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2014 in review

WordPress.com 統計資料小幫手們已準備好這個網誌的 2014 年度報告。

此為摘要:

雪梨歌劇院的演奏廳可容納 2,700 名觀眾。這個網誌在 2014 年擁有約 21,000 次瀏覽次數。如果這是在雪梨歌劇院舉辦的演唱會,可能需要將 8 場門票賣光的表演場次加起來,才有這麼多觀眾。

按一下這裡查看完整的報告。

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臺灣碩果僅存的手做冰勺職人—黃有信先生 2014/07/12

前些日子在麥浩斯Summer版的好吃雜誌封底,看到一幀銅製冰勺照片,那質樸的手感,深深的挑起懷舊的記憶,至此念茲在茲「到花壇買老師傅手做銅冰勺」這件事。

summer (2014) 109                                                                                                     好吃16:冰鎮台灣好味道封底

為了確定營業方式,在一個午後事先打電話詢問;電話響了許久,就在快放棄時,阿嬤接了電話。剛開始有點與她牛頭不對馬嘴,搞了半天才弄懂她是問我從哪裡知道他們家?想做什麼?…,一陣身家調查後,才得空問起購買冰勺的事;她說這得要問阿公他本人才清楚…,然後阿嬤就交代:「阿公很老了,要睡午覺,妳不要這時候打電話,要一大早8、9點才好。」

終於有個假日,一早先致電詢問是否能夠前往探訪;阿公說可以,但是存貨不多。這還得了,我們急忙回說:馬上從台北出發,午餐前到,一定不耽誤阿公午休。

但人算不如天算,9點從台北出門就一路塞,竟然12點還在高速公路上!好不容易下了交流道,GPS卻找不到地方;而開車的先生這會兒還在細細唸:「千里迢迢,到時就等吃閉門羹吧…」。被他「嚇」得一時分神,盯著馬路旁突然出現的一座結構完整的三合院,吼!就有這麼巧,竟然是我們要找的地方!

summer (2014) 010-1面對三合院,左邊那間便是黃有信師傅的「一人工廠」—工作室兼住家。

我們表明身份及對於遲到、打擾他們的用膳很是抱歉云云後,阿嬤、阿公毫不為意,收起尚未吃完的便當,聲稱天氣熱其實也沒什麼味口,就熱情的請我們進屋。然後,阿公二話不說,撐起助行器,就領我們走進他的房間,從床底下翻出,一包包用塑膠袋裝著的冰勺,一把把找出現有的尺寸給我們看—結果只有6支(其實好想、好想擁有的是全尺寸27支呀)!

p.s. 阿公其實還保留了五組全尺寸,要給小孩留做紀念,這份當爸爸的心意,任何人說什麼都應該成全,也希望阿公的後人能好好珍惜。

心滿意足的(不,還是有點遺憾啦!)拿著終於屬於我的冰勺回到阿公工作的檯邊,聽阿嬤、阿公娓娓道來他們的人生。

summer (2014) 003-1          summer (2014) 008-1老舊的祖厝小屋內,一甲子來,從打造的器具到箱櫃都沒有換過,看似凌亂的工作檯,藏著阿公60年的歲月;對他而言,方寸間即是一世界:時而掏出一則報導、一張照片與我們分享;時而拿出一件工具、一截銅片解說製冰杓的竅門。所有的一切都在掌控中,自有屬於他的秩序。

summer (2014) 007-1          summer (2014) 006-1                       阿公堅持要我把冰杓放在板凳上拍照(就是雜誌上那張凳子),阿嬤則說阿公手上也要拿,但她堅持不入鏡,說每次阿公都拍得比較好看,這下把阿公逗得開心極了!

我們從冰勺的大小、功能、製作方式(鑽孔、組裝、焊接、磨刀)開始聊起…。阿公說,他的冰勺從最小的直徑七分(二點一公分)到巨無霸的三寸(九公分),共有27種尺寸;生意最好時,一天可以打造二十五支,顧客層遍及台灣、金門等地的冰品店及肉圓店。阿嬤還特別強調,只要是阿公做的冰勺都刻有「吉」字,很容易辨識真偽(果然後來在台北的古物店,一眼就可以從成堆的冰勺找到屬於阿公的作品)。

summer (2014) 103          summer (2014) 106即將成絕響的製作銅冰杓手藝(via 好吃16)

