By Melanie D.G. Kaplan
A South Beach-inspired gathering place. Bike lanes and kayak tours. Free outdoor yoga classes. Alfresco dancing and dining.
Ready for this one? It’s all in Buffalo.
Last month, I shuffled up to the city that brought us hydraulic power, the grain elevator and spicy wings. I had some reservations, which lingered largely from my college days in Upstate New York. I was so scarred by the long, cruel winters that after graduation, I moved 1,000 miles south. But I’d been hearing some buzz about a revitalized Buffalo, and that — combined with the absence of snow — drew me north.
Once there, I was determined to get to the bottom of the buzz. And I pledged to spend all my waking hours outdoors. Of course, that meant missing such indoor gems as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House; Ani DiFranco’s Babeville, the restored church-turned-arts center; and all the bars, which are open until 4 a.m. (The permanent exhibit of the late journalist Tim Russert’s re-created office will opens this fall in the Buffalo History Museum, too.) But it also meant getting acquainted with waterways, architecture and smells that are distinctly Buffalonian.