Seems like it’s been ages since I had one of my slow-blooded, meandering Sunday walks. Mother Nature has been a real wench this winter and she’s made it tough to gather the energy. But tonight it’s just cold enough to consider gloves and yet warm enough to almost head out without a jacket. Grab the camera and go. Two girls sitting out on a balcony with bare feet and bottles of beer. They live in the most utilitarian building along Sask. drive east. It’s simply a big shoebox with 36” x 36” windows and caged balconies. Beside that there is a beautiful twin building complex – two of my favorite apartment buildings in town. Generous half-moon balconies with big windows. A few people out chewing on cigarettes – a woman in a robe, too. On the sidewalk in front of me two women walk and hold hands. I always love to see people holding hands. It seems so…authentic. The one on the left has a red scarf, the other wears blue Vans. They’re both beautiful. At 109 and Sask Dr., a curved building keeps the corner intact. A tooth of a moon hangs high in the blue, just above the curved top of the building. Another couple on the corner, standing there in their middle-aged finest – leather jackets and denim. I smile at the woman’s laugh as her man gestures wildly to parties unknown. The corner is bustling for a Sunday and I’m headed for The Bridge. The high level bridge stretches out ahead of me like a red-shifted umbrella, taking all into the night. Feels good to be walking across her again. Out in the west, the sun slides into the river. People move across. Dark soon. Gets a bit colder as I turn around and head back home.
Round Top Building, April 2007
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?