Friday, 21 December 2007

Calgary in pictures

Back when the weather was in positive figures I took a few shots, walking around Calgary with fresh eyes. After you've been somewhere a few months you tend to take things for granted and let details slip into the background. These were taken when my eyes were open, aware, slightly alarmed, gently optimistic, and not covered in two inches of snow and whatever the hell it is they put on the roads that turns it into brown, sandy sludge.

While 7th Ave is a blasted wasteland of train tracks and homeless drug dealers, 8th Ave--shown here--is a pedestrian arcade, filled with restaurants, clothing stores, museums and malls. It is called Stephen Avenue for a few blocks, then it goes back to being called 8th. The walkway above street level is part of the +15 system, as walking outside will, for six months of the year, turn your jacket into a frozen spinnaker.

Since the oil boom began, Calgary has transformed from a shitty cowtown like Hamilton into something more like a Christchurch/Auckland combo. Construction is everywhere; what's not being torn down is being put up. This is the information centre at the base of the Calgary 'Tower'.

A few miles to the east from where I live is a strip of old-school stores, pawn shops, porn shops and fast food outlets. This sign has borne a missing letter for at least a month.

Near the local library is a Chinese supermarket, full of 2-lb packs of MSG, unrecognisable soft drinks and this stuff. Did you know New Zealand made liver spread? Or that other countries wanted it? Or that Australia is competing with us in this red-hot market? Or that Canada imports enough that packaging is printed in French and English? This is a day of learning for you, I can tell. These facts probably pushed other, useful ones out of your brain.

Preserved Duck Eggs will set you back four bucks. Personally, I'd go with the liver spread and save $1.50.

Calgary Zoo, which is on an island, has buffalo. Whereas the city of Buffalo in New York state has no buffalo. Suck it, America! Where's your God now?

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