Frustrated Male Model
The Grand Island Bridges.
The plan was to walk across but I chickened out before I reached the middle of the bridge. Bawk bawk.
The golden sands underneath the Grand Island Bridges.
Looking up. Watch out for falling concrete!
The Grand Island Bridges.
On to the Peace Bridge... will I chicken out this time, too?
Victory! The view from the Peace Bridge.
Looking up at the Parker Truss on the Peace Bridge.
From the Peace Bridge.
Downtown Buffalo from the Peace Bridge.
The 190 from the Peace Bridge.
Seneca Niagara Casino Hotel.
Our old friend the United.
The United and the Niagara Hotel (now Ramada).
Big U with the Seneca Hotel in the distance.
The fireworks that started just as I got back to my car.
Ok, so here's the deal. I chickened out before reaching the middle of the Grand Island bridge, so partly out of curiosity and partly in search of redemption I decided to try the Peace Bridge instead. I asked the customs officer if pedestrians were allowed on the bridge and he told me yes. I walked up and onto the bridge, making it to the international line before turning back.
Where I was promptly taken into custody for taking photos on the bridge. Apparently when I asked the customs officer if pedestrians are allowed on the bridge, he didn't realize the giant camera hanging around my neck meant I'd be taking pictures. Two customs agents had me wait in a small room then asked me a lot of questions, then viewed my photos and decided I was harmless and let me go.
Well, it turns out I'd done a very stupid thing and parked in a place that didn't have an outlet back into the United States. So I had to drive across the Peace Bridge and then turn around and drive back. The traffic was horrible so I figured "hey, why not drive up to the Falls and cross back over the Rainbow Bridge?"
Getting on the QE2 took the last of my money and I was near Welland when I realized that if there's a toll on the Rainbow Bridge I'd be screwed. So I went to a cash machine. First it wouldn't take my bank card. Then it wouldn't take my credit card. Then I tried to call my credit card but I was out of my cell's calling area. You may have heard me cursing right about this time.
Finally I decide to just go to the bridge. No toll, thank goodness, but I guess the customs agent didn't like my look because he had me pull to the side and they searched my car. After what seemed an eternity I was finally allowed back into the United States, hours after deciding on a whim to take a walk on the Peace Bridge.
Now, I understand customs people are doing their jobs, and I talk like this was a big dramatic deal, but it really wasn't. I knew I didn't do anything wrong so I wasn't scared or anything, just eager to get home. But I do have a couple of issues:
1. why didn't the customs officer I approached initially say "hey, you can't take pictures" when I asked if I could walk on the bridge with a giant honking camera around my neck?
2. when I was being questioned I asked if I did anything wrong. The agent told me "when you take pictures on the bridge we get nervous" which I understand completely, but he never said taking pictures is against the rules. Is it or isn't it? I've done the very same thing on the Rainbow Bridge with no issues whatsoever.
3. Couldn't anyone with a cell phone do exactly what I did from the comfort of their car?
Ok, I'm done ranting. It was an interesting experience but I'm not in any hurry to repeat it.