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Monday, March 23, 2015
Instagram users check out the warm welcome from the Palace Theatre Marquee. (PHOTOS BY HEATHER N. GRIMMER / ENP PHOTOGRAPHER)

By +Scott Leffler

Brian Smith addresses #bufinstameet attendees before leading a walk
through downtown Lockport.
Approximately three dozen people descended on downtown Lockport Sunday afternoon with the primary goal of taking photos of Lock City landmarks — with their cell phones.

Lockport was the site of a gathering of Buffalo-area Instagrammers, determined to get just the right angle on the buildings and scenery that most Lockportians see everyday — and don't see at all.

Sights along the tour included Old City Hall, where the Instagrammers started their journey at the Flight of Five Winery, the modern locks and the Flight of Five, the Old Post Office and Cornerstone CFCU Arena. Cameras snapped photos at those locations and everything in between over the course of the hour-plus long tour.

The Old Post Office on East Avenue was well received by the Instagram
community. The tour visited each floor of the old building.
Members of the impromptu Instagram community were asked to tag their photos with special designations to make them easier to find. More than 60 photos were posted to Instagram with the #lockportbeautiful designation, while near 90 received the #bufinstameet moniker.

About a third of the attendees were from Lockport. The majority, however, made the trek into Lockport from Erie County, many seeing Lockport in a new light.

Brian Smith, who regularly posts photos of Lockport on Instagram using the #lockportbeautiful mark, led the tour, sharing some Lockport history while moving the crowd from one location to the next. He wasn't sure how many people would attend or how long the tour would take, but both figures seemed to exceed his expectations.

The courtroom in the Old Post Office got a lot of
attention from the cell phone paparazzi.
At the Flight of Five Winery, attendees were treated to Instagram logo cookies from Scripts Cafe, as well as other finger foods. Many partook in some afternoon wine sampling from the urban winery before heading out into the cold and windy Lock City.

Each attendee wore a nametag bearing their given name as well as their Instagram account name, allowing for them to learn more about the others in attendance.

Lockport was not the first location for the bufinstameet group. In early February, the group met in the Blackrock neighborhood of Buffalo. Another meeting is being planned for late April, also expected to take place in Buffalo.

Although Instragram is the common denominator among those in attendance, the group is planning to put together a Facebook page to make future planning and communication easier.


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