Good food and crazy people at Ferry and 19th


I took a ride over to Ferry Avenue to help Sam Archie clear some brush at his new abode.

After helping Sam, I headed down Ferry to 19th and saw a BBQ set up in front of Club Topper. Good looking ribs and chicken.

I went back late in the afternoon to grab dinner. Jamal Pryor was set up outside Club Topper with “Bussin’ Kitchen.”

I was kissed. A buss is a kiss. A bus is a repurposed Over the Falls tour bus.

Pryor’s brother was working the grill. $25 got us a slab of pork ribs expertly cooked over charcoal slathered with Baby Ray’s and served with a sweet helping of baked beans with beef, mac and cheese and corn bread.

Candied yams and collard greens were an option as well.

The chicken was Chiavetta’s style breast. There is a Bussin’ Bourbon option as well.

As we chatted, a crazed woman with a cigarette and a beer ranted in the middle of the street about the coming of Satan and how we needed to repent or face hell.

“I’d suggest you should give her something to eat but I don’t think it would help,” I said to Jamal.

“She’s on something,” he said with a shrug, “I don’t know what but she was not like that earlier. It’s 19th Street.”

Jamal’s wife and son crossed the street. Even the ranting woman took pause.

“Except for you,” the crazy woman said to the young man. “That is a pretty red shirt.”

“That’s the thing about riding a bicycle,” I said to Jamal. “You ride up on people fast and quietly they don’t see you coming. You see things as you go past and then you are gone before they know what you saw.”

I dropped dinner in my bike basket and rode off.

Dinner was good. I didn’t ask about parties at the Topper, tattoos or Eli Cohen. I also didn’t call the police non-emergency number about that woman warning me about Satan. She’d either calm down or the police and ghetto medics would show up and take her to Niagara Falls Memorial until she came down.

On the way to help Sam, I got cut off by a "Compassionate cab", had to lock up my brakes and nearly crashed.  The driver raised his hands in a show of disgust as if it was my fault. Come on, share the road.

If 19th Street is ever to rise above its struggles, it begins with a food truck, the Entrepreneur School of Thought and people who believe we can be better. Even in the throes of addiction, ranting profanity on the street, there is still enough hope to look at a young boy, apologize for profanity, and tell him his red shirt is pretty.

Bussin Kitchen is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. weekends according to his menu but food was ready sooner Sunday. If you want to call ahead, (716)-424-4292.

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