NYC Highline Gets Weird.. In a Good Way!

Jason and I headed to NYC a few weeks ago and I had to show him the Highline.
I was happy to see that the Highline has gotten weird – in a good way!

Here are a couple photos. The Highline zoo is my favorite! On top of that, there are several murals, funny window clings, music/art vendors and even a lady who does a dance for highliners every hour or so from her apartment window.

Check it out next time you’re in NYC!

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Providence, RI.

Providence, RI is the newest addition in my book/brain of cities that I love.

Here are a couple photos I snapped in Providence this morning.

Take a look and notice the intense urbanism – the flower beds, bikes and bike racks, the narrow streets and dense historic buildings.. Its wonderful!

Providence has seen their entire downtown come back full swing over 12 years due to the rehab of its downtown historic commercial/retail buildings into mixed use and mixed income apartments/lofts and local retail stores.
Today at 10am, there were tons of people buying books, eating brunch and hanging out. A bocce court and giant white video screen sit on the only vacant lot along Westminster street and are used daily by locals – something that could be easily done here in Buffalo!

Another neat fact: Andres Duany, the famous new urbanism gentleman from Cuba, actually held charettes for the city when it was going through its redesign. I heard it cost a lot… Maybe Buffalo can bring him on for one or two charettes for the green code?!

Go Providence!

More to come!

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NYC Bound.

Jason and I are heading to NYC for business and pleasure! I love when these two things come together.
Life is good.
Ps. Many thanks to vanessa for letting us hitch a ride with her.

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Green Building Open House Tour – October 13, 2012

This year I am chairing the Green Building Open House Tour in Western New York!

Our tour goes alongside with the National Solar Tour and the NESEA Green Building Open House Tour! Last year, we had over 1500 people attend and tour the 45 Sites across WNY that were free, self guided and open to the public . . It was HUGE. I was proud to be a co-chair and proud for WNY.

This year we are aiming for a solid 25 sites. I have James Mahoney and Emily Gibson helping me pull the pieces together. Of course, this is through WNYSEA which is the local chapter of NESEA. Some of the sites we are aiming to have open that day are the Solar Strand, The Solar Tech Park on River Road, PUSH’s Green Development Zone and many others. We anticipate a solid tour with several options for solar PV, solar thermal, bale on bale, geothermal and more!

Anyhow, I just wanted to give you a heads up.

Save the date: October 13th, 2012 is the Green Building Open House Tour of Western New York!

Sailing in Buffalo, NY.


Can you imagine what people pay to have a sailboat in places like NYC or Boston?

Well, I looked. Its $118 dollars per foot in Boston and a minimum of $2700 dollars in NYC just for the season! In Buffalo? It cost between $900 – $1200 dollars depending on size for the season. Thats half of NYC and you can sail to Cleveland and back if you want to. Buffalo for the win, again!

Well, this post is to let you in on a little secret: Sailing in Buffalo is affordable and really fun!

Not only do you avoid paying high gas prices for power boats but you also can get a sail boat pretty cheap because they don’t have a lot of mechanical’s to them!  I would have never guessed this, as I grew up without sailing in my life.. but it really is fun!

Jason bought a smaller sized sailboat (Catalina 22) a few years ago and we have been sailing with it all summer. It has been such a blast to take it out, enjoy the summer air and take in the beautiful Buffalo skyline. Buffalo really has a great harbor because it is protected by the break wall, which is nice to have when it is very windy and you want to sail!

We want to and need to encourage others to  embrace Buffalo’s water front. With the Buffalo Place harbor concerts, sailing, kayaks, boat tours, the grain elevators.. I mean, there is so much to do its truly unbelievable. Hopefully soon enough we can get some little beach cottages, light up the skyway and turn a couple grain elevators into neat living spaces!

So, get out there and enjoy our waterfront! (Just don’t tip the boat over!)

Birthday Photo.

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday weekend incredible! I am excited to see what 26 becomes!

Buffalo NEEDS Bicycle Lanes. Sign the Petition Here!

Sign this petition:  http://gobikebuffalo.org/petition/

We need, I mean NEED bicycle lanes in Buffalo.

We don’t ask for much but as bicycle riders, our biggest threat are cars and the easiest way to avoid them is getting a designated area for bicycles so we can ride safely. The safer it is, the more people ride bicycles. The more bicycles on the street, the more people in cars look out for us and pay a little more attention to the road. See the trend here?

Sign the petition! And many thanks to Justin and GO Bike Buffalo for all of their efforts. They do not go unnoticed.

Love,

Bernice

Vanessa Ron Cruises Around Buffalo.

Montreal: Embracing Their Silos

We could learn a thing or two from Montreal when it comes to Grain Elevators!

Montreal has a Grain Elevator Park!    (Click on the link for website!)

Jason and I could not believe our eyes when we saw pop up restaurants, a SPA, small boats and a walking path that was surrounding the Silos of Montreal. We walked the path, relaxed in the grass, wandered over the new, colorful bridges and could almost touch these incredible giants… and we were allowed!

The best part was the SILOPHONE which basically was a “microphone” hooked into the grain elevators that played back your echoing voice through the grain elevators. It was so neat! (A little side note, you can do this standing inside our grain elevators at Silo City but its not open to the public right now…)

Now, Buffalo has done some amazing things over the past year with our Grain Elevators but you could tell that Montreal really embraced these sleeping giants and encouraged people to enjoy them! I realize we are creating beautiful parks on the other side of Marine A.. but man, a SPA or even a small pop up restaurant would be amazing… Just a thought!

Shopping the Demo List: Buffalo Spree Article

I know we are well into July but I wanted to do a quick post about the “Shopping the Demo List” article featured in Buffalo Spree, written by the wonderful Elizabeth Licata. The article gives a broad view of the troubles people are having while trying to purchase houses off of the demo list as well as highlights three great properties on the West Side.Elizabeth asked Jason and I to give a quote because of our dealings with the City on a small house on 7th street, which is currently being bought but not by us but by another couple!

Anyhow, we need to figure out how to navigate the trail a little easier but it involves working with the city and finding a process that works for both the buyer and the seller. These are at risk properties but do deserve a second life. One of the buildings featured (1249 Niagara) is already torn down.. sadly and without any communication from the City.

You can check out the article here: http://www.buffalospree.com/Buffalo-Spree/July-2012/Preservation-Ready-Shopping-the-demo-list/

 

Here are a few articles I have written about the demo list in the past.

550 7th Street – New Life? – https://berniceradle.com/2012/05/16/550-7th-street-new-life/

Getting our demolitions under control – https://berniceradle.com/2012/05/17/getting-our-demolitions-under-control/

Heart Bombs – https://berniceradle.com/2012/02/14/heart-bombs-and-love-birds-national-trust-for-historic-preservation-coverage/

Scharf’s on Thursday!

Directly from the BYP facebook…  See y’all there!

BYP is excited to have its monthly Happy Hour on Thursday, July 19th at SCHARF’S Schiller Park Restaurant – The historic german restaurant on Buffalo’s East Side!
Bring money for beer and food. Yum!

For those who didn’t know… Scharfs is closing at the end of July. It is an authentic German restaurant that has been in business since 1967 and is a true Buffalo gem. We were so sad to hear it was closing, we had to have an event to say goodbye. 

BYP discussions: City of Night, peace bridge, saving Sharfs, Broadway market and more.

Bring your body, bring your soul.