We’ve spent most of our trip sans tripod, our little piece-of-crap one broke a week in, but we finally forked out some cash and bought a new one and were rewarded with the perfect photographic opportunity when we went to Niagara Falls, NY. We had planned on popping in for a few hours, seeing the iconic falls, and then getting right back on the road, but that was before we found out about the lights.
Each night, our taxes are hard at work powering enormous, multi-colored floodlights that illuminate millions of gallons of water as it rushes over the falls. On top of the usual light show, that night there would be a fireworks display, to boot. We quickly decided that we’d be hanging out in Niagara Falls for the night and set about seeing the sights.
Not the falls themselves; the sheer volume of water that passes the cliffs’ edges each second is something the watch and marvel at for a few minutes, and the light show we were treated to later that night was fantastic. No, I’m referring more to the twin cities of Niagara Falls. On the US side is a four-block town that feels like a ghost town (even with the blues festival that was going on) whose crown jewel is a high rise casino/hotel that is lit in ascending triangles once the sun goes down. The Canadian side looks like the place where the decrepit mob bosses that once ran Atlantic City went to die. Everything is a casino, there’s a space needlelike structure (in true Canadian fashion), and it’s all horrendously ugly.
It’s no surprise that the towns that hold such a huge tourist attraction would be places that we wouldn’t enjoy but it was incomprehensible to me that they could both appear completely defunct even with the hundreds of thousands of people that visit each year. Enough about the crappy towns though, we did have a good time on our visit. For example, we ate a really nice lunch at a little restaurant/hotel called the Red Coach Inn, we accidentally walked out of the country without our passports, and we took one of our patented side street naps.
Unpleasant appearances and slight ghetto-ness of Niagara Falls (New York) aside, I would never try to dissuade anyone from traveling to see the natural wonder of the falls. Just take a look at our pictures.