To be clear, while I am a proud Canadian, I am definitely not a fan of temperatures so frigid they reduce my testicles to raisins… but if I have to spend winter anywhere in my home and native land I’m glad I do so in Niagara Falls.
Yes, I’m dispensing with the literary foreplay and getting right down to it; what are you, my wife? Just lie back and enjoy it; it’ll be over before you know it. I mean, enjoy today’s post!
ONE) My dark sense of humor. I rather enjoy seeing young ladies show up to Niagara Falls in November – while dressed as though they’re in California in July. They begin to shiver slowly, then quickly, as their skin turns fifty shades of frostbite.
As I write this, a young lady with model features (her face appears as thought it was manufactured rather then created biologically) is posing in the lobby for anyone with a penis or a lust for girl flesh. Her hooker boots ascend to her bony knees but her skirt ends at the edge of her girl parts, so this chick is cold – while simultaneously steaming hot.
Seriously, this chick is striking poses for an imaginary photo shoot as she waits for her boyfriend’s leased car. She’s flipping her lion’s mane back and forth (its threatening to swallow her petite face entirely) slowly while projecting blue steel and turning one leg out in true model fashion.
She won’t be so hot when she heads out and that Canadian winter wind blows up her skirt and shoots out her nostrils…
TWO) The Niagara Parks Winter Festival of Lights. Click here for the full rundown, but the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights transforms my fair city’s most famous aspect into a palette of breathtaking color with millions of sparkling lights and animated displays, all of which are located within the Niagara Parks, Dufferin Islands and surrounding tourist
This year, the whole shebang is being billed as “Aura: Let it Glow”, bringing several incredible illumination-themed events to the Festival of Lights throughout the entire 56-km Niagara Parks.
Yes, I do sound like a PR shill, thank you very much.
The point is, the Parks (that’s what we locals call the Niagara Parks Commission) never disappoints. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have unlimited funds at your disposal.) If you’re ever in Niagara Falls in the winter, kids, you must do two things:
- Bundle up! (It’s damn cold down by the water.)
- Bask in the glow of the Winter Festival of Lights.
FUN BEHIND-THE-SCENES FACT: The Walt Disney Company was the primary sponsor of the Festival but once Niagara became home to two casinos, the House of Mouse closed up shop and headed out. I understand their position (not really) but what can you do?
THREE) The “Frozen Falls”. Every year American guests arrive at the hotel expecting to see a scene from Frozen. Hear me now, everyone:
IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY, PEOPLE! IF TEMPERATURES REACHED THE POINT WHERE THE RAGING POWER OF THE FALLS WERE SUPPRESSED, NO ONE WOULD BE LIVING IN THIS CITY AT ALL!
So please don’t expect to see an ice formation so dense it brings the Falls to a standstill, kids. No matter what CNN claims…
FOUR) The Not-so-Frozen Falls. Even if they’re not frozen over, the Falls are still pretty cool (pun intended) in the wintertime.
FIVE) The long, quiet, drawn-out workdays. Hear me out. I usually make the following joke about winter in the Niagara Falls hospitality trenches:
“Working in a Niagara Falls hotel in the winter is like being in The Shining… except those people had more fun.”
But the truth is, while I don’t relish the mind-numbing boredom or the inevitable dip in revenue, the winter serves a vital purpose in our existence. It allows us to recharge, to reevaluate and to renew our energies. Nowhere is this more valuable than in the hospitality industry.
With the exception of retail, the hospitality trenches are more treacherous than any other vocation that involves serving the needs of an increasingly-hostile public. In my (almost) two decades as a bellman I’ve watched the overall mood of the guests I serve degrade from slightly bold to mildly annoying to downright deplorable. This cannot be said of every guest, of course, but without the winter break, 90% of hotel staff would tender their resignation in their first summer season and never look back.
In closing (go ahead and cheer, I won’t hold it against you) my feelings for my hometown are too complicated to encapsulate here but I think you get the idea, right? Winter in Niagara is almost indescribable; standing at the brink of the Falls in the evening (which starts at 4:30, seriously) is a deeply-moving experience. The crowds are minimal, the air is brisk but clean, the world falls away and all you hear is the roar of nature as you stare at the unending movement of six million cubic feet of water over the crestline of the Falls every minute.
You find yourself frozen in a singular moment in time.
And once the winter mist falls over you, you find yourself literally frozen.
And on that frigid note, see you in the lobby, kids…
There is beauty in all things and moments, friends…