East Central is in Buffalo.
Get in and aroundEdit
streets - mostly a grid pattern. Delavan, Ferry, Best/Walden are major east-west thoroughfares; Jefferson, Fillmore, Bailey are major north-south ones. Genesee Street is the exception as a diagonal radial leading straight to downtown.
Sycamore Street, East Utica, and Michigan Avenue too, but don't spend as much time on these - only short stretches of these streets are located in the district
expressways - the Kensington cuts a winding path through the heart of the neighborhood; easy access to various parts of the district via Grider St, Humboldt Pkwy, Best St, and (inbound traffic only) Jefferson Ave exits. If you're coming from Black Rock, Elmwood, or Parkside, Scajaquada interchange is in this area
parking - realistically never going to be a problem finding a spot. In Hamlin Park, 2 hour parking on Main Street south of Delavan in effect M-Sa 7AM-7PM; parking prohibited outright on Main north of Delavan and along Jefferson between Main & Delavan ...visitors to [Canisius College] campus should ask for a parking permit at the admissions office in Lyons Hall and then park in the lot in front of the building, or else find a spot on a side street. also 2 hour parking on Grider between the Kensington ramps and E Ferry, weekdays 7-7 If you're visiting the Erie County Medical Center in the middle of the week, either use the pay lot in the front of the hospital ($1/hour up to a maximum of $4/day; free for the first hour and 5PM-5AM) or park on one of the side streets on the other side of Grider, where spaces are generally easy to find.
By public transportationEdit
Public transit in Buffalo and the surrounding area is provided by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). The NFTA Metro system encompasses a single-line light-rail rapid transit (LRRT) system and an extensive network of buses. The fare for a single trip on a bus or train is $2.00 regardless of length. No transfers are provided between buses or trains; travelers who will need to make multiple trips per day on public transit should consider purchasing an all-day pass for $5.00.
The east-central portion of Buffalo is better served by public transit than any of Buffalo's other districts, doubtless due to the fact that neighborhood residents tend to be less well-off and are less likely to own their own vehicle than people from other areas of the city.
The district is traversed by a number of NFTA Metro bus routes:
To and from downtownEdit
NFTA Metro Bus #6 — Sycamore. Beginning at the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga, Bus #6 serves Genesee-Moselle via Walden Avenue and Sycamore Street. It ends its run at the Waterfront Village Apartments downtown.
NFTA Metro Bus #8 — Main. Beginning at the University Metro Rail Station, Bus #8 proceeds down Main Street through Hamlin Park, with service to both of the district's Metro Rail stations. It ends downtown.
NFTA Metro Bus #24 — Genesee. Beginning at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, Bus #24 proceeds through Genesee-Moselle and Humboldt Park via Genesee Street, with service to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. The route ends at the Buffalo-Exchange Street Amtrak Station downtown.
NFTA Metro Bus #12 — Utica. Beginning on the West Side, Bus #12 serves Humboldt Park via East Utica Street, Fillmore Avenue, French Street, and Kehr Street, then turning eastward at East Ferry Street to serve Genesee-Moselle. At Bailey Avenue, the bus turns northward and passes out of the district on the way to its terminus at the University Metro Rail Station.
NFTA Metro Bus #13 — Kensington. Beginning at the University Metro Rail Station, Bus #13 passes through Delavan-Grider on its route along Kensington Avenue, Grider Street, and East Ferry Street, with service to the Erie County Medical Center. Turning westward down East Ferry Street and from there southward on Main Street, the route proceeds through Hamlin Park before ending its run in Cold Spring at the Utica Metro Rail Station.
NFTA Metro Bus #19 — Bailey. Beginning at the University Metro Rail Station, Bus #19 passes down Bailey Avenue through Genesee-Moselle, ending in South Buffalo.
NFTA Metro Bus #22 — Porter-Best. Beginning on the West Side, Bus #22 proceeds along Best Street through Humboldt Park, with service to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park and the Buffalo Museum of Science. Continuing eastward along Walden Avenue, it passes through Genesee-Moselle and out of the district, ending ends at the Thruway Mall Transit Center in Cheektowaga.
NFTA Metro Bus #23 — Fillmore-Hertel. Beginning at the Black Rock-Riverside Transit Hub, Bus #23 proceeds along Fillmore Avenue through Humboldt Park, with service to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, before ending in South Buffalo.
NFTA Metro Bus #26 — Delavan. Beginning on the West Side, Bus #26 proceeds along East Delavan Avenue through Hamlin Park and Delavan-Grider, with service to the Delavan-Canisius College Metro Rail Station, before ending at the Thruway Mall Transit Center in Cheektowaga.
NFTA Metro Bus #29 — Wohlers. Serving Hamlin Park and Humboldt park, eastbound trips along the #29 meander through the district along Wohlers Avenue, Hager Street, and East Delavan Avenue (with service to the Deaconess Center via Riley Street, Humboldt Parkway, and Northampton Street), ending at the Delavan-Canisius College Metro Rail Station. Westbound trips continue further eastward down Delavan to Humboldt Parkway and Dodge Street before rejoining the above-described route at Wohlers Avenue. Bus #29 does not run Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.
By Metro RailEdit
The Metro Rail is an LRRT line that extends along Main Street from the University at Buffalo's South Campus southward to downtown, along the western border of the East Side. The Metro Rail serves as the backbone of Buffalo's public transit system, accessed directly by many bus routes. Like the buses, the fare for the Metro Rail is $2.00 ($4.00 round-trip); the $5.00 all-day passes available on Metro buses are also valid for the Metro Rail.
There are two Metro Rail stations in the district, both in Hamlin Park:
- 1 Humboldt-Hospital Station — Main Street at Humboldt Parkway.
