‘Plosions–ex- and im-

Bob arrived last evening, with news that his last several days in Halifax have been replete with feeling the dynamiting up the block on Fenwick. Those of us sharing the dinertable–all of whom, like him, had been here during the Loma Pieta Earthquake and had each experienced other earthquakes as well, wanted, of course, to know how he found the explosion experience to differ.  It felt nothing like an earthquake, he said, and very clearly like an explosion, but beyond that–given that he had been traveling all day–we got few discerning details.

However, Tracey, bravely doing mailguard for us back in the City of Disasters, also ahs written to say that dear-god-the-neighbourhood’s-a-wreck. Lovely.

Here, it’s raining, one of those June phenomena (in a place where rain is “supposed” to come in winter) that surprises people every single year. This year, I hope it’s met with welcoming arms as the hills are already yellow brown as tinder and it’s hard to believe they can hold out until September before exploding.

The other local weather is economic, although Berkeley doesn’t seem to have been hit with the sledge hammers depicted in so many other US cities.  In fact, I’ve been awed by the number of house projects visibly underway: new paint, new steps, new shingling, chimney removal (visions of earthquake prep again).

However, Ledger’s has gone out of business, so I really did miss my opportunity to see its collection of 100 single malts.  IMG_1079And the storefronts along both ends of Shattuck are way more vacant than memory serves–but nicely tarted for the quickly passing public with a kind of extension of independent artists’ gallery space.  It does beat blank-eye windows. IMG_1086   IMG_1088

There are the decidely Berkeleyan bits of landscaping as well:  the owner of one North Berkeley boutique had sold her business to go to France when last I was here.  She’s back–her boutique moved a few blocks south but nonetheless highly visible and well stocked–and I heard her telling another window shopper that she’d spent her time in France taking akido classes as French classes, because she already knows akido so very well.

We went to the Berkeley Bowl, at 4 in the afternoon, and although Carole insisted it wasn’t the least bit crowded, I have never seen so many earnest tomato squeezers, mango managers, pistachio counters and folks disappointed because their bread choices took up a mere 3.7 kM of rack space. The place is huge so the density of shoppers competed only barely with the Halifax Farmers Market at 9 am on a Saturday (deep) but its diversity in all traits but single minded seriousness outstrips any market place I’ve seen–as does that seriousness of purpose.

I am actually mildly surprised that the energy of the place didn’t create a rumble audible over the brown hills.


One Response to “‘Plosions–ex- and im-”

  1. Flotsam Says:

    “City of Disasters,” eh? Maybe that’s how we should be marketing Halifax to tourists…. I have to say, though, that once you go north on South Park, get by that disaster that’s encroaching on your place, then get by the condo tower that’s currently nothing more than a giant hole in the ground, it was wonderful to see the Garden in such bloom…. I really have to take the time to walk through them this season….

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