Tonawanda News

Features

October 31, 2013

CALLERI: Get ready for the march of the motion pictures, plus a pair to see during the lull

Tonawanda News — I have to admit that when I saw Halloween candy at a local supermarket on a sweltering day in August, I was momentarily surprised and annoyed.

In September, I caught some television commercials exalting the upcoming Christmas holiday. Knowing the way the world is, it didn’t surprise me, although it did sadden me a bit. I like my holidays to be recognized, oh I don’t know, around the time they occur.

The Christmas spirit (or lack of respect for it) made me wonder what will happen to such proud November moments as Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving? Frankly, Thanksgiving seems more and more like a crass opportunity to binge-eat rather than a day to celebrate family and the bounty of America. Don’t get me started on what I consider to be the unfortunate opening of major stores on Thanksgiving. I always think about the employees and their families and the disruption to their lives. No, I don’t ever shop on Black Friday, which is now going to be linked to Bleak Thanksgiving Thursday, at least for those who have to go to work to ring up merchandise made in Asia.

Does anyone even think about Saint Nicholas Day anymore? That’s December 6 for the unfamiliar, and a fun day for children across Europe, especially in France and Italy. While growing up, our family always did something special that day.

I write this because faster than you can say “it’s only November,” the “holiday movie season” is going to overtake your lives. Coming at you starting Friday, November 8, and running at full gallop for eight weeks, are more films than many of you will see in theaters in an entire year.

This rush of movies is part of the annual “holiday” race to the Academy Awards. The field is so crowded, that three features set for Christmas have been pulled from release. The rescheduling of one of them is a big surprise. It’s “The Monuments Men,” the highly-anticipated, star-packed George Clooney-directed film about American art experts and the U.S. military saving priceless masterpieces from destruction during World War II. Clooney stated that his picture would not make its December 18 opening date due to work needed to be done on digital special effects. The others postponed until 2014 are “Foxcatcher,” Sony’s drama about Olympic wrestling and one family’s personal tragedy, and The Weinstein Company’s biography, “Grace Of Monaco.”

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Features
  • SUN LIFE fair story 1 072714.jpg More than rides & food

    When the Niagara County Fair opens Wednesday, hundreds of people will enter the county fairgrounds in Lockport for the first of five days of exhibits, shows, rides and food.

    But what not all of the visitors may realize is that much of this summer tradition is the result of months of hard work by 4-H Club members and their leaders and families, all focused on the words of the 4-H motto: “Learn By Doing.”

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  • SUN LIFE tattoo 1 072714.jpg COLUMN: Behind the tattoo gun

    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - Crib Notes 2014 RGB.jpg CRIB NOTES: No matter what, the kids just want to play the game

    At 35 years old, I may be the oldest person ever to record an out in a kids’ T-ball league.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Visiting the neighbors

    This past week, our lovely neighbors went to the beach for their annual weeklong vacation.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Open gardens 1 072014.jpg Stop and smell the flowers

    More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE terrariums 1 072014.jpg For the love of nature

    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

    "I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.

    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE fresh air 1 072014.JPG Getting some fresh air

    As an effort to get children out of the big city and give them a chance to spend part of their summer playing outside, the Fresh Air Fund brings New York City kids to stay with host families for a 10-day trip to a place which is vastly different from their usually surroundings.

    “They will be running outside and playing in the grass and going swimming,” said Cheryl Flick, a fund representative of the Northern Erie and Niagara Counties chapter of the Fresh Air Fund at a picnic for the host families and kids. “They won’t be cooped up inside, they’ll be outside, getting fresh air and being active.”

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - SUN LIFE double trouble 2014.jpg Still waiting for that letter from Hogwarts

    I think it’s true of many parents, that amidst the many challenges and hard work of parenting, we anticipate the day our children grow up just enough ... to like the same things we like, whether it’s as an ongoing phenomenon or a fond childhood memory.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Calling all the basic locavores!

    Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE NT tours 071314.jpg A closer look at NT

    When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.

    Now the organization is looking to the future and trying out ways to highlight the other unique aspects of the Western New York region. The tours change out each month, but the more popular ones will circulate back in, according to Explore Buffalo Executive Director Brad Hahn. This month it’s test-driving its “North Tonawanda: Lumber City” tour, one of only a few to take place outside the City of Buffalo. (Although a Lockport tour is in the works.)

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo