On the Road – Bad Spellers, Police Apartments, Library Screamers and More
May 19, 2023
Highlights and lowlights from yesterday’s bus trip to and from Buffalo:
1. Rather than bike over the river as I usually do, I joined a friend and took a regional bus jam-packed with Niagara College students from Fairview Mall to the Falls, caught a 110 Niagara Falls bus to Clifton Hill, then walked across the Rainbow Bridge for the first time. Tolls are collected Canada-bound at the booth on the U.S. side for those in vehicles or on bikes, but pedestrians pay a $1.00 toll leaving Canada. Change machines are provided, along with instructions in several languages, as a loonie is required to get through the turnstile. At U.S. customs, pedestrians wait outside a locked door to be called, then are processed at one of the many stations. Unlike the case when I crossed at the Peace Bridge, I was not wanded with a radiation detector, but they did take our picture, which I found odd. It’s much the same when returning to Canada, though they don’t take your picture.
2. Juvenile ramblings outside an elementary school . . .
3. Free clothing in the parking lot at Fairview Mall . . .
4. Looks like this takeout meal left behind at the bus stop fell below the customer’s expectations. From the looks of it, I can understand why.
5. Interesting vanity plate parked at Casino Niagara . . .
6. Views from the Rainbow Bridge . . .
7. A place to stop and chat . . .
8. The obligatory gay flag. Because anyone who doesn’t fly one is apparently the second coming of Archie Bunker . . .
9. In addition to my first time walking over the bridge, this trip also marked my first experience with the new #77 Niagara Falls/Buffalo Express bus. The bus makes the normal stops within Niagara Falls, then gets on I-190 and whizzes through Grand Island with its next stop at the Black Rock hub in Buffalo. From there, it gets back on the Interstate and takes the exit to Niagara Street, making all stops along the way from there to the Metropolitan Transportation Center. What surprised me was how few people were on the bus. In prewar trips, I’ve noted that the #40 buses have been relatively full and suggested they could use more service. While walking around Buffalo, my friend noted that parking lots were relatively empty and thought it could be a case of people still working from home. Given the state of affairs in WNY, however, I’m not sure too many people work at all there. Based on the signs on storefronts, EBT, the state’s welfare card, seems to be the most popular method of payment.
10. Spotted in the Town of Tonawanda, not to be confused with the City of Tonawanda, was Pride Truck Sales. The place to go if you’re in the market for a gay truck.
11. Inside the Metropolitan Transportation Center is a practice rack for two-wheeled travelers like me . . .
12. Scenes inside and outside Buffalo City Hall:
13. I found it odd that water fountains like this one were taped off:
14. Flag of the United States of Buffalo . . .
15. View from the observation deck on the 28th floor:
16. Inside council chambers was the line, “The people’s council reflects the people’s will.” Sure it does. And the vaccines are safe and effective.
17. Conveniently located outside City Hall is this bail bonding service. Complete with an on-site representative wearing a mask for your “safety.”
18. An odd name for an apartment complex . . .
19. Hail to the “Cheif” . . .
20. For those who want to purchase a special gay edition of The Buffalo News . . .
21. Scenes at Canalside:
22. Video walking up and down the boardwalk:
23. The re-faced and re-purposed Seneca One Tower. The tallest privately owned building in the state outside NYC had been largely empty for years, but now it offers office space, event space and apartments.
24. No “delivers” here . . .
25. Seated nearby in the downtown library was a guy in a rage who had just come from family court bitching to his lawyer that his ex took his damn money, damn car and all his damn stuff. He was also surprised to still be facing some charge as he thought the DA was going to “drop that shit.” Not far away was a woman equally enraged at her live-in boyfriend and another guy walking through the cafe who looked at some people at a table and yelled, “What you lookin’ at, motherf---ers?” I wondered if there was anyone in the place who was there for books.
26. Along Main Street was a guy doing push-ups with the handles of his walker while his buddy was chatting on his phone.
27. Tastes just like chicken . . .
28. The “steps to success” outside an M & T Bank. But are they the steps to your success or the bank’s?
29. Words of wisdom . . .
30. Street art . . .
31. Elsewhere downtown, a guy approached me and asked me for some money to buy a slice of pizza. After I declined, he said he loved me anyway. How big of him.
32. On the return trip, I watched with interest as someone on a dirt bike was blowing off red lights as he weaved in and out of traffic racing down Niagara Street. As my friend said, were we in Welland?
33. The guy who the Metro driver was tailgating along the Niagara Scenic Parkway headed back to Niagara Falls could have used this bumper sticker:
34. I noted with interest that they had removed the benches inside the Niagara USA Visitor Center. They obviously don’t want the riffraff hanging around. Get your brochures and beat it.
35. The ability to spell is obviously not a prerequisite for employment with the U.S. “Goverment” . . .
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