There are 28 categories - one for every year I've been alive.
Enjoy the list!
Favorite beer (let's start with the important stuff) - Flying Bison's Buffalo Lager (I did't even try it until September, but now growlers and growlers dance in my head)
Favorite wine - Victorianbourg Wine Estate's Fleur Du Vin (white wine). They are a newer winery on the Niagara Wine Trail.
Favorite martini - Siena's (on Main Street in Williamsville) Jolly Rancher Martini...it even comes with a Jolly Rancher sucker in it.
Favorite meal - Blue Monk on April 13th: The dinner meal was two chicken breasts in a cherry balsamic glaze, creamed polenta and spinach on top of the polenta. I still frequently talk about that meal to any and everyone who will listen. The polenta was to die for. Compliments to the Chef!
Favorite Buffalo food & drink - I'm not a big fan of chocolate, but hello sponge candy from Landies Sweets & Treats. As for a drink, can one ever get tired of Loganberry? Nom!
Favorite "quick bite" to eat - Globe Market on Elmwood
Favorite dessert - Loganberry icecream from Lake Effect Icecream (you can find them at many local retailers, and in 2011 they opened a storefront in Lockport - there will be a blog about them shortly!)
...Clearly I'm from Buffalo, the first 7 are food/drink related...okay, I should probably move onto other things...
Favorite theatrical performance - The Lion King at Shea's Performing Arts Center (saw the matinee performance on Sunday October 23rd)
Favorite concert spot - Went to go see Guster at The Town Ballroom. It was the first time I was there for a show and I fell in love with the venue. I love the intimate nature and just the atmosphere in general was fun!
Favorite local shop - Poster Art (located inside the Boulevard Mall and also on Elmwood)
Favorite "night out" hot spot - Allentown Hardware (classy, good selection, fun atmosphere, nice bathrooms)
Favorite festival - Taste of Buffalo - I went both days this year and just soaked in all I could take! Amazing food, awesome people, good entertainment and a pretty city!
Favorite community moment- If you know me, you know sports are the center of my universe, so it makes sense that my favorite moment of the year is sports related. Hands down, there is no disputing my favorite moment of the year came on Sunday September 25th when the Buffalo Bills finally beat The New England Patriots. After what seemed like an eternity of not beating the division rival (and losing some heartbreaking losses), we did, and in last second fashion that only Buffalonians can appreciate, and have heart attacks over. I was at the game with my boyfriend Geoffrey and I can't even describe the feelings that came over me that day. I was so overcome with emotion, and so was everyone around me. People were hugging, openly weeping, cheering and some just sitting there taking in the moment. It wasn't just a special moment for me, it was a special moment for the entire city of Buffalo, and all the other fans in attendance. Buffalo is a sports town. That day was about a city of fans who support a team that, quite frankly, has given us little to cheer about for over a decade. No matter the outcome of the season, I'm gonna keep that moment close to me.
Favorite Buffalo personality - Terry Pegula (he changed a franchise, he changed the atmosphere in Buffalo when it comes to winning, and he changed the mindset of The Buffalo Sabres)
Favorite local athletes - Nathan Gerbe (Sabres) & Freddy Jackson (Bills)
Favorite non-for-profit - danceability Inc. (check them out www.danceabilityinc.com)
Favorite summertime chill spot - Hoyt Lake (under my favorite tree near the water)
Favorite way to view the sights - Kayaking in the Harbor (Buffalo Harbor Kayak rents great kayaks)
Favorite charity event - I attended a lot of them this year, but my favorite was The Quota Club of Amherst's "Symphony Of Style" Fall Fashion Show. I model in the fashion show and they have probably 150+ baskets and tons of other raffles up for grabs. It is at the Hearthstone Manor and you can be sure I'll let you know the date for next year's event. Part of the proceeds raised from the night goes to St. Mary's School for the Deaf and a bunch of great other local charities.
Favorite radio station - My radio is almost always tuned to WYRK 106.5 (I'm a country girl).
Favorite street - Elmwood Avenue (I discovered The Elmwood Arts Festival for the first time this year, it's the street my alma mater is on and I tried so many new restaurants on Elmwood this year!)
Favorite local politician - Assemblymember Mark Schroeder. He was instrumental in helping St. Mary's School for the Deaf restore funding to the 4201 Schools. He stood up, spoke and signed at our rally in Albany. He will be missed as he moves onto his new job in January!
Buffalo story I couldn't stop following - Steve Cichon did some pretty tremendous coverage of the Muzzammill Hassan case. I was engrossed in the story, as disturbing as it was.
Favorite outdoor spot to exercise - Ring Road in Delaware Park. In the summer it is my daily stomping ground on my lunch hour! So many friendly people, nice sights and a good surface for walking.
Favorite hidden gem - Fox Tires on William Street in Buffalo. They sell used tires for $30-$60 per tire (more expensive = better quality). They are awesome...I got tires here and so did my boyfriend...in Geoffrey's words "This may be my new favorite place." Quick service, friendly staff, family owned and operated since 1955. They sell new tires and offer many other services too.
Favorite day - August 27th. I started the day off teaching ZUMBA (one of my favorite ways to stay a day), went to The Elmwood Arts festival (my first time!), went to Pearl Street for dinner and then went to The Buffalo Place Rocks The Harbor concert series to see Great Big Sea. It was an absolutely gorgeous summer day in Buffalo, got to experience, art, culture, food, and music in one day with one of my favorite people.
Favorite "sight" - Whenever I am going downtown I always end up driving down Court Street towards City Hall. The corner of Court/Pearl (facing City Hall) is just such a gorgeous, gorgeous sight. It makes me smile every time I drive by. It's beautiful during the day, but it's awesome to drive there when it is dark out. I love how City Hall is lit up!!
Favorite "family" activity - I did a lot of fun family stuff this but I think my favorite thing was boarding the Miss Buffalo II with my brothers, their significant others, cousin and boyfriend on July 3rd for a 2 hour sight seeing cruise. It was a warm Buffalo day and we all had a blast. We grabbed Wegmans subs before the tour, had a picnic down by the Harbor then cruised around enjoying all the sights Buffalo has to offer. I'm lucky that the majority of my family still calls Buffalo home and those who don't get home often enough for me to not miss them too much.
Wow! Looking over this list, I really had a blast this year. I've loved branching out and exploring the City Of Buffalo more and I can't wait to re-do this list again in 2012 with a whole new set of memories!
Thanks to all the businesses and people on this list. You truly make Buffalo the best city to live in!