Flash Fiction # 78

Coffee

Copyright Jean L. Hays

CARNIVAL

It might have been a mistake to book an entire week in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The volume of water, the height it plunged, the roar it made, the mist it produced, were awe-inspiring – for about an hour. Two hours, if you went back at night to see the colored lights.

The second day we discovered Clifton Hill, three blocks of pavement rapidly ascending from the edge of the gorge. Its sides were lined with dozens of shops whose sole purpose was to relieve tourists of their money.

Not Starbucks, Henry’s Coffee Emporium – lovely stained glass, wish we lived at 708 Fulton.

***

To begin: In reverse, on the banner outside the window, are the words ‘Clifton Hill.’ I’m not crazy(er than usual).  There may be a Clifton Hill somewhere else, but I thought of Niagara Falls, since we’ve been there several times.  There is no ‘Fulton’, St., Ave., etc. in Niagara.  Don’t let my slightly dystopian tale affect any plans.  The place is well worth visiting.

The Falls are magnificent, from either side of the border. The city is clean and well-run, and has much to offer.  Clifton Hill is like a little microcosm of Las Vegas, or a permanent carnival set-up.  It has wax museums; the Ripley’s Believe It or Not, museums of the strange, shops offering kitschy mementos.  It has a small Ferris Wheel, perched halfway up the hill.  It has candy shops and purveyors of all types of food, some of it fried, which is good, but not necessarily good for you.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

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26 thoughts on “Flash Fiction # 78

  1. Ian Franks says:

    I visited Niagara Falls un June 2007. A delightful but definitely tourist orientated town on the Canadian side.
    Whoever had the foresight to add the giant water feature made the town what it is today!

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Now it’s got a new giant Casino and is even more a tourist trap, but there’s lots of good stuff. Some nice restaurants, and an IMAX theater. Good thing God left the shower running. 😉

      Like

  2. BrainRants says:

    I’d say anything other than Starbuck’s would be welcome.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      In a way, the restrictions remind me of Old Charleston, only, nothing tacky like Starbucks – only tacky things like palm readers, cotton candy and Ripley’s. 😯
      BTW; I dig the cool new shades and facial fuzz. 😎

      Like

  3. draliman says:

    I wouldn’t mind visiting, but it’s unfortunately thousands of miles away…
    From your description is also sounds quite commercialised but then, where isn’t these days? At least it’s not a Starbucks!

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      I guess you’re stuck with the Cotswolds, or Brighton. This tale took place in the custom-roast Coffee Emporium, but the Starbucks are lurking just ’round the corner. Makes no difference to me. I don’t drink the stuff. 😯

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim Wheeler says:

    Nobody goes there. It’s too crowded. — Yogi Berra

    Like

  5. Dale says:

    Been there many, many times. My aunt lived in Hamilton which was a mere 3/4 hour to get there. It was a lot less commercial back in the seventies…

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      I went once with my parents in 1950. There was lots more water going over the edge because they weren’t diverting as much for power generating. We took our kids in ’73 – the second or third year Marineland was open. In the ’90s, the wife and I went around our anniversary, Dec. 2. for about 8 years. It’s after the Thanksgiving rush, and before the Christmas/New Years rush begins, and rates are low. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. rogershipp says:

    Well done. I have not been to teh Falls…. BUt the night sounds beautiful!

    Like

  7. mjlstories says:

    Visited in 1988 on Canadian side – it was much more low key and no lights. We had this silly hobby fro a while of collecting photos of plates from all American states and the car park there was great! Whatever makes you happy. 🙂

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Never thought of taking photos, but I also keep an eye out for ‘foreign’ licence plates. The local area has a strong tourist draw, and I’ve seen plates of all 50 States on the streets and in parking lots. A surprising number from California, several from Alaska – that’s quite a drive, and at least 2 from Hawaii. You have to be going quite a speed before you slide off the Coast Highway, and skip all the way to San Francisco. 😉 😆

      Like

  8. Margaret says:

    It’s lovely when you discover unexpected delights on holiday trips. The planned highlights often turn out not to be the things that make the memories. Sometimes it’s just a particular cafe, or street. Good story.

    Like

  9. Good story, Archon. The picture of the Falls with lights on is lovely. I went with my parents and a cousin to the Canadian side of the Falls years ago and we enjoyed it. The only problem we had was the downpour when we had to leave. The entire town was surrounded by water. My dad took a chance and drove through it as he had to get back to work. Well done. Happy New Year to you and yours. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      It is an iconic location. It’s almost amazing to see how many people come, and from how far away. Glad I learned how to link in the picture.
      Thanx for the kind wishes. Here’s to a happy, prosperous, and productive year for all of us. 😀

      Like

  10. I visited Niagara Falls in 1958. Sadly, being 18mths old I don’t remember anything about it but of course have a photo to prove it. Good story. You have persuaded me I want to go back even if there is no Fulton St in the town. Happy New Year.

    Like

  11. Archon's Den says:

    There’s a Fulton St. in San Francisco, but Niagara is closer, and perhaps less….’intimidating’?
    If you don’t take Clifton Hill too seriously, it can be fun. The Falls are magnificent, and the rest of the real city is enjoyable. 🙂

    Like

  12. The Hook says:

    Apt description of my home.
    Well done.

    Like

  13. […] the son, or both, for a day or a weekend there.  I published a 100-word Flash Fiction about it here,  including a great photo of the night-time colored lights on the American side, buried in the […]

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