The frothing shoppers are out with teeth and credit cards bared. The streets are busting with them. Parcels in one hand, tall coffee drink in the other. The women wear high heels and long coats, confident that they got the best deals. The men wear thick-framed glasses and colorful scarves, confident that they look good and hip while dropping some cash. I have no qualms about any of this, save their facial expressions. There is no sadness, no happiness. There is indifference. Lamb-white indifference. Perhaps it’s the sub-zero temperature. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that winter, which has lasted so long already, is only half over. Maybe it’s caffeine, or the lingering fumes of last night’s vodka rip. Whatever the cause of this blankface parade, I will set about to name those I have observed. I will write about them and send the manuscript to those afflicted. They deserve a document, even if their names are wrong.
Brass latch on trunk
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?