I am standing at my patio door, second floor of my building. The view is wonderful – the downtown shaking and alive across the river. I am staring out the window because I am tired and the view of the city gives me comfort. There’s a crumbling Dodge pickup out front – probably a half-step away from the wreckers. My neighbours may be smoking pot on their balcony. Seems to be a Sunday ritual for them. The house to the East has some yard lights out front and the little yellow lamps light up the crusty snow. I watched them move in last year. A man walks by in full winter regalia. It’s mid march and we’re still getting it in the jaw from old man winter. Down in the valley I see little red car lights trailing across the bridge. Brake lights go bold and then back to normal. The car flow is heavy for this late on a Sunday night. The 52 walks by and once again and her orange lights make me smile. These street rhythms add to my comfort. Across the river, smoke trails from the downtown scrapers. Aircraft beacons twinkle atop every building. My lids are so heavy that I can barely stare now. Last thing I see is a semi-truck gearing down and heaving up 105 street. I see his brake lights go heavy as I hit the sack.
View from my front window
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?