Monday, June 21, 2010

Niagara Falls - American side

23/5/2010(Sunday) Rochester-Buffalo- Niagara Fall

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A early morning stroll in the city of Rochester, walking along East Avenue, the night crowd have left. It is so quite and few cars are around. You can even walk in the street without worrying about the traffic. We visited High Fall neighborhood and Kodak Tower.

Took early bus to Buffalo, by Greyhound. The security is tight and the border guard check the passengers prior to departure. This is in view that Buffalo is close to the border of Canada. Rochester to Buffalo by Greyhound Bus at 8,00a.m. Greyhound Bus Lines, was at 186 Cumberland Street, Rochester, NY 14605.

Stop at Buffalo for a while at the bus station. The bus station is located at 181 Ellicott St, Buffalo. We met an Indian lady who have been in USA for some time, working as nurse. She provide us the information to take bus to Niagara Fall.

Buffalo(300 miles or 483 km from New York)

Buffalo is New York state's second-largest city, with a metropolitan area population of nearly 1,200,000. Buffalo is the cultural and economic center of the Western New York region. Once a bustling industrial center, Buffalo now serves as home to renowned art galleries, diverse entertainment, world-famous architecture and internationally recognized universities.

Situated at the confluence of Lake Erie and the Buffalo and Niagara Rivers, Buffalo is a waterfront city.

By car, Buffalo is about two hours from Toronto, one and a half hours from Rochester, two and a half hours from Syracuse, and 7 hours from New York City.

Bus go to Niagara Fall, stop at different bus stops, which give us the opportunity to look at Buffalo city. I know of Buffalo is because of the University of Buffalo, where there are many Malaysian students from a local college in Kuala Lumpur(either Help or Inti) having link program with the university. Buffalo to me, is like Chicago, a beautiful city located near the Great Lake region. But the city is smaller than Chicago.

Buffalo – Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls from Buffalo is half hour by car, there is a direct Bus route between the two cities.

Route 40 - Grand Island serves this link between the two cities. You can catch the 40 from the Downtown Buffalo Transportation Center at the intersection of Elm and North Division Streets. This is just two blocks east of the Church Street Rail Station. The Bus will drive straight to Downtown Niagara Falls and then continue on to the Niagara Falls Transportation Center. The cost of this 26-mile trip is $4.50 round trip, or $2.25 each way.

We stopped at the 3rd Street bus stop, just in front of Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel(their official address is at 4th Street), just opposite Conference Centre Niagara Falls. Then we walk along Old Falls Street, Starbucks was located at the junction of the street, between Old Falls Street and 3rd Street. Walk straight, cross 1st Street and Rainbow Blvd, until arrive at Prospect Street, the entrance of Niagara Falls State Park is at the street.

Niagara Fall City, New York State

New York City is 406 miles (653 km) from Niagara Falls. The name Niagara Falls can means the falls, either American or Canadian. It may also means the name of the cities, on both side of USA and Canada.

The City of Niagara Falls was incorporated on March 17, 1892. The city is built along the Niagara Falls waterfalls and the Niagara Gorge which is located on next to the Niagara River which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. A small city rich with history. The economy for the city was originally based around the Falls itself, or at least the power generated by the massive waterfall. This cheap and abundant source of power was the driving force behind the rapid rise of area industry. Around the turn of the 20th century, thousands of immigrants from predominantly European nations such as Italy and Poland came to the area to work the chemical, steel, and manufacturing plants owned by present-day companies such as Occidental.

Goods which had previously been cheap to produce in Niagara Falls could now be produced far cheaper elsewhere. Another major toll was suburban migration, a national trend. The city, which once boasted well over 100,000 people at its peak, has seen its population decline by some 50%, as industries shut down and people left for the employment opportunities of the South and West. The unemployment rate in the City of Niagara Falls was around 12 percent as of May 2009.

While its Canadian twin, Niagara Falls, Ontario, began massively building up its tourism industry in the 1990s, allowing for casinos and tall tower hotels, essentially becoming the "Las Vegas of Canada", Niagara Falls, NY did not grow in the same way.

In 2004, the Seneca Nation of Indians opened the Seneca Niagara Casino in the former Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center, thereby establishing sovereign Native American territory in the midst of the city. Currently the Seneca Nation of Indians owns and operates two casinos: one in Niagara Falls, New York called Seneca Niagara and the other in Salamanca called Seneca Allegany. Note: The Seneca Nation of New York, also known as the Seneca Nation of Indians (Salamanca) is a federally recognized tribe of Seneca people in New York. The tribe is headquartered in Irving, New York. The Seneca Nation of Indians (SNI) is one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy who occupy aboriginal lands in New York State set aside by the Treaty of Canandaigua of 1794. The Seneca Nation of Indians has a total population of over 7200 enrolled members and holds title to three territories in New York, one of which includes the City of Salamanca.

Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is a casino located in Niagara Falls, New York and was built to compete with Casino Niagara and Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It is located at 310 Fourth Street, Niagara Falls, New York 14303. It was built on the site of the former Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center. The casino floor has an area of 147,000 sq ft (13,700 m2) with 99 gaming tables and 4,200 slot machines. It is the largest hotel in New York outside of Manhattan.

The other development included the opening of the new Conference Center Niagara Falls at 101, Old Falls Street in 2005;the restoration of Old Falls Street, once the primary tourist thoroughfare downtown, which is now a promenade; the redevelopment of the former Holiday Inn Select as a new Crown Plaza Resort with several restaurants including the city's first Starbucks Coffee.

The main entrance to The Conference Center Niagara Falls is on Old Falls Street (cobblestone walkway off of 3rd street on the left side) directly across from Seneca Niagara Casino. The Administrative office entrance to The Conference Center is located on Third Street (Silver Building next door to the Crowne Plaza Hotel).

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Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States. In 1885, it was declared as Niagara Reservation.

Niagara Falls - The waterfall at US side

The Niagara Falls are voluminous waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections separated by Goat Island:
(i) Canadian Fall or Horseshoe Falls, the majority of which--two-thirds according to the US Geological Survey--lies on the Canadian side of the border, this is known as Horseshoe Falls due to its distinctive curved shape and

(ii) American Falls on the American side. The American Fall and Canadian Fall are separated by Goat Island from the American Falls. The American Falls is one of three waterfalls that together are known as Niagara Falls on the Niagara River along the Canada-U.S. border. Unlike the much larger Horseshoe Falls, which lies almost completely in Canada, the American Falls is completely within the U.S. state of New York. The height of the American Falls ranges between 70 to 110 feet (21–34 m). This measurement is taken from the top of the Falls to top of the rock pile (talus). The height of the Falls from the top of the Falls to the river is 188 feet (57 m).

One can view the falls from the bank of the river, as well as on Goat Island and Luna Island, which are accessible by a pedestrian bridge that crosses the rapids of the Niagara river upstream from the falls. The falls are viewable head-on from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

(iii)The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the main American falls by Luna Island. The Bridal Veil Falls is the smallest of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls. It is located on the U.S. side (in New York State); Luna Island separates it from the American Falls and Goat Island separates it from the Horseshoe Falls. The Bridal Veil Falls faces to the northwest and has a crest 56 feet (17 m) wide. Luna Island being very small, the Bridal Veil is similar in appearance to the American Falls, starting with a vertical fall of 78 feet (24 m), followed by the water violently descending the talus boulders to the Maid of the Mist Pool 103 feet (31 m) below. The total vertical drop is 181 feet (55 m). The crest elevation of the Falls is 508 feet (155 m).

The Cave of the Winds attraction allows visitors to walk up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls. A pedestrian bridge crosses from Goat Island to Luna Island several yards (meters) upstream from the crest of the falls.

On the US side you can walk from the visitors center to Prospect Point and catch the Maid of the Mist and then walk to Goat Island for the Cave of the Winds, Terrapin Point and the Three Sisters Island.

From the U.S. side, the American Falls can be viewed from walkways along Prospect Point Park, which also features the Prospect Point Park observation tower and a boat dock for the Maid of the Mist. Goat Island offers more views of the falls and is accessible by foot and automobile traffic by bridge above the American Falls. From Goat Island, the Cave of the Winds is accessible by elevator and leads hikers to a point beneath Bridal Veil Falls. Also on Goat Island are the Three Sisters Islands, the Power Portal where a huge statue of Nikola Tesla can be seen, and a walking path which enables views of the rapids, the Niagara River, the gorge, and all of the Falls. Most of these attractions lie within the Niagara Falls State Park.

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Niagara Falls is in the Niagara Frontier region of New York state. The Niagara Falls consist of three sections. The large Canadian falls – with their distinctive curved shape – are also known as the Horseshoe Falls. They are separated by Goat Island from the American Falls, which are separated by a small island at their south end, from the narrow Bridal Veil falls. Each side of the falls offers a different perspective, and it is always best to visit both sides to maximize your experience. The American side gives a side-on view of the American Falls, and an observation point only 20yds from the top of the falls. It has a more distant and partially obscured view of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, as the closest side of the Horseshoe is obscured by the curve of the falls. There are also views of the hotel skyline on the Canadian side. The Canadian side directly faces the American Falls and offers full views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls. The Canadian side also has a greater number of attractions and hotels. You can travel to the Canadian side for a closer view of Horseshoe Falls and to visit the other attractions in Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara on the Lake, although you will need a passport or another acceptable document. If you are not a United States citizen and are planning to re-enter the U.S., do not surrender your I-94 arrival record to the border authorities, otherwise you will need to apply for a new visa.

Goat Island – Goat Island is a popular destination for tourists visiting the falls on the U.S. side, offering some of the most spectacular views available there, in particular at Terrapin Point. It is connected to the U.S. mainland by two bridges carrying foot, car, and trackless train traffic. The island is largely wooded and is interlaced with foot trails. An elevator provides access down to the foot of the falls and to the Cave of the Winds tour. A scroll around the island and find the series of bridges that lead to the Three Sisters Islands. Said to be Frederick Law Olmsted's favorite place in the park, a walk across the footbridges will take you into the middle of the onrushing waters, at once serene and terrifying.

The Cave of the Winds takes you to the base of the American Falls for a breathtaking tour along a catwalk that is constructed every spring after the ice melts. Don your poncho and dare to brave the furious blast of the Hurricane Deck and the full force of the accumulated water of four Great Lakes. (Be forewarned, despite the poncho and other precautions, you will get wet. Be sure to bring a change of clothes.) It is an elevator ride followed by a guided walkway down to the bottom of the American Falls. You will get wet. Wet weather gear is provided. US$11 per adult, Open 9:00 am - 7:30 pm seven days a week.

North Indian Restaurant

While you are in Niagara Fall, if an Indian man approached you for cheap food at North Indian Restaurant for US$10 per person, please take caution. He will promise you with free transport to the restaurant, and buffet with choices of Indian, Chinese, and Western food. Please do not believe him, as the restaurant only provide with cheap Indian food, nearly vegetarian food with only chicken curry. It is a cheat....the man is very persuasive. Visitors, especially Indian food lovers to the Niagara Falls need to be alert on their tactic and avoid falling into their trap. There are other Indian restaurant in the downtown, you can scout around.

draft, to be continue

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