Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Niagara Falls

Over spring break, I visited my sister in Buffalo, New York. One of my friends from Cornell came with me. During the stay, we brought him to see Niagara Falls (I've seen it a few times before then). I think taking all these Nat Res classes changed my view on the falls. I didn't see it as "epitome of the sublime" this time. They did not seem to impress me as they once did. Then I came home and read "Constructing Nature." Now I think I like Ithaca Falls better. The control of water flow, erosion, rocks, etc does not bother me. And I do like the parks alongside the Falls and on Goat Island (in between the American and Canadian Falls). What bothers me is the development surrounding the falls. The falls seem to be placed in the middle of a small city. "Constructing Nature" said that in the late 1960's/early 1970's a Commision "recommended that guidelines be set to prevent the 'intrusion of.... towers... and commerical features whose appearence on the skyline will result in an articifial encirclement that will overshadow and stifle the magnificence of the Falls." This is exactly what it is like now. What happened to this Commision and their recomendations report? Niagara Falls is a slum of casinos, bars, and chintzy shops. And these things are here to stay.

Steve Zelno

No comments: