The sad truth about the eclipse


The bad:


  1. Who counted and estimated the crowds? If there were 50,000 people it was a lot. I spoke to one veteran Falls politician who asked “who counted the crowd? If I ever run for office again, I want them to count votes for me. I can never lose.”
  2. The same friend said he had lunch with now former Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Wayne Thompson about 25 years ago. Thompson talked about planning for tourism development because industry was gone. In Niagara Falls USA, the city and state did less than nothing. Old Falls Street looks busy with food trucks and vendors but almost every storefront is mothballed. Niagara Falls Ontario exploded.
  3. What’s up with the new visitor’s center? Barren and lifeless until night when it lights up like a Carvel Ice Cream Store. Somebody’s cousin-in-law made a mint selling LED lights for the visitor’s Center.
  4. Why is there no interpretive center/nature exhibit/history display open inside the new visitor’s center? I know Delaware North pays the bills but what is most important? Is it our history and environmental science or beef on weck served by the company that employs the governor's husband?
  5. I am glad we were prepared for a terrorist attack, but the ATV on triangle tracks and the repurposed military assault vehicle staged at the ready with the gun turret open just in case the shooting starts is overkill. I bet they even had rooftop snipers staged.
  6. I saw a bunch of Orthodox Jews and a couple older women with walkers waiting in line for the porta-potties 75 feet from the bathrooms by the Maid. I went into the brick-and-mortar washroom. It was mostly empty. A State information booth was nearby but no one directed the visitors to a more pleasant washroom.
  7. Speaking of bathrooms, they are open at Whirlpool State Park in the middle of a construction zone but that project seems to be about a year behind schedule.
  8. With all the newly seeded grass areas demarcated by ropes near Prospect Point, did anyone really expect people not to sit on the lawn?
  9. Looking down from the viewing platform, the sewage plume in the river was easy to see and smelled like shit. Brian Higgins? Chuck Schumer? Angelo Morinello? Rob Ortt? How can you get hundreds of millions even billions for Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Poughkeepsie but not find a way to fund a fix for wastewater treatment in Niagara Falls? Why are our Mayor and Council silent on the topic? Even if our water bills stay the same, this is a disgrace.
  10. I spoke to a NASA employee and asked him his impressions of our city. He Googled grocery stores and ended up at Portage Road Tops. “There’s a police substation here? Maybe this isn’t the best place,” he said.
  11. NASA employees stayed at Wingate by Wyndham. “You know how the federal government is,” my NASA source said. “It’s as cheap as they could go. My colleague had a hole in the wall the size of a volleyball. Someone else sent me a photo of a chair in his room held together with hose clamps.”
  12. Hotel prices: Despite what the media reported, including the Niagara Express, by the time the weekend approached, hotel prices had returned to normal. If you paid $1,600 for a room at the Cadence or Sheraton with a 2-night minimum, you got taken. You would have been better off showing up without a room and walking in.
  13. T-shirt merchants: They believed the hype like the rest of us. Shirts were $25 early Monday. In the afternoon, they were 2-for-1. By 5 p.m. there were dudes selling out of backpacks around the corner from Old Falls Street. $10, cash only, no questions asked.
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