“Canalside” Yoga and Ulrich’s Tavern (Not on the Same Day)

So, life has been a little whacky. Lots of moving pieces, all at different times of the day, week, month. I haven’t been on my best productive behavior, getting out like I’d like to. Fortunately, I have had time for a few fun things!

First, let’s talk about Ulrich’s 1868 Tavern. It’s called the 1868 Tavern because that’s when it opened, making it the oldest tavern in Buffalo, operating for more than 50,000 consecutive days before it closed down. The truth is, I’m not sure when it closed exactly because I wasn’t here, but from what I understand, ownership shifted, and Ulrich’s was spiffed up and renovated. They recently reopened their doors in the same historical location, at 674 Ellicott St. in Buffalo- the heart of the blossoming Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

First of all, the last time I set foot on the BNMC, it was looking a lot less put together. When I worked down there once upon a time, it was less than aesthetically appealing, and not nearly as packed with actual human beings. Now, there are flowers and landscaping and a general sense that things are happening. I dig it.

When I walked into Ulrich’s, the first thing I noticed was the long, polished bar. I’m pretty sure that was there before, but I’ve only actually eaten there once or twice in the past. To the right was a beautiful addition that actually looked like more of a solarium. The hostess asked if I wanted to sit in the “something” room, which means that area is now cool enough to have a name, I just can’t remember what that name is. I opted for a seat in the good old fashioned “old section,” for historical sake.

For lunch, the menu seemed smaller than I remember, but featured everything you need: staples like beef on weck, soups and salads, and of course, delicious German fare. I’m a believer of being in Germany and doing as the Germans do, etc., so I ordered the Oktoberfest plate, featuring various sausages, homemade sauerkraut and German potato salad. I’m sure the guy I was meeting with in a professional capacity whom I’d never met before didn’t think it was weird at all. The message is- get the Oktoberfest, or any of the other German specialty dishes. Everything that I sampled was great- ESPECIALLY the sauerkraut. So flavorful, and there was BACON in it, so why are we even discussing this? Next time, if I was consuming empty carbohydrates, I’d definitely try the potato pancakes. The new Ulrich’s gets two thumbs up.

Later in time, long after I had a chance to digest my plate of sausage, I finally got myself and two of my lovely friends over to Canalside for Saturday morning yoga. Hosted by Power Yoga Buffalo, it’s a free event that has run all summer, and I think it’s pretty fabulous to get a group of people outdoors to Namaste together. The day we chose happened to be the same day as The Color Run (which I secretly hate, I’m sorry,) so I was kind of annoyed. I’m all for 5Ks and raising money for good things, but please don’t ask me to do a color run with you. I won’t. I don’t like being suffocated by colored chemicals while I heave and gasp my way through a race, thank you.

Anyways, because of TCR, we were moved away from Canalside over to the front lawn of the newly constructed Marriott. This created a few alternate scenarios that I imagine the regular yoga goers haven’t had to deal with previous weeks. One: a slightly inclined lawn, which yeah, I know- creates for a more challenging workout. I’m really out of yoga shape. Two: various gawkers walking to and from the race, into the hotel, etc. People taking pictures. What? Haven’t seen a large group of scantily clad people doing yoga outside before? And three, my personal favorite, the excited construction men from Harborcenter, taking their 15 minute break watching us all with our butts in the air. Lucky them! When I do yoga, I like to get really connected and meditative, so I typically like a quiet intensity in a dark, enclosed room. I was surprised to find that by the end of class, despite the relatively chilly breeze, the construction noises, and the audience, I actually did get very much into it. I loved it.

Calm amidst the chaos. Via Power Yoga Buffalo
Calm amidst the chaos. Via Power Yoga Buffalo

Power Yoga features yoga flow that is much faster than I’m used to (not to mention the fact that I’m WAY out of yoga shape, ouch,) so I had a rough time keeping up at certain moments. Still, the instructors were all very friendly, upbeat, and walked around to assist with posture and stretching. I felt pretty at home with the various level yogis around me, including some cute kids and even a pup! It was a real community Buffalove experience. You can bet that by the time I was in final savasana, I could feel the vibration of positivity, both literally from the new construction yards away from us, and metaphorically from the love and good feelings surrounding me. I was very aware of being quiet, on the grass, in the middle of my city with so many people, energy, and positive change all around. It was kind of beautiful. I’d love to go back next weekend for a yoga class that is actually Canalside. It was a fantastic experience. PS- take Aleve as soon as you get home.

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