My journal for Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Tuesday’s journal begins with the Monday night before departure.
Items not packed yet, i.e. nearly forgotten, vodka nips and tonic water and a hot cup to replace flimsy paper cups filled w hot coffee.
At my last café visit I researched restaurants in Buffalo and nothing jumped out at me.
So I decided to decide on dinner when I get to the site.
Maybe somebody there will clue me.
If I can find a decent steak dinner I’d count myself lucky.
I did find a restaurant in Dearborn, MI from a website that recommends top restaurants across the country.
Ironically, it was the existence of that restaurant that altered my route from Niagara Falls, Canada to Cleveland, to Canada to Dearborn, MI.
Al Ameer @ 27346 Ford Rd, Dearborn Heights.
I also found an inexpensive hotel: 70.00
Days Inn by Wyndham Niagara Falls Near the Falls;
5943 Victoria Ave
Niagara Falls, Canada
Confirmation # 1938.802.274
After my research I packed the car.
Still later, I went to the club for my last workout before departure.
Today’s post is for Wednesday, September 5
My 148th consecutive daily posting.
I’m preparing it Tuesday evening.
It’s Tuesday’s journal for Wednesday posting.
Tuesday night’s dinner was a delicious prime rib.
Eating it at the Keg overlooking the falls.
Weather for Wednesday in Dearborn, MI is hot and clear.
It is 4.35am
On Tuesday morning I enter directions into my GPS: 5943 Victoria Ave, a Days Inn quoted at 70.00 Canadian and costing 111.00 on arrival.
I used One Notes on the car trip and will now type them in good order.
My first thought as I went to retrieve the car from the garage, at exactly 6.00am, was that I am not going on this trip as an active participant but as an observer.
Meaning, existentially, that I will be passive; will let events wash over me; will not garner the frustration of being thwarted in my goals.
Simply put myself in the way of a good time and permit it to happen.
I put the last load of goods into the car.
I set the GPS.
It tells me I’m to drive for 7 and a half hours; cover 470 miles.
In the event, I developed the idiom of adding 20% to the estimated time for stops.
That seemed to work out today.
I drove the speed limit for a while.
But when I was in open highway with few cars, I drove a casual 70-75.
I was totally relaxed the entire trip.
No pushing to pass others.
Although that happened.
Many. Perhaps as often as once every forty minutes.
Seemed to be the rhythm of the rest areas.
On three of the stops I pulled my cap over my face and closed my eyes for 10 to 15 minutes each.
Never had heavy lids while driving.
I drank my morning coffee in the car in my hot cup.
Spectacularly safer than the flimsy cups we are given.
Unfortunately, the temperature of the coffee was far below what Starbuck’s served.
I felt it necessary to buy another cup later on just for the tactile pleasure of the heat.
Only incrementally better.
The weather was terrific.
Made the driving easy.
The scenery was poor.
Just one moment of vistas in the mountains of western Massachusetts.
When I got to Niagara Falls, the traffic was significantly lighter than the GPS had anticipated and the trip was happily shortened.
Room is decent.
Niagara Falls’ main boulevard is an amazingly cheap stretch.
What is Niagara Falls?
Border of Ontario, Canada, and New York, United States
Total height: 167 ft (51 m)
Number of drops: 3
Watercourse: Niagara River
Average flow rate: 85,000 cu ft/s (2,400 m3/s)
Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the American state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge.
From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.
The Horseshoe Falls lies on the border of the United States and Canada with the American Falls entirely on the United States' side, separated by Goat Island.
The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also on the United States' side, separated from the American Falls by Luna Island.
Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). During peak daytime tourist hours, more than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute.
Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by flow rate.
The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean.
Niagara Falls is famed both for its beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.
This ends my input.
I’m going to forward this to Howard Dinin to see if anything herein generates thoughts he could add in.
The real meat of my thoughts actually derives from that magical Proustian reference to Dearborn MI. A magical memory place for me, which I can tell only for the vividness of my recollections of time I spent there when I was seven, and have never jotted down a word about since.
But I'll let it wait until tomorrow, when Dom's in fact there, and gets in his impressions. In the meantime I can gather my thoughts and not simply improvise as I am doing here, because, well, all that jazz... I like to let it mellow before I start to blow.
Suffice it to say, that Dearborn is of course a place of significance in the last chapter of the formation of American greatness as it was forged in our foundries, and stamped out, rolled, and molded in our mills and factories. Dearborn is the original quintessential home of Ford Motor Company.
It's significant to me, because our first all brand-new car was a Ford Fairlane, which my father acquired in 1953, a year of considerable moment for me personally, starting with a trip I made with my mother to visit her sister, my Aunt Lena, who ran a general store and gas station in Inkster MI, a little 2 X nothing town, long since a suburb of Detroit, but back then a wholly rural backwater. And only about a seven mile drive, according to Google, from Dearborn.
Back then, when I was a boy, Dearborn was also home to a museum, a village-sized living museum. It remains transcendent after the fact of any other manufactured historical recapitulations, like Sturbridge or I don't know what, because something very real was done in Dearborn. The second phase of the Industrial Revolution, involving the assembly line manufacture of automobiles real working people could afford, ushered in a new economic revolution and enabled the emergence of the United States as a global power, by now unsurpassed in the history of that world. Our world.
A fellow named Henry Ford made his home there, and built the company that he gave his name, and Dearborn remains the world headquarters of that company. I don't know what happened to the star attraction to seven year-old boys in 1953, Greenfield Village, right there in what was still a small town back then, and not the eighth largest city in Michigan. It also today has the state's largest Muslim population, and I doubt there were but a handful when I was last there. And that's another thing whose impact I can't speak to. But maybe Dom will tell us.—Howard
I have a feeling Dom, and some others among us, would like to take a look at the following, which I just "discovered" myself. It's an app for iPhone (and Android, as far as I know), that replicates and then makes even better, a book from one of my favorite publishers of, of all things, art books and (to use an overused word these days) iconic photo books. I have enough of the latter.
I also have a boatload of apps for that matter, many of which I try and forget and they clutter up my phone. But this one seems different, and I have a feeling it will have an immediate usefulness for our bold explorer.
It's called "Where Chefs Eat" and includes 4500 restaurant recommendations from around the world, the references made by real full-time, recognized working chefs.
Be aware, it's a little pricey (just shy of ten bucks). It's in its third edition though, and there are bound to be more, so it's likely a great investment.—HD
[Disclosure: I do not work for and am in no way affiliated with Apple, Inc. or Phaidon Books.]
Oh, and if you go to the Phaidon website, there's a deal for a hard-cover version of the book (with hundreds and hundreds of pages) and the app combined. The book, as I can personally attest, is very handsome and impressive to hold and use. It's a good deal, for about 25 bucks or so.