A Good Walk Unspoiled

A late summer day after the tourist season has closed can renew you, especially if you pick the right spot. For me, it was a hike across Goat Island in Niagara Falls. It is a lovely area and takes a lot of guff that it doesn’t deserve because of comparisons to all the building across the border, but I like it as is. Maybe its me

The walk on the three sisters island removes you from all the hub bub.


and It was refreshing too.

Niagara Falls has some fun parts, just have to look as there is nothing like a sudden 90 degree day to make the hurricane deck  at the Cave in the Winds feel forcefully invigorating, a truly fun day off.

You won’t even mind the flip flops.


Office Spaced

Linked in is nagging me with the fact that I haven’t written in sometime. It’s not that there aren’t things going on, just a lot to digest. The main one for me is a transition. I’ve relocate professionally from a revered nonprofit and a great job to the great unknown. While there are enticing challenges that lie ahead, it’s a little bittersweet. The last time I joined a big corporation with serious buying power, the president was taken away in handcuffs fairly quickly thereafter. This, friends, was not a good omen. But on my second last day at the nonprofit, I got to pet a rhino. That sort of thing happens at the new gig, that might be an issue.

But I have reason for optimism. This is my first job change in sometime and certainly unusual in that I’m leaving one great experience and moving to another, with chances to incorporate and actually build on what I’ve developed over the past 7 years. While it’s a little weird for me to see my pending vacancy online while I’m still in the chair, I’m glad and proud at what I’ve been able to do. That’s said, it’s exciting to start thinking about what’s next, writing the “new book” as Jed Bartlett used to say on “the West Wing.”

I started this particular entry some time ago and it’s been sitting unfinished as I have jumped into my new job and settling into something of a routine. Your day starts a little earlier. Your commute takes longer than playing “Stairway to Heaven” on the car stereo. You’re getting the lay of the land at the new place both on the physical finding the coffee and the bathroom levels and on the are we cool with the group that runs the new shop. And just how glad are they to see you.

It’s funny the little things that change with a new work culture. For years, the bridges that linked Buffalo to Niagara Falls were a sore spot with me, hate em. The ongoing construction project nature made me really dislike going over them, but after hitting them twice a day for two weeks now, I’m taking them like a road warrior, changing lanes and doing what you got to do.

It’s the little things. With any kind of work, it takes time to find your voice and where you can chime in and I’ve always been a little bit impatient with that process, but writing it here is a good reminder to breath, and if the traffic gets like that scene in the opening credits of Office Space, where the guy with the walker is making better time, turn up the tunes and smile, smile, smile



This is a pretty amazing look over Niagara Falls. As its creator notes in on youtube, only folks to get this look were anybody who went over or Nik Wallenda. Only decent pics I have ever seen from a helicopter were ones my brother took on tourist rides. This chopper couldn’t accommodate passengers.

It is deeply cool

Good job, questpact

These Boots were made for walkin’

by his momma.

I readily admit, it was pretty cool to see Nik Wallenda succeed and even attempt his walk across Niagara Falls last night. It was pretty easy to be snarky about all the hype, the buildup and especially the blathering from the commentators from ABC.

In all fairness to them, they did break the story of the fact that the water in the Niagara mist was indeed “wet.” The visuals were impressive, the falls looked great and many instances, less would have been more on the analysis front from the ABC folk.

It’s hard not be taken with the images, like this one from the  Buffalo News. I respect Mr. Wallenda’s abilities even more so, watching him not only do this, but talk both with the commentators and his dad. There would have been times I might have asked everybody to “shaddup, I’m a little busy” with all the verbal back and forth. But maybe that’s how you stay centered walking uphill on a wet wire into Canada. It should be noted that he made better time than some Rainbow Bridge commuters.

Wallenda proved to be a skilled athlete and a real nice guy, calling grandma was a nice touch. I’m sure the “stumble” in Baltimore was a bit of hype, got to keep ’em watching, but the run to the finish last night was pretty good. I had made a few jokes on twitter how roller skates or hopping would be really awesome too.