- 2 Delavan-Canisius College Station — Main Street at East Delavan Avenue.
standard section lede, not much in the way of bike infrastructure especially if you're headed crosstown
On each side of Humboldt Parkway, there's one dedicated bike lane from Martin Luther King, Jr. Park north to East Delavan Avenue, but past there only the southwest side has one (the other side has been discontinuous since the Kensington Expressway was routed through here in 1960). To cross the expressway by bike, you can use the footbridge next to Northland Avenue or else take East Delavan, where the bike lane on the abbreviated northeast half of the parkway continues across the overpass to the other side.
in Humboldt Park, sharrows along Fillmore beginning at E Ferry become dedicated bike lanes once you reach MLK Park, they extend down into Broadway-Fillmore
There's also another connection from Martin Luther King Park to Broadway-Fillmore via sharrows on Herman Street
On a more positive note, Hamlin Park and Humboldt Park between them contain four of the five Reddy Bikeshare racks on the East Side. You'll find them in Hamlin Park...
- on the campus of Canisius College, at the rear of the Old Main Parking Lot on the north side of Hughes Avenue between Jefferson Avenue and Meech Street
- on the campus of Canisius College, on the east side of Main Street between Jefferson and West Delavan Avenues, on the side of Science Hall
...and in Humboldt Park...
- on the north side of Glenwood Avenue at the corner of Fillmore Avenue, on the side of the Alphonso "Rafi" Greene Masten Resource Center
- at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, on the east side of Humboldt Parkway north of Best Street, at the entrance to the Buffalo Museum of Science
Not a good idea. Fillmore Avenue business district north of MLK Park is the only section of the district that approaches walkability, but stick to daylight hours if you do so
- 1 Albright-Knox Northland, 612 Northland Ave. (Metro Bus 13, 23, and 26), ☏ . F noon-7PM, Sa-Su noon-5PM. Buffalo art lovers were understandably bummed at the announcement that the Albright-Knox's main campus in the Elmwood Village would be closed for two and a half years for a major expansion project, and that the museum's permanent collection would be inaccessible during that time. But that blow was softened by the news that the fire would be kept burning with a temporary satellite gallery housed in a restored warehouse in the burgeoning Northland Corridor that would play host to a full calendar of special exhibitions and events for the duration of construction. In addition to visual arts, Albright-Knox Northland also hosts performances as well as a full range of art classes suitable for all ages and skill levels; check their website for details on those. Admission is always Pay What You Wish.
- 2 Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Pkwy (Metro Bus 12, 22, 23, 24 or 29), ☏ , toll-free: . M-Su 10AM-4PM. Located in Olmsted's Martin Luther King, Jr., Park, the Buffalo Museum of Science is located in a lovely building built in 1929 by the prominent Buffalo architectural firm of Esenwein & Johnson. The emphasis of the Buffalo Museum of Science is on natural and physical sciences; items from its 700,000+ piece collection of specimens and artifacts, encompassing almost every conceivable aspect of the anthropology, botany, entomology, mycology, paleontology and zoology of Western New York and elsewhere, are on display in the Museum's galleries. The Buffalo Museum of Science also boasts interactive science studios and a National Geographic 3D Cinema, and operates the Tifft Nature Preserve, 264 acres (105ha) of reclaimed industrial land in South Buffalo. $9, seniors 62+ $8, ages 2-17, students, and military $7, museum members and children under 2 free.
- Kellogg Observatory. 30-minute viewing sessions held on the half hour, W 6:30PM-11PM. The Buffalo Museum of Science is also home to the city's only astronomical observatory. Reinaugurated in 2018 after nearly two decades of closure to the public due to needed repairs and updates, the Kellogg Observatory hosts guided viewing sessions, including looks through the restored Lundin telescope (now equipped with the latest in celestial mapping technology), helmed by the resident astronomy expert. Your visit to the observatory ends on the museum's new rooftop deck, where you can enjoy not only the "Buffalo in Space" science studio exhibit but also sweeping views of the downtown skyline.
there's really only one park worthy of note in the district, but it's a doozy
- 3 Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, North side of Best St. between E. Parade Ave. and Kensington Expressway (Metro Bus 6, 12, 22, 23, 24 or 29). The crown jewel of the East Side's parks is its representative in the roster of Buffalo's Olmsted network: the site of the Buffalo Museum of Science, the Humboldt Basin, a handsome rose garden, walking paths, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and pleasant greenery. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park was the first of Buffalo's Olmsted parks to open to the public, in 1872: called "The Parade" at first, it was designed to host military drills and other large gatherings, with the brightly colored Parade House as its centerpiece and Humboldt Parkway, the most magnificent of all the Olmsted parkways in Buffalo, linking it to the rest of the system. But the Parade was far from any military installations Buffalo had; to the consternation of Olmsted, the park instead became a gathering place for the Germans in the surrounding neighborhood, who disturbed his quiet pastoral vision for it with raucous oompah bands that played at the Parade House and neighborhood scamps damaging the grass with their roughhousing. To the rescue came Olmsted's two sons, the successors in his firm; their 1896 redesign curved Fillmore Avenue to discourage through traffic and added the Humboldt Basin, a lovely Lily Pond, and formal gardens. The Olmsted brothers renamed the park Humboldt Park, a name that was changed yet again in 1977 to its current one. Sadly, like most of the other elements of Buffalo's park system, the integrity of the Olmsteds' original design of the park sustained considerable damage over the course of the 20th Century: the Parade House is long-gone, part of its west edge was sacrificed in 1929 for the science museum, and there's a basketball court where the Lily Pond used to be. But the greatest indignity happened in 1960, when Humboldt Parkway was torn asunder to make way for the Kensington Expressway (see infobox at right). The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is hard at work righting those wrongs: the Humboldt Basin has already been renovated and reopened, the restoration of the Shelter House is ongoing, and plans are afoot to recreate the Lily Pond.
- 4 Humboldt Basin (West side of Fillmore Ave. in center of park; Metro Bus 22, 23 or 24). The centerpiece of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, the Humboldt Basin is a five-acre (2 ha) water feature of several functions: in the summer it serves as a "splash pad" where neighborhood kids can cool off and frolic underneath fountains of cool water that jet upwards from sprinklers embedded in the ground, in the winter it's an outdoor ice rink, and in the spring and fall it's a pleasant, peaceful reflecting pool. The Humboldt Basin was reconstructed and reopened in 2013 by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy; originally, it was part of the Olmsted brothers' 1896 redesign of what was then called Humboldt Park, an immense wading pool with a sand and clay bottom (later replaced with concrete) that had been dry and abandoned since the 1980s.
