Acropoversy

Yesterday, the Buffalo News wrote about the controversy surrounding the Acropolis; a “he said, she said” recitation of the two sides’ accusations against each other. If that was all you read and knew about the situation, you’d have no idea who was telling the truth, and who was lying, or who is being unreasonable.

By contrast, the Dining Rumor has a well-reasoned and persuasive take on the situation surrounding the expansion and playing of music at Acropolis.

“The question here is not about Paul’s character, or whether or not he runs a good business — the issue at hand is how the intended changes will adversely affect the Elmwood Village residential community.” This is the complaint, put as succinctly as possible, and it is this complaint alone that needs addressing. So, how does Paul’s quality of character or quality of business relate to the question of how a “new” Acropolis will affect Elmwood Village living conditions? DIRECTLY. The negative response from “Elmwood Villagers” is emotional, irrational, and just plain fearful if they are going to, as many of them do, concede the points that Paul is a) a man of character, integrity, and upstanding citizenship and b) that he runs a quality business. My question is — how does updating, renovating, increasing, or altering Acropolis’s business imply that Paul will attend to the new aspects of this business with any less quality or integrity than he attends to it in its current form? Will he be less conscientious? Will he care for it less as it grows? If Paul’s a good guy, and he runs a good business, how will the expansion change the acceptable manner in which he’s run his business to this point? Unless this is just lip service, to ease the criticisms of Paul’s business into people’s ears.

The neighbors’ complaints seem to be that Acropolis’ changes may lead to drunken people doing drunken things – something that didn’t happen when it was a postage stamp-sized diner. But, as Dining Rumor points out,

The complaint of drunken rabble, carousing down Elmwood Avenue due to a DJ event hosted by Acropolis is patently ABSURD. In the walkable three blocks of Elmwood on either side of West Ferry there are over a dozen establishments with liquor and late night hours. To say that Acropolis featuring a DJ or serving liquor poses a singular threat to peace, quiet, and clean lawns in the Elmwood Village is ridiculous. The Blue Monk churns out a college crowd hopped up on high octane beer…hipsters, twentysomethings, and thrill seekers rove the streets from Bullfeathers to Thirsty Buffalo to Faherty’s and back again…even Cecelia’s has played host to the occasional late night, out of control frat party. Why is Acropolis being singled out? The names of the owners of those other establishments don’t come up in a discussion of the behavior of their piss-drunk patrons; no one is giving them quite so much hell.

Chris will be writing more about the Acropoversy soon, but make no mistake – it is a parable; the very embodiment of every single thing that’s wrong not just with Buffalo and her government, but frankly with a very small, but very loud, self-important, and entitled minority of people who have anointed themselves as the protectors of some Elmwood fantasyland where peace and quiet reign in one of the most bustling parts of the city.

This is a combination of entrenched political ineptitude and corruption, of myriad regulations that average people are unable reasonably to navigate, of a fundamental difficulty in getting business done in town, and of dealing with people who think they have a right to dictate how a business can and should conduct itself.  You shouldn’t have to hold community meetings to expand your existing business onto an existing second floor. You shouldn’t have to apply for and obtain license after permit after license – many of which the city doesn’t make it clear you need. More importantly, you shouldn’t have to retain the services of a high-priced fixer to navigate the bundles of city red tape. (That’s literally how it’s done in third world countries.) But the real offense comes from people who object to a grown-up place catering to a grown-up clientele, serving booze and playing music in a city environment.  

The notion that the city and alleged “neighbors” are punishing Acropolis before a single noise complaint has been lodged is outrageous. And furthermore, if it’s peace and quiet you’re after, you live in the wrong place.  

Enjoy

President Obama replies to conservative lies about the rescue of the American auto industry.

Lloyd to Buffalo: Kickstart Our Second Truck!

Lloyd's Taco Truck No. 3

Lloyd's Taco Truck No. 3 by gmeadows1 on Flickr

First, it was the Community Beer Works that used crowd funding service Kickstarter to help finance its growth, now Lloyd Taco Truck is turning to Buffalo, using Kickstarter to help fund a second truck. From their press release: 

Moving forward on their quest to bring Western New York fresh and delicious food, the owners of Lloyd Taco Trucks launched a campaign today to purchase a second food truck, Lloyd Dos. Click here to view the web page. Using Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, the effort will help mobilize customers and allow supporters to pool additional funds needed for the truck’s down payment. Patrons’ generosity will not go unnoticed, as they will receive enticing rewards for their participation.

