In the seat in front of me, a Chinese man with graying hair is reading an instruction manual. No idea what those instructions are for. Beside me, an older woman reads a dusty hardcover with a hint of gild on the spine. An aging book matched to an aging woman. Me, I’m listening to rock and roll even though it’s morning and the drowsing sun begs something quieter. The young guy beside me is reading a novel. Sometimes he reads graphic novels, but not today. The man in the sweats and the yellow-stained ball cap covers his face with the paper. Nice to see that we’re all on the same page. Everyone knows that you don’t talk to your fellow daily bus riders. After all, that means you’ll have to talk to them tomorrow.
StreetRag ::: An Urban Notebook
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?