- 5 Martin Luther King Tribute Plaza (East side of Fillmore Ave. across from Humboldt Basin; Metro Bus 22, 23 or 24). Designed by sculptor John Wilson, the Martin Luther King Tribute Plaza was unveiled in October 1983, six years after the city made good on its longstanding promise to neighborhood residents to rename the erstwhile Humboldt Park in honor of the civil rights leader that's depicted in this eight-foot (2.5m) bronze bust portrait. The figure is sculpted in a somewhat idealized way; in the words of the artist, it was intended to "sum up the larger-than-life ideas" of Dr. King and capture his "inner meaning" rather than simply as a lifelike representation. Underneath the bust, on the side of the low stone wall that serves as its pedestal, is a bas-relief engraving of Dr. King at the podium at his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
- 6 Rose Garden (Just east of Buffalo Museum of Science; Metro Bus 12, 22, 23, 24 or 29). Hidden in plain sight on a quiet pedestrian walkway right next to the science museum is Martin Luther King, Jr. Park's rose garden: a small, cozy, tree-shaded oasis that was restored by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy where a variety of roses and other flowering plants bloom in season.
- 7 Hamlin Park Historic District. The United States' largest residential preservation district with a majority-black population, Hamlin Park is an attractive middle-class area that's listed on both the national and local historic registers — it's a triangle bounded by East Ferry Street on the south, Main Street on the northwest, and Humboldt Parkway on the northeast (the locally listed portion includes only what's east of Jefferson Avenue). The neighborhood is divided into two parts: the northern half is the older one, dating to about 1890, with curvilinear streets as an imitation of the Olmsted-designed streetscape in nearby Parkside. The southern half was the site of the Buffalo Driving Park, a racetrack owned by Cicero Hamlin (hence the neighborhood's name) that closed in 1912 and became a residential neighborhood thereafter, with the more-or-less gridiron street pattern that's common to the rest of the East Side. By the 1920s, the streets of Hamlin Park were filled with handsome pattern-book houses in the Craftsman, Bungalow, and American Foursquare styles, home to a population of middle-class Germans as well as Jews who migrated north from the Ellicott District. As well, in 1912, the new campus of Canisius College was built on Main Street and, over the next decades, came to dominate the northern half of the neighborhood. Today, despite the destruction of its main thoroughfare, Humboldt Parkway, Hamlin Park has preserved its historic integrity remarkably well: it has almost none of the abandonment, blight and vacant lots that plague other East Side areas. Its significance today for architecture buffs has more to do with the period streetscape as a whole rather than any individual building, though the Stone Farmhouse at 60 Hedley Place, dating to about 1850, is notable as one of only two such houses left within Buffalo's city limits.
Festivals and eventsEdit
section lede - MLK Park is a noteworthy East Side festival venue
- Juneteenth Festival. Springing from a commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas on June 19, 1865, Juneteenth is celebrated in the black community of the U.S. today as a holiday that signifies African-American pride and cultural heritage. Today, each June 19th sees Martin Luther King, Jr. Park host the nation's third-largest Juneteenth festival. Beginning with a parade that proceeds westward down Genesee Street from Moselle Street to the park, Buffalo's Juneteenth festival is a lively two-day celebration that includes demonstrations of traditional African and African-American art, music and dance, ethnic foods, crafts and wares, and activities for children.
- Masten District Jazz Festival. Held on the final two consecutive Sundays of June behind the Buffalo Museum of Science at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, the Masten District Jazz Festival is as homegrown as it gets: in a downhome, grassroots ambience you'll catch locally-based performers and bands whose playing features the distinct flavor of Buffalo jazz music (including James "Pappy" Martin, who founded the festival in 1996 and whose Love Supreme Jazz Orchestra plays every year). As well, a sprinkling of nationally-famous jazz performers stop by occasionally, plus other types of music (for instance, on the bill of the 2014 festival was Alassane Sarr, an African dancer and fourth-generation griot originally from Senegal). There are eight performances in all: four on each festival day.
- Pine Grill Reunion, ☏ . Though the Pine Grill closed some thirty years ago, the memories of the halcyon days of that Jefferson Avenue nightspot — when jazz greats like Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and Dizzy Gillespie played to packed houses — are sweet enough to have inspired the African-American Cultural Center to launch an annual jazz festival that bears its name. Much like the Masten District Jazz Festival, concerts take place at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park on consecutive Sunday evenings: in this case, the first two in August, beginning at 4PM sharp. The first week features nationally-famous acts, while the second week is all about the local jazz scene that's still going strong in Buffalo — and best of all, performances often feature the same old Hammond B3 organ that was once the centerpiece of the Pine Grill. Also, unlike the Masten District festival, food vendors are on hand (though you're welcome to BYO as well).
- Canisius Golden Griffins, 2001 Main St. (Metro Bus 8, 18, 26 or 29; Metro Rail: Delavan-Canisius College), ☏ . Canisius College is home to seventeen athletic teams whose games are huge draws for Buffalonians. The "Griffs" play Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball at the 1 Koessler Athletic Center on Main Street at East Delavan Avenue, while outdoor sports like soccer and lacrosse are held at the 2 Demske Athletic Complex a short distance away. Canisius' hockey team, a member of the Atlantic Hockey Conference, plays at the HarborCenter downtown. Tickets — which are affordably priced at $12 for hockey games, $10 for basketball, $7 for lacrosse, $5 for women's basketball, and free for all other sports — can be purchased at the ticket office at the Koessler Center on weekdays from 10AM-4PM.
- Humboldt Basin, ☏ (ext. 17 for ice conditions). Open M-F 1:30PM-5:30PM, Sa-Su noon-5:30PM; season runs Jan-Mar. In winter months, the beautiful reflecting pool/splash pad at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park is frozen over and opened to the public for old-fashioned pond skating. The rink is open on a weather-dependent basis. Best of all, skating and equipment rental (hockey or figure skates) are both free of charge.
