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Buffalo Pop Culture

Buffalo has never really had a breakthrough moment on the big screen—perhaps the closest it's gotten is “The Natural” with Robert Redford (the movie was shot in Buffalo, but didn't feature the city). But Buffalo did have a big booster on the small screen, native son Tim Russert.  The legendary newsman grew up on Woodside Avenue in Buffalo, and in his memoir, “Big Russ & Me,” he lovingly chronicled his tight-knit, Irish Catholic community. His favorite sign-off on the weekly TV show “Meet the Press” was “Go Bills!” It was the seal of his enduring support for his favorite football team. Singer and songwriter Ani DiFranco is also a “Nickel City” native (yet another one of Buffalo's many nicknames). Not too long ago she bought the former Asbury Delaware Methodist Church in downtown Buffalo, which was slated for demolition. She sank $10 million into renovations, and transformed it into Babeville, a multi-use performance hall, live music venue and the offices of Righteous Babe Records. It's also the current home of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.