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Category: grocery

07/08/07 12:58 - 75ºF - ID#40003

Elmwood-Bidwell "Farmer's Market"

"Farmer's Market": Elmwood & Bidwell, Saturdays: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

This was a letdown. A huge... no an enormously disappointing one. I know people praise it to the heavens and I went expecting the place to be jam-packed with farmers - and I mean genuine farmers from all across WNY. I went in and had to retrace my steps to see if this was indeed the famed farmer's market. Don't get me wrong. The setting was great. Sunshiny day, fiddlers playing melodies, a live bee apiary and a stall by the Elmwood Village Association promoting the Buffalo Old Home Week. What was missing were farmers. There were approximately 18-20 stalls and about 6 had fresh produce! The produce was shiny and fresh, but the prices were astronomical. I mean $3 for a small head of lettuce is atrocious! I had a sneaking suspicion that the "farmers" were residents from around the park selling stuff from their kitchen gardens. The prices strengthened that suspicion.

Alright, I may be a bit biased. But I am strongly of the opinion that this is not what a farmer's market looks or feels like, having regularly been to a few across the country. A genuine farmer's market is where people can go and buy bulk produce at prices waaaay cheaper than your local supermarket. A farmer's market definitely is not a bunch of elitists selling produce for triple the price of any corner store. If you want to see a real farmer's market, pay a visit to Rochester's Public Market: ( ) on Saturdays. You will know what the competition looks like.

The "farmer's market" at Elmwood & Bidwell won't get any further patronage from me. Thanks to this disgrace, I had one severe episode of heart-breaking nostalgia for Rochester. :(
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Permalink: Elmwood_Bidwell_quot_Farmer_s_Market_quot_.html
Words: 315
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: grocery

07/05/07 10:33 - 74ºF - ID#39934

Buffalo Grocery Review: Bills Food Mart

Bills Food Mart, 32 Allen St, Buffalo, NY 14202

Location: At the southwest corner of the Allen & North Pearl Street crossing, a block away from Main Street.

The best thing about this store is that it seems to have a little bit of everything. However, the "everything" is somewhat haphazardly organized and somewhat dusty at places.

The produce section today had plastic-wrapped lettuce, tomatoes, bananas, potatoes, onions, lemons, limes and some more fruits that I cannot recall very well. Half the produce is in a glass enclosed (maybe chilled?) container to your left as you enter the store and the other half is in sacks further down the 1st aisle to your right. However, the two halves together did not catch my fickle fancy. That said, the prices did seem very reasonable.

This store had a funny feel to it. It seemed like a small store when I entered but like Dr. Who's transcendental Tardis, it expanded and expanded to finally emerge as a rather big store! I crossed aisle after aisle of merchandise, jammed to capacity.

The store has a crowded feel to it and I had to look hard and twice to remember stuff. It had the usual 800 million snacks and a whole wall of sodas, juices etc. In addition, it had milk and a surprising variety of dried lentils/beans. It also had a cheese section, fresh coffee (maybe?.. two coffee machines occupied central pedestals in the store), a meat section, cleaning supplies, toiletries, 1000 million cans of stuff, spices (!), pasta sauces, pickled stuff (cucumber, peppers, olives etc), sandwich components (things in brine/vinegar), half a wall of frozen ready-to-(h)eat food etc.

In spite of my initial impression of haphazardness, I now think there was some method to the madness. The first 2/5th of the store was all edible, the second 1/5th was non-edible supplies, the last 1/5th was drinkable (soda, juice, alcoholic beverages, milk, yogurt etc) or eatable (frozen stuff) and the front 1/5th was cheese, speciality meats, newspapers, cancer-sticks etc

To conclude, I think this store has tons of potential to be something better, with a little organization and a little cleaning. I would consider going here for produce/supply emergencies, however I would also double-check to see if the stuff I bought were well within safe limits of their expiry dates.

