Niagara Falls

31 Mar

Saturday. The weather was a bit chilly, but not ridiculous. It was sunny, for a change. There were loads of people on the Canadian side sightseeing, shopping, and otherwise enjoying themselves.

After crossing the border, I noticed that Frank Parlato’s flash cube was dead.

But the fact that there were no cars parked in his makeshift parking lot one block from the Niagara Falls State Park made the Rainbow Mall all that much more visible.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the second building in from the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, New York. Welcome, friends.

Recall that, pursuant to its contract with the city, Cordish is supposed to maintain this mall as a “first class” facilities. At this point, it’s not first class. It is, instead, akin to being on an empty plane that’s been stripped of its seats, carpeting, upholstery, and amenities. And smeared with feces.

23 Responses to “Niagara Falls”

  1. Adam K March 31, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    mockingly fresh and laugh out loud funny.

    And correct.

  2. STEEL March 31, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    I think the problem is lack of parking

  3. Pauldub April 1, 2008 at 4:32 am #

    It’s all the casino’s fault. They took all the Rainbow Mall’s business away.

  4. anthony v April 1, 2008 at 8:46 am #

    Here is to hoping that the new mayor will finally facilitate NF’s promise.

  5. Dan April 1, 2008 at 9:07 am #

    STEEL> I think the problem is lack of parking

    This post wins the thread.

  6. jack fate April 1, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    I think it needs another casino. Obviously, just one isn’t doing the trick.

  7. steve April 1, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Was the casino supposed to fix the litany of fail that has been the Falls’ legacy for the past, oh, 40 years?

    I’m not a fan of gambling, and certainly don’t see it as an economic development tool by itself. But, the Senecas borrowed and spent money. They make a lot of money. They are planning to spend more money, so they can make even more money. Seems to me that everyone else is playing the speculation game, waiting (hoping?) for someone to come along so they don’t have to invest themselves.

    btw, what’s the over/under on how long it take the litigious Mr. Parlato to file a claim against Pundit for the “fail” comment on the flashcube photo?

  8. hank April 1, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    Niagara Falls USA has had development problems since the building of the first power plant.

    I don’t get it–and maybe I’m not supposed to.
    I’ve been going to see the Falls since the early 60’s. And in all of my visits,(more than 50 I would guess) one question goes un-answered.


    In 88 my kids were in 2nd Grade and Kindergarten–Time to get them to see the falls for the first time. I wanted them to have a positive experience. So I drove over the Peace Bridge and took the River Parkway to NF Ontario. Parked in a spacious lot with good lighting and surveillance cameras for security–and bought 4 “People Mover” passes for the day—at the time–4.00 US. Got on the trams and went all over the city as well as stops at all the Falls vantage points. Clean, well landscaped, attentive personnel at the shops. My kids still talk about it and they’re in their 20’s now.

    Why the hell can’t WE do it like the Canadians have?

    Took my first ride on Maid of the Mist in June of 2004. A beautiful day and on the USA side we only had to wait about 10 minutes to get on the boat. Across the gorge on the Canadian side they were waiting 30 min. at the same time. You have to ask yourself–why were there 3 times more people on the Ont side? You know the answer. It’s just a nicer experience on that side.

    Instead of our State and local pols worrying about their pockets, and their friends pockets, and the Union local’s officers pockets—perhaps they could put some of that money into creating on OUR side what the Canooks were SMART enough to put on THEIR side.

  9. Dan April 1, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    Instead of those featureless windows, that wall is a prime canvas for a colorful mural, perhaps painted by handicapped and special needs schoolchildren, which would include themes such as diversity, self-empowerment, and a tribute to law enforcement officials. It will make all the citizens of Niagara Falls feel better about themselves, and also attract new development to the area.

  10. Dan April 1, 2008 at 11:06 am #


    To Canada, Niagara Falls is the front door to their nation; te grand entrance. To the United States, it’s the back door.

  11. Chris Smith April 1, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    Niagara Fails, makes me laugh everytime.

  12. hank April 1, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    Chris–I understand. Laugh so you don’t cry.

    Because NF USA is a CRYING SHAME–massive opportunity SQUANDERED in the name of partisian politics,unions and cow-towning to the damn Indians.

    It only takes ONE trip to Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, AC or the Redneck Riviera to see why a casino isn’t just a gambling joint. It’s shows, dining experiences,luxurious rooms,adjacent golf courses in some cases.


    And NF figured the way to redevelop was to let the Indians build an all inclusive?


