You don’t need a jackass like me telling you that The Edmonton Oilers beat the Detroit Red Wings last night 4-3, which moves them up to the next round of the playoffs. I watched the game despite my indifference to hockey, and I loved it. You can get the play-by-play elsewhere.
Immediately after the game I hiked it up to Whyte Avenue to get a look at the spectacle. It was pretty crazy, and undeniably awesome.
It was so fucking nice to see so many people reveling in the streets. Strangers hugging strangers, everyone high-fiving everyone else, everyone yelling and screaming. It was a beautiful pandemonium.
I tell ya, you couldn’t wipe the smile from anyone’s face. All the cafes and bars were completely EMPTY. EVERYONE was out on the street celebrating and whooping it up.
There was a non-stop stream of car horns and chants of “Lets go Oilers, lets go!” There were people painted blue and orange. There was a guy playing the bagpipes. There was a clarinet player. There was even a guy with a mock oil derrick in the back of his truck:
It was a fantastic time out on the Ave. It reminded me that hockey means a fuckuva lot to this town. Some nights, at certain times, I think it means everything.
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?