Buffalo: A summer art escape

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The one-year-old Burchfield Penney Art Center is a must-see in Buffalo.

By Jessie Pascoe

Special to amNewYork

Buffalo, once an industrial city, might not appear to be that arty. But recent developments, like the newly opened Burchfield Penney Art Center, are slowly changing people’s perception.

This summer, experience Buffalo’s artistic offerings outdoors at the city’s many festivals. They’re ideal places to shop for original art, and Buffalo’s summer art festivals also provide much-needed cardio after indulging in Western New York’s gluttonous delights.

Get Cultured

Allentown Art Festival

It just wouldn’t be summer in Buffalo without the annual Allentown Art Festival. Held in Allentown—a pseudo-East Village nabe—the AAF draws thousands of visitors to what is considered the largest and oldest art festival in the country. Expect to find everything from watercolor paintings to jewelry and pottery to stain-glass fixtures. June 13-14; allentownartfestival.org.Buffalo Infringement Festival

Satiate your inner avant-garde artist at the Infringement Festival. For one week, Allentown kicks into creative-high drive with local cabaret, comics, dance, puppet shows, media art displays and some self-promoted “miscellaneous insurrectionists.” July 23-August 2; infringementbuffalo.org

Elmwood Festival of the Arts

Over 170 artisans and craftspeople are set to participate this year, as the Elmwood Festival celebrates its 10 anniversary. It may be smaller than the Allentown Art Festival, but art aficionados will delight in the 16 artistic mediums represented. August 29-30; elmwoodartfest.org

Burchfield Penney Art Center

A summer trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the year-old Burchfield Penney Museum—even if it is indoors. The spot in Western New York for art from the 19th century onwards, the museum houses a permanent collection of the area’s most talented, from the watercolors of Charles Burchfield to the photographs of Cindy Sherman.

Eat

Duff’s

Forget what you think you know about buffalo wings. Until you’ve had them in Buffalo, you haven’t truly tasted them. The recipe might have been invented at Buffalo’s Anchor bar, but locals call out Duff’s Famous Wings as the spot to sample some near-perfection. 3651 Sheridan Drive, 716-834-6234

Charlie the Butcher

Another culinary curiosity of Western New York, the beef on weck has been busting belts for over a century. The reason? Imagine a salty caraway seed-dusted Kaiser roll filled with roast beef, pickles, horseradish and soaked with beef jus and you’ll understand that the beef on weck is not for the carb conscious. Throw caution to the wind and grab one to go. 1065 Wehrle Dr., 716-633-8330; charliethebutcher.com

Stay

Buffalo’s blessed with architectural gems, from grand Victorian homes to Art Deco railroads. Experience history at the Mansion on Delaware Avenue. Restored to its Second Empire glory, this 28-room luxury hotel attracts guests from across the U.S. with personal butler services, shoe-shines and complimentary evening cocktails. Room rates average $195, with suites going for $375 414 Delaware Ave., 716-886-3300; mansionondelaware.com

Know Before You Go

Spare yourself eight hours on a train and book a flight. Round trip flights

go for under $160 round-trip on JetBlue and other airlines. You'll arrive in an

hour and a half and be able to hop on-board the frequent express bus service

from the airport to downtown.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) offers an All Zone

Weekend Pass for $7. Purchase one at the airport and start enjoying

unlimited rail/bus rides as soon as you arrive. Nfta.com

Tags: buffalo , allentown art festival , burchfield penney , travel

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