Thursday, October 14, 2010
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Their slogan, as you'll see, is "Accessible. Affordable. Accredited."
Yes, we were curious.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
An online poll initiated last week by Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside and circulated on Facebook produced some unexpected results. Pushed primarily through a Facebook group set up to gauge public sentiment toward a Costco on the UNB woodlot, the poll initially favoured the proposed location. The group was overwhelmingly visited by consumers, most largely indifferent to economic or environmental impact. The poll then swung from an enormous lead to favour a Costco at another location. This seemed to test the patience of organizers, who wrote
It was taken down when it was brought to my attention that the same response was repeatly (sic) being selected. The poll registered more than 300 votes for "Not in the woodlot" in less than 15 minutes.
A response repeatedly selected is something that generally happens when people vote, Mayor Woodside.
But regardless, a mobilized opposition should do nothing to effect the validity of the result; the fact (we're speculating here) that the folks at Woodlot Watch may have turned the tables by soliciting votes on their mailing list should not nullify it. If the poll was technically flawed, it was probably being exploited by both sides. The City, it seems, thinks undesired results are not a results.
Friday, March 13, 2009
A Facebook group called Costco for Fredericton is inviting feedback on its wall and forum and asks that people take time to vote here. It would appear that they're encouraging readers to vote yes to Costco.
We encourage you to vote no.
And, to do so as many times as you like.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
When I knew he wanted to see me I was ready in 20 minutes. I grabbed a copy of Slaughterhouse Five, which I had finished for the second time last week, because I knew it would fit in my coat pocket. I paid for a cab and was breathless on his doorstep because he said he and his friend were going to study and I could come hang out if I wanted. I sat self-conscious, the basement room smelling like raisins. Those boys always smelled like raisins.
Us three tripped into the hall. I’d forgotten a hat. I pulled my fox tail hood over my eyes and the snow fell warm like down. I tried to tell him about Billy Pilgrim, shouting against the falling insulation in the empty street. I started to just plod along behind the boys, wet gripping at my long pants.
We climbed the stairs to the upper level. Dusty rafters, dusty kites. Peter Gabriel was on the hi-fi. A small card was on one of the thrift-store bed-stands that served as dining tables: “There is a seating fee of $2. Please spare us the embarrassment of asking.”
I stared at the same page for an hour. He got up and put his jacket on without a word. He left me with his friend. I wouldn’t allow myself to ask what was going on. I saw that it was nothing.
On the way back to my dorm, I broke into his bedroom. I left a photo of us together, as a last gesture, and slept thickly that night. When he wrote the next day to confess his infatuation, my heart sank as it does when another part of life ceases to make sense. I refused to control what happened between us in the years after. For that reason, it is all my fault.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
There, on the wood that spans the always surprisingly great river, it was tempting to look forward, and to look back, but most tempting to stay in suspension. Nostalgia and hope were poised above the water and ready to dive in and disappear, or maybe they were the supports, or the substructure. It is tempting to extend the analogy, but then to call it an analogy isn't even quite right, because, as I remember, the physical character of the bridge bore marks, scars, and memorials of other's hopes and memories and jokes. Its body retained so much wisdom and confusion and nonsense. It was that, not just an analogy of that.
And meanwhile this wood deserved to be danced upon: the sound was perfect, and it did not matter who passed, who was ahead or behind watching, because over the water everyone with a passionate spirit became just a little tipsy, even if the deep lead-coloured sobriety lurked beneath. Maybe it was sobriety that functioned as the substructure, keeping people from falling in.
The passersby, if they stopped midstream, might be tempted to forget their direction of movement and be drawn to a standstill by the colours instead. Even on a grey day the iron stood out brilliant in its revelation of fiery reds and oranges, the wood of softer browns, greens, and greys, and the water reflecting or even foreshadowing the mood of the sky, sometimes an uncanny blue, sometimes industrial grey. In one of the slowest places I've lived, change was always just beneath the bridge.
And I wonder, being now a fair distance from that place above the water, if it's still frozen in winter's grip, or if islands of ice are flowing towards the ocean. And what is it carrying with it?
Bridges are clichés, and like many clichés, they are still important: they are still powerful symbols of passage, of change, of forgetting; and yet they tend to stand (unless we burn or otherwise destroy them) longer than the life of an individual, longer than the life of a childhood, an adolescence, a university "career", an adult's mid-life crisis, or a an old woman's Sunday walks to the cathedral, one of the few times in the week she might breathe the fresh air and say hello to the younger ones, the ones who wouldn't initiate a greeting like that nowadays, but are willing to return one most of the time. It is an image of forgetting, but of our forgetting; and yet so often it bears the harsh wounds or gentle touches of its builders, its present and sometime users. Its body is shaped and aged, by water and by hands, and it holds what we may have forgotten, for a little while longer, at least, as long as someone is there to walk on it.
And yes, this is the sort of bridge that captures the eye because of its picturesque placement over a wide river between a still thickly wooded north and a colourful south side. It was the subject of one of my first photographs in Fredericton, and one of my last long walks. And for however many times it's been the subject of yet another tourist's (or resident's) photographic mediocrity, it is still a brilliant, present thing.