Aside from admiring the thesaurus laden commentary from the commentators, the incredible feat itself (“I just walked to Canada and boy, are my arms tired”), it can be easy to read to much into one event. Probably isn’t going to change folks perspectives of the American Falls too much, but to get a few thousand more folks to the American side on a Friday evening is a good thing.

I was driving home from a wedding reception and purposely took the Moses Parkway so it would take me back through Niagara Falls proper and it was nice to see things lively on an early sunday night. Hopefully, more folks are thinking about how nice it can be and might take a visit..because it’s there.

I think I’ll go for a walk outside

As a news anchor, Ch. 7’s Keith Radford makes a pretty good photographer. Of all the many images making the rounds on the internets of Nik Wallenda and the high wire walk across the Falls, this is one of the cooler ones to emerge. It sure beats the shadow and “Walk into History” graphic that another station is using. I wish Mr. Wallenda all the best, hope it’s great show, but am personally kind of meh about the whole thing.

I’m sure he’ll do fine. The ruckus about a safety harness has the feel of manufactured drama to me as no sponsor spokespeople have appeared before microphones, not that there is any shortage of those.

I wonder more about the other hazards like: without proper id, will customs make him walk back? Will he have anything to declare?

Or will any harness actually cause some issues?

Either way, like everybody else, I’ll watch, won’t pay money for a “free” tioket on Craig’s list, when my tv will do.

“I’m thinkin’…

and my head hurts.” — Yosemite Sam

I’m feeling a bit like a bad Western New Yorker as I’m not all that excited for the spectacle of Nik Wallenda‘s walk across Niagara Falls. Of course, I’ll probably watch. But the hubbub over a sponsor insisted upon harness smells less like a safety notion and more like a built in chance for a dramatic “releasing of the harness” when it is “too late.” I have all the respect in the world for his abilities, especially when heights and I, well, have an understanding. But, I also know the pole he carries isn’t there for ornamentation, ya dig.

That, and I’m pretty sure the “Slip” in Baltimore was part of the show.


I was told about a ted ex talk that ted ex apologized for and it’s been on my mind as house GOP folk want to throw more incentives as companies who aren’t hiring and sitting on their cash. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make it easier on people who actually spend their money. The Ted ex speaker mentioned that business leaders he talked to weren’t going to produce more, cost less, hire until there was a demand. So, foster the demand, folks. It seems to me the GOP folk are attacking the problem from the wrong side, again. That and the Ted Ex folks shouldn’t have apologized. The GOP hardballers all want part of that Reagan legacy. They forget he spent and invested to get the economy going again.

And he probably wouldn’t get elected today.



The Pittsburgh Pirates are only a couple games out of it in June? that’s kind of cool.


Smartest and funniest bit of baseball witticism I’ve heard this season wasn’t said by me, but a brilliant Yankee fan/friend of mine. An ad touted an upcoming meeting between the Yankees and Mets with all the titles they have won, which my friend compared to the amount of money he and Bill Gates have together. (the Mets not being big winners, for the unitiated)


Notice we are all clear on Mitt Romney‘s view of the President, but it concerns me that he both hasn’t said what he would do different and that nobody has asked him that very question.

A little alarming, I tells ya. Let’s not be sheep folks. If somebody yells about “getting this economy moving again,” make him say how


I bypassed the annual art show that traditionally kicks off the summer time. That didn’t stop the ubiquitous shepard’s crook planters from being visible as I’d watch a few folks head back up the street. I just wish the presenting organization wasn’t such bullies to prospective merchants. I remember them having the former Java Temple owner cited for selling drinks out of her own storefront. One of the food trucks posted a map of the turf dubbed the territory of the show and that just seems petty. There are plenty of wallets to go around folks, can’t we all just get along?

