Thursday, January 11, 2007

a much belated post: color is overrated

i just looked at this blog and the first post is still present. how sad. unfortunately it is like a few too many of my ventures - a grand idea that never really goes anywhere.

but over the summer martha (a girl most beautiful, and not just to my biased eyes) and myself went to niagra falls (the canadian side). we rode down on the train into the heat and the old part of town. the working part, the local part. not much for tourists there, but when we arrived, it was fabulous, like the towns we grew up visiting in maine and nova scotia. a little piece of home.

but we walked a long time in the sun into the tourist part of town. chaos, noise, lights, strange creatures on buildings. it was hot, and we carried heavy backpacks. eventually we made it back to air-conditioned comfort and calming coffee.

the next evening, we went to the fallsview casino, having put on nice clothes and left our bags in the hotel room. i found the slots scary. you put money into a box and it goes away. they just freaked me right out. statistician as i am, i know the only gambling remotely worthwhile are the table games, which can be expensive. i bought a single $25 chip and played blackjack. i won my first hand, which was my main goal. if i lost the first one, that would have just sucked. but i won a few more, keeping back most of what i won, so i walked out with $125 in chips. martha figured it would be a good time to stop, as did i. gambling is stressful, but it is appealing, as such things will run through your head after leaving... why can't i go back with more money next time, and play for longer, and walk out with 1250 dollars, or maybe more... enough. i haven't gone back. would more likely wind up with noting. moving on.

martha and i, flush with the winnings from the casino, went up to a restaurant in the hilton there on the top floor with a great view of the falls for drinks and desert. the place was empty. looking out the window, there were the falls, illuminated, but there were gels on the lights to cast the falls in various colors. parts would shift from purple to green and red. never staying one color for long. you get the idea.

but it was such a strange sight. here was this majesty of nature, largest waterfall on the continent, now made cheap. the colored lights made it little different from the neon of a chain store. the chaos of the "crofton hill" section of the town was now brought to the falls themselves, and they were debased.

much like the debasement we saw in the "local" part of town walking back to the train station the next day. it just seemed so run down. excitement must have overwhelmed me and my mar when we first got into town. the economic depression of the non-tourist part of town was so sad. we talked between ourselves and wondered when this happend. would it be possible to track the changes in the town through tax records? newspapers? how could the loss of the old part of niagra falls be chronicled?

however, the reason for the state of the neighborhood was clear: it was the lights of the tourist town.

and hence, color is overrated.