Walter Mencken 1 p.m., May 1
- Community Blog
- On the borders
on the borders
The contrast between north and south. Canadiens and Mexicans. I grew up in Niagara Falls, NY. Thousands of tourists crossing the border every summer between my home town and Canada. The average time waiting is about ten minutes. Great place to be when the weather is mild. I was sick every winter with asthma, allergies, pneumonia and other stuff.
Check off a big check in the plus column for the improvement in my health during what passes for winter in Southern California. Many people would also check off the increase in sunny days as another positive feature. I like clouds. And shade trees. The weather is bland for anyone who has lived through -56 wind chill factor cold that goes right through gloves, a heavy coat & a ski mask, or fog that makes someone get out of the car to look for a curb or the stripe in the road, or thunder which cinderizes an old oak tree a hundred feet away. Listen to the wimpy locals complain about a rain storm which delivers a tenth of an inch or rain, or less. Ho hum.
What does San Diego have that most places don't? Leapers. A few who leap, and lots who get talked out of it. One big bridge and lots of smaller ones to choose from. There are fallow periods. No one does it for months at a time. Then one jumper closes down a freeway overpass. Other imitators follow. But the local gangs are less malevolent than in L. A. or Chicago. Earthquakes are a worry mainly for outsiders. Hey reporters, the word for a small earthquake is tremor. Doesn't make news but it would be closer to the truth to say 3.7 tremor affected no one and nothing except a few seismographs.
Most of the vegetation in San Diego County looks anemic to me. The center of Balboa Park where the zoo and the museums are, is somewhat better than most of San Diego. A few acres around UCSD campus in La Jolla have more abundant shade trees and plant growth. Real forests are in Northern California. The landscape around me when I was younger was always green. I have grown accustomed to brown and grey. But you may be sure that I won't trade the Border with Mexico for the one with Canada.
I went back for a visit with my family. We saw Goat Island and The Cave of The Winds which allows tourists to get up close and soaked by the falls. That is the main attraction on the U. S. side. One surprise is that many of the visitors are from India. There are many restaurants with Indian cuinsine near the falls. There is much more to see on the Canadien side. Canada employs 1,500 gardeners each summer in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The ferris wheel has a spectacular view.
America's Finest City has mild weather year round. We have many attractions on the U.S. side of the border. Tijuana remains underdeveloped because of the obstacle course at the border. Seattle and Vancouver have ferries and hovercraft. Fireworks are the most dangerous item smuggled in from Canada. Drugs and illegals come from our distant neighbors to the south. Decriminalize marijuana to eliminate one of those problems. Maybe Congress will alleviate the other one. Miracles happen once in a while.
San Diego has grown up as a city in the last few decades. It is a far cry from the megaloplis to the north. It is a long ways from San Francisco, though it has become somewhat more liberal(in what now passes for liberalism. There is no comparison with a cosmopolitan city such as New York. Our neighbors to the north are treated differently than and regarded in a different way than those to the south. Nor are West Coast cities the same as East Coast human hives.
More like this:
- Niagara Falls, Like Grandpa Used to Love — Aug. 17, 2012
- weather chill in paradise — March 12, 2012
- Life on the Rim: The Surf Along the Pacific Ring of Fire — Oct. 8, 2011
- Seismic Sensation — June 30, 2010
- Jesus and Hockey — May 6, 2010