Thursday, September 12, 2013

Buffalo – Week One NE@BUF

Photo/Travel Blog: Buffalo – Week One NE@BUF
By Andy Lopusnak,
September 7-9, 2013

The NFL regular season kicked off this past weekend with me in Buffalo covering the opener between the Patriots and the Bills. In my now 14th season with CBS Sports, this is the second time I’ve started the year in Buffalo. The previous was in 2007 when the Denver Broncos beat the Bills 15-14 thanks to a 42-yard Jason Elam field goal as time expired. This is my 12th time covering a game for CBS in Buffalo, but just my third in the last four years.

Since I’ve been to most all of the NFL host cities and photographed them numerous times, I’ve been getting the same shots. So, I’ve created a new to-shoot list for each city hoping to get some new photographs. This was my first week doing so and I actually really enjoyed Buffalo. It’s usually a drag coming to upstate New York, but this time was very fresh and I have plenty to shoot next time I have a game in Buffalo. Sadly, it was very overcast on Saturday morning when I landed and very raining in the afternoon. Sunday was beautiful though.

Using my new approach, I had a mission once I landed in Buffalo. I went directly to downtown and spent two hours driving around to get shots of the numerous Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Buffalo has the most FLW buildings outside of Chicago, where his offices were located. In fact, there’s currently seven FLW-designed structures in the city of Buffalo. All of the FLW structures were shot in the poor Saturday weather, so I’ll need to come back and get these again next time. 

Click here to see more shots of the FLW buildings.

The Buffalo FLW structures are:
-          Martin House (125 Jewett Pkwy)
-          Barton House (118 Summit Ave)
-          Gardener’s Cottage (285 Woodward Ave)
-          Davidson House (57 Tillinghast Place)
-          Heath House (76 Soldiers Place)
-          Blue Sky Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery(1411 Delaware)
-          Fontana Boathouse (One Rotary Row – Foot of Porter Ave next to West Side Rowing Club)

The first three are located in the same vicinity and to me looks like the same complex, while the bottom two were designed by FLW but were only completed recently. Another FLW structure is under construction and when completed will be one of the best ones, but sadly isn’t going to be completed for a long time. It will be located at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum and is the 1927-designed Buffalo Filing Station (click here to see what one of these look like – this one is in Minnesota).

Additionally, there’s one of his largest buildings in nearby Derby, NY named Graycliff. I was going to go, but you need reservations to visit. I’ll attempt to get this next time.

At Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery, there is a former president and a funk legend buried here as well as one of the numerous Frank Lloyd Wright structures. This cemetery has approximately 152,000 graves and was established in 1849.

In 1928, Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Blue Sky Mausoleum which was the last of four projects commissioned by Darwin D. Martin (remember the Martin house). It was finally completed in 2004, contains 24 crypts and is one of just three FLW memorial sculptures in the world.

Millard Fillmore, the 13th United States president, is buried in Buffalo. He was the vice president for Zachary Taylor, who died just 16 months into office and finished out Taylor’s term. Fillmore is considered one of the ten worst presidents in U.S. history and signed into law the Fugitive Slave Act to win support from the South in the Mexican-American War (the act was overruled by the Supreme Court nine years later. He co-founded the University of Buffalo. His grave is a pink obelisk and very unremarkable. Apparently, much like his presidency.

I realized I’ve been to numerous cemeteries across the country getting photos of famous graves and looked into how many former U.S. presidential burial sites I’ve photographed. I’ve got seven of the possible 38 dead presidents (there are five living and one that was president twice) and created a gallery of these places (click here to view). Since I have most of the state capitals, might as well start a new quest. Only bad thing is that many of the state capitals I shot late at night and cemeteries are closed after dark. So, I created a document with all the former presidents and the location of their graves. I should be adding a lot of these by the end of my NFL/college football schedule this year. These some that I will never get because they are in the middle of nowhere.

When I was driving around in the cemetery, I stumbled across the grave of Rick James – the super freak himself. I was honestly shocked that the grave didn’t say “I’m Rick James bitch.”

This is one of just a few structures left from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Click here to see what this looked like in 1901. Look at the far left about a third of the way up and you’ll see the Buffalo History Museum. It would’ve been awesome if all these structures were still around, but they were all torn down because they were cheaply made since they were supposed to only be temporary like most world’s fairs. It’s the same thing with the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco when SF hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915 (it stands as the only building from the Expo – click here to see my shots of the Palace of Fine Arts).

The Buffalo History Museum was called the New York State Building and was built to look similar to the Parthenon in Athens (click here to view my gallery of the Parthenon replica in Nashville, Tennessee). It survived only because it was built to last. Same for what is now the Albright-Knox Art Museum (though it wasn’t completed in time for the Expo. The centerpiece of the Expo, the Electric Tower, was demolished, but it inspiration for the 13-story Beaux-Arts Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo (click here to view a photo of it). In front of the Buffalo History Museum is a nice Japanese Peace Garden. 

