Politicians from all corners of the region descended upon Canalside earlier today to officially announce a number of new undertakings spearheaded by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC). The site of the press conference was atop the Immigrant Steps that overlook the Lloyd Street Bridge, which was positioned perfectly in the background.
It was pretty neat to see all of the different water craft activity on the recreated canal. Members of the Buffalo Model Boat Club were on hand demonstrating their prowess at maneuvering their vessels. In the future there will also be designated times when other radio controlled operators will be able to drop their own models into the remote controlled quadrant within the canal. Along with the miniature propeller craft, there was a fleet of sailboats (operated by Sail the Canal).
All of the operators stood along the tow path jockeying for position to control their respective vessels.
In another section of the canal, Water Bikes of Buffalo had unleashed a number of kiddie and adult paddle boats which were cruising along the shallow waters.
Old boats Buffalo made a big splash with one of its smaller classic boats – a real snazzy Aristo Craft type.
There’s an easy access ramp that allows larger boats with smaller hulls to arrive by trailer. A number of other Canalside vendors were there including Marie Phillips, a stand up paddle board instructor who will be offering summer classes, and Franklin LaVoie who was promoting his Puppet Wagon. Shark Girl couldn’t figure out which direction to sit, and was oblivious to just about everything.
Last but not least, Blue Cross-Blue Shield of WNY was busy showing off its large collection of Blue Bikes that will be available to the public throughout the spring, summer and fall.
On the Central Wharf, work crews were busy setting up for this weekend’s carnival.
A giant yellow sunset chair, constructed by students from Erie Community College’s Building Management and Maintenance Program via the Service Learning Initiative, was sitting tall.
Pictured sitting atop the chair is Larry Beahan who was the first paid customer of the Bike-Ped Ferry, which embarked upon its inaugural voyage at noon on the dot (wave to Rachacha!) I spoke to Captain Rich Hilliman who told me that the ride just about maxed out, which he was very pleased about.
He also mentioned that the Spirit of Buffalo schooner would be hosting a different local brewery for craft beer tastings (and pretzels) on Tuesday evenings.
2015 looks like it’s going to be a great year for Canalside. I can’t wait to grab some lunch and a beer on top of the Lloyd Street Bridge Beer Garden. Catching some rays, listening to some tunes, and watching the boats paddle underneath… what an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.
Rachacha was kind enough to pass along some of his own images that he took while out on his Bike-Ped Ferry excursion: