Saturday, June 8, 2013

Five Points

Whole wheat cinnamon bun & iced coffee
Two weeks ago I checked off a very specific item on my bucket list. I had been to Five Points Bakery, and its neighbor Urban Roots, several times. Everyone kept saying, though, that I had to have one of their cinnamon buns, and by the time I ever made it over there they were sold out for the day. It seemed too small a thing to drive half an hour for early on a weekend morning, so I went more than 3 years periodically thinking "I should try that."

The first weekend after we moved, I vowed to hunt down the elusive cinnamon bun. My trip to the bakery now takes about 4 minutes by car...a dangerous development for my wallet. I ordered a famous cinnamon bun and iced coffee, and sat down to read Edible Buffalo and soak in the atmosphere. The cinnamon bun was definitely fantastic, but a lot smaller than I had pictured. 

The view from my seat
A few days before my visit, Five Points had won "Best Bakery" in the write-in "Best of Buffalo" Artvoice contest. They have won that award every year since they opened four years ago, despite there being plenty of good bakeries in Buffalo (they got my vote!). 

It's easy to see why - they are committed to local and ethical practices and are doing great things in the neighborhood, all while making fantastic bread and treats. They are also technically a "Toast Cafe" - they have fantastic meals of creative toppings on toast. That will have to wait for another trip.

Recycling station at Urban Roots
I happened to need some larger pots to re-pot my windowsill herbs into, so I stopped by Urban Roots after I was finished. They have a fantastic recycling program where they put any discarded pots into a bin and anyone is able to come and take whatever they need. 

It's especially helpful for the refugees making the lower Westside their home, and has allowed them to easily share cuttings of traditional plants with each other. When I was leading a garden project with clients last year, we took a trip to Urban Roots to get our supplies and the plants that we weren't growing from seed.

Marigold & blue lobelia, in a recycled pot

I spent a long while that day wandering through their plants out back and picking out a few to bring home. Their space is lush and colorful, enhanced by metal sculptures and creative decorating.

I ended up choosing a marigold because, as an unofficially-adopted Nepali sister, my home wouldn't be complete without one. I also picked some lobelia for the contrasting color and in homage to a past obsession of mine. Points to you if you know which great work of English literature from the 20th century involves lobelia.

This trip was the ideal way to start my day, and I'm so happy to be in a place that makes it easy to do. I feel like I have already done more in three weeks of living in the city limits than I did in three years of living out in Amherst.

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