A BRO viewer just sent me this image of Ward Pinkel and Tyler Griffis installing a couple of steel buffalo silhouettes on Bidwell Parkway. Ward, Co-owner of Urban Threads, commissioned Tyler to make the works in lieu of putting up a fence between his driveway and Caffe Aroma. “I didn’t want to do it with a fence – I wanted to do something artistic and friendly. We also have a buffalo outside of Urban Clothing on Elmwood. They are made of steel, which I put textured sand paint on so that they would have some grit. The grit will hopefully deter people from posting flyers on them. The grit also looks like the buffalo has fur. People will probably think the ones on Bidwell are Caffe Aroma’s – I’ve been racking my brain for years… to find something that would work without looking bad. I didn’t want to just put a gate in, and we wanted to promote Buffalo at the same time.”
Seeing that Caffe Aroma is such a popular destination, these small but significant additions go a long way to make Buffalo a friendlier city. When you have neighbors who care about the statement that they are making, and go out of their way to create something that is welcoming as opposed to threatening, it says a lot.
Over the last few years I have pointed out many little artistic urban details that have popped up, such as the metal bugs and butterflies that can be found in Allentown. Or tree stumps that have been turned into flower planters. Or even the obscure parking meter poetry. In a city that screams out for more significant public art (and doesn’t get it), it is good to know that the community does what it can to make the streets a bit more interesting. Functional art like these buffalos add to the urban fabric. They also make having a cup of coffee at Caffe Aroma even more enjoyable.
As an aside, Ward is also the one-man team that keeps his block of Elmwood cleaner than any other block on the street. You can find him out there sweeping the sidewalks just about any given day. Beyond that, he also sweeps up the street – a task that goes beyond the call of duty. Whenever I see trash around the city, I always make sure that I stop to pick it up – because I always think of Ward spending countless hours beautifying his own neck of the woods. As always, good job in making Buffalo a better place to live.
Buffalo, NY 14222