cheyenne-tassel

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Cheyenne Ketter-Franklin is valedictorian of Bennett High, one of Buffalo’s worst-performing schools. It’s the type of institution whose problems people sum up using terms like “urban” and “inner city.” In 2010, the state slapped the school with the label PLA: “Persistently Lowest-Achieving.” Privately, many local residents will skip the euphemisms and admit […]

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Ditching New York City: An Expat Comes Home to Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — In February 2012, Tommy Lombardo moved home to Buffalo. It was the dark of winter, and cold gales battered curtained houses. Radiators clicked on and off. Snow fell. Lombardo, 29, began to look for an apartment. He had been away for eight years, most of those in New York City, and like many […]

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dress

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Early on in his career as an appraiser, George Armbruster was combing through a squalid, grime-filled home when he came across a surprise: an antique print depicting a bird. The house was “so filthy dirty, so smoky” that the details of the image were very difficult to see, Armbruster said.

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enamel-bowl-catherineholm

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The enamel bowl was “very beautiful,” Nikki McIntosh remembers. Made by Catherineholm of Norway, it was about 11 inches wide and half as tall. White and teal green stripes of varying sizes sloped up the sides. The motif recalled a peppermint. Small chips circling the rim provided character.

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vintage-wedding-card-3-outside

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The door to the small gray house in Buffalo’s Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood opens, letting in the morning air. A parade of strangers steps into the living room. They have come to see the old woman’s things: her brocade-patterned sofa ($150), her Quartz-brand clock ($25), and the sewing patterns for vintage dresses that she must have kept for years ($2 apiece).

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china-shoes-1

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Several years ago, estate sale agent Charmaine Then got an invitation to visit the home of a woman in her late 80s. The lady, who was in a wheelchair, was moving into an assisted living facility. She needed help downsizing.

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Goodbye, Stranger: The Sad, Joyful, Morbid, Thrilling World of Estate Sales

AMHERST, N.Y. — The shopper wants to know where the barometers are. “I saw in the paper there were barometers for sale,” the customer’s voice calls out, loud enough to be heard over the din. “Do you know what room they’re in?” It’s the first day of an estate sale on Sargent Drive, and the house […]

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Winter Falls: Like No Place on Earth

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The sightseers and wayfarers came on a February morning to see Niagara Falls. It was, maybe, the worst time of year — the end of winter, frigid and icy, with heaps of dirty snow dotting the city and cold winds chilling the soul. Still, the people came, converging in small clusters at a […]

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December at the Ralph: Heartbreak, Hope and the Buffalo Bills

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It’s three hours before kick-off, and the party has begun. Barrel fires are cracking to life. Grills are clicking on. The parking lot at Ralph Wilson Stadium smells like Sunday: hot dogs, sausages, breakfast toasted on thick pans over hot coals, a touch of whiskey to stay warm. Never mind that […]

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A Lush Land: Q & A With Buffalo Zoo Horticulturists

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Even in the dead of winter, the Buffalo Zoo’s Rainforest Falls exhibit stays verdant. Vines creep. Birds nest in a green canopy. Flowers bloom in a firework of color. The caretakers of this elaborate, indoor garden include Steve Mead, the zoo’s director of horticulture and maintenance, and Dave Goehle, zoo groundskeeper. The two […]

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