Prish Moran has done things for Buffalo that we will never be able to fathom. It’s not like we can simply add them up like numbers, or buildings, and say, “There, that’s what she did.” Instead, Prish was simply “Prish.” Her accomplishments inspired countless numbers of people, fed and nurtured a community, and changed the landscape of a neighborhood. The fact that we had a “Prish” for as long as we did is a blessing – just think of all the rest of the cities that never even had one. I can’t imagine this city without her. At the same time, it’s hard to image Buffalo if we never had her for all the years that we did. Buffalo would be a very different city. Very few people can impact a city by simply being who they are.
Buffalo is the city that Prish has lived longer than any other place. She was born in Boston, grew up in New Jersey, lived in Italy, and eventually came to call Buffalo “home.” I have a feeling that a lot of other people call Buffalo “home” because of her desire to invest her money, her talents, her passions, and her love into this city – particularly Grant Street, where she bought a troubled building, restored it, and established Sweet_ness 7, which was named after her son Stefano, who passed away in 2007.
Now, after so many years of telling “Prish” stories, I am so very saddened to be telling the tale of her next chapter of her life. And what a tale it will be.
You see, she has purchased her dream home in the Adirondacks which is where she will live. In true “Prish fashion,” this home is more of a palatial 9,000+ square foot farmhouse, with 12 bedrooms, 4 rental properties, a “monstrous barn,” and an old Prohibition-era speakeasy tavern in the basement of the main house. You can see how fabulous this place is by clicking here.
Prish’s plans for the “Adirondack Great Camp” is to create a sanctuary for nature lovers, travelers, adventurers, and anyone else who can appreciate such natural and historic splendor. “It’s my next chapter,” she told me, as we sat on a couch in her home, which is currently for sale on Ashland Avenue. “I need to have time to do nothing [laughing]. I need some anonymity – to get away from the café life, and the hustle and bustle. I’m trading in the espresso machine for two tractors. It’s 5 hours from Buffalo and it’s the ultimate retreat – a river actually runs through it.”
Prish told me that she wants to stay connected to Buffalo – the city that she has come to love, mostly because of the people. “I want to have guest chefs from Buffalo… I need that Buffalo connection – the city has always been here for me, and I want to be here for everyone that supported me throughout the years.”
Prish herself is a wanderer and an adventurer, which is why I begrudgingly say, “This new adventure suits her.” She’s the consummate host, and this is the ultimate venue.
As I talked to her, I couldn’t help but think about what it’s like to keep a wild animal in a cage. It just doesn’t work – Prish is too much of a free spirit. I can actually picture her on a tractor, or chopping wood, or doing whatever else she feels like doing on any particular day… moment to moment… on a whim.
Ok so what does Buffalo look like without a Prish? The good news is that she laid a lot of foundations which will continue to operate similar to how she envisioned them operating. She’s holding onto the Sweet_ness 7 building (she almost didn’t), but she’s handing over the reins of the café, by selling S7 to Rob Fussell (long time barista) and his wife Alex. “Everything will be staying the same,” said Prish, who assured me that we are all in good hands. “Buffalo Art Supply is opening in one of the Grant Street storefronts, the Blue House Collective in another (classes and artists), and Tommy Mims is opening a tattoo studio – there’s going to be a big art scene there. They are all having a collective opening this coming weekend. The I Am Magick shop is staying, which means that all of the storefronts will be full again. I’m keeping The Tabernacle – it’s going to be an event venue, for rent. These are all investments for my retirement, and reasons for me to come back to visit.”
I never thought that I would be writing about “Miss Prishy” heading on to another chapter in her life, unless it was purchasing the Central Terminal, or something sensational and spectacular like that. What comforts me about her leaving Buffalo is that she will be happy, and her new “neighborhood” will be blessed just as we have been so blessed to have her for as long as we did.
“I have so much love for Buffalo – the city that filled a void,” Prish confided in me. “What it will be like to leave here will be hard to imagine.”
A city without a Prish… a city without Prish. Not just Buffalo, but any city. 5 hours away seems so close, yet so far.
Following is a stanza level from Joyce Kilmer’s ‘Alarm Clocks’: