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Check Out What Main Street Looked Like in 1911! [BUFFALO: THEN AND NOW]

Main Street Buffalo, 2012
Jack FM

This morning, while strolling down Main Street on my way to the studio, I was accosted by a young man who kept calling me “wifey” and wanted me to hang out with him on the street corner all afternoon. Normally I would jump at the offer to make a new friend, but I had things to do this morning, so I regretfully declined.

Two thoughts ran through my head as I walked away from my new BFF: What a nice guy; it’s really nice of him to follow me to my building to make sure I got there safe and Were men half as polite on Main Street in 1911?

I don’t know the answer to the latter thought, but I do know that the women back then were not lucky enough to be called “wifey” by a total stranger. What I can tell you, though, are five super-cool places on Main Street that you should visit at least once.

Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Go see a Broadway musical without having to spend the money to go to actual Broadway. Hey, we think we just came up with Shea’s new advertising campaign!

Market Arcade Film & Theatre. I will never forget the first time I saw Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Market Arcade Film & Theatre. There is nothing like having rice and toast thrown at you during a movie. Skip out on catching a flick at Regal Cinemas this weekend, and go support your local Dipson Theatre on Main Street instead.

The Downtown Country Market. Jack FM is lucky enough to be within walking distance of the Downtown Country Market, which takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Jack can buy his old lady some flowers, and we can pick up some pumpkin cookies from Schwab Farms. We know it’s bikini season, but you try walking by the smell of fresh kettle corn cooking and the display of red velvet cupcakes without emptying your wallet.

Buffalo Metro Rail. We can’t think of anything more fun then hopping onto the Metro Rail, staring at all of the interesting people, and then pretending like we’re admiring something outside when they catch us looking. The Metro Rail runs from the University at Buffalo’s South Campus all the way down Main Street to the Erie Canal. It’s cheap, and it means no one has to be a designated driver. What’s not to love?

Marcella’s. If you have never been to Marcella’s, then you are missing out on some of Buffalo’s finest — and by “finest,” I mean some of the best-looking drag queens in the Queen City. You may be skeptical at first, but these queens put on a great party, and where else can you meet someone named Miss Understood or Jayme Coxx? Yes, hat’s Coxx with two Xs.

Main Street Buffalo, 1911
Detroit Publishing Company, Library of Congress National Archives

Contributed by Sara Johnson

Up Next: See What the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Looked Like in 1916


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