Not only does Buffalo have a grave of a former U.S. president, it also is the city in which a president was assassinated and a new one was sworn in. On September 6, 1901, president William McKinley was a shot while attending the 1901 Pan-American Exposition by Leon Czolgosz at a meet and greet at the Temple of Music building (click here to see a photo of a marker spot since the Temple of Music was demolished after the Expo). He died eight days later and Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th U.S. president at the Wilcox House as seen below. Today, across the street from the important historical building is a Walgreens.

Speaking of McKinley, around the block from where I live in San Jose, California there’s a big statue/sculpture of the 25th president. Four months before the assassination, McKinley visited San Jose and spoke to a large crowd at St. James Park (click here to see one of my shots of it).

Near the Buffalo History Museum is the awesome 1870-built Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. It was built by H.H. Richardson, who used this building as the first of the Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture. He designed my favorite state capital – New York’s in Albany (click here to view it). His style was used for city halls in Minneapolis and Cincinnati. 

I shot this striking church last year, but since the Botanical Garden is right around the corner, I snagged this wide shot of the basilica. Most of the exterior is made from pure white marble. The Great Dome is 165 feet high and was second in size to the U.S. Capital in Washington, DC when it was completed in 1926. Here are four copper 18-foot high, trumpet-playing angels mounted on the dome.

OLV is located just south of the city of Buffalo in little Lackawanna, the hometown to former NFL QB Ron Jaworski and Mike Mamula, a player the Philadelphia Eagles loved so much that they traded picks in the 1995 NFL draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those picks directly led to the Bucs taking Warren Sapp, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, and Derrick Brooks, who will join Sapp next season. Thank you Philly for being so stupid.

Built in 1900, the Botanical Gardens’ Victorian-era tri-domed glass, wood and steel building houses showcases tropical plant species. It wasn’t open when I was there, but I got some great exterior shots. There are fewer than a dozen large Victorian conservatories like this in the United States. It was designed based upon the look of the Crystal Palace and Kew Gardens Palm House in England. Though literally across the street from the basilica, this is actually located in Buffalo not Lackawanna.

For the 35th time in his Hall of Fame career New England QB Tom Brady orchestrated game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He was six-of-six on that drive that led to a Stephen Gostkowski 35-yard game-winning field goal with five seconds left. Brady is now 21-2 all-time against the Bills and extended his streak of games with at least a touchdown pass to 49, which is the second-longest streak in NFL history. He ended with two touchdown strikes, both to Julian Edelman (career high).

Buffalo started first-round pick E.J. Manuel at QB and he tossed two touchdowns in the loss. The Bills also had a new head coach, former Syracuse headman Doug Marrone. Sadly for Buffalo fans, all 16 head coaches in Bills history have now lost their NFL debuts.

This was my fourth Pats-Bills game with three of those being in Buffalo. New England has won all four games. In games I’ve covered, the Pats are 18-4 and the Bills are now 7-12.

I took a time lapse here back in 2010 and since I wasn’t going to be leaving right after the game, I decided to use both GoPro cameras to get a sideline and end zone time lapse of the game. The weather turned from gray and mucky to beautiful. Sadly, I should have set up the old Hero 2 camera in the end zone and the Hero 3 on the sideline from the TV booth since the battery life of the new, fancy GoPro is not as good as the old camera. If you want to see the 2010 time lapse, click here. I also made a TV booth time lapse of what goes on in the booth during the game (click here to view).

Since the battery of the Hero 3 is terrible, I combined the two time lapses into one. I used the GoPro Hero 2 for the sidleline view. It took one shot every ten seconds lasting five hours and 11 minutes for a total of 1,828 images. The Hero 3 did the end zone view. It took one shot every thirty seconds lasting two hours and 45 minutes for a total of 333 images. There must be something wrong with the batteries with the newest GoPro because I’m getting double this time in the Hero 2. It's unacceptable. 

Invented in Buffalo in 1843, grain elevators are abundant in the city. However, most are abandoned. Buffalo was the world’s largest grain port from the 1850’s until the first half of the 20th century. General Mills has one of the few still working grain elevators. Buffalo has a plan to use the old, abandoned grain elevators as a tourism asset. You can see the plan by clicking here. If this comes to fruition, then I’m all aboard.

Along with my new approach to shooting cities, I’ve decided to expand my stadium galleries and drove out to the University of Buffalo and took shots of UB Stadium. So all told in my sports venues galleries, I have 235 in total.

Because of my focus on Buffalo, I didn’t go to Niagara Falls for the first time since 2006 when I began my photographic journeys. Last year, I did the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds tours (click here to view that blog & photos).

You can view my very best photos from Buffalo by clicking here and the best of the best from Niagara Falls by clicking here.

On my flight home on Monday morning, my first leg was to JFK and on the approach to the airport, I got some great shots of Manhattan.

For the second straight year, I’m going to be in Philly for Week Two. I’ve done two blogs on Philly. Click here to see my blog from 2011 and 2012.

Here’s my favorite photos from this weekend in Buffalo. 

No comments:

Post a Comment