Niagara Falls Jun20


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Niagara Falls

After a brief stopover at Vermont, I was on my way to the Niagara Falls through the lush green roads of rural, upstate New York. There were a few things about this stretch of the trip that really excited me. First of all, yes of course, it was the visit to Niagara – which somehow is a hugely popular tourist attraction among Indians (I’ll come to that later). The other thing I was looking forward to was meeting my undergrad buddy, Sabuj after 9 years. He works as a scientist in a chemical gases company in Buffalo (which is only 20-30 minutes from Niagara).


A little bit about Sabuj first. We were in the same major (Material Science) during undergrad and Sabuj was my lab partner in most of the electives. Over the course of several experiments we became great friends too, as we investigated various alloys under the microscope, bent steel wires to test their strength, shoved all kinds of things into the furnace and wrote reams and reams of lab reports. This was the perfect setting for two Bengali kids to develop some camaraderie because in the world of corrosive metals, pungent chemicals and evil, bearded lab instructors, you can’t survive without a good, reliable friend. Sabuj infact reminded me a lot of my dad, who is a scientist too. Both are very sincere, highly organized, extra careful, have a great handwriting and always love reminding me of things I usually lack/forget. Sabuj ensured I always carried my bicycle keys, graph papers attached to lab reports and basic stationary. Whereas dad ensures things such as, me carrying my passport and air ticket before my return flight from Delhi to US. (That I’m still forgetful about air tickets etc. is another story.) Sometimes, I joked with my mom that working with Sabuj is almost like being lab partners with dad. Anyway, Sabuj hosted me like a king at his place. We had a great time reminiscing about the old days and also about things that took place since we last met. Then next morning, I was on my way to Niagara.


I spent a good half-day touring Niagara, which was thundering as expected under the hot June sun. I took a group tour, which was quite exhaustive as well as exhausting. This guided tour has a shuttle that takes you to every nook and cranny/ touristy spot on the American side of the Niagara. This includes a boat tour to the mouth of the horseshoe falls, a couple of museum tours, a trip to the mouth of the bridal veil falls, three different vista points and more. During the 3-4 hour-long tour, I got some great views of the three falls that form the Niagara, but towards the end, I had enough of the touristy stuff and wanted to go back. Although I must say, I really enjoyed the Maid of the Mist boat tour to the mouth of the Niagara. The falls look mighty from below and quite eerie too with the thick mist forming at the mouth. Also, getting close to the Bridal Veil falls during the Cave of the Winds tour, was pretty amazing too. When I got really close to this fall, for a moment, the sound of the gushing water made me skip a heartbeat or two 🙂


The other thing to note about Niagara is the sheer number of Indian tourists. And like all Desi tourists, there were a good number of folks posing for Patel snaps and also staring and checking out fellow Desi tourists. Also, Niagara is probably close to Sunnyvale, CA in terms of the number of Indian restaurants (claiming to be authentic though) per visitor.


Anyway, I was out of Niagara by early evening and on my way to Cleveland. I was looking forward to visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum there.



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