Monday, April 27, 2009

Falling water adventure

"Attempting to stay dry, and have a little bit of fun, a young boy from California covers his face with his poncho on the American side of Niagara Falls, April, 9, 2009."

When you have a week off, what do you do with yourself? In this instance, I went to Canada.

I had never been before and thought seeing Niagara Falls and Toronto would be an excellent way to: A. Travel; B. See something new; C. Get out of Baltimore; and D. Enjoy myself for cheap as opposed to traveling overseas.

We didn't have much of a game plan and sort of improvised the entire trip. That became evident when we arrived and realized that it was more than 20 degrees colder than home. Why we assumed it would be the same temperature was beyond me, but at least I brought a ski hat.

Our journey started in Niagara Falls, where it was windy, cold and desolit. Being the off season, not many people forgoed traveling to see one of the world's largest waterfalls.

My first view of the falls of amazing. The entire drive north I tried to imaigine what it may look and sound like. But I had no idea it would be that intense until I saw it.

We probably stared at it for a good 15 minutes every time we walked by it, too. I won't lie, you're so tempted to jump in and take a ride of your life. And you know everyone probably thinks that, as the fence could easily be jumped over without any problems.

Niagara is pretty much in the middle of nowhere and very tourist based. One street looks like the boardwalk in Ocean City, Md.; lined with arcade games, loud noises and amusements to keep an average 8-year-old occupied for days.

Being, well, tourists, we did all the major attractions. However, we quickly learned that not everything is open. While it was spring back home, it was still winter in Canada. Snow covered the ground near the falls and giant chunks of ice floated in the water.

We could not ride on the Maid of the Mist boat ride that takes you up close and personal with the falls, and we were limited to where, and how close we could walk to the falls on the walking tours. Apparently, everything opens in May. Oh, well. We still had fun.

I had planned on making a small essay on Niagara, just simple audio and stills. And no, not like Magnum's Alec Soth, although I think his essay is very, very powerful and thought provoking. (Caveat: That link is NWS).

But, as I mentioned, no one was there, attractions were closed and of those we did see, 95 percent of the folk were of foreign decent and didn't speak English. So I stuck with just shooting simple features.

All in all, Niagara Falls was awesome. I'd love to go back at some point.

Up next, Toronto...


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