Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A triumph for the home team


Of all the cool things that happened over this past weekend—and there was nonstop fabulousness every hour of every day—I have got to say that my proudest moment was when some of my fellow bloggers went with me to both sides of Niagara Falls, and afterwards there was unanimous agreement that the American side was—yes—better.

You see, for years we have been putting up with the universal wisdom (largely spread by taxi drivers) that not only is the American side not as scenic, but that there is no reason to go to NF, US at all. While it’s true that the actual city of NF, US is in bad shape, when you go to see the Falls, you don’t really need to see the city. What the US side has is a lovely park embracing the viewing area. You can walk across scenic bridges, get really, really close to the falls and rapids, meander down pathways, and always be surrounded by trees and plants.

Across the way, however, although the actual view of the falls is more spectacular, you are on pavement and hemmed in by a commercial strip of tacky tourism options—wax museums, souvenir shops, etc. The CA side has some great nature trails along the gorge, but I find the area close to the waterfall kind of built-up.


So it was nice to hear this corroborated. As for the rest of our blogger meet-up, others have taken much better pictures than I and detailed every event better than I could. What many might not realize is that much of it was as new to me as it was for our visitors. I had never set foot on Sixteenth Street, hadn’t visited the Lancaster gardens for years, and had never seen Mike Shadrack’s hosta paradise.


It gave me some ideas. Here are the rest of my pictures, though I did not really have time to take as many as other did. Check them out here.

17 comments:

Gail said...

I got to see the falls from the air as I left Buffalo. Does the word magnificent even approximate it's glory! Elizabeth, I so wish I had gotten a shot of the look on your face when you saw MS's hosta paradise...I am sure it echoed the pleasure and delight on all of ours. Thank you for a wonderful weekend filled with magical gardens, delightful people and delicious food. xxgail

Carol said...

Yes, the American side of the falls is certainly not to be missed.

Thank you for being our guide through the falls and for the entire weekend. We will all remember with great fondness this wonderful long weekend in Buffalo. Bravo to you and Jim for all you did, and to everyone in Buffalo who made us so welcome!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

While I missed visiting Niagara Falls with all of you, I did get to see them from above. Way above. Someday I'd like a closer look, and I will definitely be visiting the American side. That sounds more my speed. I'm glad you got to play the tourist a bit too for Buffa10. It was delightful from start to finish.

kris at Blithewold said...

I'm so glad that even you were able to see parts of your amazing city with fresh eyes. What a great time that was. Perfect perfect. Thanks again! (and I totally agree with you about how beautiful the park is on the American side.)

Pam/Digging said...

The whole event was delightful, Elizabeth. Kudos to you and Jim for all your planning and execution. I had a wonderful time. Thank you!

Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence™ said...

Visiting NF for the first time was one of many much anticipated "must sees" while on my trip to Buffalo. I liked both sides, but preferred the American side for its bucolic presences and intimacy. H.

Rose said...

It's been years since I visited Niagra Falls, but I'll be sure to visit the American side the next time I do visit. I've been reading many of the posts on Buffa10 and enjoying all the photos. It sounds like everyone had such a fantastic time. Kudos to you and Jim for all your hard work in making this a memorable weekend for all who attended.

fairegarden said...

When we visited NF in '96, the American side was preferred as well. Just to add another point for the home team. This entire event was superb from start to finish and the city of Buffalo is incredible. The friendliness of the gardeners at each destination, the fine food and the excellent planning all were much appreciated. It couldn't have been better. Thank you.
Frances
ps, I have been perusing online at Lily Gardens, thanks for the tip!

commonweeder said...

I didn't get to see the Falls, but my husband has now promised to go back with me. I will enjoy taking him around to some of the great neghborhoods we visited. The front yards are beautiful. And I want to thank you for your generosity- and efficiency- in making such a spectacular weekend possible for us. Thank you.
Pat

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Never step foot on Sixteenth? I lived there for 10 years! Haven't been on Lancaster in years? I've lived here for ten! I do have to admit I had only seen the Shadrack garden on the Thursday everyone arrived, a two-day advance. And after seeing it, I was SO anxious for the group to see that enchanting garden and even more enchanting hosts. Conversely, I have not been to Niagara Falls in more than ten years.

Jean said...

I think the home team hit it out of the park! Thank you so much for all your hard work. Same to Jim. You guys rock, as does your city.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oooh... can you make the link to your FB Photo album public again? FB wouldn't let me in--it said that the public link was expired. (I'm devouring all things Buffa10 and would love to drool over those photos, too. :)

Susan aka Miss R said...

Love your pictures and your honesty! The on-going conversations were the best part for me...meeting people who didn't think I was so geeky for loving gardens, architecture and art. Almost paradise.

lkw said...

I was delighted to soak up the diversity of the gardens in different neighborhoods, and experience their contrasts.

And it was great to talk with many of the gardeners, too.

The garden on 16th street (with the shelf mushroom planters) was one of the most remarkable gardens that I've seen in many years of visiting gardens.

Thanks again to you and Jim for a wonderful weekend.

Lisa

EAL said...

Thanks all!

I changed the link--the public link code they give at the bottom is not working, so I give the url. Don't know if that will work ...

In any case, please do see all the flickr collections and posts that Jim lists on the buffa10.blogspot.com site. There are much better images than mine!

Donalyn said...

I have always thought the American side is so much more peaceful and beautiful - we stay at the Red Coach Inn when we go every couple years and it is wonderful.

Backyardening said...

The US side is definitely more beautiful. The CA side is fun to visit for a couple hours, but if you're just looking to enjoy the beauty of the falls, stay in the US.
Also, don't miss the Maid of the Mist boat tours of the falls...amazing!!! http://www.maidofthemist.com/en/