Sunday, December 6, 2009
99 days of suburban living
I grew up on the West side of the capital. It's your typical dying suburb: a relatively unknown patch of the former Nepean, that connects the local mall to more important parts of the city. It's basically a through-way - a single four lane strip of pavement lined with banks, fast food, and a few name-brand gas station. It's packed during rush hour, but empty the other 22 hours of the day.
I don't know any people who stayed here post highschool graduation. I escaped at 19, and coming home at 21 was like being delivered into a nightmare. I lived in a town within a town, and my neighbourhood lacked the most basic spirit that defines a city, a community - there were no people. There are plenty of cars, double-door garages, and parking lots packed with row upon row of minivans. But the sidewalks were bare, and the only time I saw a body was as it was staggering from store to 4x4.
Without people, this place seemed cold and soulless. It was as though nothing beyond the Tim Horton's frachises survived, and it was depressing to notice how the people aspect of community had been swallowed by big box grocers and coffee conglomerates. I don't bear any ill-will towards my hometown, but it's a place where the (non-childbearing) under 30s flounder. My defense has always been to stay indoors, but that habit is becoming dangerously comfortable as the winter winds approach. Hopefully, in the sweet by-and-by, something good will come.