Tonawanda News


January 11, 2013

The case for staying home


Tonawanda News — Granted, standing in line to ascend the Eiffel Tower, and looking at a screen depicting the line of tourists awaiting the same, are not the same thing. It’s close enough, though, when you factor in the euros and the hours and the inconvenience.

I’ve been to Las Vegas, a number of times. Fascinating place, but lately every part of America is becoming more like Las Vegas. Do some gambling, see a show. Everyone is within driving distance of that experience, now.

So, why is the tourism industry thriving? 

Well, not every potential customer is as jaded and worn as I am, some customers have families whose lust for exploring the world won’t be satisfied until the family visits Disney World, and more and more places have potentially marketable attractions; it was only two years ago that Buffalo realized all those old brick buildings, the ones the city had not gotten around to flattening, made some “architectural tourism” adherents nearly faint with excitement.

Marketable attractions now include “eco-tourism,” wherein tourists visit alleged jungles, deserts and other environmentally pristine places somehow shorn of their danger and menace to better accommodate people with money.

What you are going to drop everything in your life to see, you over there with the luggage, is becoming less and less authentic, more and more expensive, and less and less worth the effort. Boarding an airplane to see a loved one, I can understand; taking a trip to see your idea of Paris and noting the 21st century version of the place doesn’t square with the romantic notion in your head that somehow includes Angelina Jolie and a Ferrari, well ...

With the Web, and those cameras all over the place, I feel I am not missing much by staying in one place while the world comes to me. Factor in television, the ability to read, a variety of communication methods to contact friends all over the world, local purveyors of exotic foreign food and plenty of available teaching on how to prepare it, the availability of worldwide music and talk on Internet radio; what am I missing when you board the plane for Rome or Dubrovnik or Haifa, and I don’t?

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  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

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  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

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  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

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