I went for the corndogs. Within an hour of stepping off the train and onto the Capital Ex fairgrounds, I had demolished two “Big Dog” corn dogs. TWO. That’s twelve dollars of deep-fried, cardiac arresting beauty that I don’t regret in the least. I was tempted for a third, but alas, my conscience called me back. Back to watching the shoe-gazing trick bicycle riders go through their motions. Back to the ridiculous “shopping” opportunities in the AgriCom – snake oil salesmen a-plenty. Back to the three dollar, 1/2 liter of water that would cost less than a buck in 7-11. Back to my childhood memories of this fair: Spending $60.00 on rigged games to get a stuffed toy worth $10.00, buying cotton candy and putting it in Rhiannon’s hair, sliding down that big slide on a ripped gunny sack, going on The Rainbow while exceedingly intoxicated, hitting the Ferris wheel with my Dad who was so patient in waiting for me to get up the courage, and eating stolen sausages-on-a-bun with my co-workers from the track. Capital Ex is simply a new name for an old tradition. A cheesy, over done, contrived, and ridiculous tradition. A tradition that I am glad exists.
The Swing Ride
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?