  13. Russell April 1, 2008 at 1:55 pm #

    One important difference is Canada has most of the views while we have most of the falls. Yes, we need a lot more development on our side, but we don’t have quite the natural attraction that the Canadian side has. Also, a lot of the development on the Canadian side really took off after their casino was built. Sure there were hotels and some laughable attractions there before the casino, but Clifton Hill was not much of anything other than a street of wax museums about 15 years ago. Working with and around the casino sure worked over on that side.

  14. steve April 1, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    hank — Perhaps you’ve forgotten that the FIRST casino in this area was in Niagara Falls, Ontario. So, saying that Niagara Falls USA kowtowed to the Senecas assumes that the Seneca Casino was the first and only effort at development on the US side.

    The disaster of a mall, and the Wintergarden, and the Turtle, and the much lamented splash park, and the closing of Falls Street, and the convention center were all undertaken long before the Senecas dealt the first blackjack.

    It’s now been at least three years since the idea of a major tourist attaction, a discovery center of sorts, was announced, and not a shovel has been put in the ground. In fact, I’m not sure they’ve even identified a site.

    In terms of tourism and beauty, the US side has been playing catch-up since the late 1800s. That’s when the US side decided to use all that water, and much of the waterfront, for industrial purposes. It was a good deal for a long time…want a pretty view, go to Canada. Want a job, go the US side.

    Times changed but, sadly and typically, our side was painfully resistant to changing with it. The result? A shrinking industrial/commercial base, a shrinking population, and an even more painful case of penis envy when we gaze across the river. In other words, downtown Niagara Falls USA in 2008. Pundit’s pictures don’t lie.

  15. Timothy Domst April 1, 2008 at 3:41 pm #

    If we had a few Ontario-quality strip clubs on our side NF NY would be rocking in no time, and I’m not being facetious.

  16. Denizen April 1, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    That monstrosity needs to be demolished. NOW

  17. eliz April 1, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    Steve is correct. Niagara Falls, US clung to the industrial paradigm for far too long. That said, you can’t talk about the casinos on either side as though it’s apples to apples. The Canadian govt. owns their casinos and uses the profits to pay for all kinds of improvements. On our side, we don’t get enough to do much, though there are some decent streetscaping improvements on 3rd street.

    I like our side of the Falls though, nature-wise. Goat Island is beautiful and you can get much closer to the actual Falls, especially Bridal Veil. And the hikes along the Gorge are magnificent. If you haven’t done this you really should.

    I also like the new mayor. He has some great ideas and is way smarter than anyone they’ve had recently. There is money coming from the Greenway that will pay for improvements to the park and some new attractions, including, I believe the discovery center that has been mentioned. So, there is hope on some fronts.

  18. mike hudson April 1, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    no, it’s not much. but it’s ours.

  19. Greg April 2, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    the gorge is cool. nothing like sitting in the niagara river on a hot summer day. Go down the stairs from the whirlpool state park and then hike up river a bit

  20. wcp April 2, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    I think the problem now is finding a catalyst development that will encourage other developers to invest. Who wants to be the first one to build anything besides a hotel or parking lot in NF, NY? Much less risk on the Ontario side where there is momentum and a critical mass. Time for Urban Renewal II to take out the Rainbow Centre Mall. The first project is going to have to be big enough to create a destination on the NY side- that’s why the Cogan plan looked promising. NYState is going to have to have to do more than streetscape improvements to get things going here.

  21. Mike April 2, 2008 at 3:24 pm #

    Canada is so much better if you love carnaval barkers calling you to come and see the dog faced boy.

  22. Fearless Leader June 9, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    This stuff is just more of the same since WNY started dying in the 1950’s. My parents went to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon when they got married in 1956… they took a few pictures on the American side, but they did most of their touristy things on the Canadian side.

    When I lived on the Canadian side in the 80’s, I was shocked to see how run-down the American side was, even with the brand-new Rainbow Center… I’d hate to see how bad it is 20 years later. I still can’t figure out why someone (Park Commission? Albany?) totally bypassed the parks on the American side by forcing people to get OFF the Robert Moses Parkway. We could stand in the middle of the crumbling highways that went right through the park. These roads were able to bring tourists right to the American falls at one point, but someone got the bright idea to shunt people AWAY from the park. Pure brilliance.

  23. Da Boz December 22, 2008 at 10:35 am #

    Yea, Hey Canadians, welcome to America, where we don’t give a damn how bad we look!

    Come for the promise of an indoor garden, stay for the reality of crazy black women asking you for money and hailing ‘JESUS, HAVE MERCY!’ when you don’t give it to them.

    ‘USA, Where your childhood memories are our crap to flush down the toilet’

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