I would mention that the family and I took in Capital Ex last Friday, but the fact that we blew $150.00 in two hours has left a jaundiced taste in my mouth and left me black-tongued with misanthropic rage. On the plus side of things, I’m enjoying my sleepy new neighbourhood. I finally made the move out of E-Town’s best/worst neighbourhood – Old Strathcona. Over the past 10 years or so, I’d say that balance has definitely tipped to the “worst” end. The Ave is tolerable – even enjoyable – on any weekday. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the unwashed hordes descend on the place and it becomes an unwalkable concrete nightmare complete with stroller-bitten ankles and sweaty, uninvited fluid transfers. The pretty ones are out with their cellphones and beach-streetwear, but it’s all too much for me to handle. On Friday and Saturday nights, the place becomes a festering bag of smashed ass that holds the lowest of the backward-hat-wearing lager louts and the most pathetic of the shivering bar skanks. Throw in some cooler-than-thou hipsters, some weekend guzzlers from the ‘burbs, and a few dozen aggressive panhandlers (not to mention the polished slummers who like to pretend they’re homeless) and you’ve got a really nice shit stew.
King Edward Park (PDF, 590kB) is home now. The eight chugs up 83rd every fifteen minutes. The four plows down Whyte with the same frequency. A myriad of undiscovered routes ply the area including the mythic 151 – a bus with a sprawling and inexplicable route. It’s within spitting distance from Bonnie Doon – a utilitarian mall that hovers just under the collective mall radar, making it a non-crowded gem for locals. Bonnie Doon Rec Center isn’t too far, and the pool contained therein is a true classic. They even play Billy Joel on the PA. There’s a DQ a few blocks down, and the evangelist Jamaicans rock the community hall every Sunday. Mill Creek ravine is scarcely a ten minute walk, much to the delight of the hound.
I know the time was right to leave Old Strathcona. Still, I’ll miss Whyte and all its beauty and shitheadery. May it get some new direction and a wash. On to other things; other neighbourhoods.