Bus is busy this morning. She winds through the commercial / industrial area north of 118 avenue. The NAIT drafting students are are toting their projects. The back busters are shivering under their steel toes. The garment shop ladies are yapping and greeting the day. There’s a squiggle of pink far off in the eastern sky. We could be in for one of those angel-voiced sunrises that are so rarely visible from the utilitarian aesthetic of the pseudo-west end. Through pickets of cinder building and rusting chain link, the sunrise continues. Redder and redder, blushing into pink over the course of my ride. Next stop’s mine. I pull the cord and stand by the bus door. Open and on the street. At that very moment, as I zip my coat collar to my chin, the sunrise peaks. Bus glogs off down the avenue. Whip out the camera and snap a few shots of the sky. It’s simply gorgeous. Pinked blue stretches clear across the sky to West End proper. But only for a moment. On the sidewalk berm I watch the sky boom and fade. No more than two minutes later the whole display has faded to pale. The pink-red lips curl back into yellow and the day begins for real. Visible breath this morning. Shoulda worn my sweater today. ‘Sposed to snow tomorrow, I hear. Fumble for keys. Reach for the door handle of my office. Cold on my bare palm.
Industrial Park Sunrise
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?