Buffalo's third-largest institution of postsecondary education and its largest private one, 1 Canisius College's sprawling Main Street premises have, after a vigorous period of expansion over the past two decades, come to dominate the northwest part of Hamlin Park. Founded in 1870 by a group of German Jesuit priests and originally located next to St. Michael's Catholic Church downtown, the college's current location began as a satellite campus in the first decade of the 20th Century and quickly evolved into its main one. Canisius today is a highly-regarded educational institution where some 5,000 students earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in over a hundred different fields.
Clothing and accessoriesEdit
- 1 The 11th Hour, 1237 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ . Tu noon-5PM, W 11AM-5:30PM, Th-Su 11AM-9PM. Tucked away in an easy-to-miss storefront near Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, the motto at The 11th Hour is "Where Fashion Meets Style" — and the style in question is more urban than urban. On the pastel-pink racks at this nicely-decorate boutique you'll find a compendium of edgy, eye-popping, envelope-pushing pieces, each color brighter and each pattern louder than the next: these jeans, tops, bodysuits, shoes, and accessories are for those who want to make a real statement, and decidedly not for those who don't like to wear their clothes skintight. Personal styling services are also offered.
- 2 Signature Apparel & Footwear, 592 Walden Ave. (Metro Bus 6, 19 or 22), ☏ . Daily 9AM-11PM. Since 2009, this large Bailey Avenue clothing emporium has been a destination for urban athletic wear and street-level styles that are often preppier than other fashion boutiques on the East Side. At Signature you'll find a wide selection of shoes, as well as lots of name brands: Polo, Timberland, Champion, New Era, and Levi's are only some of them.
With a vibrant Muslim community clustered along Fillmore Avenue north of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, Humboldt Park is a great place to stock up on fresh halal meats and other ethnic fare.
- 3 Camellia Meats, 1333 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 12, 22 or 24), ☏ . M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-3PM. Camellia Meats was born in 1935, and it's still run by the third generation of the Cichocki family, who sell a full line of over fifty fresh-cut meats both here and at their Broadway Market outlet — not only the kiszka, kabanossy, and award-winning Polish sausage with which they've made their name, but multitudinous mouth-watering cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and fish, deli meats and cheeses, and a small selection of fresh produce and prepared foods.
- Desi Khabba, 898 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ . Daily 9AM-7PM. Desi Khabba is best known as home of some truly out-of-this-world halal takeout, but if you'd rather try your hand at making your own version of this delicious cuisine, have no fear: they stock everything you need, from fresh meats to vegetables to an amazing selection of spices, plus hummus and tahini, fresh pita bread, delicious fruit juices, frozen foods, and more. You can even find traditional Muslim clothing such as hijabs and abayat here.
- 4 Friends Bangla Grocery, 1340 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 12, 13, 23 or 29), ☏ . M-Tu 9AM-9:30PM, W 9AM-10:30PM, Th & Sa 10AM-10:30PM, F 9AM-9PM, Su 10AM-9PM. It may not have the supermarket sheen of Buy Fresh a couple doors down, but don't count Friends out of the equation: if for some reason you can't find what you're looking for there, this modest-sized storefront boasts an environment that's almost as clean, shelves that are almost as well-organized, and a selection that's almost as vast (yes, that includes the produce and butcher meat). That goes double if you're in the market for fresh seafood. Best of all, everything here is 100% halal, and sold with a friendly smile (not for nothing the name of the place).
- 5 Jawani Market, 1426 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 12, 13 or 23), ☏ . Located on Fillmore Avenue in Humboldt Park, Jawani is a halal grocery store and bakery that carries a modest selection of Middle Eastern specialty foods — with an accent on halal meats such as goat, lamb, chicken and fish — alongside an otherwise bodegalike selection of candy, snacks, cold pop, cigarettes, and the like. Fresh produce is also sold.
- 6 Pickles & Peppers, south end of Gittere St. (Metro Bus 6 or 22). Farm stand open Sa noon-4PM in season. Situated on a six-acre (2.5 ha) plot near the border of Genesee-Moselle and Broadway-Fillmore shared with Farmer Pirates' central composting facility, the name of the game at Pickles & Peppers is a range of hot peppers and other vegetables sold fresh, dried, pickled, and prepared into a wide range of artisanal hot sauces at a seasonally-operated farm stand on Gittere Street. You can also pick up fruits from the orchard located on the same site: several dozen heirloom apple, cherry, and pear trees as well as berry bushes do double duty as a haven for area wildlife.
- 7 Shwe Tan Lwin Burmese Grocery, 778 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 18, 24 or 29), ☏ . Daily 10AM-8PM. If you're looking for Southeast Asian groceries but aren't inclined to head to the West Side, head down to Shwe Tan Lwin, but don't expect to find a selection anything like at Á Châu or Vineeta — the inventory at this modest-sized shop in Humboldt Park doesn't range far beyond an adequate but uninspiring selection of shelf-stable Asian packaged groceries such as dried vegetables, hot sauces, cooking oils, spice blends, and canned and bottled drinks. Aside from that, if you're just in the market for some bodega snacks or cold pop, they've got you covered there as well.
- 8 Walden Halal Groceries, 57 Walden Ave. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ . W-M 11AM-8PM. Featuring a mix of ethnic specialty groceries from the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent that prominently includes a range of superior-quality hand-slaughtered halal meats available directly to customers or sold wholesale to area restaurants. If you have a specific order in mind, you can even deliver it to the store via text and they'll have it waiting for you when you arrive. Walden Halal also sells fresh produce, an impressive variety of spices, and bodega fare such as snacks, candy, and cold drinks. Keep in mind, though, that the store closes during Friday prayers, and customer service is limited by the staff's tenuous grasp of English.
