Author: Sara Ali

Sara Ali

Sara is a freelance writer living on Buffalo's West Side. She works full time in human services, part time in freelance, and is currently working towards her endeavor to create a nonprofit focused on telling the stories of the refugee and immigrant communities.

Passion and ambition amplified the room the second I sat down at the new boulangerie-pâtisserie on Hertel. Pastry by Camille is the new go-to if you’re looking for some French culinary delights. From macaroons to croissants, crepes and fresh baguettes, and even a fantastic tea selection from Palais des Thés, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your salivating taste buds. I had the pleasure of talking to Camille La Caer (culinary curator of the space) and La Caer’s wife, Alexandria. La Caer was born in Brittany, France. The French immigrant has only lived in Buffalo for about two years,…

Read More

Have you ever window shopped, gazing upon luxury timepieces such as Patek Philippe, but you were turned away by the outlandish price tag? I understand. You want to show the horological world that you mean business, but you’re either not willing to, or able to, afford the hefty cost. There’s something to be said about being proud of a timepiece. With that in mind, Heitis Watch just might be the answer. In a world of Fitbits and cell phones, founder and CEO of Heitis Watch D.J. Heider took on the endeavor of assembling his own watches. He always had a fascination…

Read More

The Grant Street area has been graced with its latest development via Sweet_ness 7 Café: The Tabernacle. The walls of this eclectic masterpiece are adorned with a mixture of Renaissance inspired art, gorgeous mandalas, Star Wars-esque paintings, Japanese calligraphy, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the wild imagination of the neophyte painter Jeremy Twiss. Twiss started out as a line cook at Sweet_ness 7 Café. Neither he or owner Prish Moran knew how their relationship would flourish, or how it would twist and turn, with Twiss transitioning from line cook to the sole painter of The Tabernacle. The immense trust Moran put into…

Read More

Buffalo Arts Movement (BAM) is a one-stop hub for all of your creative desires. Located in Depew in a former church, this full spectrum arts center offers classes in dance, creative movement, and visual arts. According to Krista Lake, BAM’s sole proprietor, more course options will be making their way through the door. “Soon, we will be adding other options such as Wing Chun Kung Fu, computer arts, including Photoshop and 3D animation, and science classes.” The space also hosts holiday party events, offers custom designed arts based children’s parties, and holds community artisan events. Lake created the space in September 2017. She wanted…

Read More

The Buffalo community has been talking about creating the first monument that honors all African American Veterans, and soon, this will become a reality. African American Veterans Monument WNY (AAVM) will be located at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park. The design of AAVM will be a matrix that will serve as a timeline and a map of longitudinal coordinates. Twelve black concrete pillars standing at ten feet tall and three feet wide will be placed in a chronological sequence to represent the dates that each of our country’s 12 military conflicts occurred. According to Warren Galloway,…

Read More

Popularly known for the beautiful and famous Fargo House, architect Dennis Maher founded his latest brainchild project, Assembly House 150 in 2015. Assembly House is an experimental art and architecture space occupying the former Immaculate Conception Church. Teaming up with local partners and program participants, Assembly House 150 “focuses on the deign and construction of amazing environments.” “We build creative spaces, furnishings and objects while hosting educational programs, exhibitions and events that engage overlapping issues in art, design, architecture, preservation and social justice,” Maher said. The space is used as an immersive gallery and public forum. Exciting projects have been in…

Read More

The first Subway franchise in the Bailey East Side area opened up at the newly refurbished Varsity Theatre (learn more) in 2017. President and founder of the Bailey Business Association, Ibrahim Cissé, decided to bring the franchise to his theatre because of the “lack of well-known franchises or businesses in the area.” He also wanted to bring a healthy food option to the neighborhood, that is sorely lacking. Cissé’s passion for the East Side comes from being a resident of the area, thus his appreciation for the community. Cissé said the neighborhood needs more homeowners and business owners in order…

Read More

Rochester’s first grain to glass craft distillery made its way to Buffalo this past summer. Black Button Distilling, located at 149 Swan Street is a combination of a cocktail lounge and bottle shop. Patrons have the option to purchase various spirits such as gin, bourbon, vodka, or moonshine, and can even treat themselves to Apple Pie Moonshine Exfoliating Scrub or Bourbon Cream Coffee Infused Lip Balm. The distillery also sells Apple Moonshine BBQ Sauce, Bloody Mary Mix, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. They offer all sorts of cocktails from bourbon cream and root beer to a simple old fashioned with…

Read More

Most Buffalonians can attest to hearing clichéd, hackneyed comments about living in the Queen City. In conversations with non-locals, I’ve forced out a disingenuous chuckle at some lame joke about crappy weather, a failing sports team, and chicken wings. Apparently some people aren’t fans of the cold and snow during the wintertime, and that’s OK. Buffalo has four incredible seasons, including a winter wonderland. Spring, summer, and fall aren’t so bad either. For those of you who are already thinking about getting back onto the water, come spring, I have an interesting tidbit that I would like to share with…

Read More

In 2014, I attended a college event at a studio on Amherst Street in Black Rock. I remember being told by fellow college students and some professors to “watch out,” and “that area isn’t the best part of the city to hang around”. Ignoring their concerns, I attended the event and observed the neighborhood. I wasn’t impressed; there wasn’t much to see and the most exciting business there at the time was Wegmans. Fast forward to today, I find myself in Black Rock often, observing new businesses that are bringing life back to the neighborhood. Of these businesses is All…

Read More