From the Buffalo News:
The Niagara Falls publicity stunt was born like this: It was September 1827.A group of hoteliers wanted to make a quick buck. So they sent an old lake schooner, filled with terrified animals, over the brink. The spectacle, as planned, drew thousands. Many of the animals died in the plunge.
It’s 184 years later, and we’re still grasping at ghoulish curiosities at Niagara.
Famed wire walker Nik Wallenda wants to cross the Horseshoe Falls on his tightrope, and debate over the planned escapade has dominated discussion on both sides of the famous falls for months.
The stunt, already given the go-ahead by Albany, now hinges on a decision by the Canadians. But whether Wallenda walks or not is beside the point.
Debate over the high-wire act is a distraction to the real problems that plague Niagara Falls. Blight, unemployment and a worn-out reputation for hucksterism overshadow a natural wonder that is still unique to the world.