- 9 Zubaidah Halal Meat & Grocery, 59 Walden Ave. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ . Daily 10AM-10PM. From the outside, this little place in Humboldt Park looks like the perfect spot to pick up a cold pop, candy bar or salty snack — and indeed, if you're in the market for something like that, you won't be disappointed. But Zubaidah is much more than just another corner bodega. The accent among the international selection of groceries touted on the sign out front is on halal Middle Eastern and South Asian meats and fish, spices, and a modest selection of fresh produce. Zubaidah is also a source for clothing, including both Western and traditional Muslim garb.
Furniture and home decorEdit
- 10 The Guild @ 980, 980 Northampton St. (Metro Bus 12, 22 or 24), ☏ . Tu, F & Sa 9AM-4PM. The Guild @ 980 is operated by ReUse Action, whose raison d'être is salvaging construction materials, architectural elements, and furnishings from soon-to-be-demolished homes, refurbishing them, and offering them up for resale, thus preserving the old-school craftsmanship of the original items while simultaneously conserving raw materials and preventing waste from building up in landfills. If you're not in the middle of a home construction project, you can still peruse a pretty nifty selection of antique furniture and home decor — or check out the small art gallery on the third floor.
- 11 Maasai Consignment Boutique, 208 E. Delavan Ave. (Metro Bus 18, 26 or 29; Metro Rail: Delavan-Canisius College), ☏ . Tu-F noon-7PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Despite its name, the gently used furniture and home goods on offer here are sourced not only from consignment but also from estate sales, making for a diverse mix of very unusual and high-quality items. More than that, though, what's notable about Maasai is the community focus of co-owners Michelle Matthews and Janaine Gates, which comes out in myriad ways: from their decision to take a chance on their own neighborhood of Hamlin Park which many small business owners avoid, to their donation of a portion of their profits to St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, to good old-fashioned friendly service.
- 12 Hobby Boyz, 838 E. Delavan Ave. (Metro Bus 13 or 26), ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-9PM. As the name implies, the accent here is on supplies for hobbyists: the selection of remote-control cars and airplanes, scale-model hobby kits, and the like holds its own with any other outlet in the area. But that's far from the end of the story: if what you're aiming for is something a bit more active, Hobby Boyz is also an authorized dealer and repairer of Razor brand scooters and accessories, and you'll also find skateboards, dirt bikes, Minimoto bikes, ATVs, and pretty much anything else you can think of on wheels, along with a full line of car audio equipment, designer clothes, video games, DVDs, hair-care products, bodega snacks, and pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.
Soul food and barbecue, barbecue and soul food — if downhome Southern cuisine is what you crave, you'll find it here in the heart of the East Side.
- 1 Desi Khabba Halal Restaurant, 898 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ . Daily 9AM-7PM. Featuring some of the best takeout halal food you'll find in Western New York: a range of Middle Eastern and South Asian dishes including chicken, goat and lamb curries, biryani, and even halal pizza ladled out for you from steam trays for some jaw-droppingly low prices. Mohsin, the owner, is a friendly, larger-than-life character who imbues the place with a boisterous spirit that's light-years from the taciturn surliness of other halal food store personnel. And if you'd rather stock up on ingredients for your own halal cooking, that's an option as well. $10-15.
- 2 G&B Fish, Shrimp and Chicken, 1532 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 12, 22 or 24), ☏ . M-W 11AM-10:30PM, Th-Sa 11AM-12:30AM. Hearty, homestyle comfort food is what the titular fish, shrimp, and chicken get fashioned into at this neighborhood-favorite takeout joint. On the short but sweet menu at G&B chicken wings and fingers, burgers, and huge sloppy steak hoagies all have their place, but what customers really flock here for is the fish fry: a big ol' slab of your choice of haddock, catfish, or ocean perch breaded, fried up golden brown, and served alongside mounds of fresh-cut French fries and coleslaw; a steal at $11. Customer service is a bit spotty, but the food itself never disappoints. $10-25.
- Happy Swallow, 1349 Sycamore St. (Metro Bus 6 or 22), ☏ . F 3PM-8PM. Six days of the week, the Happy Swallow enjoys a placid existence as an old-school neighborhood gin mill. But on Friday evenings only, the kitchen opens up and visitors flock in to enjoy hearty, homestyle Polish dinners at prices that take you back almost as many years as the Happy Swallow itself. Fish fry is the main attraction — either yellow pike or traditional haddock, either breaded or battered — and it's really good. If that's not your thing, try fried shrimp or scallops, or a grand seafood platter that includes both of those plus a half-serving of fish, or pierogies with cheese, sauerkraut or potato. $10-20.
- 3 Ike & BG's Ribs, 1646 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 12, 19 or 24), ☏ . Tu & Sa 11AM-8PM, F 11AM-11PM. Ike's is just a tiny little takeout joint on a desolate stretch of Genesee Street that's only open three days a week, but the Southern-style barbecue fare they dish out is so good that it'd be unthinkable to leave them out of this article. In case you couldn't figure it out from the name of this place, at Ike & BG's the name of the game is ribs — meaty, mouthwatering half- and full racks of pork ribs come slathered with a super-spicy hot barbecue sauce that "will burn your soul", in the words of one especially feisty reviewer. There's also dinner specials of fried or barbecued chicken, barbecue fish, steak hoagies, and more. And don't forget the mac and cheese, coleslaw, and other stick-to-your-ribs (no pun intended!) sides. $10-25.
- 4 Ms. Goodies, 1836 Bailey Ave. (Metro Bus 6, 19 or 22), ☏ . M-W & Sa 7AM-2:30PM, Th-F & Su 8AM-7PM. The specialty that put Ms. Goodies on the map is something they call the "junkyard dog", which is a hard concept to wrap your head around at first — sort of a cross between a hot dog, a taco, and a fish fry, this odd concoction consists of a fried haddock filet, French fries, and coleslaw slathered with hot sauce and stuffed into a flour tortilla — yet delicious enough to have won multiple awards at the Taste of Buffalo. Aside from that, the menu sports a Southern bent: breakfast features delicious Southern-style chicken and waffles, while on Friday nights you can indulge in a after a soul-food take on Buffalo fish fry. $10-20.