問及銅製冰勺與其他白鐵或不鏽鋼使用起來的差別,阿公一付當然的說:「銅做的挖起來比較乾淨,不會有殘冰。」

p.s.這是因為銅具有極佳的導熱特性,當冰淇淋從冰筒挖出,一接觸常溫後,靠著銅勺底極佳的降溫退冰效果,能完全將冰淇淋從杓底刮出,不會出現沾勺的現象。而且銅具有極佳的延展性,製造時可以讓刮條和勺子完全密合,使其能完全刮除勺底的冰淇淋;當然要將刮條和勺子的縫隙拿捏得恰到好處,就必須靠經驗豐富的老師傅,藉著手工一槌一槌地打造出來。

至於冰勺的保存方式,阿公說,銅勺不容易生細菌,只要經常用細砂紙磨光,並用冷水清洗,便可長久使用。阿嬤接著千叮嚀萬囑咐:「絕對不是有報導說的熱水喲!」—真的有人浸熱水後,勺子脫落,拿回要阿公修—阿嬤說:「不是嫌麻煩,是失面子;明明是用不壞、值得收藏的嘛!」

接著聊到阿公的職人生涯,他說從小由於行動上的不便,一直以來只能做些簡單的代工。22歲開始接觸手工冰勺,在工廠裡當學徒,31歲自己出來開業。剛開始,為了招攬客人,以腳踏車代步,拿著自製冰勺,到各縣市的冰店一間間請老闆試用。為了節省支出,製作冰勺的工具,也大多是自製的。這樣的克難環境,卻絲毫不減他對冰勺的執著:從25歲做到現在85歲,60年來日夜敲擊打造出超過十萬支銅製冰勺。阿公說:「早期要製造冰淇淋銅勺,必須經過三年四個月的學藝才能出師;日治時代和光復初期專事打造冰淇淋銅勺的工藝店並不難找,但隨著各式工業生產的冰淇淋勺大量出現在市面,加上願意承習這項傳統工藝的新一代越來越少,以致青黃不接,幾近失傳。而他現在也真的老了、敲不動,要休息了。」

summer (2014) 002-1                                                                                      黃有信先生—全台碩果僅存的銅勺老師傅、也是最後冰勺製作職人

summer (2014) 009-1有點不捨看著阿公倚門望著我們離去

summer (2014) 013-1                                                                                      我的冰勺(由左到右:13-16、24、25)

黃有信銅冰杓                                                                                                                                         地址:彰化縣花壇鄉番花路76巷18號                                                                                                電話:(04)7862532

 

張貼在 Uncategorized | 2 則迴響

Grumpy’s—Eat Here & Diet Home 2014/06/25

旅途中計劃外的驚喜是可遇不可求的,幸運地,Grumpy’s就被我們碰上了!那是在參觀完Glass Pavilion之後,忍不住想到Toledo Libbey Factory Outlet買紀念品時,因錯過路口,要繞道回去時,眼尖看到如此特別的"open" sign:

graduation trip (2014) 712                                                                                                       怎麼有人開店不是用笑臉?

graduation trip (2014) 711                                                                                                               再一抬頭,不得了,店名竟取"Grumpy’s",那可是我最喜歡的卡通人物 – 七個小矮人 – 中的一員!這會兒誰還管玻璃的事,無論如何也得進去瞧瞧。

Grumpy’s is a family affair. Sisters Sara Bauman and Jennifer Shemak run it with Dustin Hostetler, who is their nephew. They took over the business a year and a half ago from Jeff and the late Connie Horn—the sisters’ parents and Dustin’s grandparents—who first began selling food in a corner of their hardware store in the 1984. The food quickly became the focus, and the hardware store fell to the wayside, though its sign is still prominently displayed in the restaurant. (http://www.toledoblade.com/)

p.s. Jeff Horn, otherwise known as “Grumpy,” has operated the restaurant for twenty some years. He earned the nickname working for his family’s hardware store. Apparently his lack of passion for nuts and bolts left him a bit irritable.

graduation trip (2014) 717-1                                                                                      An old tin sign from the “mother ship"— the Henry F. Horn Hardware"mother ship," the Henry F. Horn Hardware

graduation trip (2014) 743The building that houses Grumpy’s (in the Toledo Warehouse District) is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

graduation trip (2014) 719Appropriate to its location, Grumpy’s has a typical “warehouse" look and feel – brushed brick walls hung with framed artwork, exposed pipes, polished wood floors, and low-hanging lights.

