May 12, 2006

I come upon the scene with no context. I’m out for a walk on Tuesday night, really enjoying the delicious spring weather. I get to the corner of the block that my apartment building rests on and there they are. Two police cars on the curb, lights rotating. Three officers are milling about. Two male and two female suspects are on the ground, handcuffed. The blonde guy starts saying something about how he doesn’t know one of the others. One of the girls just sits there demurely, like this is normal for a Tuesday night. The other is face down in some grass, squirming around and trying to get the attention of one of the officers. It’s a bizarre scene, one that is probably a hair away from a “Cops” episode save the fact that these four people are white. I decide to stop and watch the scene unfold a bit more. I ask one of the Policemen what happened and he refuses to comment. A paddywagon pulls up a short while later and the hooligans (presumably they are hooligans, but who knows?) are corralled into the truck with cuffed wrists behind their backs. Overall, I am surprised by the calmness of the scene. No struggling, no abusive prisoners, no chase scenes through inner city neighborhoods. The whole thing has a very “Canadian” feel to it. Everybody is nice and even pleasant about the arrest and the kurfuffle that it has caused along this genteel strip of E-Town houses. After half an hour or so, the scene clears up and I make my way to my building. Just before I enter my home, I notice a large flock of Canadian Geese honking overhead. I watch them pass over the city, oblivious to it’s goings on. They honk and fade into the fluffy pink of the northern sky.

Vignette #71

1 reader comment (closed)



Sounds like another day in the life in the big city Mike.

The story of what happened. Every picture tells a story. Unfortunately, the picture you saw does not come with one.That is left to our imagination.

Sometimes it’s better not knowing.

May 13, 2006 • 23:55

Street Scene

Street Scene



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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