Ten Reasons I’m About To Drive Five Straight Hours of Boring Highway Towards Buffalo



Right now, I am busy scrubbing my dirty heels and dirty fingernails, getting ready to head to Buffalo’s city-wide mass-insanity garden tour, Garden Walk, early tomorrow. The drive is dreadful: five hours of Route 90 with absolutely nothing to look at the entire way. Why will I do it?  Here’s why:

  1. Elizabeth Licata, the Buffalo-dweller among the Ranters, makes me laugh.
  2. Reunion with lovely and mysterious Ranter Susan Harris, whose fascinating personal history (more husbands than a Gabor sister) I am determined to get to the bottom of this trip.
  3. Elizabeth’s husband and friends all make me laugh.
  4. The Buffalo gardens are an embarrassment of riches, and some of them make me laugh, too.  It’s not just the disemboweled guy hanging in Elizabeth’s back entry (relax, it’s just an interesting piece of sculpture), it’s the woman who took her pocket-sized garden and did everything in miniature–mini urns, mini plants, mini koi pond.
  5. I’m particularly amused by giant koi stabled in minuscule backyards, and Buffalo is the American capital of the steroidal koi.
  6. Buffalonians are clearly the biggest summer partiers on the planet. (Long, snowy winters will do that to a culture.)
  7. Buffalo is gorgeous. It was one of the richest cities in America in the late 19th century, and every other traffic circle was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
  8. I find house envy therapeutic. Elizabeth and her boho friends all live in glorious 19th and early 20th century houses that would be called mansions anywhere else.
  9. Excellent local white wines are sure to be shoved into my fist regularly.
  10. Lots of chatter about plants with people who actually care.


  1. Can we go to?? LOL Okay… might be a bit more of a schlep for us so we’ll probably pass and just find some gardens around here in Seattle to play in. Still… sounds like you are in for a wonderful weekend. ENJOY!!

  2. The long ride would have been more fun if you had someone to drive you there. Or bring along a friend to make the trip not so boring.

  3. Shameless Plug – the agency where I work has a garden in the walk, and we’re giving away FREE iced tea, lemonade and delicious cookies and scones. 200 South Elmwood. You can also see the beautiful garden my office looks out on, complete with steroidal fish. Unfortunately I think they’re goldfish this year though we’ve had Koi in the past.

  4. I appreciate the idea that you can walk or ride your bike from one garden to the other.
    This ease of pedestrian transportation really makes this a green garden tour thus far more easier to have some bubbly libations and tootle on to the next garden for ultimate viewing pleasure.

  5. WOW! I have a serious case of garden envy right now after looking at the pictures. But boy do I have ideas zipping through my head. Have a truly spectacular day!

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