Tag Archives: Artvoice

The Artvoice Best of Buffalo Awards 2011

29 Apr

For the sixth straight year, several members of the WNYMedia family have been honored with nominations in the Artvoice Best of Buffalo poll.  For that we’d like to thank our loyal readers, supporters, listeners, friends and enemies.  Sincerely, we’re always pleased to find that people enjoy what we do and we’re grateful that you have helped turn a small local blog into “kind of a big deal“.

It was an exciting year for us with the Carl Paladino story, appearances on the Rachel Maddow Show and Keith Olbermann, and coverage of our exploits in The New York Times, Der Spiegel, The Washington Post, The Guardian and hundreds of other outlets.  We’ve grown our partnership with WECK Radio and we’re currently figuring out the next avenue for expansion.  All of that happens because each day, an average of 8-10,000 local people visit our website and read or listen to what we’re talking about.  So, thank you very much for your support of us and our advertisers.

In 2011, we’ll be covering the the special election in NY-26, the Erie County Executive race, as well as the redistricting and downsizing of Erie County legislature districts which will lead into a free-for-all election for those redistricted seats in November.  It’s going to be silly season all summer long.  As usual, we’ll be right in the middle; muckraking, causing trouble and having a good time.

The nominees:

Best Blog – BuffaloPundit and WNYMedia.net

Best Twitter Feed – @Buffalopundit and @WNYMedia

Biggest Naysayer – Chris Smith

Best Stand Up Comic – Kristen Becker

Best Scandal – Carl Paladino’s emails

Most Over-Covered Story – Carl Paladino’s emails

Best Local Radio Personality – Brad Riter

Best Activist Group – Buffalo ReUse (WNYMedia bloggers and our favorite non-profit partner)

Primary Night Live Coverage

14 Sep

Tonight at 8PM we’ll be covering Primary Night in New York from the WECK1230-AM studios in beautiful, historic, downtown Cheektowaga.  Nick Mendola will be the host and Brian Castner, Alan Bedenko and Chris Smith will ride shotgun.  We’ll also have in studio visits from Tom Schuh of WECK Radio, Geoff Kelly of Artvoice and Erie County Legislator Ray Walter.

The main races of interest are:

NY Gov – Paladino/Lazio

SD-60 – Thompson/Allen/Coppolla

SD-59 – Domagalski/Gallivan/DiPietro

SD-58 – Kennedy/Stachowski/Kuzma

A-144 – Golombek/Hoyt

We’ll touch on the other primary races in brief:

Attorney General – Rice/Schneiderman/Dinallo/Coffey/Brodsky

A-146 – Kozub/Amodeo/Rybczynski

Ellicott Council – Haynes/Pridgen/McIntyre

Listen to the stream by clicking HERE.

We’ll have a live chat here on the website, we’ll stream video from the radio studio and we’ll post clips later for downloading.  Should be a fun night featuring political analysis, beer and live interviews with candidates and campaign insiders.  Scheduled to call in are reps from the Lazio and Paladino campaigns, Sam Hoyt, Brian Higgins, Rory Allen, Mike Amodeo and hopefully Ray Walter can deliver us some local Republicans.

Don’t watch the rickety Joe Crangle or the usually misinformed Joel Giambra on TV tonight, watch us instead!  Have a beer, join in and our money back guaranteed promise that we won’t suck.


Correct. Sarasota is not #Buffalo

20 Aug

Shorter Bruce Fisher:

In growing, business-friendly Sarasota, Benderson is paying for the privilege of building something.

In shrinking, business-hostile Buffalo, Benderson needs loads of incentives in its quiver just to attract someone – anyone – to something it wants to build.

While Fisher’s article is dismissive and critical of Benderson, Canal Side, and ECHDC, and while it advocates for a park along quite literally every sliver of dry land within rock-throwing distance from Lake Erie or the Niagara River, the point he completely ignores is why Benderson would be spending big money to build on the Gulf of Mexico, and looking for handouts and incentives to build in Buffalo.