- 5 Trini's Tropical, 1632 Jefferson Ave. (Metro Bus 8, 13, 18, 26 or 29; Metro Rail: Delavan-Canisius College), ☏ . M-F 11AM-5PM, Sa noon-6PM. For those familiar with island cuisine, Trini's small menu doesn't contain any surprises: curry chicken, jerk wings, and oxtail are the best-loved options, but you can also get brown stew chicken, a variety of different roti, and Jamaican patties with beef or chicken. Everything comes with heaping sides of steamed cabbage and red beans and rice, and uniquely among area Caribbean restaurants, the staff can adjust the level of spiciness to your taste. Trini's ambience is strictly no-frills — food is served in Styrofoam trays and eaten with plastic silverware — but the staff is as friendly as can be, and the sweet strains of classic soca and calypso music complete the picture.
- 6 Mattie's, 1412 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 12, 13 or 23), ☏ . M & W 8AM-3PM; Tu & F 8AM-6PM; Th, Sa & Su 8AM-4PM. The two big mottos of this Fillmore Avenue hole-in-the-wall are "the best breakfast in Buffalo" and "great soul food you'll have to taste to believe", and true to their word, those things are what Mattie's does best. In the morning eggs come served with your choice of breakfast meat plus grits and home fries on the side, as well as breakfast sandwiches, pancakes and waffles, corned beef hash, and more; at lunchtime the focus shifts to hearty Southern-fried specialties like mac & cheese, fried catfish, collard greens, and some of the most delectable fried chicken you've ever tasted. The downfalls of this place are the prices, which are way higher than the competition, and the service, which is often taciturn and surly. Folks have been known to get overcharged here, too, so beware. $15-30.
- 7 Buy Fresh Halal Foods, 1350 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 12, 13, 23 or 29), ☏ . Daily 9AM-10PM. South Asian specialty foodstuffs are not exactly hard to find on today's East Side, but rarely do you find them sold amidst the brightly-lit, spic-and-span ambience of a bona fide supermarket. If you're looking for staple grains and dried legumes, spices, or nonperishable packaged groceries, you'll certainly find aisle after aisle of them at Buy Fresh, but there's also a range of fresh Subcontinental produce you won't find practically anywhere else in the area, as well as a butcher counter selling house-cut meat. All for prices a good sight lower than the corner-store competition.
- 8 Community Food & Meat Market, 535 Walden Ave. (Metro Bus 6, 19 or 22), ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 8AM-8PM.
- 9 Dollar General, 663 E. Ferry St. (Metro Bus 12, 13 or 23), ☏ . Daily 8AM-8PM.
- 10 Dollar General, 1055 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ . Daily 8AM-8PM.
- 11 Family Dollar, 738 E. Delavan Ave. (Metro Bus 13 or 26), ☏ . Daily 8AM-10PM.
- 12 Family Dollar, 1185 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ . Daily 8AM-10PM.
- 13 Super Price Choppers, 1580 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 12, 22 or 24), ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-11PM, Su 8AM-10:30PM.
- 14 ECMC Farmers' Market at Grider, 351 Grider St. (In the parking lot across from Erie County Medical Center just south of Litchfield Avenue; Metro Bus 13 or 26), ☏ . F 10AM-3PM, Jun-Oct. In the midst of the "food desert" of the East Side, where the nearest supermarket is often miles away and the poor often subsist on what they can get from the corner bodega, fresh produce is often hard to come by. From a health-care perspective, that's bad news — hence the reason the Erie County Medical Center launched this neighborhood farmer's market. Much more than just a half-dozen or so vendors of fresh produce, prepared foods, and artisanal goods, the ECMC Farmers' Market is also a place for fun and educational events with an overarching theme of promoting a healthy lifestyle — tai chi demonstrations, dance and cooking classes, even seed swaps for those who want to try their hand at gardening.
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- 15 Bonetti's, 697 Walden Ave. (Metro Bus 6, 19 or 22), ☏ . M-Sa 3PM-11PM.
- 16 Buffalo Pizza Company, 1769 Main St. (Metro Bus 8, 18, 26 or 29; Metro Rail: Delavan-Canisius College), ☏ . M-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 11AM-10PM.
- 17 Bailey-N-Doat Pizza, 2028 Bailey Ave. (Metro Bus 6, 12, 19, 22 or 24), ☏ . M-Sa 4PM-midnight.
- 18 Jeoni's, 1085 E. Ferry St. (Metro Bus 12 or 13), ☏ . M-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-3AM.
- 1 Earl's Bar & Grill, 39 Walden Ave. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ .
- 2 4th Quarter Sports Bar & Grill, 1077 E. Ferry St. (Metro Bus 12 or 13).
- 3 Ginny's Place, 1149 E. Ferry St. (Metro Bus 12, 13 or 19), ☏ .
- 4 Happy Swallow, 1349 Sycamore St. (Metro Bus 6 or 22), ☏ . The experience at the Happy Swallow was once a common one in Buffalo but is getting harder and harder to find nowadays: in the words of Forgotten Buffalo Tours, it's "a rare survivor of the 'family-owned tavern' era" on the East Side where longtime owner Tommy Golinowski pours tall cold ones for a dwindling population of regulars in a homey, wood-paneled interior that's as old-school as it gets. And on Friday night, you can use those ice-cold brewskis to wash down an equally old-school food menu of Polish-American specialties.
- 5 LaPearlaboo's, 862 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ .
- 6 Legacy Lounge, 1261 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 12, 22 or 23), ☏ .
- 7 The New Humboldt Inn, 347 E. Delavan Ave. (Metro Bus 23, 26 or 29), ☏ .
- 8 Nibletts Corner Bar, 553 High St. (Metro Bus 6, 18, 22, 24 or 29), ☏ .
