Manitoba Avenue

It’s been quite a long while since I posted anything on this blog even though a great deal of events have transpired since then. On a personal level, I’ve pulled up roots for the umpteenth time and moved cross-country, landing this past summer in Winnipeg — a city to which the expression “of all places” undeservedly appends itself perhaps more than it should.

Having deserted this forum so abruptly countless months ago without any explanation, it’s hard to know how best to return and start things up again.

Eschewing blithering, heartfelt apologies and lengthy excuses for being hopelessly MIA, maybe its best to simply plunge directly back into the flow of events…

So here’s a screengrab from the local CBC newscast of the house next door to mine catching fire the other night. My place is the brick building on the right.


32 Replies to “Manitoba Avenue”

  1. Nice to hear from you, RT. What an exciting night you had, watching the neighbour’s jernt burn down and wondering if the sparks would fly over to yours…. But yeah, Winterpeg of all places? Why not Nova Scotia and get as far away from the mayhem as you could?

    (I tried finding my own blog, which I too haven’t posted to in aeons, and I guess they must’ve dumped me. Story of my life….)

  2. Welcome back RT. When I saw “Manitoba Ave” on the PB feed I was very confused. So you found your way to Winnipeg. I hope you’re settling in well, although a fire next door is not exactly welcoming. We went through a police lock down within our first few months of moving to this fair city.

  3. Hey, Red. When I was a cub reporter I had to get up at all hours to ocver fires. One night it was a south Asian embassy. The ambassador was out of the country but the charge d’affairs was running about with a big camera slung around his neck going out of his way to make the point that the embassy had been full of incense. Meanwhile the reporters and the fire fighters got very well stoned.

  4. Hi guys! Nice to hear from you.

    Up to my eyeballs in work at the moment, but I’m looking forward to posting some comments later on in the day when I get home.

    I’ve missed blogging…

  5. Well, some have been following you on Twitter…

    It just seems that those blogging about Canadian politics have “gotten stupiter” (with the exception of a few).

  6. Welcome back! I’ve been trying to follow you on Twitter and wondering how you are surviving in the North End. Scary place. I grew up in Winnipeg and all my family is still there, but the winters, YIKES! I still remember the night I almost froze to death as a kid waiting for a late bus. Would be interested to hear your reaction to the Cancun Agreements and Harper’s supposed commitment to controlling GHG’s … yeah, right!

  7. Cancun Agreements and Harper’s supposed commitment to controlling GHGNothing will be done from the Cons.
    Same old, same old…

  8. Nice to see you back. Winnipeg does have some nice things to offer, especially if you spend time there in between winter and mosquito season.

  9. CWTF: There are mechanisms in the Agreement whereby high emitting developed nations have to measure, report and verify their reductions in GHG’s. No doubt Harper and his Tar Sands buddies will figure out a way to fudge the numbers.
    Sassy: As I recall, Spring and Fall were great. Crisp, clear air, and you can’t beat those prairie skies.

  10. LMA – The North End is certainly a different situation from what I’ve been used to in the past. The same week I moved into my place, there was a murder right across the street. Not long after that there were a few other murders in the area that are still unsolved. I’ve stopped being surprised by seeing the Winnipeg Police’s “Major Crime” van parked on the street where I catch the bus or being alarmed by anything at all really – like being offered exotic drugs in exchange for bus fare.. I am however still a little pissed at having my Trek bike being stolen from practically right under my nose when I popped into a nearby corner store and neglected to lock it up. My fault, I guess, but it still irks me when I think about it.

  11. Sassy: Yes, it does. I got a digital camera a while back and once I get it figured out I’d like to start posting some pics of the wonderful old buildings here.

  12. Penny – How nice that you were the first to comment. Hope all is well with you. Sorry to hear about your blog being ‘disappeared’ like that. Rather rude of Blogger, wouldn’t you say? To be honest, I wasn’t sure about this one’s existence, as I’d been deliberately avoiding it until just recently when I finally relented and popped back in to do a little redecorating. After that, I felt compelled to post something, so I guess we’ll see where it goes from here…

  13. RT. I know how you can dissuade the criminals. Simply explain to them that Harper is getting tough on crime. I am quite certain they will think twice before committing another offence.

    Nice to see you back.

  14. Yeah… That’s the ticket!

    I rather doubt most of the folks in the ‘hood know who Harper is, let alone would fear in the slightest bit his purported “tough on crime” policies.

    Nice to hear from you too!

  15. CWTF: If no binding targets are set next year at COP17, we are all in for a heap of trouble.
    RT: I know the feeling. We had two treasured Arabian rugs stolen out from under our noses while moving into an apartment in downtown TO. Makes you feel dumb, as well as ripped off. It’s a war out there.