“We are extremely grateful for the warm response we’ve received over the past year and a half,” said Peter Cimino, co-founder of Lloyd Taco Trucks. “We get requests to bring the truck to new locations on a daily basis. We wish we could satisfy our fans’ Lloyd cravings more often, so we are asking them to kindly support the cause and pledge at whatever level they are able.”

Kickstarter provides a means for business owners and entrepreneurs to offer unique products and experiences in exchange for monetary support. The system is “all or nothing funding,” which means a project must reach its goal before time runs out or receives nothing. Lloyd fans will have 30 days to pledge their support toward the company’s $12,500 goal.

“We imagined what would be most valuable to our fans, including exclusive and priceless offerings,” said Chris Dorsaneo, co-founder and chef of Lloyd. “Rewards include a year’s supply of burritos, a private five course meal with wine pairings, and even a Lloyd speed pass, which moves the bearer to the front of the line every time.”

Pledge levels start at $10 and offer a variety of accumulating rewards for each gift. All donors will get to sign the truck, receive a Lloyd bumper sticker and a free taco. Those pledging $2,000 or more will earn a catered party for up to 50 guests with a personalized menu featuring their favorite Lloyd specials.

About Lloyd Taco Trucks

Lloyd Taco Trucks is a traveling Buffalo food experience serving fun, fresh, Taquería style food. Childhood friends, Peter Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo, conceptualized Lloyd when they realized Western New York lacked palatable, affordable street food options. The timing was right when Dorsaneo moved back to Buffalo after working around the country in high end restaurants and resorts, and Cimino sought an entrepreneurial concept to take Buffalo by storm. Tomatillo pork tacos, braised beef burritos and tricked out nachos are the menu staples that keep hungry Buffalonians coming back for more. Lloyd has won many esteemed awards, including Artvoice’s “Best Street Food” and Buffalo Spree’s “Best Tacos in Western New York.”

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whereslloyd/lloyd-taco-truck-mission-lloyd-dos

Grisanti to Receive Endorsement of Other Horrible Transactional Fusion Party

At 1:30 pm today, a press conference will be held in Buffalo to announce that the Independence Party, which is neither independent nor really any sort of political party with any firm ideology or platform aside from the personal ambitions of its leadership, will endorse Mark Grisanti for re-election. 

This comes quickly on the heels of the recent announcement that the Conservative Party, which is hardly conservative nor really any sort of political party with a firm and consistent set of policy positions except for a generalized abhorrence of gays, modern society, and taxes, will attempt to throw WNY under a massive bendy bus by endorsing reprehensible homophobic retread Chuck Swanick – star of the mid-last-decade county financial meltdown – in a deal cut with former Pedro Espada patronage hire Steve Pigeon.  With Espada’s indictment, Pigeon finds himself needing something more to do than just ally himself with Albany-based cults.  

Also, Swanick received the endorsement of the reactionary homophobic bigots at the improperly named “National Organization for Marriage“. 

If you want to stop how pitifully transactional our local politics have become, and begin cleaning things up; if you want to promote good policy and less patronage-laden dealmaking, abolish electoral fusion in New York State. 

Just Like Lincoln

On Wednesday night, the Erie County Republican Party will be giving its “Lincoln Leadership Award” to former Attorney General and rumored Brian Higgins challenger Dennis Vacco. 

What exactly is it about Vacco that made the GOP associate him with – of all people – Abraham Lincoln?  When you think of Lincoln, you think of leading the nation through an existential constitutional crisis, a civil war, emancipation, abolition of Southern feudal estates,  and other pretty pivotal events that plotted the course of the United States into the modern world.  

 So what is it in Vacco’s past that makes the GOP consider him in the same breath with Lincoln?  Indulge me a poll: 

 

$50,000 fine for casino lobbying allegations.

Representation of Haggerty.

Mass firings at AG office.

Drawing out the 1998 AG election uncomfortably long, using NYPD to conduct door-to-door investigations.  