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Permalink: Buffalo_Grocery_Review_Bills_Food_Mart.html
Words: 387
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: grocery

07/03/07 10:32 - 75ºF - ID#39903

Buffalo Grocery Review: Guercio & Sons

Guercio & Sons Inc: 250 Grant St, Buffalo, NY 14213

Since I got off school early today, I decided to make the piligrimage to this famed store and boy, it *deserves* its fame! The produce is varied, rich, high quality and ****CHEAP****!!!

The produce list is really long and would probably come close to the bigger supermarkets (doesn't include lemon grass, galangel and imported passion fruit, but you get the idea...). Highlights included fresh cilantro bunches for 79c each, Tomatoes-on-the-vine for 99c/lb, homegrown zucchini and squash for 79c/lb and farm-fresh romaine lettuce for 99c/HUGE head. This store, to twist the clich├ęd phrase a bit, bangs your buck and smashes it against the wall in a resounding ricochet.

I sailed into the store 1 hour before closing time (the store is open till 6 PM everyday, except Sundays and holidays) and there was still bread on its shelves. I imagine the bread selection might have been more interesting in the morning, but nothing extraordinary in the evening. The bread shelves had a strong scent of rye-bread, since that was the bread that was least bought. I picked out a whole-wheat pita bread imported from canada and it tastes great!

The Hummus (on the cold shelves to the extreme right wall of the store as you enter) is extraordinary! Its a brand called "Athenos" ( and tastes far far far better than the Tribe and other brands available at Tops/Wegmans/Sam's club. The price is a whole $1 less than the varieties at Tops/Wegman's.
I got two varieties today:
-- Spicy three pepper
-- Greek style with Garlic, Lemon & Oregano
Both are mouth-watering. I just had a whole-wheat pita sandwich with the hummus spread loaded with a salad of produce from Guercio's. I am in gastronomical heaven. :)

The store has about 500 million varieties of pasta and a whole wall of cheeses. It also has a sandwich and salad bar, shelves of pasta sauces, many different varieties of rice (slightly expensive), bottled/canned sandwich components eg. olives, banana peppers (in vinegar/brine), a whole range of spices, an Italian version of Indian "curry" powder (hehe ;)), some snacks, Italian sweet snacks, other possibly Italian special stuff (not being Italian, I have no idea where these might be used), curious little knick-knacks, a whole shelf with very fancy-looking fruit preserves ($1.99 each), many different types of teas etc. This is, of course, not a very comprehensive list but I was in a hurry and didn't get to do my usual leisurely stroll-stare in the store. I will add to this post after future visits.

Location: For people walking from downtown, the best way to get to Guercio's would be walk down Elmwood till Lafayette Avenue, turn left and walk down till you reach Grant St, turn right and find Guercio & Sons to the left of the street. Walking down West Ferry and turning into Grant Street is *NOT* recommended. As you might have guessed, I took the non-recommended route while walking to the store. The positive thing that came out of taking the non-recommended route was that I located an interesting looking market at the corner of W. Ferry and Grant (future review?). The somewhat doubtful experience consisted of walking down about 4 blocks of Grant Street which were shuttered, graffiti'ed and crawled with not-so-great characters whom you might not want to meet in a side-street alone. The end of West-Ferry-beginning-Grant-Street is best avoided. However, walking down Lafayette is a nice experience. You might get soaked by a few over-zealous garden sprinklers, but otherwise quite a scenic route.

Guercio & Sons Incorporated: Highly Recommended for daily groceries, arcane Italian stuff, thousand different types of pastas and SPLENDID hummus. Downers: a somewhat sketchy location and a lengthy walk (which is worse with a full load of groceries on your shoulders).
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Permalink: Buffalo_Grocery_Review_Guercio_amp_Sons.html
Words: 637
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: grocery

07/03/07 09:15 - 75ºF - ID#39901

Buffalo Grocery Review: Wilson Farms

Wilson Farms ( 304 Elmwood/Summer
Buffalo, NY 14222

This store is located in the North-west corner of the Elmwood-Summer crossing. It has a produce section, but its a high-end (read expensive) version of Wegmans/Tops. The variety of produce is quite impressive but the prices are somewhat higher than what you would be comfortable with, on a daily basis. I would rank its price range in between Tops and Lexington Co-op. It has a generic ATM within its premises. The store also retails NFTA Metro Passes, and some odd auto magazines.