graduation trip (2014) 725-1The upstairs area has some additional seating and an open kitchen for patrons who enjoy spying on the preparation of their food. This space has been jazzed up with a piece by experimental local artist Mr. Atomic, an angel that boasts the phrase “From Jennifer’s oven … to God’s lips.” It’s a tribute to Jennifer Shemak, Horn’s stepdaughter.

graduation trip (2014) 723-1

Grumpy’s is busy from open to close and always has an awesome busy vibe. It took about a half hour for us to get only the bar seats and another 25 minutes to get the food. Despite the name of the restaurant, the chef was rather pleasant and told us the light fixtures hanging in front of the kitchen were made by a local artist.

graduation trip (2014) 726-1

p.s. Grumpy’s hours are a little restrictive; it is only open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on weekdays. The owners chose these hours so they can concentrate on catering nights and weekends.

graduation trip (2014) 721          graduation trip (2014) 729                                         Grumpy’s serves eclectic cuisine including soups, salads and sandwiches.

graduation trip (2014) 730Their garbage salad is probably the most well know item on their menu—it’s mixed lettuce greens, cheeses (provolone, mozzarella, feta and Parmesan), tomatoes, onions mushrooms, raisins, grilled chicken, bacon bits, croutons, and pita chips—tossed together with poppyseed dressing. It’s like a carnival of different tastes and textures.

graduation trip (2014) 718p.s. The poppyseed dressing was a star almost from the moment it was introduced. The dressing is “a perfect balance of sweet and salty, and it coats things wonderfully," Mr. Hostetler said. It is so popular that customers have been asking for it for years. After some experimentation the restaurant began selling the bottled dressing from behind the cash register.

graduation trip (2014) 714-1                                                                                               There’s also an arm-long list of homemade pies.

graduation trip (2014) 738-1Legend has it that if you work in Toledo Downtown and you are “mean enough” to not invite a co-worker to Grumpy’s with you, you had better at least bring back one of Grumpy’s moist homemade cookies for them. Although we’re only tourists here, we couldn’t resist buying one of each kind to go.

graduation trip (2014) 737If you are in downtown Toledo and are looking for the go to lunch spot… this is it. And if you are lucky enough, you might be able to get this table by the “grump open sign".

Grumpy’s                                                                                                                                                             地址:34 S Huron St, Toledo, OH 43604                                                                                         電話:(419) 241-6728                                                                                                                         網址:Website: www.grumpys.net

Grumpy                                                                                                                    p.s. Grumpy is one of the seven dwarfs in Disney’s 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. (http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/The_Disney_Wiki)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie image                                                                                      All time favorite scene: Grumpy (middle) and the dwarfs (Doc, Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful) finding Snow White.

And all time favorite song that I used to watch with my son every day: Heigh-ho!

張貼在 餐館間遊走, 旅途中 | 發表留言

Pritzker Prize Worthy: Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion 2014/06/25

graduation trip (2014) 420Opened in August 27, 2006 (construction took two years and cost a total of $30 million), the postmodern Glass Pavilion is the new home of the Toledo Museum of Art’s world-renowned glass collection, featuring more than 5,000 works of art from ancient to contemporary times. The glass building was designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, lead architects of SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates), a Tokyo-based firm known for designing attractive and functional museums that relate well to their sites, and for using architectural glass with extraordinary skill.

graduation trip (2014) 361                                                                                                    附記:1956年出生於茨城縣的妹島和世(Kazuyo Sejima)是日本相當知名的女建築師,1981年自日本女子大學研究生院畢業後,便於伊東豐雄(Toyo Ito)的建築事務所服務,1987年成立自己的建築事務所。1995年妹島和世與另一位日本當代建築師西澤立衛(Ryue Nishizawa)成立SANAA建築設計事務所,2004年兩人以金澤21世紀美術館贏得當年威尼斯建築雙年展金獅獎;2010年更獲選為普立茲克獎得主(The Pritzker Architecture Prize)。妹島和世與SANAA建築設計事務所所設計的作品,擅長大量運用玻璃建材,營造出具有穿透性的風格,以其明亮、簡約的美感、純熟的手法與流動通透的空間感驚豔八方,對於建築物外觀的高度原創性也令人印象深刻。                                                                                                             Glass Pavilion為SANAA在美國的第一個案例,這個以收藏玻璃藝術作品為主的博物館,在建築上充分反映了Toledo這個城市做為玻璃製造生產中心的歷史。

Located directly across Monroe Street from the Toledo Museum of Art, the Glass Pavilion’s site imposed a number of constraints on its architects. To the south, it faced the main museum’s 1912 colonnaded front. To the north and west, it needed to address the residential scale of the Old West End, a leafy, affluent neighborhood of Victorian and Edwardian houses.

