Saturday, 15 March 2008

I Miss The Good Old Days...

So today I got some sad news..... My favorite bookstore - McNally Robinson is closing down their store in Calgary. You can't really blame them considering that the property where they sit is a prime location for lunchtime traffic, and that the evenings and week-ends must be pretty slow. They sit on Stephen Avenue which is a historic district of Calgary right in the middle of the downtown core. I admit that the only time I ever go to the store is on my lunch break as well, and not every day. The cost of renting a place like that while trying to keep your employees happy on top of it must be astronomical. Why is everything in Calgary so flipping expensive? Man, I tell you, the first chance I get, I'm out of here. Calgary is not the city I grew up in anymore. When I was a kid, Calgary had some pretty sweet community spirit, and it was simple, and practically crime free, and the most exciting thing that ever happened was the Calgary Stampede once a year. Which, I kinda liked - life was simpler you know? I certainly do appreciate the way Calgary has become diverse and culturally aware. We have lots of great people from all over the world now, and that part I really kinda like. The problem is though - insane population growth, not to mention - stupid decisions made by the Alberta government (but I'm not going to make this a political rant) Our infrastructure, our health care system, our city in general can NOT sustain the enormous numbers of people that are now in this city. I'm really starting to get a little freaked out that every time I listen to the news there's some new murder victim they find. I absolutely hate it. Now, to top it all off, great businesses with character and style which are not part of the huge conglomerate megastores are being forced to shut down because they too cannot afford to exist in this city. I work downtown, and I see a lot more people who live on the streets than I ever did before. A lot of these people have jobs, but they have nowhere to live. This is a serious problem. They're people just like me who aren't making enough to live in this ridiculously overpriced city. I see the effects worst of all in my job because I work for the Calgary Health Region, and there are LOTS of people who need access to health care that simply aren't getting it because there aren't enough doctors and nurses to support a population this huge. Frustrating for patients, and more so for those providing care. Anyway, something needs to be done, and disappointingly yet again, Ed has made the statement today that he won't be able to live up to a lot of his campaign promises because there isn't the funds for it. (big surprise) So, obviously we can't rely on the provincial government to bail us out. Ok, I've got to stop ranting because if I don't, I'll toss and turn in frustration, and I've got to sleep peacefully tonight. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a small piece of Calgary history for those of you who may or may not remember it.

Stephen Avenue circa 1912

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