Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Frustrated Male Model
Joined
·
475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·


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.








Awwww, lovebirds.



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.



More fireworks.



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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,589 Posts
public property yes...but they got you when it comes to bridges.

I dunno the specifics...even I would agree that due to the sensitive nature of a bridge like those, and because most of the engineering is exposed...photos should not be permitted at close range.

Thats like a battle that can't be won...you are better off talking shit to HSBC security guards. :)

I dunno...I see both points.
 

·
Told you so...
Joined
·
4,014 Posts
It's amazing what a pain in the ass it has become to cross the border. Even without the brain-dead passport requirement (fucking Chertoff - has he done anything proactive?). I was thinking the same exact thing Thursday night. Right or wrong, the US is becoming more of a police state every day. Of course anybody older than me says what's happened recently is nothing...

Funny thing is, it's ridiculously easy to get into Canada, and yet they don't have such a big problem with perceived attempts at terrorism. Makes you think.

I wonder how they intend to guard against cell phones. I have an easy solution though: If in fact it's true that cell phones are leading to the massive die-off of honeybees (and as they say, when the bees die so will everything else) I guess we'll just have to get rid of them. Hey, and I guess a stop to the decline of interpersonal social skills will be our reward.
 

·
Frustrated Male Model
Joined
·
475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If the rule is "no pictures on the bridge" then I'm fine with that. I just feel that since I made a point of asking customs if pedestrians were allowed on the bridge before starting out, and since I had a large camera around my neck at the time, the guy who cleared me to walk on the bridge should have told me taking pictures would be a problem. I would have said "thank you" and turned around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,111 Posts
That is just an example of how inept our whole "Homeland Security " process is. Wouldn't a terrorist be taking pictures OF the bridge. How can they prevent that? Of course there are thousands of pictures taken from the Rainbow Bridge because it has a spectacular view of the Falls. Do they arrest every tourist that snaps a shot?

Our security monkeys in this country have no clue about real security. The Israelis probably laugh at us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,589 Posts
well we have to start somewhere and calling political figures and federal employees names for simply doing a job that congress and the president want done is a bit confusing.

Policy is not always black and white...but knowing they are actually trying to do something about it makes me feel much better...you all realize that we are just short of having fighter jets in the air daily and national guard everywhere...I'm sure that would be a bigger pain in the asses of those who are so judgmental about the entire process.

Israel has about 50 years of experience securing a national border that equates to that of what? New York? and the entire security funding has been pumped in by friendly allies. Wish we happened to be that lucky.

anyways, nice shots WSJ.
 

·
Told you so...
Joined
·
4,014 Posts
Regardless, I'd feel much safer if they decided to simply hire more staff so that they can inspect more than 5% of all incoming cargo (or whatever that number was) instead of a meaningless and flawed passport system which has already failed with the travelling TB patient (and the 9/11 hijackers if you want to go back farther).

BTW the only Federal employee I'm singling out is that assclown Chertoff. Let's see, he's the #1 and frankly only culprit in the Katrina non-response (IMO), he hammed-and-hawed and stalled his way through the October storm (of which there are still arguments about what FEMA said they'd pay for but have decided not to), the unilaterally killed shared border management fiasco, and this passport or yet-uninvented and to date zero planning 6-months-before-the-magic-date passcard crap. Thankfully at least some individual states (WA in particular) have realized this is a joke from the start and have begun to move towards a solution on their own. He screwed something else up too, but I can't quite put my finger on it right now.

Not even Bush himself can claim that ignominious record.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,111 Posts
well we have to start somewhere and calling political figures and federal employees names for simply doing a job that congress and the president want done is a bit confusing.

Policy is not always black and white...but knowing they are actually trying to do something about it makes me feel much better...you all realize that we are just short of having fighter jets in the air daily and national guard everywhere...I'm sure that would be a bigger pain in the asses of those who are so judgmental about the entire process.

Israel has about 50 years of experience securing a national border that equates to that of what? New York? and the entire security funding has been pumped in by friendly allies. Wish we happened to be that lucky.

anyways, nice shots WSJ.

We don't take security seriously in this country. We still don't hire highly trained inspectors at the airports. When I go through Ohare the guards are more likely to be talking about their boy friends or hair doos than looking you in the eye and really trying to get a feel for your intentions. The no fly list is filled with dead people (Sadam Husain is on the list) and people such as the president of Chile. Oh he is certainly going to high jack a plain! This administration has shown over and over that they are about lip service and nothing else. We still don't screen 99% of the containers shipped into our ports. Oh but we certainly will feel safe from in coming missiles once that Regan star wars project is finished.

Anyone who feels safe with the current level of security prep is seriously missguided. That is my take on it anyway.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top