graduation trip (2014) 416          graduation trip (2014) 357Monroe Street Entrance                                          Parkwood Entrance

graduation trip (2014) 418-1p.s. Main Museum: Since 1912, the Toledo Museum of Art’s Greek Ionic façade has graced the city as both landmark and legacy. The distinguished low and horizontal white marble building, designed by Edward B. Green and Harry W. Wachter, is articulated by a row of 16 columns, a copper roof, and a frieze of acanthus leaves. It has been renovated and expanded four times since then.                                                                                                         In 2008 and 2011, as part of the Museum’s green initiatives, solar panels were installed on the roof of the main building to maximize operational efficiency through renewable energy.

graduation trip (2014) 421-1A nearly all-glass building set amongst sheltering 150-year-old trees, the Glass Pavilion occupies the former site of a seldom used park, expanding it and transforming it into a serene oasis.

GP(via Kinopicz American)

One of the distinguishing features of this 74,000 square feet, low(only 15 feet tall), two floors(including a basement) pavilion is that all of the exterior and nearly all interior walls (except for opaque walls enclosing toilets, plumbing, roof drains, elevators, and diagonal bracing) are large panels of curved glass, resulting in a transparent structure that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces. It was a pretty marvelous feat of architecture to make it look like it’s floating in the park.

graduation trip (2014) 359

p.s. The glass walls, which are 3/4” thick at the exterior and 1/2” thick at the interior, are low-iron glass coated to prevent water streaking, spotting, and dirt and contaminant build-up. There are 376 glass panels make up the glass walls measures approximately 8 feet wide by 13 ½ feet high, and weighs from 1,300 to 1,500 pounds.

RedBrick_7111          gp4                          The glass pavilion façade features two parallel glass walls with a gap between them. And this aspect continues throughout the interior.                                                                                 In a typical building, one wall divides two spaces. But in this museum, any two galleries have two walls of curving glass between them. A cavity of nearly 1m lies between the layers of glass. The size of the gap varies, because the walls curve in irregular ways for the sake of variety.

glass pavilion planSANAA has laid out the Glass Pavilion’s main level like a bubble diagram of exhibition spaces, for the museum’s extensive glass collection, and studio spaces, including two hot shops, for glass artists. Each of the programmatic elements is defined by a simply shaped space with rounded corners, constructed mainly in glass.

gp2          gp3The interior is a series of rounded glass rooms wrapped in a secondary glass skin, which creates a remarkably layered visual experience.

graduation trip (2014) 369From the lobby, for example, fragments of the landscaped lawn on the other side of the building are visible through a series of glass-walled galleries.

p.s. This 243 pieces of chandelier(Campiello del Remer #2) is only half of the original Dale Chihuly’s installation in Venice. The other half goes to the Kemper Museum in Kansas City.

Courtyard單一樓層中嵌入天井的設計,讓視線得以穿越層層透明牆,將周圍的綠意帶入參觀經驗中。

graduation trip (2014) 403-1Tiffany Stained-Glass Windows: These four windows from Tiffany Studios are on long-term loan to the Museum from the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo. They were purchased for private family mausoleums between 1914 and 1929.

graduation trip (2014) 415          graduation trip (2014) 413

Two hot shops, equipped with glass furnaces continuously burning at 2150 degrees Fahrenheit, encourage visitor interaction with glass artists and an opportunity to understand the glass making process.

graduation trip (2014) 363          graduation trip (2014) 362

Gallery_5Gallery 5

Lino Tagliapietra Venetian Glass Birds Exhibition (March 28 -July 9):                The distinguished Venetian Maestro Lino Tagliapietra (born 1934), the greatest living master of Venetian glass technology, recently created three series of elegant sculptural bird forms in glass. The exhibition of these evocative works is in celebration of the annual spring songbird migration through the marshes along the southern shore of Lake Erie.          On view in Gallery 2 of the Glass Pavilion, the 21 colorful pieces selected for this show represent the theme of birds in three distinct series.

Lino_Tagliapietra           A large installation in the center of the gallery called “Ala” explores the stylized shapes of birds in flight.

graduation trip (2014) 398“Petra” depicts birds perching or roosting.

gp5          graduation trip (2014) 399-1“Fenice” showcases the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, symbolizing rebirth.