- 9 E. M. Tea Coffee Cup Café, 80 Oakgrove Ave. (Metro Bus 8, 26 or 29; Metro Rail: Humboldt-Hospital), ☏ . M-W 7:30AM-6PM, Th-F 7:30AM-7PM, Sa 8AM-4PM, Su 9AM-2PM. It's tucked away on a quiet side street in Hamlin Park and has been described as a "neighborhood corner cafe of some amorphic past decade", so naturally if you're looking for a relaxed and low-key ambience, E. M. Tea does the trick. The coffee selection is not the widest in the world, but it's reliably delicious, specialty brews are featured from time to time, and the price is more than fair; the more extensive food menu includes breakfast sandwiches on house-baked croissants plus hearty diner-style fare at lunchtime (and don't miss the jerk chicken soup). But E. M. Tea is probably best known as the cradle of Buffalo's tight-knit poetry scene, a tradition carried on at monthly open-mic nights every third Saturday.
where's the nearest? (Cheektowaga, probably)
nearest post offices Broadway-Fillmore & Central Park
nearest libraries Merriweather & East Delavan Branch
JEFFREE WiFi - Hamlin Park, Jefferson Ave north to Delavan - use different verbiage than in the NES article
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- 2 Erie County Medical Center, 462 Grider St. (Metro Bus 13 or 26), ☏ . The Erie County Medical Center has a history that stretches back to 1902, when the city government founded it under the name Buffalo Municipal Hospital to treat victims of a smallpox epidemic. It moved from East Ferry Street to its current location ten years later, kicking off a vigorous campaign of expansion under the leadership of Dr. Edward Meyer, and took on its present name after its operations were taken over by Erie County in the 1970s. Today, ECMC is the largest single hospital in Buffalo, with 602 inpatient beds, and is an important teaching facility for UB Medical School, with many faculty members doubling as doctors and other caregivers. ECMC is Western New York's designated treatment center for trauma care and HIV/AIDS treatment, and is also renowned for its specialization in transplantation, burn care, mental health services, and rehabilitation.
Laundry and dry cleaningEdit
- 3 East Ferry Coin Laundry, 1057 E. Ferry St. (Metro Bus 12 or 13), ☏ . Daily 8AM-8PM.
- 4 Hobson's Drive-In Cleaners, 874 E. Delavan Ave. (Metro Bus 13 or 26), ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-8PM.
- 5 Nino's Cleaners, 1345 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 12, 13, 23 or 29), ☏ . M-Tu & Th-Sa 9AM-5:30PM.
Places of worshipEdit
There are dozens upon dozens of African-American churches on the East Side, ranging from small congregations that meet in converted houses or storefronts to huge megachurches whose pastors are among the most prominent figures in the Buffalo black community. It would be impossible to list all of them in this article. Here are a few of the most important ones.
- 6 Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1327 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 12, 13 or 23), ☏ . Services Su 10:45AM. Pastor William Bunton is the minister of this congregation whose rousing services provide a warm, loving, and welcoming environment for all. Services are held in the huge, copper-topped former home of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church on Fillmore Avenue in Humboldt Park, which you can read more about in Wikivoyage's Historic Churches of Buffalo's East Side itinerary.
- 7 Faith Missionary Baptist Church, 626 Humboldt Pkwy. (Metro Bus 13, 23, 26 or 29), ☏ . Services Su 9AM. The friendly community of Faith Missionary Baptist Church has been led since 1981 by Pastor James R. Banks, who is much more than just a minister: this pillar of the local community has not only ably stewarded his congregation, expanding and modernizing his church campus, but has also partnered with local not-for-profits and the city and county governments to establish educational, housing, and community service programs to benefit all residents of the East Side. His church on Humboldt Parkway is the site of frequent fellowship meetings, potluck dinners, and other events to engage his flock and others far beyond Sunday mornings. The red neon cross that lights up Humboldt Parkway from the entrance may be unmistakably Christian, but the building that houses Faith Baptist started out as the nucleus of the early-20th Century Hamlin Park Jewish community: this was where Temple Beth David met until 1955. It's a handsome, beige brick building erected in 1924 in a style that mixes the Neoclassical with the Georgian Revival: the baskethandle arches atop the stained glass windows on the sides testify to the former, while the latter is represented by a huge Palladian stained-glass window above the entrance that still boasts a proud Star of David in white and blue.
- 8 Fellowship World Church, 878 Humboldt Pkwy. (Metro Bus 12, 13, 23 or 29), ☏ . Services Su 10:30AM. This dynamic congregation is led by Pastor John Young, a veteran leader of a number of black churches who styles himself "The Comeback Kid". After selling their building in Midtown — a facility most famous for housing the WKBW television studios for the first couple of decades of the station's existence — Fellowship World found its new home in Humboldt Park, at the handsome brick Gothic edifice built in 1895 for the Emmanuel Evangelical Reformed Church. However, the same as before, in addition to church services and a myriad of community programs Fellowship Christian Center also operates the Totally Gospel Radio Network, which broadcasts locally on WFWO 89.7 FM.
- 9 True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St. (Metro Bus 12, 13 or 23), ☏ . Services Su 7:45AM, 9:30AM & 11AM. Without question, True Bethel Baptist Church is the preeminent African-American religious congregation in Buffalo — and without question, its pastor, the Rev. Darius Pridgen, is the city's most powerful black preacher, serving also as a philanthropist (the church operates numerous charities including a food pantry, thrift shop, emergency housing service, and vocational rehabilitation for the homeless), preservationist (his financial backing was instrumental in the restoration of the old Michigan Street Baptist Church), forceful mouthpiece for the African-American community in Buffalo, and, since 2011, in the city government as president of the Buffalo Common Council. True Bethel is actually three churches in one, with two locations in Buffalo and one in Niagara Falls, but it's the East Ferry Street location that's the biggest — a huge megachurch the size of a Walmart, with an attached Subway sandwich shop and room for almost five thousand worshippers, the massive scale of this place is a perfect reflection of the outsize stature of its head honcho. The three services held here every Sunday are energetic, empowering, and speak to the contemporary concerns of modern-day African-Americans and Christians in general. And don't worry if you can't make it down for one of them — you can also listen to services live on the radio on WUFO 1080 AM, or watch them on Spectrum Cable channel 20 or streaming on the Web.
