Out in the downtown, about 11:00 or so. Minus two out here and March is showing a bit of thigh. Just the street people, the late workers and me out at this hour. The TD Tower looks beautiful with its reaching glass. Scattered throughout the tower are lighted offices. Perhaps people are still working. Copyroom tryst, maybe. Cleaning staff, likely. It’s a partial moon out here tonight and there is a twinge of hunger my belly. The pavement feels good on my soles and I catch every step I make. Expired newspapers flapping in the gutter, moldy cigs battering the sidewalk cracks, dead umbrella over there, beercan on that streetsand building ledge, defeated mannequins in the store window, red doeskin jacket on that bum over there – he carries a tattered knapsack and a small cooler. The woman at the bus stop pulls her left hand to her mouth and draws heavy from her smoke. Her red jacket in the window, ring on finger, cars streaking by. TD Tower up there, smattering of lights, all the commerce dozing in cubicle coffee cups. She’ll be busy tomorrow, I’m sure. Up the street the orange lights of the Nine southgate approach. Still hungry. Still night. Woman smokes as the bus pulls up. Diesel and nicotine to my nostrils as I board.
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?