Public Art - Table of Contents
1210 Broadway, Buffalo, NY
September 4, 2021 Photos
Far left: Blazin Barbeque Smokehouse
Impoverished. Depressed. Wasteland. Dangerous.
Black. Invaded. Hopeless.
Having lived in Buffalo for more than 40 years, I’ve heard the city’s East Side described in all those terms. Each of them contains an element of truth, but none of them—and certainly not all of them together—describe the East Side we—my wife, Dianne Bennett and I—saw while walking its streets, virtually every street and alley (no exaggeration), and many several times, while trying to get through, or around, Covid-19.
The East Side is the center of Buffalo’s public/private art scene, one that functions independently of the Albright Knox. Unlike the uniform and uninspired 7-Elevens, the city’s vernacular one-of-a-kind corner stores offer deep, vibrant colors, a distinctive, bold lettering style, and a cacophony of signs and motifs that in its way resembles the chaotic spectacle of Las Vegas.
The most elaborate of the city’s commercial murals is probably the around-the-corner beauty that graces the Groove Lounge at Broadway and Lathrop.
More than anything, Buffalo’s East Side harbors a sense of mystery, the sense that there might be something there to uncover, to discover, to poke around in, to experience anew.
- William Graebner, with Dianne Bennett, “Walkin’ the Walk”: Toward a New Understanding of Buffalo’s East Side, Buffalo Rising, September 14, 2021
elevation, on Lathrop Street