Observations from my 39th two-wheeled trip to the Great State of New York:
1. I remain surprised at the appalling lack of regard some people have for their own safety. Such as the kid who blindly strolled across a busy St. Paul Avenue and the scruffy hobo carrying the Union Jack over his shoulder who decided that walking on Portage Road near Five Corners was a better idea than using the sidewalk.
2. If you lost some jewellery in Niagara Falls, check the left-hand turning lane on Portage Road at Five Corners.
3. Dear crossing guard on Victoria Avenue: It’s all right for you to go back to the curb as soon as the person you stopped traffic for gets to the other side of the street. You don’t have to stand in the middle of traffic and wave at us.
4. While stopping to take a picture of this sign welcoming me to the Great State of New York, blasting out of the loudspeakers at One Niagara Center was a song called “Shattered Dreams,” the title of my fifth book.
5. More sign overkill brought to you by the NYSDOT:
6. Do they make ceramics there or is their factory housed in a ceramic building?
7. I’m sorry for the poor soul who dropped a $5 bill on Buffalo Avenue, but rest assured it was and will be put to good use. Same goes for the poor soul who lost a quarter a half mile to the east.
8. Someone parked at a lot on Buffalo Avenue had a bumper sticker which read, “Locally Hated.” Is this something one should be proud of?
9. Near the North Grand Island Bridge, I spotted someone wearing a big, heavy fur-lined parka. As a long-lost friend once said to me, the farther south you go, the wimpier they get about cold.
10. Even though it was her first day on the job, the clerk who served me at the Tim Hortons on Niagara Falls Boulevard was far more courteous than many others whom I’ve had recently.
11. The obese man who took a seat in front of me should have had a “WIDE LOAD” sign strapped across his back. One thing’s for sure, he certainly didn’t need the pastry that he polished off in a flash.
12. While I was there, it was snowing in the Old Country, snow that would later result in many crashes on bridges in and around Winnipeg. The last time I was at that Tim Hortons, Southern Manitoba was under a blizzard warning. Coincidence? You be the judge.
13. Someone driving a pickup truck from Hayes Door sure seemed to be in one powerful hurry as he peeled into the lot headed for the drive-thru.
14. How exactly do you melt pepperoni?
15. A shot of the Wegmans, where an Ontario truck driver hauling refrigerated hydrogen clipped the pole in the foreground earlier this week, causing nearby businesses to close for most of the day as Hazmat crews responded to the scene.
15a. Unlike what would have happened in the Old Country, police in the Town of Niagara deemed it a reportable offense and issued the driver a citation.
16. The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, USA. Which isn’t actually in Niagara Falls. Details, details.
17. This Kansas plate reminded me of the Jesse Ventura line in Predator, “This place makes Cambodia look like Kansas.”
18. A Tops store, one of the most telling indicators that you’re in WNY:
19. An American would define this as “worldwide coverage”:
20. It beats Democrat services:
21. Something about the American flag at a memorial for a rabid fan of an NFL team doesn’t seem quite right anymore:
22. If you’re the guest of honor, you’re gone. You don’t need to ask.
23. Snacks may be welcome, but what about customers?
24. Make America Great Again:
24a. How can any patriotic American, particularly a Trump supporter, still be displaying NFL paraphernalia?
25. Um, whatever …
26. My face must now be so familiar that the people inside the Niagara USA Visitor Center didn’t even ask if I needed any help. Or maybe they just didn’t want me asking any questions they couldn’t answer, since I seem to be more knowledgeable on navigating WNY on two wheels than any of them are.
27. I’m still not sure how the mentally challenged man pedaling the wrong way on Thorold Stone Road who blindly pulled out into the middle of traffic managed to avoid being killed.