As an aside, isn’t it interesting how ArtVoice commentators are oftentimes individuals who have directly injected themselves into the controversies about which they’re commentating? First Bruce Jackson, now Bruce Fisher. Fisher who, whilst Deputy County Executive under Giambra, helped to obtain Canal Side subsidy money from county government. Fisher, who is a plaintiff in the Goldman v. Bass Pro, ECHDC suit.

Frankly put, Florida isn’t hostile towards businesses. I’m not saying New York should emulate everything Florida does, because Florida’s meteoric boom has turned into a massive bust. We’ve just had an even malaise for 30 years, and there’s something positive about that when everywhere else is failing. There are many reasons why Sarasota is an attractive location for people and business, the weather and setting being among them. But so is the business climate, and – as Fisher points out – the fact that Sarasota actually has a plan.

Erie County has no plan, and attempts to begin the process of a countywide regional planning board last year were met with scoffing and derision from a county government that above all cherishes the status quo. We can’t have a deliberative process because no one wants to deliberate.

So, we have a hostile business environment, a bureaucracy and nomenklatura that would make the Soviets proud, development and planning by litigation, and a chronic disease called nostalgiitis. It’s not that we’re fearful of success, nor is it that we’re content with our stagnation. It’s just that we don’t even know how to begin talking to one another about rational ways to help ourselves without waiting for Albany or Washington to fix everything for us. It’s about how we cling closely to what we perceive to be the good old days of Buffalo and WNY, ignoring the very possibility that with some changes to the status quo, we may be able to create newer, better days.

The saddest part of this is that (a) it wouldn’t be that hard to make some changes to make it easier for businesses to start up and operate; and (b) there are thousands of other municipalities throughout the country from which we can learn.

Saturday Morning at 9AM on WECK 1230-AM

20 Aug

Saturday mornings at 9 on WECK 1230-AM, Christina Abt usually hosts an hourlong show highlighting great people and events throughout Western New York on “BuffaloStyle“.

Christina will be off this weekend, so Chris Smith will host BuffaloStyle to discuss politics, media, and other stuff with me, Marc Odien, and ArtVoice’s Geoff Kelly. You can tune in Saturday at 9 on your radio or online.

Buffalo News Restaurant Reviews: Illustrated

22 May
Buffalo Spree Pizza Tasteoff
Image by WNYMedia via Flickr

I write restaurant reviews for the Buffalo Spree (not as often as I could or should, but that’s another story), and always strive to be as thorough and fair as I can possibly be. I don’t follow all of the guidelines Buffalo Chow mentioned in its final post, but if reservations need to be made for a restaurant I’m going to review, they go in under a fake name, and I take notes as subtly as I can on my iPhone. While I have veritably trashed a couple of very deserving places – both now gone for good reason – what I try to do is paint a picture for readers about the overall experience.

For me, going out to a nice place can be an endeavor. It means hiring a babysitter on top of the cost of the meal, so there’s always a premium paid for any such outing. Oftentimes we take the kids, and they’re well enough behaved for us to get away with it. So, if you’re dropping anything north of $100 plus babysitter for a nice dinner out, you want to get what you pay for. I try to tell you what the food is like, what sort of stuff they have, whether the service was polite and quick, and whether it’s worth your time and effort. In the 7 years I’ve written these reviews, I’ve noticed that the quality of food and service have improved exponentially locally. Really – it’s night and day.

As far as restaurant reviews are concerned, there aren’t a lot of people doing them locally. The late Buffalo Chow, Nelson Starr, Buffalo Rising, Artvoice, the Buffalo News, the Buffalo Spree, and that’s about it.

Andrew Galarneau (formerly of Buffalo Buffet and One Big Kitchen) from the Buffalo News is a foodie’s foodie. A serious journalist who loves food and its creation. So why on Earth is Janice Okun still reviewing restaurants for the News? It’s become a joke to read her meat ‘n potatoes “reviews”.