Today, this shop had cucumbers, celery, green bell peppers, limes, lemons, strawberries, peaches, watermelons, apples, oranges, lettuce, grapes, mushrooms, radishes, bananas, onions, potatoes and tomatoes.

In addition to the produce, the shop has the usual 100 million snacks, 200 million soda varieties, about 5 million types of frozen foods, fresh coffee, doughnuts and stuff coated with a triple layer of sugar, candies, a whole range of canned food, cold sandwiches, cleaning supplies and brick-brack, fruit juices and a small section of about 15 different cheeses.

Wilson Farms: Probably good for a big produce emergency but not for daily shopping.
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Permalink: Buffalo_Grocery_Review_Wilson_Farms.html
Words: 188
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: grocery

07/02/07 11:12 - 65ºF - ID#39891

Buffalo Grocery Review: Main Food Mart

Main Food Mart, 1130 Main St, Buffalo

This grocery is located at the South-West corner of Summer and Main Street. Fresh produce sold here is very limited. The ones that I saw today included:
-- Good quality Bananas
-- Onions
-- Potatoes
-- Oranges

These were prominently displayed in a shelf right in front of the entrance to the shop. Prices are reasonable. Probably good for an emergency shop-stop coming out from the metro station at Summer & Best.

The rest of the shop is well-stocked with the usual 100 million snacks, and carbonated drinks. Apart from the eatables, there are cleaning supplies and other miscellaneous brick-brack.

Good for an emergency potato/onion/orange/banana need.

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Permalink: Buffalo_Grocery_Review_Main_Food_Mart.html
Words: 114
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: grocery

06/15/07 05:14 - 78ºF - ID#39682

Grocery Stores in and around downtown?

I am about to become an official E-Stripper (well, almost) and I am super-excited. I think it has something to do with the fact that I would be living on Summer Street in the dead of winter. When the city is buried under 10 feet of snow, I will still be on Summer Street. :) How cheerful is that?!! I am in a cloud of cheerfullness over this pleasant fact.

Now for the mundane. I am wondering if e-strippers could rack their memories yet again and please tell me about their favourite/casual/not-so-favourite/loathed grocery stores in and around downtown? Where are the major groceries? Where are the Ethnic speciality groceries - the Chinese, the Indian, the Vietnamese, the Korean, the Thai and the mediterranean stores with the fresh produce/spices/sauces? Where is the best hummus in town? Where is the best produce in town?

I cook everyday and I think I might die a slow death without ready access to good groceries and produce markets.

Inputs HUGELY appreciated!!! Thanks! :)

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Permalink: Grocery_Stores_in_and_around_downtown_.html
Words: 170
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: whine

06/13/07 03:15 - 67ºF - ID#39634

"Connection Line Charge: Element 2"

I was setting up the new phone/internet service for my future apartment and everything was going fine. Verizon has a sweet deal for $15 a month (comes to about $34 a month with the landline). I thought to myself, what a perfect little deal for a poor graduate student. And suddenly, out of nowhere came a whopping ~$75 initial charge. On minute inspection, a major chunk of that charge came from something called "Connection Line Charge: Element 2" worth about $40. There is no explanation of this charge on the verizon website so I googled and found this description in some random document:

On June 14, 1993, New England Telephone and Telegraph
Company ("NET" or "Company") filed with the Department of Public
Utilities ("Department"), revisions to the Company's tariffs
D.P.U. Mass. Nos. 10 and 15 to become effective July 14, 1993.
NET applies an Element 1 service ordering charge for the
receiving, recording, and processing of a customer's
request for service (Exh. NET-4, Tab E3). An Element 2
central office line connection charge is applied to recover
the costs of establishing or changing service in the
central office ( id., Tab E4)

It's a charge just to change a single name on a file. Oh well.
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Permalink: _quot_Connection_Line_Charge_Element_2_quot_.html
Words: 197
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: flat hunt

06/11/07 11:12 - 70ºF - ID#39605

Parking spaces around Mayflower?

