Saturday, November 07, 2009

My New Neighbourhood

Up a hill! Down a hill! I never realized there was such a big hill on the edge of Uptown Waterloo. All sides of it are fantastically steep, and there's even a bit of a valley nestled right in the middle, so I get lots of exercise to and from work.

While coming down the hill towards Weber street there's a BEAUTIFUL view to the north, overlooking Moses Springer park and then -- far off -- the student slums of University and Columbia. I'm intrigued by a huge microwave tower out there.

There is always a lone dove sitting on a powerline near Lincoln and Weber, which is also where the few pedestrians diverge to various buses. Even though there is a bus which goes very close to my house, its route is circuitous and seems to almost willfully avoid the main line. Transfers and waiting at University and King is the only way.

The most beautiful homes are up on the hill. Affluence, in this area, means being set so far away from the road that you are completely surrounded by forest. One house appears only accessible up a long, winding wooden staircase with a mailbox at the bottom. I want to live in that house!

All the homes were built in the '60s and look distinctly "Brady Bunch": A-Frame angles, tall narrow windows, ridiculously high ceilings. The people who live in those houses walk their children to work every day; one father piggybacks his daughter all the way down the hill.

My own neighbourhood is not affluent, it would probably be classified as lower-middle class. They're mostly new families and first-time homebuyers. Most of them seem capable of proper recycling and garbage disposal, but a few think that a bin marked "cardboard" is the place where you throw your old Javex bottles.

The supermarket nearby is exceptionally good. The Blockbuster store is badly in need of cleaning and renovation. The Canadian Pizza place makes great pizza, and it's cheap.

I live near a water treatment plant and I am surrounded on three sides by enormous parks. I have done very little exploring but I'm amazed to discover that I live at the very end of Margaret Street, a long city-spanning thoroughfare which runs through every type of possible neighbourhood. This week I walked from the one end -- near my house -- all the way to the other end, which terminates conveniently at the Registry Theatre. It took about 45 minutes.

On my way to work I pass the cheerful, elderly school crossing guard. On the way home I used to greet the cheerful, elderly golden retriever who ran loosely up and down the immaculately-manicured lawns. But a few weeks ago his owners tied him up in the driveway, put down a blue tarp for him, and left his food and water out. I don't believe he is abused but he's certainly sad, sitting there, unable to greet people on the sidewalk. It makes me sad too.

Two days ago I finally realized that I really do live here. It hasn't sunk in yet that I OWN the place, but it's a start at least.

2 comments:

Patrick said...

Is this the golden retriever?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=margaret+st,+waterloo+on&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=34.587666,56.513672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Margaret+Ave+N,+Waterloo,+Waterloo+Regional+Municipality,+Ontario,+Canada&ll=43.478522,-80.508285&spn=0.007007,0.027595&z=15&layer=c&cbll=43.478526,-80.508298&panoid=2VTDjlNXQbfZR4IO6aFJqA&cbp=11,341.55,,2,8.3

Gotta love Google maps.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Ho-lee SHIT!

That is indeed the golden retriever, and his owner as well. I can't BELIEVE you found that!

Next task: find the lonesome dove on the telephone line near the entrance to Moses Springer Park.