- 10 St. Martin de Porres RC Church, 555 Northampton St. (Metro Bus 12, 18, 22 or 29), ☏ . Mass Su 8AM & 9:30AM, Tu-Th noon. From the 1990s through today, the story of the Catholic churches on the inner East Side was one of shrinking congregations and of churches closing and merging with each other. St. Martin de Porres is one of the East Side's first "blended churches" — a merger of St. Matthew in Genesee-Moselle, Our Lady of Lourdes in Midtown, St. Boniface in the Fruit Belt, and St. Benedict the Moor in Cold Spring — and it's unique among them in that the merger came at the request of the parishes, rather than being imposed on them by the Diocese. When the building they call home today was dedicated by Bishop Henry Mansell in 2000, it was the first new Catholic church in 50 years to be built within the city limits. Another way St. Martin de Porres is unique is as Buffalo's only majority-black Catholic church, and among the ways it tailors its ministry to the worship culture it serves is with a rousing gospel choir headed since the parish's inception by the inimitable Ella Robinson, as well as an African-American Catholic Gospel Music Resource and Recording Center slated for the Parish Center they plan to build on their Humboldt Park campus.
section lede; more of these than you'd expect?
- 11 Grace United Church of Christ, 875 E. Delavan Ave. (Metro Bus 13 or 26), ☏ . Services Su 10AM. The church formerly known as Grace Reformed Church has been a mainstay in Delavan-Grider for over a century: the congregation still worships in its original brick Carpenter Gothic building erected in 1915. Today, Pastor Larry Jackson leads Sunday services that are friendly and imbued with a positive and uplifting message, and continues the tradition of community engagement that's been one of Grace's trademarks from the start: potluck dinners, lively choir concerts, and other events are frequent and well-attended.
- 12 Hananiah Lutheran Church, 900 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 22, 23 or 24), ☏ . Services Su 1PM. Affiiliated with the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, Hananiah is a new congregation that's led by Reverend Kenyatta Cobb, who doubles as a chaplain for the Buffalo Police Department and the Erie County Medical Center. Since 2007, they've been based in the former A. L. Weber Furniture Store on Genesee Street in Humboldt Park, with services whose style blends respect for tradition with innovations that speak to modern Christians. Hananiah Lutheran Church is a small congregation, but it boasts an outsize commitment to community service — their food pantry serves the neighborhood Monday through Thursday — and an ethnically diverse makeup.
- 13 Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, 641 Masten Ave. (Metro Bus 8, 13, 18, 26 or 29; Metro Rail: Delavan-Canisius College), ☏ . Services Su 9AM & 11AM. Lincoln Memorial UMC is a handsome stone church in the English Gothic style, built in 1921 for the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church and situated in a verdant milieu in Hamlin Park. At Lincoln, not only does the congregation bend over backwards to welcome and accommodate newcomers, but Pastor George Nicholas is uncommonly talented at crafting sermons whose messages cut across all types of people and walks of life to touch all hearts. There's even a coffee hour after services.
- 14 Metropolitan United Methodist Church, 657 Best St. (Metro Bus 22, 23, 24 or 29), ☏ . Services Su 10:30AM. Much the same as St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church just on the other side of Humboldt Parkway, the story of Metropolitan UMC is one of five struggling, shrinking inner-city congregations — St. Andrew's, Bithynia, Good Shepherd, Masten Community, and Otterbein — pooling their resources and merging together to keep the flame of their faith alive in the midst of a changing neighborhood. The building, erected in 1981 on the site of the demolished Humboldt Square Evangelical Church (later temporary home to predecessor congregation Good Shepherd), is a handsome building in a modernist style; the congregation is small and tight-knit yet friendly and welcoming; the services are helmed weekly by Pastor Angela Stewart.
- 15 St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 18 Sussex St. (Metro Bus 13 or 26), ☏ . Services Su 9:30AM & W 12:05PM. Though you'd never know it from its low-key reputation, St. Philip's is one of the East Side's most historic churches: founded in 1861, it is one of the district's oldest extant congregations, and was the first (and is still the only) majority-black congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York. They worshiped for years on Goodell Street in the Fruit Belt before their building fell victim to urban renewal in 1974, and their current home is the former St. Clement's Episcopal Church in Delavan-Grider. Services at St. Philip's blend the traditionally Episcopalian with twists that speak to the African-American identity of its members — for example, there's both a traditional and a gospel choir — and St. Philip's is also the home church of the local chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians. There are two services a week led by the dynamic Rev. Gloria Payne-Carter.
- 16 Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 185 Kensington Ave. (Metro Bus 8 or 23; Metro Rail: Humboldt-Hospital), ☏ . Services Su 10AM & 1PM.
- 17 Islamic Da'Wah Center of Buffalo, 1522 Genesee St. (Metro Bus 6, 12, 22 or 24), ☏ . A Salafi mosque and community center located in a storefront in the heart of Genesee-Moselle, the Islamic Da'Wah Center of Buffalo hosts all prayers except formal jum'a for a multicultural congregation.
- 18 Masjid Darus-Salaam, 75 E. Parade Ave. (Metro Bus 22, 23 or 24). Masjid Darus-Salaam is located in Humboldt Park, in a converted house on a quiet side street next to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park — look for the smallish sign hanging from the porch on the second floor. The building may look small at first, but it's got enough space for about 75 people for jum'a as well as an extensive library of Qu'ran translations, hadith collections, and other Islamic literature available for study. In addition to Friday services, Darus-Salaam also hosts a wide variety of other prayer meetings, religious education courses, and activities on a seven-day-a-week basis.
- 19 Masjid Nu'Man, 1373 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 12, 13, 23 or 29), ☏ . Among the oldest mosques in Buffalo, Nu'Man is a primarily African-American congregation that meets in a space on the second floor of a brown-brick commercial building in the heart of Humboldt Park. Friday jum'a (in the Sunni tradition) is attended by a vibrant, loving congregation that's well-known for its engagement in community betterment in a myriad of different ways, while on Sunday mornings Islamic studies classes are offered for both children and adults.
figure this out