Sunday, April 17, 2005

On Assignment: Niagara Falls, New York-Day One

"Candian Lights" by Wes Aldridge

This shot is offically my first international photograph. I know, I know, its just Canada. I went across the border tonight to scout out shots of Niagara Falls and I decided to snap a few neons on Centre Street in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The street was bizarre, much like I remember it when my friends and I went on a whirlwind day trip there about five years ago. It is a strange mix of the main strip in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (major tourist trap) with casinos sprinkled into the mix.

Crossing into Canada was strange in itself. I had to stop and let a pair of Canadian customs officers search my vehicle for contraband and answer several questions. I simply had to present my drivers license and after the search, I was free in another country. After flocking about in the streets of Canadia, I went to cross back into the States. It bothered me because only after a few questions like, "Where were you born?" and "How long were you in Canada?," I was able to drive my rental car back into the U.S. It was ultra simple to cross into the border and there was no search of my car or anything of that nature. I thought with the state of New York being as it is after 9/11 and the position of Homeland Security, I imagined the process of coming into the States would be a little more difficult, or thorough, however you want to look at it. Just something to think about.

I am not a person that wants or supports more restrictions on free travel and such. But I thought with the gigantic ordeal and emphasis being placed onto the ideal of broken borders and fear of terrorists coming into the country, it would be much more than a 3-minute event to cross the Big Line.