Andrew and I like that Buffalo, NY is centrally located to take road trips. Last year we had planned a trip to Jamestown, NY, which is about an hour and a half south of Buffalo... and then pandemic hit! We decided to go last month, but I had the flu. They say, third times a charm right? Last week we finally ventured on our weekend getaway. Unfortunately some of the places we had originally planned to visit last year are now closed permanently or have not reopened yet, but we did hit the big name ones. "Why go to Jamestown?" Well let me tell you...
National Comedy Center
We took a Sunday to explore and headed to the National Comedy Center right when they opened in the morning.
It combines two historic buildings one of them being the Jamestown Gateway Train Station, so the facade and marble are really unique to the museum.
And behind the museum...
If you know me you might be thinking, "but Julie Ann hates comedies". I'm here to tell you this is not true! I have a very very dry sense of humor, and the National Comedy Center reminded me how fun sketch comedy is. I also love the Muppets.
We were greeted by a very friendly woman that gave us wristbands or "Laugh Bands". Before you are even allowed into the center you have to check in at a kiosk where you pick the comedy movies, TV shows, and comedians that you like and the wristband saves your humor profile. When you enter there are different displays, some are permanent with memorabilia and notes, and some are interactive where you scan the wrist band and it pulls up comedians you have in common with other people at the display and plays some of their skits. Very high tech since it just opened in 2018! There's even a separate floor for "controversial" comedians and content.
Costume from The Carol Burnette show (left), and Buddy Love's jacket from The Nutty Professor (right).
Honestly you can spend all day here, so it's a good thing they have a little cafeteria. We were there three and a half hours and didn't see everything. I feel like each time you go, you can have a different experience. We'll def be back!
Lucy / Desi Museum
Next we strolled a couple of blocks away to the Lucy and Desi Museum. After all, Jamestown is known as Lucille Ball's hometown! In comparison to the National Comedy Center, the Lucy and Desi Museum seems a little dated.
Full replica sets on display.
(Maybe I should preface this with I have a Art History Master's Degree with a concentration in Museum Studies and I worked in several art museums.) Some of the exhibits were "coming soon" spaces or a "work in progress" and the configuration of some of the videos they had showing caused bottle necks to visitors, and it wasn't even busy! Me being me, my biggest concern was the vintage costumes they had on display and how they stored them. Some of the cases looked ok, but others were open to dust and not temperature controlled. That being said, it was still very informative, and even though it was in two buildings it wasn't overwhelming.
We grabbed some food and drinks at Southern Tier Brewing, home of Pumpking, Andrew's absolute favorite beer.
It was nice to relax and sit outside listening to an acoustic singer playing 1970s favorites. While there, we were stopped by some of our online customers that recognized us! Y'all are everywhere and we love you! Please stop me if you see me, I'll try not to be awk-weird. I sincerely mean it, stop me and say "hi!"
Sticking with the Lucy theme while it was still light out, we headed to see the Lucy statues in the nearby park that's right on the water. Yes there are two. The first one that was made is dubbed "scary" Lucy by the locals, the second one looks much more like her.
Then we went to see her grave. There were other people there waiting to see it, and I was impressed at how clearly marked it is. They have a painted pathway on the ground, and even a Lucy painted garbage can nearby!
Then we checked out Peterson's Candies because of the kitsch-tastic 1950s vibe with the giant candy canes on the outside. It might be small inside but they have a huge variety of candies. Their chocolate is delicious. I picked up some bridge mix because it always reminds me of my gram, an assorted chocolates box, and a couple chocolate covered jellies. Some people hate them, I love chocolate covered jellies. I admit they are weird, but tasty.
At the end of the day, I think these were the highlights. Did we miss anything? Let us know!