Well we’ve been using Instagram almost daily to promote local stores to support while checking items off of your Christmas list. Covering Elmwood and Hertel and Downtown. Within all of that, it is Grant Street that has held a special place in our hearts this season and since we started Rise and began writing about a changing West Side when our website launched. Grant Street and the West Side have transformed not because of a major developer stepping in. Instead, it’s been thanks to community activism, hard work and ambition. Tomorrow, Thursday, is Peace, Love & Grant Street. It’s an opportunity to embrace how diverse our city has become thanks to immigrants, refugees, west-siders who never left their neighborhood, and young professionals who are taking up residence and opening up shop there as well. We have the most diverse zip code in the New York State and you can meet people from all over the world tomorrow night and every day of the year. We’ll be at Public Espresso’s Pop Up Shop and hope to see you out perusing the street.Our friend Elizabeth Kuttesch of Buffalo State’s Community Academic Center, has put together a poem for your enjoyment, and took her students on a photo tour of Grant earlier this week to accompany her words. Let’s party Thursday night!

Peace Love and Grant St.
‘Tis early December in glorious Buffalo
And shoppers are looking for places to goThey love spending time on Hertel and Elmwood
But would like to try somewhere new if they could

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The West Side is growing and changing each day
And Grant Street has some great businesses, they say

Come show your support on Thursday this week
The stores will be stocked with the gifts you may seek

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Come join in the fun from 4 until 8 o’clock
Pop-ups and activities will be lining the blocks

So hitch a ride on the trolley from Buffalo State
And take parking hassles off of your plate.

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Parents, bring your kids to a fun petting zoo
With music and carols, (and maybe Santa, too!)

Grab a meal from your favorite food truck first,
then the Gypsy Parlor will judge whose sweater is worst

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Enjoy the community’s international flair
And get inspired by the holiday spirit in the air

We can’t imagine a better neighborhood treat,
Than this year’s exciting Peace, Love, and Grant Street

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Elizabeth Kuttesch
Education Coordinator
SUNY Buffalo State
Community Academic Center
214 Grant Street
Buffalo, NY 14213