  16. LMA – Yeah, I guess it is, although it goes completely against my trusting, perhaps naïve nature. This is the first time I’ve ever even bothered locking my door and I almost resent having to do it.

  17. It is great to have you back Red! I have been following your tweets actually about your exploits in your new found place in Winnipeg. Sounds like a rough neighbourhood, but it looks like you were able to adapt quite well. Will there be any gentrification by the hipsterati any time soon? 🙂 That is probably more likely than getting those concerned neocons coming and actually living amongst the unwashed masses. After all, better than to pretend to pull oneself up by their ‘boostraps’ than to actually experience the challenges of doing so in a Randist wonderland of limitless personal agency and responsibility. That just makes the panacea of ‘tougher penalties’ easier to invoke as a means of addressing poverty.

  18. Getting your heads-up on being baaaack, RT, reminds me of when we were lurking on that Captain Somebody’s blog and listening to Cons go on and on about Lieberals. Strange how what goes around comes around, eh? Must be something about politics…. or is it just human nature?

  19. Hey RT, good to see you back.

    Sorry to hear about your bike – ironically I had my Trek stolen in September as well, was locked to my bike rack on my vehicle while staying in Wallace, Idaho.. and they took the whole bike rack apart to get the bikes (my wife’s Giant too) off the rack.

    So – my sympathies about the bike – if it’s like mine, it was a part of the family – but good to see you back in the saddle giving us cons the gears 🙂

  20. Shameless hijack of your blog for a moment.

    Tis the season for a friendly blogger challenge – to put down our punditry and complaining for a moment to do some small act for someone else – and then blog about it and challenge others to do the same.

    Your mission if you choose it:

    Small Hero Challenge

  21. Welcome back, Red !

    As someone who lived in Winnipeg for 11 years, I can attest to the fact that there is more to it than “winter and mosquitoes.” In fact, during the time I lived there the mosquitoes were only “bad” during two Summers. There is lots of history for the taking-in in the Province, as many of Canada’s critical political issues were tested there: Aboriginal History, the HBC in Rupertsland and the battles for hegemony with the The NWC, Lord Selkirk’s Settlement, Confederation Debates, Engligh-French clashes, Protestant-Catholic conflict, The Rebellion, The Fenian Raids, The raising of regimments in 1914, The Winnipeg General Strike, The BCATP, and much more. Enjoy!

    As for living in the North-End ….. well, perhaps you can get a place south in Osborne Village or Corydon Village later on.

    Happy Holidays !


  22. JKG – Thanks. Nice to be back, although this is the first opportunity in weeks that I’ve had to check the blog and respond to comments.

    Regarding whether there will be any “gentification” of this area by the hipsterati, my speculation would be an absolute NO. For that to take place, there would have to be an economic justification for revival of the area and in Winnipeg, such motivation simply doesn’t exist. There are a bunch of other factors (race being primary amongst them) working against the prospect of this area being anything but a dismal “social service ghetto” for generations to come.

  23. Rob – Nice wordplay!

    The Trek hadn’t become part of the family yet – I’d only just bought it a few weeks earlier, but I had become quite attached to it. Just not quite enough, as it turned out. 😉

    Hard to believe that someone would have dismantled the rack to get at your ride like that, but the devious ingenuity and tenacity of the criminal mind should never be underestimated, I guess.

    Good “challenge” by the way. I wish that I had seen it sooner as I would have been tempted to participate.

  24. ATY – Nice to hear from you again. I had forgotten that you used to live here. Nobody else I know could rattle off so many historical references to this place. Certainly, there is a lot of history evident in the buildings that remain from the city’s glory days as a financial and transportation hub at the turn of the last century, but as with most places, there’s very little general awareness of its heritage and for as much as there is preservation, there’s a good deal more neglect.

    Hope all is well with you and the family in the Chuck. And likewise, best wishes for Happy Holidays.

  25. Wow – welcome back, RT. Glad to see you back blogging. Hope you continue, however frustrating it can be at times. You’ve got a distinctive voice and some level headedness that’s often lacking ’round these parts.

  26. Kaplan – I’m happy to say that I didn’t “retire” earlier in the year out of frustration (although I have done so in the past a couple of times, storming off in a dramatic huff – blogging can be a maddening business at times, especially if you get really involved with it on a daily basis), but more out of necessity and a desire to focus strictly on work. Going cold turkey was the only way to do that at the time. Now however, I think I’m in a better position to achieve some degree of balance.

  27. ATY – Up an at ‘em… albeit with a cane – the other hip is going on me, unfortunately. But otherwise, full of vigour and generally feeling quite sanguine these days for a change.

  28. Hiya. Nice to hear from you again!

    More like DIY electrical work rather than matches if I had to guess as to the probable cause. They’d been renovating over the summer and through the fall. Pity really, as the owner was a nice guy and had the place starting to look fairly good (which is an exception to the rule around this area of town).

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