Where Buffalo Roams

With my job, I move with a diverse group of folk when getting out of the office. The ones in the office are pretty cool too, but the nature of what we do has you mixing with a number of different publics. One of my favorite on-going collaborations is with the good folks at Visit Buffalo Niagara. The former CVB took a lot of grief from internet wags about their “Buffalo: For Real” slogan and that is unfortunate because it doesn’t really touch on the big picture of this weirdly, wonderful pace we call home. They do tremendous  work getting people to come see the place, but something struck me in watching the various reports, tweets, stories leading up to the premiere of “Buffalo:Unscripted,” the documentary about life here.

A lot of folks here don’t venture beyond their own self-inflicted boarders a lot and you need to play tourist in your own backyard now and again. There is a lot happening, but sometimes you have to be curious enough to go get lost. It’s been on my mind a lot as we try to find the right mix to get folks to come see what we’ve been up to at my place of employ.

Wanderlust is in invaluable thing. My folks still live in the house that I grew up, but that neighborhood is shifting and the bulk of the landed immigrants are younger than me and more than once I’ve heard the comment about “Coming all the way out from the city.” Like to get to Clarence from where I reside in the city, you had to stop in Cheektowaga for rest and provisions before completing the journey.

The key to seeing the big picture is to know some things and not care about others, and to occasionally try something new for the heck of it. Stride into Gigi’s on the east side and you know what evil, what torture, what torment you’ll face? A breakfast that will make you wonder where it’s been all your life. I don’t know how many trips I’ve taken down Niagara Street on various missions over the years, but had to remind myself to go explore Squaw Island on a early September afternoon. It was a left turn worth taking.

Between Buffalo: Unscripted and the National Preservationist Gathering, there is a upshot of feeling that we do indeed have some pretty good stuff around in these parts. What I take away is the feeling that people are looking around a little more, which hopefully means less of “I haven’t been there (zoo, museum, fill in attraction here) in years.” And, you know, hopefully, you start with the Zoo, just sayin.”

So, I hope the preservationist conference attendees go back to their homes and talk about what they found, but hopefully the resounding energy of discovery can translate into somebody from Hamburg curious to see the evolution of Canalside or at least lunch at the Niagara Cafe, or gasp, even a little christmas shopping on Elmwood or Hertel. And then maybe dinner in Blackrock!


Slowly, I turn…

Having lived here all my life, Niagara Falls was a pretty regular fixture. From out of town family checking out the wonder that is the Falls, to the occasional family jaunts, there has always been something kind of compelling about the American side of the Falls. It has forever seemed like it can’t work right, mostly because the Canadians continue to build and build, but my inner tourist finds something of interest in the whole mishagas.

A tourism show had me up at the Conference Center setting up a booth this afternoon. After seeing to that, I had a little time before the obligatory “ice breaker” so I went on walkabout in this weirdly wonderful place.

It’s a little sad to see things like the “Turtle” still sitting dormant and the Casino casting a glow, but nothing else of the nearby church.

Maybe it is the perspective of the whole thing, see the growth across the river from the stillness of the American parkland

Maybe not.

Sunny Afternoon

There are great sounds, sounds that change our moods, shift your pace, awaken otherwise preoccupied senses. I was asked what my favorite was sometime ago and didn’t have an answer for the question. I think I fumbled around with a couple of answers, but the sound of the water lapping up against the shoreline is one of those grand pace changers. I’m ready for ice to be back in just my drink, ready for the boom to come out, ready for a breeze, not a bluster. With the Powder Keg fest in our collective taillights, I’m ready for spring to do its thing. Judging by the amount folks down by the marina on Saturday and on Goat Island today, I suspect I’m not alone.

Nice Rainbow!

Tourists will be back to ride these soon enough.

This is still fences off. Can you imagine losing the grip on the phone or a camera and having to watch it slide all that way into the drink?

The First tourist, if you look closely you can see him unable to fold his map. Meanwhile, back at the marina…

Pond hockey season is definitely over.

Pretty soon, we’ll see the true shore.