I'm going to admit something right up front here. I'm not a big fan of any body of water bigger than my bathtub, especially if that body of water is moving really fast. I figure if God (or whatever higher power you believe in) had wanted me in that fast moving body of water, he or she would've made me a fish.
Others have been known to take a very different view and many of them can be found at the Lock 32 Whitewater Park, not only kayaking merrily through the rapids but also doing cartwheels, spins, and flipping upside down (on purpose). Did I mention they also swim the rapids?
The park is tucked down a small dirt path just off Clover Street and features rapids rated 1 or 2 (rapids are rated 1 through 6, the higher the number the more... well, rapid) and Andy Cook, an instructor, says that makes the park "pretty mild."
"It's primarily an instructional facility," says instructor Tony Hernandez. The course prepares people for more challenging rapids.
There's been an upsurge in popularity of whitewater kayaking and lately most of the classes have been sold out.
"It's tough to explain the attraction," says Cook. "It gets you in tune with the water. It's exciting... steeper rivers are like downhill skiing but in kayaking you need to maneuver around things." Things like big rocks sticking out of the water, for example.
While whitewater kayaking may have a reputation as an extreme sport, at the park, Hernandez says, "there's a strong emphasis on safety, with mandatory safety equipment." But safety equipment doesn't lessen the excitement.
"There's this rush of adrenalin," says 12-year-old Danny Doran (pictured here, front), a three-year veteran of the park," and I like that you can do cool tricks." He then pushed his kayak into the water and proceeded to flip upside down several times. On purpose.
Lock 32 Whitewater Course is located at 2797 Clover Street. 586-4330
--- Joseph Sorrentino
Dreams of becoming a world-class waterfront resort have taken a step toward reality for the town of Irondequoit. "With the President's signature on the Transportation Bill, the funding is now there for the first phase of redevelopment of Seabreeze," says Irondequoit Town Supervisor David Schantz.
Schantz and his people have been working closely with officials from Niagara on the Lake to gather advice on making the Seabreeze area a year-round destination. While Schantz says the end goal is to revitalize the harbor with 100 boat slips and a combined hotel-retail district, the key to the project is opening access to the harbor by redirecting 590 to join Culver Road behind "Hot Dog Row" near Bill Gray's. A series of round-a-bouts will replace traffic signals. Period street lighting will accompany a pedestrian trail on the east side with better access to the bay for bikers and joggers.
The first phase of the estimated $7 million project is slated to begin in 2006, with the harbor development to follow.
While the recent Puerto Rican Festival seemed to have the entire city --- and its media --- on edge, the real action was happening across town.
Sure, we've all heard about how the Rochester Police Department nabbed 19 for their post-PR-fest frolics, most of them for tossing eggs at cops and showing good aim. But where were the reports about a stabbing in the aftermath of the East End Festival? According to the RPD, "A man was walking home when someone ran by him and stabbed him one time. The victim was intoxicated and difficult to speak to according to police reports. An assault report was taken and the man was treated at Strong."
So why do a bunch of egg-tossing kids grab headlines while a stabbing goes uncovered? Hmmmmm....
Knob tweakers everywhere have reason to mourn with the passing of Bob Moog on Sunday, August 21. The former Buffalonian was the inventor of the Moog Synthesizer, which became the ad-hoc standard for electronic music composers for several years. Moog had recently taken up residence in North Carolina, where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This silent hum is for him.