Thursday, March 29, 2007

some new thoughts

walking home yesterday along 97th street, I walked past several groups of young teens strutting down the street. crowding the sidewalk, the worrisome sentiments of nervous individuals ringed in my ears. only as I watched them walking towards me, after passing ten blocks of really broken people, I was reminded of being young and walking around with friends, crowding the sidewalks of our neighborhood and hanging out on the streets. We would have been between 12 and 16, too young to drive but too old to stay home. We wandered. It was a way of getting around and also exploring, almost claiming the areas we passed. that's why we use to walk. but those I use to walk with would never consider a middle of the night stroll from Londondery to Northgate again. everyone drives now. there's no more exploration--just destination points we have to be at certain times throughout the day. walking up 97st or 95st isn't the greatest trek, but navigating the space in between is a small way to reclaim something long lost.

sidenote: this morning waiting for the bus on 118 ave, I heard my first heckle. little boys in cars drive up and down streets, from 109st, whyte, 97, and certainly 118 to yell remarks to women walking or standing on the streets. whether the women are prostitutues or not, I think that's beside the point. many people I know have been yelled at by cars full of guys saying ridiculous and obscene things to pedestrians who happen to be women. I couldn't make out what the guy said, but it was a bizarre encounter as it would never happen face-to-face on the sidewalk. the remarks, no matter what they may be, are violent in nature. directed at women, these cars should be reported along with prowling johns.
I've only known one guy who was heckled, but he also had a perogy thrown at his head. is it just a small town mentality, to go pick a fight from your cruising car? also, in my heavy winter overcoat, leather gloves and shoes, looking more like a groomed bolshevik than a lady of the night, I feel more baffled than ever as to what this guy was thinking, or have been taught to think, when he opened his mouth this morning.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

walking in the city part 2

on sunday of the first nice weekend, it snows again as I write this, I slept in till noon. with the spring jump in time that throws me back into my winter light-depraved slump, I rose technically at 11am and awoke at 8am. grabbed an apple and some bottles of water and drove over to acd's. now that she's in the hood, hadn't seen her house yet. the men of the house were doing construction and acd, baby bell and I set off for the rivervalley. a short messy walk to the train station, anxiety leading up to whether the train was coming or going, a quick ride to churchill, and getting out to walk down bellamy and across the low level and up on fort saskatchewan for a late brunch at NY bagel. my favorite. and there's nothing like walking your way to a great eggs benedict.
wandered around, same old, only there's a baby, but running into one of acd's old classmates, nothing really had changed. same clothes. same girl. just with a baby. outside of planet organics. with a discounted bag of cosmic cookies. before navigating to the LRT. brief hi and bye at the cafe select, to my future roomate, back on the train, rumbling north. a day that passed by all too quickly. just in time to get to metro for a volunteer shift. ukranian rock festival. it was in ukranian. Are you Ukranian? Could be.
Back at home, grocery shopping, by 8pm. ACD dropped off Remi, her cat, who's been upsurped by Bella, and now, at least someone gets to enjoy the house all day long.

walking in the city

First nice weekend of the year and woke up Saturday morning needing to walk. Well, needed breakfast, caught Julie in time and off we went to IKEA for 99cent breakfast. OPening a restaurant sure keeps her busy, but it's fun to do little errands every now and then. Picked up a couple copies of the journal on the way, had a preview on bacon, good article, I think it made her day. 2 bucks later and some savvy navigation, I was dropped off on 118 and strolled my way home.
Restless, I called up MM to meet downtown. deciding it was nice enough to walk it, three blocks down 101 st and I knew I should have at least brought my mitts. it was warm, sure, but lakes had formed all along the sidewalks and the trot was a soggy trot filled with jumps and splashes. Once I passed 111 ave, there were people again and the sidewalks seemed drier. it was an ugly walk, one of the ugliest I've taken in the city along a path I have only ever driven. the sidewalks were crumbling and littered, but those on it were serious pedestrians. news of the james macdonald bridge closing off its sidewalk wasn't surprising. walkers are expected to navigate through trash and uneven barely paved streets that bleed into 6 lane traffic intersections.
getting into the core, I thought about stopping at snap, but I didn't know if MM was waiting. she needed to read and I had to stop by the Free for All at AGA. Meeting up at l'espresso, it was closed, but I found a scrawled note on the door outside and soon saw her walking back across churchill square. can't believe you found the note. can't believe I found it either. strolling through the Free for All, this was the most aptly titled show of the year. Decade. too much, will get back to it at some point. overload of senses. and not in a good way.
heading back up north, we wanted coffee, good coffee, so triamici it was. saw the new cover of city palate with our friend ted illustrating. went back south to the italian bakery for cheese sandwiches and olives. back to the valley for an impromptu dinner party with those heading west for rumblefest on granville island. stopped at the mzd salon on the way back. filled to capacity tonight. again. only stayed briefly. always seems so sleepy in there. riding back with Nutts, early night, a full day though.