As freelance artists in a time of pandemic drought, David Cowles and Josh Gosfield sensed it was time to put matters in their own hands.

“Let’s not wait for art directors to give us jobs,” Cowles says, “let’s do something that we really love.”

Heroes. We love heroes. We need heroes to get us through tough times. Cowles and Gosfield have given us 63 heroes, as defined by 63 artists, for this moment in a new art-driven magazine, Public Eye.

WNY remembers Hall of Fame Talas rocker Phil Naro

May 5, 2021

Western New York is mourning the death of legendary rocker and composer Phil Naro.

Aaron Winters

I had my coming-out from COVID-19 about a week and a half ago.

My first indoor concert in more than a year. Two solo acoustic performers: a ridiculously talented young guy, Max Doud, then Tommy Brunett, scratchy-voiced scenester and Fairport whiskey baron. It was a night at The Penthouse at One East Avenue, 11 floors up in the downtown Rochester skyline. It’s a spacious room, and the tables seemed separated enough. All four of the people at our table were fully vaccinated.

Provided by Caroline Losneck and Christoph Gelfand

A handful of framed gold records lined the otherwise mundane hallway of the Rochester Presbyterian Home, and then on to the walls of the one-room apartment of Ethel Gabriel. She was 91 years old then, but she remembered. 

“How could I forget Elvis?” she said. “I made him famous.”

That was eight years ago, before dementia swept away so many memories of Elvis Presley and of the estimated 2,500 albums -- probably more -- that she produced over the course of a career that began in 1940, when the recording industry was a man's world. 

Megan Leigh Barnard

Hanif Abdurraqib left Connecticut in the spring of 2017, after a painful breakup. Now he was back in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. A wounded writer. Perfect. Anger and bitterness have filled many, many library shelves.

Except, it was too easy to be bitter, he says. “I don’t really write well when I’m bitter. And so I needed to figure out something for myself that served my writing.”

The Cinema Theater to show movies again

Apr 13, 2021
David Andreatta / CITY

Not long after the operators of the Cinema Theater announced in February that Rochester's oldest movie house would close for good, the marquee began flashing a mysterious message that suggested a second showing: “The Cinema Theater Will Return.”

Now, new operators, spouses Kristina Dinino-Jeffords and Damon Jeffords, say they are delivering on the marquee’s cryptic promise.

Joan Marcus/Hamilton National Tour

The Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s elusive 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons have once again disappeared -- and reappeared -- in the course of one press release.

The city’s marquee theater organization, presenting hit Broadway shows, announced on Tuesday morning a once-again reworked schedule that pushes the remains of both seasons back to a fall restart, including the return of “Hamilton” in late 2022.

Hollywood Records

It is such a simple morning ritual. 

Daniel Armbruster gets out of bed. His own bed, after years of so many unfamiliar ones. He pours himself a bowl of granola, sets out the butter and bread for toast. 

There’s some sugar and vitamin C in the cupboard. What’s this, a bottle of C24H28ClN5O3? A chemical formula, better known as Dramamine. The date on the bottle says it’s expired, and it's no longer needed since the high-speed rock-and-roll life has slowed to a more manageable pace. Throw it out. 

And then, on to what “After Coffee" is really about.

Catherine Rafferty

One of the final acts of John Borek, one of many acts of his life, was to send 5-foot-tall cardboard cutouts of chocolate rabbits to friends in celebration of Easter, one of his favorite holidays.

Borek, a man of many hats known for his zany theatrics and serious commitment to the Rochester arts and cultural scene, died Saturday. He was 71 and had been ill with leukemia.

He was many things to many people in the city.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Imagine a hard-to-find, intensely Instagrammable houseplant, and something like the monstera deliciosa albo variegata, with its iconic broad-split leaves streaked with white, might come to mind.

Samantha Mills has one in a gold pot on the counter of her shop. “Her name is Betty,” Mills said, a tribute to "The Golden Girls" star Betty White.

Mills is a co-owner of Stem, a new shop at the corner of Alexander Street and Park Avenue specializing in plants like Betty: hard to find and all the rage.