Waiting and Freezing

February 9, 2007

Minus twenty or lower out here tonight. Pull my hands out of my mitts for a minute to snap a few shots of the trailing car lights. It’s one of my favorite night time activities – taking long-exposure night shots of cars traversing the high level. My hands freeze in less than ten seconds out here. A few quick shots, hands back in, hands out, a few shots more. Love how the lights look and how the tires grind the snow paste. It’s a never ending stream for the north side. The rusty caddies, the silver blue people scows coated shoe-to-lid with dirt, the neo-hemi Dodge one-tons, the greasy tool vans, the daily drivers and Saturday cruisers, the bass throb Cavaliers, the mufflerless noise machines, the breadboxes on wheels, the peeling Escorts. Eventually, every shape and form of automobile crosses this pig. I wish I had a frame for each one. Dammit it’s late and I should be getting in. Hands ringing and freezing, thumbs nearly falling off. Take a few notes and head back, toque drawn, fleece liner zipped to neck. Wind rips through the girders and into my face. January, you wench. Blacker than an I-beam your heart is.

Vignette #163

Cars on the High Level, Jan 07

Cars on the High Level, Jan 07

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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.

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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?

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