The birds are very abstract, very beautiful and very colorful, while the techniques Lino Tagliapietra’s using are centuries old.

graduation trip (2014) 414這幢被視為後現代建築風格的展廳,以流暢弧面玻璃曲線、平坦而毫無裝飾的屋頂勾勒出獨特建築語彙;幾近「無牆美術館」的空間布局,就跟2013年造訪的金澤21世紀美術館一樣:以大片落地玻璃打破室內外界線,創造了視覺上令人極為舒坦的無壓力空間;將以往厚重的美術館建築從「殿堂」的迷思中解放,成就了既輕盈又通透的21世紀低限建築。

p.s. Toledo—The Glass City                                                                                                              When TMA co-founder Edward Drummond Libbey moved his family’s New England Glass Works in 1888 from Massachusetts to Ohio, he set the stage for Toledo to become “The Glass City"—a center of innovation in glass tableware, industrial glass design, and art in glass.                                                                                                                                                                              In 1913, Libbey purchased the first of several significant glass collections. The group of 53 European Renaissance and Baroque glasses came from the estate of German publisher Julius Heinrich Wilhelm Campe. With this purchase, the Museum acquired the most important historic European glass collection in the United States at the time, and many of the rare objects remain the only examples of their kind in the country.                                     In 1962, the Studio Glass Movement was born in a garage on the Museum grounds. In 1969, the Toledo Museum of Art constructed the Glass-Crafts Building, becoming the first museum to build a facility and studio specifically designed for teaching glass working techniques. That tradition was reinforced in 2006 with the construction of the Museum’s Glass Pavilion.                                                                                                                                       Today, even as the manufacturing age has declined, the tremendous growth of “green” industries has kept Toledo on the forefront of glass production. The Glass City is home to dozens of solar energy companies that turn Glass City to Solar Valley.

Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion                                                                                               地址:2445 Monroe Street, Toledo, OH
電話:(419) 255-8000                                                                                                                    網址:http://www.toledomuseum.org/

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Frank & Teressa’s Anchor Bar—Home of the Original Buffalo Chicken Wings 2014/06/24

Anchor Bar, the birthplace of spicy chicken wings was initially established in 1935. Owners Frank and Teressa Bellissimo offers a menu that specializes in Italian cuisine that reflects their Sicilian roots.

graduation trip (2014) 671Anchor Bar is situated right on the corner of Main Street and North Avenue—you can’t miss it!

On a Friday night in March 4, 1964, Dominic Bellissimo, son of Frank and Teressa, was bartending late when a group of friends arrived at the bar with ravenous appetites. Dominic asked his mother to fix something. Teressa went into the kitchen and found some chicken wings that were too exquisite for soup stock. She deep fried them (without any kind of breading) tossed them in a spicy secret sauce (half butter and half Frank’s RedHot) and served them up with a side of blue cheese and celery sticks.

graduation trip (2014) 683p.s. What it takes to be a real Buffalo Wing?                                                                                    The wings should be infused with “Buffalo flavor" in every bite: vinegary, buttery, spicy.

The wings were an instant hit and it didn’t take long for people to flock to the bar to experience this new taste sensation. From that evening on, the restaurant became a local treasure and foodie hot-spot and Buffalo Wings became a regular part of the menu at the Anchor Bar.

graduation trip (2014) 673最靠近門口的停車格,保留給Anchor Bar大功臣—Mrs. Bellissimon。

graduation trip (2014) 694Today, Anchor Bar serves up more than 70,000 pounds of chicken per month, and its bottled wing sauce now retails in over 5,000 supermarkets worldwide. Consumers can even purchase Anchor Bar’s famous wings online and have them shipped anywhere in the country.

老公和兒子都是hot wings的愛好者,來到Buffalo,就算早錯過用餐時間,也要一探這個Buffalo Wings的聖殿。

graduation trip (2014) 674          graduation trip (2014) 678                    父子倆笑的可開心哩!

graduation trip (2014) 693           graduation trip (2014) 690

graduation trip (2014) 686          bar2

bar

graduation trip (2014) 691          graduation trip (2014) 688

The bar area is dark, filled with license plates from Canada and the United States and the dining room walls have photos of famous celebrities who have eaten there.

graduation trip (2014) 680          dinning room

雖然整個餐廳的deco令人目不暇及,但終究目光的焦點還是得落在—Mrs. Bellissimon。

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Anchor Bar                                                                                                                                             地址:1047 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14209                                                                                    電話:(716) 886-8920                                                                                                                         網址:http://www.anchorbar.com/

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Niagara Falls, NY—American Side 2014/06/24

