Off the #9 onto the 20 degree sidewalk at Northgate bus terminal. Young mother, a kid herself, pushes a stroller with a cigarette hanging from her manicured claw. Her mother is in tow and yapping about the drugstore and its unreasonable prices. Middle aged native man sports a killer mullet, a real dinger, cut straight across his head in the front and dangling halfway down his back. He sweats under his denim and leather outerwear – a strange choice of garments, I think, on this perfect summer day. The headphone kid is bobbing his dyed head to the pulse of his earbuds; the hip hop guy is fading into a singularity of coolness in the fleeting bus shelter shade; the bus driver with the handlebar moustache lights a Players Plain with a wooden match, chews the butt and spits tobacco to the ground. The busses belch in the afternoon heat, one after the other, and more after that. A coupla taxis are parked just outside the bus run. The drivers sit on their respective hoods and chew the gab, wait for a fare – someone too tired to walk home from here, someone who has had enough. In the middle of the parking lot a guy sits in his rusting gray Caprice. Aviators on, head up and feet out the window. Stones on the deck. Left foot tapping.
Yellow Car in Traffic
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?