Columbo family scion claiming to have had a “hook” in Vacco’s office

Potential Failbug Infestation

Chuck Swanick left office about 8 years ago, and when he did, everyone was sick of his careerist political transactionalism.

And his sweaters.

Endorsing Chuck Swanick is like endorsing genital warts. No one likes it, and it’s really dirty.

So, it only takes about 8 years to attempt a political comeback, complete with support from one of the most detestable, transactional, valueless minor fusion party bosses – all because Republican Mark Grisanti had the audacity to vote his conscience on same-sex marriage. Why Swanick – aside from the fact that he’s a political rehash who evokes vivid memories of only the most recent financial county meltdown? 

“Chuck Swanick is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-Second Amendment and a fiscal conservative,” said Erie County Conservative Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo.

Peas in a pod of closed-minded hatred, sweatervests, pompadours, and failure.

Okun Re-Retires

The Buffalo News’ venerable restaurant reviewer Janice Okun called it quits this week, and News Editor Margaret Sullivan made the announce in her Sunday column. I’ve had some fun over the past several months picking apart Okun’s self-parody reviews, culminating in the epic fail fed to her by the parsnip aficionados at Valenti’s Restaurant in December

Incidentally, you can own a piece of Valenti’s if you’re the winning bidder at an auction on February 29th

Okun had officially retired from the News in 2009, but continued to write reviews in part because new food editor Andrew Galarneau thought himself a bit too recognizable, thanks to his video series on the News’ website. But every restaurant kitchen in WNY – even Valenti’s – had a picture of Okun up on its wall and knew exactly who she was when she walked in. When a one-paper town has a single restaurant critic, it’s not that hard to figure out who’s who. 

The News’ restaurant reviews were sometimes embarrassing anachronisms, waxing poetic about booth comfort and the author’s chumminess with the staff, and less about an informative assessment of the preparation and flavor of the food. It was more about how these restaurants could interpret the dishes that Okun and her ever-present companion ordered most often, and less about innovation or risk-taking.  One of my favorites was when Okun was surprised that muffuletta had an olive salad in it; olive salad is one of the muffuletta’s core ingredients. 

To put it mildly, for people in town who take this sort of thing semi-seriously, it had long been time for a change. 

Although I’ve sometimes disagreed with Galarneau’s assessment of restaurants he’s reviewed for Cheap Eats (he was dismissive of Bingo’s Dim Sum and Five Guys), but he has an overall good reputation in a burgeoning local foodie community, and I like him. I wish Galarneau well in his new & important position, and hope that the quality of restaurant reviews in the Buffalo News goes from mockable to must-read. 

Who's Weppner Got?

I’m about 99% sure that the dynamic political duo of Carl Paladino and his young ward Rus Thompson are behind this Twitter account, (Rus denied it to me last year, but I have two sources and one telling, deliberate error in spelling the President’s name that say otherwise), which is busily pimping ultra right-wing causes and people they support. During my vacation, they pinged me on these two entries: 

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/NotJoeIlluzzi/status/171429800983015424″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/NotJoeIlluzzi/status/173101737081712641″]

Why would I possibly care about a former politician appearing on a Saturday AM infomercial for some financial planners? Aside from the hilarious rumors that the unliked and unlikeable Collins is considering a run against Kathy Hochul in NY-26, who cares? Ring me when Joel Giambra goes on TV to hawk the Ronco Showtime Standard Rotisserie & BBQ Oven. 

Who’s Weppner Got?

I’m about 99% sure that the dynamic political duo of Carl Paladino and his young ward Rus Thompson are behind this Twitter account, (Rus denied it to me last year, but I have two sources and one telling, deliberate error in spelling the President’s name that say otherwise), which is busily pimping ultra right-wing causes and people they support. During my vacation, they pinged me on these two entries: 

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/NotJoeIlluzzi/status/171429800983015424″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/NotJoeIlluzzi/status/173101737081712641″]

Why would I possibly care about a former politician appearing on a Saturday AM infomercial for some financial planners? Aside from the hilarious rumors that the unliked and unlikeable Collins is considering a run against Kathy Hochul in NY-26, who cares? Ring me when Joel Giambra goes on TV to hawk the Ronco Showtime Standard Rotisserie & BBQ Oven. 

Walking the Tightrope

 

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

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