Thursday, April 30, 2009

Love Letter To A City

Dear Regina,
I have been back for about eight months, now. This letter is long overdue, but not for lack of thinking about it. In truth, the transition hasn’t been as easy as I would have thought. I guess one can’t expect to pick up and leave for five years and then just come back like nothing changed. I’ve changed. You’ve changed. And let’s face it, we don’t get along the way we used to.

So in the spirit of dialogue (and how I hate, despise and detest that word), I’m just going to get a few things off my chest so we can move forward together.

1. Your streets. So wide, so abundant, so accommodating. You can always find a place to park. Just a few things:

* It’s so odd to me that despite the abundance of road space, I still get honked at when I do something as simple as pull around a left-turning vehicle to pass straight through an intersection. Seriously, Regina, what is the big deal?
* Also, my dear city, you are full of the doziest, least proactive bunch of drivers I have ever witnessed. You say “at least we’re not aggressive,” but you’re not even awake! Slow to maneuver, hesitant to shoulder-check, rare to signal, weaving across lanes, utterly confounded by the smallest change in traffic patterns. I actually miss the DVP.
* And this is another symptom of too much space and not enough sense: only in a town like Regina can you witness a drag race between two F150’s. And oh, look at that, driven by two fully-grown adult men. For most of us, trucks are just annoying obstacles to try see around when turning, parking, pulling out into traffic or doing anything road-related. Don't get me wrong; I don’t hate trucks, so long as I can see the ‘F’ sticker (then at least one assumes it’s warranted). But don’t get me started on the ridiculous oversized Hummer-truck beast that a certain higher end clothing store owner drives. I bet you can see it all the way from Calgary.
* And now to parking. I’ve actually had people ask me to move my car further down the block because God forbid they should have to park a car-length away from their house. You do know that this abundance of parking is a luxury completely foreign to most other cities, right?
* Drunk driving. I swear it’s because of the obscenely wide streets that more people don't die. Understand this: ‘a couple’ are too many, and no, you’re not ‘fine’.

2. Your abundance of salons and spas.
I’ve always said there’s one of everything in Regina, and that includes some pretty talented trades people who, thankfully, lack both the ego and the pricing of bigger centers. There are real gems in this town. So just a note specially to those who help us all look beautiful:

* Please do your part to end what someone aptly named the “bomb blast haircut”. You know the one: short all over and then spiked to within an inch of its life out the back? Right, like a bomb blast. Usually streaked 23 different colours, too. Women of the prairies, please let it die.
* While we’re at it, dearest trades people, help the people with their eye wear. I used to think this only applied to the ladies, but I can thank the Premier for making this a cross-gender issue. Trendy eye wear doesn’t necessarily make one look fashionable; it can, however, make one look like a strange avian species from some tropical jungle.
* And please tell the people that pajama bottoms are not appropriate for wearing outside of the house. I don’t care how comfortable they are.

3. Odds and Ends.
I love the big sky, the clean air, the birds, the sunrises and sunsets. I love that Regina people are kind, for the most part. Just a few little things:

* “Yous guys”. “Them guys.” “I don’t got no (insert)” and especially the term "to Jew someone." Just STOP.
* It’s okay to get excited about something that doesn’t come packaged in Green and White.
* ‘Harbour Landing.’ I don’t care if that’s what you technically call an airfield. It’s a stupid name, and looking at the oversized houses on oversized plots, it’s just a stupid idea.
* In all my driving around the suburbs of the world, I have never witnessed a mess like the east end. Seriously, Quance? Not to mention the lamentable lack of green spaces, sidewalk patios or, hell, even a safe place to walk. It's not just the east end; I arrived too early to a movie the other day and my options were to go to Shopper’s or sit and stare at a parking lot. Unfortunately this town is starting to feel exactly like any Ontario suburb, but with an even bigger misuse of space. Please, Regina, don’t let our city become ugly.
* Cabs. Why is it impossible to get a cab to or from the city’s only airport, an airport that is also not serviced by public transportation? “Welcome to Regina. You’re on your own.”
* And seriously: pick up your dog’s shit. It's the price you pay for dog ownership in any urban centre, and sheer laziness is ruining a perfectly gorgeous dog park.

Okay, I think I’m done. Please don’t take this too personally, my fair city. Obviously I like Regina. I moved back. And I know this doesn't apply to all. I just needed to say a few things. As penance, I will spend the next few Grace in Small Things talking about the things I love about this place.

Hugs and Kisses,


posted by Working From Home Today
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Blogger Schmutzie ~ 10:44 AM

Don't let our city become ugly? I hate to tell you, but a good portion of this city is nothing less than an eyesore already. It's one reason why I'm glad that I don't own a car. I'm saved from having to look at most of this town most of the time.  

Blogger Working From Home Today ~ 12:29 PM

I know. But I was trying to focus on the positive. You know, encourage the small amount of beautiful that's left to grow...  

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