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SEP 01 - SEP 08, 2015

Staying at the Grand Hamister Hotel

By Peter Reese

SEP 01, 2015

Ellen looking for the Grand Hamister Hotel

Peter Reese


When Ellen and I got married in May of 1971, at Brooklyn City Court, we couldn't afford a fancy wedding with hundreds of guests, diamond engagement rings, an army of brides maids, floral arrangements, big press announcements, brass band parades, or the other customary accoutrements of a high society wedding. I had just finished my first year in law school and we had recently purchased a modest home. So we passed on the usual European tour and honeymooned right here in Buffalo.

Well, 44 years later, things are looking a little better financially at the Reese household, and we thought maybe it was time for that splashy honeymoon we never had.   Inspired by all the big press announcements in the liberal media two years ago, we decided to spend a night in the most extravagant bridal suite at the Niagara Falls Grand Hamister Hotel.   When Governor Cuomo and Mayor Dyster had all that print and broadcast coverage in 2013 for this transformational economic renaissance showcase project, we were overjoyed to learn that the grand old City of Niagara Falls, once home to family, friends, and athletic competitors from the three high schools in the Niagara Frontier League, was on the way back to its former glory. At the time, the mass media spewed forth a continuous barrage extolling the incalculable benefits of this economic sea change project and harshly labeled three Council Members who opposed its magnificence as "The Three Stooges."   (Seems these obstructionist naysayers were concerned by the manner in which Mark Hamister had outbid Tom Golisano for the Buffalo Sabres in 2002, only to show up at the closing some tens of millions short of the necessary cash to complete the deal.) We knew that, by August 30, 2015, a project of such towering importance would have already been completed with the same reckless haste that accompanied Cuomo's SAFE Act passage. So we just jumped into our old jalopy and headed for 310 Rainbow Boulevard, the site of the Grand Hamister Hotel.

It is hard to describe the anticipation we felt, traveling to the heart of the economically restored City of Niagara Falls, rising Phoenix-like from the ashes.  However, when Mapquest finally got us to our destination, we were somewhat surprised by what we saw; A rock and concrete strewn empty place which apparently serves as the home of a huge Modern Corporation dumpster. Never ones to be deterred by reality, we decided to spend the night at the Grand Hamister, in our 2009 extinct Pontiac Vibe. While we were setting up camp, a nice couple walked through this empty field of dreams and agreed to take our picture. 

Our evening was actually quite pleasant, and inexpensive too. We used an old plastic bucket conveniently resident in the venerable Vibe as a chamber pot, and the dumpster provided a ready location for necessary sewage disposal.   I love my wife more now than I did 44 years ago. I think we may spend our forty-fifth anniversary honeymoon returning to Niagara Falls..........Ontario.

Pete and Ellen at the Grand Hamister Hotel






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