It had been a little while since Julia Jornsay-Silverberg (who you may remember from our adventures at The Grange and Buffalo’s secondhand book stores) and I explored Buffalo together. We decided to change that this fall. On a chilly October afternoon, we headed to one of our city’s hotspots to check out the growing collection of murals the neighborhood has to offer.
Hertel Ave.’s street art is an impressive assortment of big and little, broad strokes and detailed imagery, and whimsical and methodical. According to Hertel Walls, you can see all the murals the street has to offer in a half-hour walk.
With me taking a million photos and Julia vlogging about our adventure, we took double the time and didn’t quite make it to some of the furthest pieces. That was okay; we did fit in all of our favorites and saw some of the newer additions to Hertel Ave.’s walls too.
In our opinion, these are four murals you can’t miss on Hertel Ave.
1. Hertel Postcard
Local artist Vincent Alejandro’s mark is visible on both ends of the street. On the east end is Hertel Postcard, welcoming visitors to the historically Italian neighborhood. At the other end of the neighborhood is the alley that Alejandro’s Hertel Alley Street Art Festival calls home.
This mural is across the street from both Lake Effect Ice Cream’s Buffalo location and Daily Planet Coffee, making it the perfect background for Instagramming your sundae or morning brew.
2. Lookin’ Good
Some of Western New York’s most colorful murals are the work of Casey William Milbrand, including Lookin’ Good on the side of CRaVing. This retro rainbow of a mural was even vibrant on the cloudy fall day Julia and I stopped by.
3. Magic Buffalo
Magic Buffalo was one of the first murals to grace Hertel Ave. when it was completed in 2017. It’s at the corner of Colvin and Hertel, where it greets many of the neighborhood’s visitors arriving from the Northtowns. This magical piece of public art, by Bunnie Reiss, is a beautiful fusion of our city’s namesake animal and Eastern European folk art.
4. We Are Here
This geometric interpretation of the neighborhood’s streets satisfies my need for neat lines and crisp corners. This might just be my favorite mural on Hertel Ave. It’s not big, but there’s something about the five-color palette, the scale and the message of unity I really love.
To see our afternoon on Hertel Ave. through Julia’s eyes, check out her vlog!