as I was just coasting into the parking lot of the health club. Click either for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can Be Carried on a Bike (#469)

A nylon bag containing–among other things–a laptop computer, an extra camera, a book, a journal, a small magazine, and two granola bars.

Urban Simplicity.

>A Cold and Snowy Ride on the Mundo…and a few things I saw and experienced.

>

This past week I’ve had off work (have to go back tomorrow…not looking forward to it) and because of the very cold weather that has returned I’ve been in a sort of hibernation mode and have only using bikes for very short rides (and have been using my truck more than I like). At any rate, yesterday it was a such a beautiful and sunny day (to start) that I thought I’d do a bit of a personal biathlon…a few miles on the Mundo followed by a half mile swim (and 30 minutes in the shvitz). And as I mentioned, while it was cold 19F (-7C) the day had begun very sunny…but that didn’t last. When I came out of the health club after my steam and swim I encountered a brief but heavy lake effect snow shower. The above photo is just after I reached home; it was coming down so heavy the snow was accumulating on me and the bike as I rode…at one point I could not see a few feet in front of me (because I had to squint) so I actually stopped and put on my swim goggles so I could keep my eyes open…but then everything had a slightly blue hue to it…very soothing. Anyhow, I thought I’d share a few photos; here’s a few things I saw on the way.

This is a bit ironic (and scary), I thought. After being cut off by an SUV driver I pulled into a parking lot to adjust my scarf and coat and have a sip of coffee, I looked up and saw this billboard on the side of a building.

Next I rode down to Erie Basin Marina, which in the summertime is packed with people…now I was the only person, save for a few people in cars and a lone jogger. I didn’t have to worry about obeying the sign below.

Here’s a photo of the Buffalo (main) Lighthouse where three bodies of water meet: the Buffalo River (which also connects to the Erie Canal), the Niagara River, and Lake Erie. Off to the right is Canada. Very tranquil.

Though this is just on the edge of downtown it feels as if you are miles away from the city at times (especially in the dead of winter). Two rabbits zipped past me, and I stopped to watch a goose burrowing for food in the frozen grass.

One of the things that is beautiful about Buffalo is it’s architecture (mostly from a bygone era), and it’s something I never tire of looking at. I always have to stop and admire the beauty of our majestic city hall.

Lastly I leave you with a blurry self portrait after arriving home in the snow. My hands were so cold it was difficult to hold the camera; you can see how red any exposed skin was on my face. Brrr….

None-the-less, it was still a fun ride and it felt really good to be out in the elements; gives me a feeling of accomplishment  (though I will admit it felt better to get home and throw another log on the fire).

A Cold and Snowy Ride on the Mundo…and a few things I saw and experienced.

This past week I’ve had off work (have to go back tomorrow…not looking forward to it) and because of the very cold weather that has returned I’ve been in a sort of hibernation mode and have only using bikes for very short rides (and have been using my truck more than I like). At any rate, yesterday it was a such a beautiful and sunny day (to start) that I thought I’d do a bit of a personal biathlon…a few miles on the Mundo followed by a half mile swim (and 30 minutes in the shvitz). And as I mentioned, while it was cold 19F (-7C) the day had begun very sunny…but that didn’t last. When I came out of the health club after my steam and swim I encountered a brief but heavy lake effect snow shower. The above photo is just after I reached home; it was coming down so heavy the snow was accumulating on me and the bike as I rode…at one point I could not see a few feet in front of me (because I had to squint) so I actually stopped and put on my swim goggles so I could keep my eyes open…but then everything had a slightly blue hue to it…very soothing. Anyhow, I thought I’d share a few photos; here’s a few things I saw on the way.

This is a bit ironic (and scary), I thought. After being cut off by an SUV driver I pulled into a parking lot to adjust my scarf and coat and have a sip of coffee, I looked up and saw this billboard on the side of a building.

Next I rode down to Erie Basin Marina, which in the summertime is packed with people…now I was the only person, save for a few people in cars and a lone jogger. I didn’t have to worry about obeying the sign below.

Here’s a photo of the Buffalo (main) Lighthouse where three bodies of water meet: the Buffalo River (which also connects to the Erie Canal), the Niagara River, and Lake Erie. Off to the right is Canada. Very tranquil.

Though this is just on the edge of downtown it feels as if you are miles away from the city at times (especially in the dead of winter). Two rabbits zipped past me, and I stopped to watch a goose burrowing for food in the frozen grass.

One of the things that is beautiful about Buffalo is it’s architecture (mostly from a bygone era), and it’s something I never tire of looking at. I always have to stop and admire the beauty of our majestic city hall.

Lastly I leave you with a blurry self portrait after arriving home in the snow. My hands were so cold it was difficult to hold the camera; you can see how red any exposed skin was on my face. Brrr….

None-the-less, it was still a fun ride and it felt really good to be out in the elements; gives me a feeling of accomplishment  (though I will admit it felt better to get home and throw another log on the fire).

>Sunday Morning Walk

>Sometimes I find a walk is better than a bike ride. If you can see more on a bike than in a car you can see even more when you’re using just your feet. Anyhow, I went for a meditative Sunday walk this morning, and one of the things that I love to do when I walk is to look at architecture…I never tire of it. Buffalo is a shrinking city, yes, and a city smack dab in the middle of the rust belt, but it is a city that always has (and continues to have) a rich arts and cultural heritage…and one of my favorite things is the architecture (to visit the Buffalo Architecture website click here). I love walking around like a tourist in my own city and being in awe of it’s beauty…I went on such a walk this morning and thought I’d share some of what I saw. To see detail, click on any image for a much larger view.




















Sunday Morning Walk

Sometimes I find a walk is better than a bike ride. If you can see more on a bike than in a car you can see even more when you’re using just your feet. Anyhow, I went for a meditative Sunday walk this morning, and one of the things that I love to do when I walk is to look at architecture…I never tire of it. Buffalo is a shrinking city, yes, and a city smack dab in the middle of the rust belt, but it is a city that always has (and continues to have) a rich arts and cultural heritage…and one of my favorite things is the architecture (to visit the Buffalo Architecture website click here). I love walking around like a tourist in my own city and being in awe of it’s beauty…I went on such a walk this morning and thought I’d share some of what I saw. To see detail, click on any image for a much larger view.