Steel Gray City

April 20, 2007

Woke up to the fleecing white and I yelled like a harpooned polar bear: “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!” April, make up your mind. One day you’re pushing roses and peonies, the next you’re steel gray and wet tires. It’s a good thing, April, that your perfume is so bewitching. That fresh rain smell is up there with church basement smell. That is, the real smell of rapture. Out on the street it smells like snow and wet concrete. Wettop combovers and Manitoba cowboy boots1 a-plenty. A few toques and scarves as well – everyone trying to negotiate the slush. Then there are the “I don’t cares” and the sandal wearers, gleefully inobservant of the present conditions. Ripped and patched winter coats make encore appearances from the nether regions of many closets. Immaculately kept and possibly never-really-used mountain garb is trotted out one last time. Above it all is a sky the color of dull metal. Uninspiring; almost painful. The buildings of downtown are reflected in puddles and they move with each falling drop. Look, up there. Blue glass buildings are striking against the gray, their edges perfect.


1 Rubber boots.

Vignette #186

1 reader comment (closed)



i love it when something i read makes me do a mental double take — like this: “That fresh rain smell is up there with church basement smell. That is, the real smell of rapture. “

(i also love it when you use footnotes.)

Apr 21, 2007 • 05:04

Strorefront, December 2006

Strorefront, December 2006



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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