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Retro is alive and well in Buffalo, NY

This past Friday, after attending an inspiring music performance at Pausa Art House (see here), I joined a group of friends over at CooCooU@27 for the much anticipated Future is History design show (see here). Being a fan of mid-century modern design, I knew the show was going to be good, but just how good I had no idea until walking in the front door.

Exhibit designer and curator, Marty McGee, outdid himself with the exhibit, and literally transformed the first floor of the design warehouse into an example of what it must have been like to be alive during the era of early space travel. From the propaganda to the retro TVs, lights, phonographs and clocks, every square inch of the place was covered with textbook examples of some of the most sought after design elements from the period. “I was blown away by the turnout at the opening,” said Marty. “We lost count at 600 and that was at the half way point!  We had planned to close off the big 8,000 ft. showroom on floor 2 but decided we had to open it up to accommodate the massive crowd that came through.  We moved the bar into the elevator and parked it on the second floor.  I think everyone had fun at the party, but what I’m really happy about is the wonderful response to the exhibit itself.  Being that this was the first time for a big Space Age exhibit anywhere, I was unsure how people would react to it.”

As Marty mentioned, CooCooU@27 opened up the doors to the second floor showroom of the warehouse, and blew people’s minds with the an over-the-top spread of funky furniture. The show was so successful that gallery owner Michael Merisola won’t have to have his own grand opening anymore… Marty took care of that in one fell swoop.

For anyone who missed the show over the weekend, the exhibit is still up. Marty decided that the response was so good, that he has added additional elements to the exhibit. “I strongly urge people to come back to see it in a more relaxed atmosphere where they can take the the time to focus on all there is to discover.  Please tell your friends about it right away.  It’s only up through Saturday, April 27.  This Saturday, April 20, there will be tours and gallery talks at 1pm and 3pm. We have added more amazing material plus installed very cool video and sound elements that wouldn’t work at the opening because there were simply too many people.  A high school teacher from Springville came to see it and is working on a field trip for the school.  A guy is coming flying in Los Angeles to see it.  The buzz is spreading that wide.”

Honorable mention goes to Lucy Mancuso from Moda (see more) on Hertel, who set up a pop-up shop within the exhibit. She was selling everything from space age umbrellas to vintage jewelry and retro ice buckets. The combination of CooCooU, Moda and the phenomenal collections of Marty McGee would have made George Jetson feel right at home. What made me most proud about this show, is that these three retro specialists are always on the scene here in Buffalo. Whether on Chandler Street, Hertel Avenue or on Elmwood Avenue at The Peddler Flea Market (Facebook). Retro design is alive and well in this city!

Location:  The new CooCooU@27

27 Chandler St. Buffalo, NY 14207

Tel. 716.432.6216


Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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