Moving On

August 1, 2007

I would mention that the family and I took in Capital Ex last Friday, but the fact that we blew $150.00 in two hours has left a jaundiced taste in my mouth and left me black-tongued with misanthropic rage. On the plus side of things, I’m enjoying my sleepy new neighbourhood. I finally made the move out of E-Town’s best/worst neighbourhood – Old Strathcona. Over the past 10 years or so, I’d say that balance has definitely tipped to the “worst” end. The Ave is tolerable – even enjoyable – on any weekday. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the unwashed hordes descend on the place and it becomes an unwalkable concrete nightmare complete with stroller-bitten ankles and sweaty, uninvited fluid transfers. The pretty ones are out with their cellphones and beach-streetwear, but it’s all too much for me to handle. On Friday and Saturday nights, the place becomes a festering bag of smashed ass that holds the lowest of the backward-hat-wearing lager louts and the most pathetic of the shivering bar skanks. Throw in some cooler-than-thou hipsters, some weekend guzzlers from the ‘burbs, and a few dozen aggressive panhandlers (not to mention the polished slummers who like to pretend they’re homeless) and you’ve got a really nice shit stew.

King Edward Park (PDF, 590kB) is home now. The eight chugs up 83rd every fifteen minutes. The four plows down Whyte with the same frequency. A myriad of undiscovered routes ply the area including the mythic 151 – a bus with a sprawling and inexplicable route. It’s within spitting distance from Bonnie Doon – a utilitarian mall that hovers just under the collective mall radar, making it a non-crowded gem for locals. Bonnie Doon Rec Center isn’t too far, and the pool contained therein is a true classic. They even play Billy Joel on the PA. There’s a DQ a few blocks down, and the evangelist Jamaicans rock the community hall every Sunday. Mill Creek ravine is scarcely a ten minute walk, much to the delight of the hound.

I know the time was right to leave Old Strathcona. Still, I’ll miss Whyte and all its beauty and shitheadery. May it get some new direction and a wash. On to other things; other neighbourhoods.

Vignette #218

1 reader comment (closed)

1

mcready

Best description of Whyte Avenue I’ve read! I only go there on weekend mornings for coffee now. King Eddie would be a nice quite change plus they have that cool BMX shop. We live in Mill Creek and I have a love/hate relationship with the neighborhood. Some ass stole our stroller off the porch a couple of weeks ago.

Aug 24, 2007 • 12:13

Shot of a little Korean strip mall in King Edward Park, Edmonton

Shot of a little Korean strip mall in King Edward Park, Edmonton

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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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