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Published: November 6th 2020
A sprite invaded my mind and persuaded me to walk to the Crossroads Farmers Market
to fulfill my minor need to buy the cauliflower I forgot last Sunday. The sprite argued that this was one of the last warm days of summer, and furthermore that the distance was certainly no greater than the walks I do when hiking. Plus, the route was mainly along park-like streets and paths.
The mid-morning air was a delightful blend of freshness and promised warmth. I walked through the spreading trees of 2 Street, skirted the park on the escarpment, angled along Meredith Road, crossed Memorial Drive, and moved into the green-ness of the river pathway. The relative absence of potentially infectious fellow strollers and bikers allowed me to notice how the Bow bounced in its blueness, reflecting the happiest of prairie skies.
Crossing the George C King pedestrian bridge brought such city views as to stop my purposeful stride. My camera came out to capture the architects’ ideal of shining towers rising above trees and grasses, almost floating on the pebbly banks of the river. The pathway threaded around Fort Calgary
’s natural grassland and across a few streets into Inglewood
. My eyes did a little window shopping
Place to hunt for odd things
on 9 Avenue, dreading the long stretch of 11 Street ahead.
What in a car is a dull stretch was a fascinating distraction on foot. Near-original buildings from Calgary’s early growth as a city have quietly found new purposes. The army surplus store
sprawls beneath a genuine false-front. Nearby, Smithbuilt Hats
touts its famous hats with an imposing model Stetson. Three craft breweries contend for leisure-filled customers. Art Point
, almost invisible to vehicle traffic, boldly proclaims its presence to walkers, who can see through the wild bushes above the underpass. Small businesses occupy small premises, some still with picket fences and hedges, remnants of the time when workers lived near the rail and stock yards.
After crossing the railway tracks, the way is dull for a few blocks, making the approach to the market very welcome. Once there, mindful of my backpack capacity, I picked out one large cauliflower to buy. In the socially-distanced line-up, temptations set up by the vendor caused a jar of honey and a jar of strawberry jam to find their way into my purchases.
Thinking to have a straight walk home, I was immediately distracted by a sculpture in a fenced field at Inland Concrete. To
The Calgary Stetson cowboy hat
my imagination it seemed to pay tribute to the Chinese workers who built the railway, as the figures climbed up striated marble rock. Later, a Google search disabused this fine notion; it was an artwork
discarded by a downtown highrise.
Choosing to cross the river on the Zoo Bridge gave my camera a graceful perspective of our downtown enclosed by green parks and blue rivers. Since the foot and pedal traffic on the river path had intensified, I crossed over Memorial Drive by the LRT station infrastructure and strolled through the renewed district of Bridgeland
, a vigorous mixture of rehabilitated houses, convenient low-rise apartments and massive new-built condos, all joined visually by grassed squares and conserved trees. Flagging after three hours of walking, I trudged up the escarpment to my familiar 2 Street route.
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