So the moving date is steadily drawing near. I am thinking of driving into Buffalo with a rental SUV (someone else will be doing the driving). We would need to park temporarily on the curbside till I unload all my stuff and take it inside Mayflower. Then we would need to park the SUV somewhere close till we take everything upstairs and lock up. How strict is curbside towing outside Mayflower on Sunday mornings? Is there somewhere near that we can park temporarily till we return the SUV?
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Permalink: Parking_spaces_around_Mayflower_.html
Words: 88
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: science

06/07/07 10:21 - 83ºF - ID#39577

Aluminium in deodorants - Do you care?

It has been known for sometime that Aluminium is associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, the past few years has brought forth research that might potentially implicate Aluminium in the development of cancer. Aluminium is the key ingredient in most of the underarm deodorants out there. It is believed to have estrogenic properties. Estrogenic input drives its growth, progression and possibly initiation of cancer.

Women use these deodorants day in and day out and they are applied directly to the axillary (underarm) area. The deodorants remain in contact with skin for extended periods of time. Aluminium in these deodorants is probably absorbed more readily than any other metalloestrogen, because of the microabrasions on the skin in the axillary region (due to frequent shaving).

To all women (and men) out there, does this piece of news bother you? Would you be willing to toss out all your deodorants and get Al-free ones? Or would you rather wait for this association to be set in stone?

As a researcher, can't help wondering how much of an impact such news has on consumers...

Update: Found this article on the Al-free alternatives out there:

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Permalink: Aluminium_in_deodorants_Do_you_care_.html
Words: 198
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/20/12 02:23

Category: flat hunt

06/06/07 11:39 - 53ºF - ID#39561

It's a Mayflower!

The update on my drab life: I am done with my qualifiers. *w00t* But I don't know if I passed or am doomed to take them 6 months later. *anti-w00t*

The update on my not-so-drab life: It's the Mayflower!! That apartment on the 5th Storey was in the Mayflower as many of you guessed. It's an absolutely charming "large studio" and I think I love it. However, the lease is not very clear-cut. The present tenant has a lease which ends July 31st, but wants to get out of it early. Though, very enthusiastic, the present tenant has not got hold of the management yet - so they have not got in touch with me. I admit that its been just 3 business days (mon-tue-wed), but.... its been three business days! Hence, the anxiety...

I did a walking piligrimage of Roswell and surrounding areas on Friday and I think I have officially become rather enamoured with all the goodies on Delaware, Allen Street, the fabulous theatre district, funky Elmwood etc. You guys live in an awesome neighbourhood!! What the hell was I thinking, strolling down Ellicott when I first visited Buffalo?!!

I checked out a handful of apartments - the ones on Auburn-Delaware, Elmwood-Lexington/Utica were gorgeous but it took forever to walk to Roswell. Thoughts of a snow-laden walk in the 6 months of Buffalo winter weren't very appealing so they are off the list for now. There was a charming studio apartment in an old mansion on Summer, but the studio was too tiny (and had wild rabbits in the front yard!! yikes!!). Then, there was this apartment building on Elmwood near Summer but this was right next to Section 8 housing and *reeked* of tobacco smoke. No-one showed up to show me an apartment on Franklin, someone on Linwood cancelled on me and it was too late to check out another apartment at Richmond.

So in the end, it looks like I might be living in Mayflower after all, if this lease somehow comes through. If it doesn't, its back to the hunt again, and that would be quite a setback.

I had a MOST delicious lunch at a delighful little Italian joint on Delaware called the "Panaros". Their three-cheese-spinach-garlic pizza is just out of this world (and I was ridiculously hungry after hours of walking).

The apartment hunt hasn't officially ended yet, but I just want to thank all of you for helping me out, and orienting me to the neighbourhood. Can't have gone on the Buffalo piligrimage/hunt alone without all the estripper tips and advice I received over the past two months! Thank you!!

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Permalink: It_s_a_Mayflower_.html
Words: 438
Location: Buffalo, NY



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