The Not as Great Falls, David Bowie’s clothes, arrival in Toledo

Well, yesterday I was a bit too beat, so this post will be covering the events of yesterday. I’ll probably post again later tonight with a small Korea update. Anyway, yesterday we started in Niagara, New York. We were hoping to make it to Toledo, Ohio that night, but we went to check out the New York side of the falls first. Now, for a while now, since I’ve started traveling more, I’ve started collecting pins. Usually lapel pins related to places I’ve been. It’s a minor, personal thing I do, so it doesn’t usually come up. In Canada, I got a great pin that said “Niagara Falls, Canada” on it with maple leaves on the bottom. I was thinking I’d get a similar US side pin at the state park on the New York side.

The falls were breathtaking on the US side, but Canada's view was better.

Now, I imagined that the US and Canada sides were going to both be proud of their views and would have almost a rivalry kind of attitude. I thought the US side would also have similar pins to the Canada side and that the US side would consider themselves the side you have to see.

That wasn’t at all what I encountered.

Granted, I was here during the off season, but the US side was kind of sad. The view was still breathtaking and the Niagara Falls State Park was pretty neat, especially with the huge bronze statue of one of my personal heros, Nikola Tesla, but the atmosphere on the US side was bleak. The gift shops were dusty and full of old merchandise, which ranged from gross, to just mediocre. I had to visit 6 or 7 gift shops looking for a lapel pin, which only two shops carried. One had pins that looked old (and all said “Canada” on them) while the other had sad, cheap pins that were missing their backings and were covered in rust. Most of the attractions on the Canadian side were gimmicky and chintzy with neon lights and an exploitative attitude, something I dislike, but a reality of touristy locations such as this.  I expected the same on the US side, but aside from the huge Seneca Casino, the US side was run-down and seemed to bleed apathy. Maybe it’s different during the “on” season, but it wasn’t a very warming welcome back to my homeland.

I’ll fill you in on the rest of my adventures on the south side of Lake Eire after the break.

Of course, Mr. Tesla was one of the highlights of the US side, but your milage would vary if you weren't a huge fan of the inventor of the Teleforce Death Ray

After seeing the US side of the falls, my father and I traveled down to Cleveland, Ohio. It took a decent amount of time, so we arrived around 4pm. We decided to go through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. This was a pretty cool stop. I got to see artifacts from the Beatles, some of the possessions of Elvis Presley, some of Joan Jett’s clothing, a golden costume with giant metal wings that once belong to David Bowie, and a huge stage prop from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I also saw that strange meat dress that Lady Gaga wore, although it was pretty heavily treated with chemicals. Of course, the museum doesn’t allow pictures, so I can’t show it to you, dear reader. It was a cool stop, and I wish I had more time to wander around (they closed at 5:30pm) but I couldn’t imagine going through it a second time. Once is probably enough.

Of course, I was able to take pictures outside the museum.

After Cleveland was the voyage to my father’s home in Toledo. I’ll be spending the remainder of my trip over here visiting with family. You can expect more posts this week before I leave for Tennessee on Thursday. I’ve received my visa issuance number, so I’ll also probably write a post about what all that entails either tonight or tomorrow.




~ by James on February 6, 2012.

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