Niagara Falls State Park:

graduation trip (2014) 664Situated in the midst of the cities of Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara Falls State Park is a pristine oasis of three massive waterfalls, exciting attractions and 400 acres of protected wildlife. For generations, visitors have come to see the majestic beauty and humbling power of its natural wonder, savor the panoramic views and immerse themselves in a lush, green environment.

p.s. Established on July 15, 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the America’s oldest state park – the model from which all other state parks were created. Designed by the America’s first landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also developed New York’s Central Park, Niagara Falls State Park seeks to maintain and perpetuate Olmsted’s vision of public parklands. Olmsted believed that parks should be places of natural beauty, where “the masses could be renewed.” This philosophy was applied throughout Olmstead’s landscape design for Niagara Falls State Park, with an entire network of footpaths through wooded areas and along the banks of the Niagara River.NiagaraNiagaraFallsStateParkMap (http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/)

graduation trip (2014) 665American Rapids Bridge connects Goat Island (accessible only from Niagara Falls, NY) to Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls.

Goat Island:

graduation trip (2014) 223This image offers a good perspective of Goat Island’s location between the American & Canadian Falls.

graduation trip (2014) 291Nikola Tesla Monument at Goat Island, Niagara Falls, NY

p.s. Nikola Tesla designed the first hydro-electric power plant (1896) in Niagara Falls. This was the final victory of Tesla’s Alternating Current over Edison’s Direct Current. The monument was the work of Croatian sculptor Frane Krsinic, a gift of Yugoslavia to the United States, 1976. (http://www.teslasociety.com/)

Cave of the Winds —尼加拉瀑布在美國境內最想造訪的景點

graduation trip (2014) 295                                                                                      The Bridal Veil/Luna Falls is the site of “Cave of the Winds" tourist attraction. It takes you closer to the waters of Niagara Falls than you thought possible.

graduation trip (2014) 288-7在加拿大境內羨慕兩天的那羣穿著黃色雨衣的遊客,終於輪到自己置身其中了!

graduation trip (2014) 353          graduation trip (2014) 343                      The journey begins with an elevator ride 175 feet (53 meters) down into the Niagara Gorge. Then, follow a tour guide through a tunnel with a bright yellow poncho and the special footwear provided.

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走出隧道,撲鼻而來的是很腥、很腥的味道—原來沿著尼加拉河竟是一大片海鳥棲息處!

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graduation trip (2014) 309          graduation trip (2014) 351比遊客數量還多的鳥兒,就在道路上逛大街,根本不怕生人!

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Along the Niagara River, their is a series of wooden walkways to the famous “Hurricane Deck".

graduation trip (2014) 319          graduation trip (2014) 345

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p.s. Each year, millions of people don sandals and ponchos to take part in a close up view of the American and Bridal Veil Falls on the Cave of the Winds. What most people don’t know is that the walkways and decks are removed every November and reassembled each spring to protect them from the extreme winter weather conditions that prevail in the Niagara Gorge. Special-edition Cave of the Winds Tours are offered  each spring so visitors can experience a seasonal version of the attraction and see the decks being built for the upcoming season. (Due to frigid waters in the spring, teams of park employees work for only 20 minutes at a time re-building the famous decks.)

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As you stand at the railing, you are a mere 20 feet (6 meters) from the billowing torrents of Bridal Veil Falls.

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graduation trip (2014) 347          graduation trip (2014) 348                   Here, rushing waters loom above you, dousing you with a generous spray as you face.

p.s. While there is no actual cave anymore, the original cave was a natural cave behind Bridal Veil Falls 130 feet (40m) high, 100 feet (30m) wide and 30 feet (9m) in depth. It was discovered in 1834 (by Joseph W. Ingraham), and originally dubbed “Aeolus’ Cave", after the Greek god of winds. Guided tours began officially in 1841, and continued until a rock fall in 1920 made it clear the passage was no longer safe. In 1954, one of the greatest rock falls occurred at Prospect Point. This rock fall had altered the appearance of the Cave of the Winds forever. As a result, the original Cave of the Winds was destroyed by a controlled dynamite blast in 1955. Today, the Cave of the Winds trip leads visitors through a series of wooden walkways and decks to the front of the Bridal Veil Falls instead of behind it.

With the combination of 68mph winds and water hitting the base of the Falls with tons of force, the Cave of the Winds is the best way to experience the power and fury of Niagara Falls in firsthand. Nowhere else on Earth gets you closer to the Falls!

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