I’ve been dreaming vividly of LA for the past few weeks. It finally quieted down last week but it was jarring to dream about living in one place and then waking up in another. I asked my mom why I was dreaming about it so much (since she knows everything) and she said that it was probably because I was home sick. Home sick?
I never really thought of LA as my real home but I guess I spent so much time there it became so without fully realizing it. This has always been a dilemma of mine. I often think and talk about a place other than where I am. When I lived in Halifax I talked all ways to Sunday about Edmonton. When I lived in Edmonton I daydreamed of Halifax. When I lived in LA I eat, slept and breathed being Canadian and now that I’m back in Edmonton I can’t help but miss the warm sun on my skin.
I read recently that because we are so far removed from a large urban population (New York or Beijing for example) we have no choice but to be consumers of culture rather than creators. It’s an obvious but profound statement. Recently I visited Vancouver and even there I saw that they too were creators of their own culture in an overt fashion. Where as here in this city there are somewhat large gaps of disconnect between groups and trending crowds believing in larger ideologies. To be clear I am not complaining about Edmonton, but merely mulling over the situation.
Edmonton is the 5th largest municipality and the 6th largest metropolitan area in Canada (according to Wikipedia) and has the longest stretch of urban park land in North America thanks to the beautiful river valley (plus it still has the largest indoor mall!). That’s pretty awesome in the grand scheme of things but sometimes it’s hard to think of this place as being competitive with other cities. That’s why it was timely for the Royal Bison to be open this past weekend. They had great vendors this year and it was easy to see that everyone there was in love with Edmonton and finding many ways to make it great. Edmonton is an underground city. It’s subtle, remote and generous. OMA cited that messy ideas are progressive over smooth and agreeable ones. Refinement means acceptance and popularity which means it no longer has excitement and ingenuity. Similar to that I think Edmonton’s rough edges are a good indication that we are on to something real.
Also – I bought a sweet bike this weekend from United Cycle. It’s a crossover bike that allows me adjust my front shocks so I can ride river valley trails and city streets! It’s a big deal!