I feel like I bashed on Buffalo pretty hard in my first blog and also didn't get a great first impression of the city last night. Brett Allbery, the photographer I am with (he deserves credit for his hard work), and I went out for dinner right down the street from our hotel. Right when we got out of the car there was a small altercation outside of a bar. It wasn't the best way to get things started here.
My goal today was to experience Buffalo like any other tourist would. I was hoping that approach would be enough for me to learn to love my home for the next few days (I hope I'm not leaving until Monday).
We started our day by walking around downtown and talking to locals about their city. I was amazed by the different responses we received. Some people love it here, while other people hate it here. Carl Williams, a 48 year resident of Buffalo, says city is "depressing." Another local, Howard Lewkowitz, thinks the city gets a bad wrap because of the weather. You can watch the story we put together by clicking here. I also snapped some pictures along the way (Buffalo City Hall and a view from the observation deck of city hall). I'll be honest with you...no one can change my mind...I'm still very skeptical about this city.
Our next stop was Niagara Falls. My mom always tells a story about our family meeting Alan Thicke (the star of Growing Pains) in an elevator at Niagara Falls when I was a kid. I don't remember anything about that trip, especially meeting Alan Thicke (I question why my mom even cares to remember). In other words...I got to see the falls for the first time all over again. They really are amazing (click here for pictures 1 2). It's still cold enough around here that there is still snow and ice around the falls, making them even more spectacular. Looking at Toronto right across the border is pretty cool as well (check out the picture).
The other must in this city is Buffalo wings. We originally planned on going to Anchor Bar (the place where the snack were created in the 1960s...hence the name "Buffalo" wings), but we couldn't get in touch with management to allow us in (we can't just go barging in with a camera). Instead, we went to Duff's. The Travel Channel show Food Wars just put Duff's Buffalo wings against Anchor Bar's last week...and Duff's won. I naturally devoured an order of ten wings (picture). They were really good!
So...we did everything you can possibly do in Buffalo (video) (at least that's what we've been told...even by some of the locals). That means the focus turns solely to basketball the rest of the time we are here and that's just fine with me.
The Bulldogs loaded some buses in Spokane around seven o'clock this morning (here is the story we ran) and arrived in Buffalo around 3:15pm (ET). I was told that they were holding a closed practice at an off-site location at some point today. We also have video of the cheerleaders and band leaving for Buffalo.
The Zags will hold another closed practice on Thursday and then they'll head to HSBC Arena to meet with the media and hold an open-to-the-public shootaround.
Gonzaga's press conference starts at 12:45pm (PT). They'll start with players first and then Mark Few will hit the podium around 1pm (PT). We'll stream the entire press conference live on KREM.com, so be sure to check in tomorrow. The Bulldogs' shootaround is scheduled for 1:25pm.
Florida State will go by a very similar plan on Thursday (they also arrived in Buffalo on Wednesday as well). The Seminoles press conference (players first) starts at 2:15pm (PT). Again, we'll stream that live on KREM.com. The FSU shootaround is scheduled for 2:55pm (PT).
Brett and I will have you covered from head-to-toe tomorrow. Watch for reports from Buffalo on KREM 2 News starting in the morning and going all night (nobody said this job was easy). We'll also have tons of content on KREM.com and I'll be tweeting constantly throughout the day as well, so be sure to follow me @TLKREM2.
One more reminder as well...NCAA Tournament games start on Thursday, so that means you're running out of time to sign up for our March Mayhem contest. It's free and you can win great prizes! Click here to join the fun!
That's all I have for you tonight, but I'll be back tomorrow with much more on Gonzaga and how they are feeling about their matchup with Florida State and much more!
Have a great night!!!