Author: Jay Barber

Jay Barber works and lives in the Northtowns She is a freelance writer and writing professor in the professional and academic writing program at the University at Buffalo.

On a mid-October afternoon when the weather seemed to be dashing cold and warm together in an array of wind, sun, and color, I stood in front of Motherland, a business at 17 West Main Street in Lockport.  Motherland’s inviting storefront consists of dusty olive green accenting, a large window, and a dark wooden door.  A slate placard describes the business as a gift shop and apothecary though none of these descriptors are part of the store’s official name. Lettering on the door spells out Apotheca and  holds another key to the business’ ethos. Honoring nature and our individuality encouraging…

Read More

In the animated children’s classic The Magic School Bus, elementary school teacher Ms. Frizzle uses a magical bus to take children on field trips to impossible locations like space or inside the human body. More than one school teacher has certainly watched this animated series with jealousy wishing they had a magic bus (or even a magic budget) that would allow them to take students on more field trips. Field Trips with Mr. Hurley Jonathan Hurley, an educator in the Buffalo school district is one such teacher.  Hurley teaches 4th grade, a year when the state curriculum focuses on…

Read More

Photo by Raw Peach Joe White and Anna Hartzell, co-owners of Dopest Dough, sit on an olive green mid-century modern couch in their storefront in East Aurora and reveal the secret ingredient for both good business and good bread: the patience to do it right. White, head baker, makes all of his product using a sourdough starter. This process of leavening bread is slower than commercial yeast, but produces a lighter, crustier bread and richer flavor. Nowhere is this attention to detail more evident than in the bagels that White and Hartzell hand-shape by the dozens. Each is the perfect…

Read More