Take, for instance, this review of Dug’s Dive. Go ahead. Read the whole thing.

On Facebook, Buffalo Chow writer Jeremy Horwitz posted the following images of Dug’s Dive menu as “Revealed: How the Buffalo News reviews restaurants!” Compare to Okun’s review & bon appetit.

Full version here – click to embiggen. It’s spot on.

Thank You

27 Apr

Although I was unable to attend the festivities, I learned via text and Facebook that I won Artvoice’s Best of Buffalo – Best Local Blog award. Although Chris pulled out all the stops, what we’ve proven here is that negative campaigns don’t always work.

Seriously, though, the category itself is somewhat silly. What we ought to do locally is have a local Bloggy award where we select the best personal blog, best political blog, best advocacy blog, Tweets of the Year, etc., throw a party to raise money for some worthy cause, like ReUse, and have some fun with it.

Because all of the people nominated deserve some recognition, and I can rattle off another 10 or 20 bloggers and microbloggers who deserve to be nominated.

What categories am I missing?

Scoundrelatory Tactics

16 Mar

The reason why you should vote Pundit for Best Buffalo Blogger in the annual Artvoice balloting goes beyond facts such as, e.g., I actually blog regularly; I keep my posts shorter so that regular people can read them during their busy day; I provide you with quality posts just about every day; other bloggers often merely pick up on points I’ve already made, and regurgitate them by using links primarily to prove how well-read and special they are.

No, the reason why you should vote Pundit for Best Buffalo Blogger has to do with the fact that Chris Smith has taken to mounting a vicious, false, and nasty negative campaign, trying to persuade people to vote for him by attacking me. That tactic, obviously, merely underscores the lack of merit behind his effort.

Vote Pundit: a Working Blog for a Working Western New York.

Team Geek

15 Mar

Artvoice has released their 2010 “Best of Buffalo” ballot and I’d like to advocate for a few choices, primarily categories in which I might feasibly be considered a candidate, like Best Local Blogger, Most Awesome Guy You Know, Guy You Wished Was Running Shit, or Guy Most Likely To Be Godfather To Your First Born.

Anyhow, here comes 900 words about all of that.  Print it out and read it during your morning constitution.

Now, if this was BuffaloPundit’s blog, he’d ironically beg you to vote for him, post a picture of a LOLcat and then bury the post underneath an interminable pile of car reviews and half baked posts based on things he heard from me or articles he cribbed from Andrew Sullivan’s blog.  He’s too embarrassed to ask you for your vote directly, because he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

However, this is my blog and I will straight up ask you for your vote.  After reading this post, you’ll immediately wish these thoughts were your own.  So, in that way, you’ll know what it feels like to be BuffaloPundit.

I have an uphill battle ahead of me if I seek to unseat the Pundit and his voluminous sack of mediocre posts from his cushy “Best Blogger” throne.  As in years past, Pundit has retained the services of election fixer extraordinaire and fabulous swinger, Roger Stone in order to disenfranchise the overseas military vote, absentee ballots from nursing homes, BryLin, and our urban core (I’m HUGE with elderly drug addicts and people who hate Clarence).  That is the only viable explanation as to how Alan’s blog has consistently pulled in more votes in previous years.

Sure, this blog goes silent at times while I volunteer for political candidates, report on stories that Pundit recaps for you, serve on charitable boards, and work with establishment media outlets to fix their product all while steering the massive FAILBOAT that graciously hosts the blog of BuffaloPundit’s written meanderings.  Sure, he’s putting out multiple 30 word recaps of news articles replete with ironic pictures.  However, I let posts ferment in my mental mixture of genius and sarcasm before unleashing them on the world.  In the end, this comes down to the age old quandary of Quantity vs. Quality.

Let’s get to the facts about Pundit.

– BuffaloPundit despises Beef on Weck, Mighty Taco, Buffalo Pizza, Labatt Blue, the Buffalo Bills, and the Buffalo Sabres.  I don’t think he even really likes Chicken Wings.  Is this the kind of man you want representing Buffalo?  I think not.

– BuffaloPundit once actively campaigned for Jack Davis.

– BuffaloPundit and the Little Bit O’ Luck Guy; you’ve never seen them in the same place, have you?

– Exit polls from the 2009 Artvoice vote indicate that 7 out of 10 BuffaloPundit voters were, in fact, dicks.

– BuffaloPundit thinks Josh Boose is a good reporter and believes Eddie Egriu is a misunderstood genius.

– BuffaloPundit once offered me a seat at a press conference in exchange for a lap dance.  I felt dirty.

There’s more, and you can get in on the fun by following the #punditfacts hashtag on Twitter.

If you want to know more about me, well, you can just about ask anyone you meet and they’ll tell you that I am the Team Captain of The Fucking Awesomes, a local brigade of literati influencing a better world.

– I am opposed to the human trafficking of midgets.  Pundit has remained silent on this issue.  Why?  What is he hiding?

– I despise carnies, gypsies, and pederasts.  Pundit has not yet announced his position.

– I am opposed to intra-office ticklefests, Jim Ostrowski and Rus Thompson’s sweaters.

– I’ve been in a Turkish prison, twice.

– I think my site is well-written, thoughtful, and strikes the right tone of condescension, derision, snark and genius.  I don’t go a day without reading it or checking out the stream of superlative links in the Daily Homework section, that’s for sure.

I’d also like to point out some other blogs I like to read.  That way, if you think I’m a condescending douche and you think Pundit is a big jerk, you’ll have another voting option.

The Goose’s Roost – Best sports blog of 2010, hands down.  These guys are still college age, so they stay up around the clock, watching games you would never bother to watch because it’s 3AM and you’ve got a job.  I find their writing to be witty, informed and well-researched.  It gets better every month.

Byzantium Shores – Kelly Sedinger is one of my most regular reads.  I really look forward to his posts, event though I share very few interests with him.  He’s a big fan of science fiction novels/movies and a plethora of other things that I don’t really care about.  That’s not meant to be dismissive by any means.  I think it says something about his skill as a writer that he makes those things interesting for me while I am reading his blog and I’ve learned quite a few things reading his musings.  He’s really that talented.

The Amazing Adventures of jen14221 – Best Personal Blog of 2010.  I generally hate personal blogs, but Jen is funny, cool, misanthropic and honest.  She’s kind of like a female Larry David with 100% less Jew and 70% more hair.  Also, boobs.

Brian Castner of WNYMedia – Brian is a bright and interesting guy who moved back to Buffalo a few years ago.  He spends a lot of time on the road and brings us posts comparing Buffalo to the cities he visits, which gives us some much-needed perspective on local issues.  We disagree frequently on issues of politics and government, but he’s a quality read and the best addition to WNYMedia in years.  If you’re not reading his blog, you should be.

Also please check out the “Related Posts” below for a sample of my year long odyssey of excellence.

Happy Voting!

*also, for those of you didn’t notice, this is all in good fun.  Alan is a great guy, talented blogger and a close friend.

Artvoice Best of Buffalo 2010

11 Mar

It’s that time of year again for the Artvoice Best of Buffalo awards. Your vote would be much appreciated.

I hear rumors of people campaigning to defeat me in this endeavor, and there are a handful of worthy blogs out there, most of them writing for, or affiliated with, WNYMedia.net. PinkBflo, Chris Smith, Buffalo Chow, Marc Odien – all of them are great, and a win for any of them would be appropriate. I’d also add Jen from Lockport to that list. And Kelly/Jaquandor.

But then again, I give you a 7-year, almost daily track record of Failboated excellence here. So, you know. Write my name down.

Best Local Blogger

6 May

I just got my congratulatory plaque from the Artvoice Best of Buffalo awards and I’d like to thank all of those who voted for me!  It feels good to have finally been recognized for my brilliance.