Those who are familiar with the city of Buffalo, are most likely aware that Allentown has a Bubble Man. Bubble Man can be seen blowing bubbles out of his window, high above Jim’s Steak Out at the corner of Elmwood and Allen. For years, passersby have enjoyed the whimsical bubbles, as they float down the street, for all to see.
Not to be outdone, Esther Pica, owner of Press Raw Food & Juice on Grant Street (see here), has rigged up her own mechanically operated bubble blowing system. I happened to be walking by as she turned the system on, and in a matter of moments the bubbles were having their magical effect on the street.
The first person to pass by was a mother, with her child in a stroller. The two parked themselves under the bubble display for a couple of minutes to partake in the waggish moment. The next person to come into contact with the swirling bubbles was PUSH community activist Aminah Johnson (lead image), who lit up a smile as she passed through.
When I asked Esther what brought about the fanciful display, she simply said, “Who doesn’t love bubbles?” I would have to agree with her.
On a street like Grant Street, that has been in the throes of reinventing itself, sometimes it can be something as simple as a public piano, a rocking horse or a bubble machine, that can bring unabashed joy to those who encounter them. “This summer we’re hoping to take over a small City-owned parcel of land at the corner of Lafayette and Grant Street, “said Esther. “We’re just going to start having poetry readings and music musicians play. It’s a troublesome corner that needs some new life added to it.”
Sometimes we tend to overthink what it might take to alter people’s perception of a neighborhood. There are plenty of ways to bring about change and add life to a street. If making bubbles is one of those ways, so be it.
Press Raw Food & Juice | 197 Grant Street | Buffalo, New York | (716) 464-3695 | Facebook