There, in Delaware

Enjoyed some of the summer preview temperatures in spring by going up to Delaware Park to do some exploring. Decided to focus on some of the details in this park and the surrounding neighbourhood. I took this opportunity to try experimenting some more with depth of field.

Saturday Morning

First time in ages that I got up early on Saturday, so I decided to take advantage of the morning sun and photograph downtown Buffalo in the morning. The nice low sun hitting the buildings squarely really brings out their features and makes them radiant. I also have decided to start seeking out the numerous ghost signs in Buffalo, a nice snapshot and occasional humorous of the past since some signs are decades old. Downtown was happened to be very busy this particular morning with a charity walk, flooding the city with an unheard of number of people for a Saturday morning.

The Buffalo Snow

Finally got down to the lakefront in Buffalo to capture the beauty of winter. The lake is very textured, with the ice breaking and forming obstructions to the movement of snow across the surface resulting in a bumpy landscape.

The Bus Crush

The #6 Sycamore bus travels between Waterfront Village south of Downtown Buffalo and Walden Galleria in suburban Cheektowaga. Walden Galleria is an important economic engine for the Niagara region, attracting thousands of Canadian shoppers to the Buffalo area every week. The #6 Sycamore bus is a vital link between Buffalo and Walden for shoppers and employees, being one of only two bus routes (alongside the #32 Amherst) that provides a one seat ride to this major commercial center. Unfortunately this level of service has become increasingly dismal in my opinion.

The end of the summer season provided some relief from crowds on the NFTA buses, especially during weekends. Now that winter is almost in full swing the crowding situation on the #6 bus has returned, reaching a point where for the first time in four months I was left behind at a stop because there was no more space. The Sycamore bus only runs every 30 minutes during non-peak hours, a woefully low level of service considering that it serves one of the largest retail employment centers in the entire metropolitan area, and employees there are more likely to use public transportation to get to work especially considering the demographics along the route. The fact that the bus that left me behind was the bus before the bus that I would need to catch without being late to work only added to the insult, making my prudence moot.

The Sycamore bus is frequently crowded outside of the traditional weekday rush hour period. The bus runs that I frequently use are between noon and one PM, and the buses are frequently standing room only as they leave downtown. Weekend buses are worse as the headways can grow to over one hour. A recent Saturday trip saw standing room only and frequent delays during the boarding of passengers. Even worse, the crowding situation was only relieved well into the run when the bus had already completed around 75% of the route between Walden and Downtown Buffalo. In the end the bus run almost 12 minutes behind schedule by the time it reached downtown Buffalo, which is over 30% of the estimated run time.

Buffalo Night and Canalside

My visit to the Erie Canal Harbor at night.  The classic bowstring bridge recreation above the Commercial Slip harkens back to the original bridges that spanned the Erie Canal during its prime.  Canalside is a great waterfront development, connecting downtown Buffalo with its neglected maritime past.  Boats used to be the workhorses of transportation and freight, and they should be again.

Buffalo from above

Buffalo from the top of the city hall observation deck.  A great way to see the city from above, and its free.   The difference between the West Side and the East Side is quite stark when looking at the city from above.  Quite nice to have an observation deck that has not been overly commercialized.  The polarizing filter did come in handy from eliminating the reflections on the plexiglass shields.  The Empire State Building is still the best observation deck for allowing people to get crystal clear photos of actual skyline.