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2006 05 01
Mile End Melancholy
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zadcat

It is a strange thing to visit a place where one used to live, to observe the changes large and small that have taken place in your absence. There is of course the desire to say “in my day…” but there is also a certain nostalgia, a pang of sadness. Perhaps it is a feeling of things happening while we weren’t paying attention, of being left behind in the steady march always onward. Change and gentrification are facts of any city, and while there is much to be regretted, particularly the exclusivity that comes with higher rents, there are good things too. Returning to an old stomping ground is also driven by a need to reclaim ownership, to exclaim to the neighbourhood “I was part of you once! (Doesn’t anyone remember?).”

There is comfort, though, in the things that don’t change. At 6:30, the yet-to-be filled pool of Saint-Viateur Park is suddenly empty of kids on bicycles and a slow but gradual exodus occurs across the four corners of the park: dinnertime. Meanwhile, the otherwise ugly and characterless terrace of Café Olympico is full of people, stripping layers as they bake in the sun. There are certainly more people now; more, always new people who perhaps have no memory of the café’s original sign and local name about which to reminisce. In my day…

[email this story] Posted by Alexandra McIntosh on 05/01 at 04:24 AM

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