Ahh, the Taste of Buffalo. It is one of the many unique events that make Buffalo such an interesting place to live in. I mean, sure we’re not the biggest and most well-known city in the world but throughout the nation, we’re known for our chicken wings, our terrible football team, and our poverty rate. That said, Buffalo has something that many cities lack. We have heart. I’m not trying to sound cheesy and I’m not about to break out into song, but it’s true. You would never think that Buffalo was a struggling city when you maneuvered your way around Niagara Square and strolled down Delaware Avenue during the Taste of Buffalo.
I stepped outside my mom’s luxurious and extremely stylish mini-van and took in my surroundings. I was amazed. There were people everywhere. I couldn’t believe it. My parents went off to go buy tickets and I stood with my brother waiting for them to come back. The problem was that there really wasn’t much of a place to stand without being in someone’s way. I even think that I ended up being in some Asian family’s pictures seven different times. Oh well.
Regardless, the vibrant atmosphere sky-rocketed my mood and my excitement. I had never been to an event like this. The only “Taste of” I’ve ever been to was “The Taste of Hamburg” when I was ten years old and I got Pizza Hut there. I was feeling a bit more adventurous this time. The first thing I tried was Chester’s Cajun Grill for some Shrimp over Cajun Rice. A fantastic way to start off the day.
I think the rest of the Buffalo Eat’s Gang will cover more of the food portion of the Taste, so I’m going to focus on the event itself. While I was downing a Mediterranean Wrap from WJ Morrissey (delicious, albeit a bit too cold) I looked over at a lonely band of middle-aged men playing on a big stage for a crowd of 3. It was a sad sight, but people came for the food, not the music. The band members, however, seemed to be having the time of their lives. I don’t want to sound too negative, but I could have gone with less noise. I didn’t really need to hear a loud and somewhat annoying African drum while I was eating chicken wing dip.
The crowd was incredible diverse. There were all of kinds of people from all over enjoying the famed event. Everybody seemed happy. Smiles were abundant and it was a feel-good day. There was something for everyone.
I even encountered some celebrities. Though “celebrities” is a loose term here. I shook Senator Chuck Schumer’s hand. He looked sweaty and tired, but it was nice of him to take the time and shake everybody’s hand. A few minutes later, we had a bizarre encounter with Mayor Byron Brown. Wearing a bright orange t-shirt, he was texting behind a tent. That didn’t stop us from shaking his hand. My little brother declared afterwards, “I’m never washing this hand again!”
That brings me to my next point. Strollers. I hate strollers. I’m calling a ban on all strollers. I was already crowded together with a bunch of people while walking down Delaware Avenue, strollers won’t help. Chances are your kids don’t want to even be there. I’m sure they won’t enjoy Chicken Makhani with Basmati Rice from Kabab and Curry.
What if there was a fire or a fight? It seemed like people would get trampled. The streets seemed too narrow with the amount of people there. I felt like James Bond trying to manuever my way across the street to meet with a friend of mine. Ok, so I may have cut off an old lady in a wheelchair. I gotta do what I gotta do.
Remarkably, I never had too wait long to get my food. All the restaurant workers were incredibly hard-working, patient, and courteous. They really wanted us to like their food, and well, I did! I enjoyed almost everything. I ended my day with a free ice cream from the Channel 7 News Station and came to the conclusion that this is exactly what Buffalo needs to keep its morale high. Leaving with a full stomach and a happy expression on my face, I realized I learned one thing- Ordering soup on a hot day is a horrible idea.