Why I Love Downtown

You gotta love downtown. I’ve been in the burbs now for close to 10 years and do not miss living downtown at all. The smell of urine, bums on your doorstep, vandalism, sketchy situations…these are all things the suburbs lack, thank goodness. Don’t get me wrong, the burbs isn’t perfect and has it’s own list. Dog poop, noisy neighbors, commutes…the list goes on. But every once and a while I will venture down to pay a bill or see a show and you realize how alive downtown is. Today I paid a bill at city hall, then walked through the +15. The +15, for those of you not familiar, is an elevated walkway fully enclosed, fifteen feet above the street connecting each building. You can walk from one side of downtown to the other without stepping outside. There was actually a movie based in Downtown Calgary called Waydowntown . The plot is about a group of colleagues that bet a months salary as to who can last the longest without going outside. Not bad rating on RottenTomatoes. But the walkways are this labyrinthian maze of skyways that morph into food courts, museums, convention centres, malls, office buildings. Very surreal. Then there is the people, business men doing business things, corporate lackeys pounding down a burger so they can sprint back up to their office. Hot chicks looking very cosmopolitan. Punks being mad at the world, Emos being pussies and everyone realizing that good weather means the Stampede is just around the corner. Stampede is the biggest outdoor show on earth or Calgarys reason to not work for a week, get a free pancake breakfast everyday and party in a cowboy hat. But that’s a topic for another blog, back to downtown. The architecture is another plus, larger than life buildings, the newest in design. You see the city had a boom in the late 70’s – early 80’s thanks to all of the oil money, which is around the time when International style made a comeback in Canada, big square glass towers with lotsa windows. So the new architecture is a nice contrast, The Bow especially. I even saw a citizens arrest. A guy tried to steal a cash drawer from a street vendor. Three guys chased him down and tackled him, crazy shit. That doesn’t happen in the suburbs, but it is nice every now and again to see some shit go down. Not as crazy as some of the bigger cities like New York and L.A., we don’t have riots or terrorist attacks, we’re only a million people. It’s just a great place to live.

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