Friday, August 09, 2013

Water = Life

Where did the forks go?
London, ON
August 2013
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I live in the "other" London, the one in Canada, the one without the folks with the neat accent and the one that doesn't have a subway. Or much of a bus system, if we're being brutally honest.

But it DOES have streets with names like Oxford, Queens, King, and Richmond. And it has a Thames River. Not a mighty flowing river with lots of cool bridges and ship traffic, mind you. More like a lazy-flowing, laughably shallow, depressingly filthy exaggerated creek. And don't even ask about the ginormous, London Eye-like ferris wheel, because we don't have one.

For all we lack, it's still a neat place to live. It's small - 360-ish-thousand people - so traffic is barely an issue. If it takes you 20 minutes to get somewhere instead of 15, you've had a bad commute. We don't have to pay congestion fees to drive our cars downtown. And we're never more than 10 minutes away from watching cows graze in bucolic pastures.

We also have this, the Walter J. Blackburn Memorial Fountain. It's been open for four years, yet I hadn't taken the time to take a closer look at it until this past weekend. I know, some Londoner I turned out to be. I once wrote a newspaper column mocking the very idea of a jet d'eau-style fountain, yet on this day 11 years after the piece was published, the long-ago object of my journalistic scorn was the perfect backdrop for an ideal summer afternoon in the middle of town. I'm glad someone* had the vision to see this project through.

The shot you see here isn't any great shakes, but it was the best I could do with a BlackBerry and the five minutes I had before I had to turn for home. Clearly a return trip with a real camera and some time is called for. The fountain may be a small-ish addition to the landscape of our proudly small-ish city, but I'm learning that small-ish things are often worth a closer look or two. Time for me to get busy.

Your turn: A small thing in your neighborhood that's worth a closer look. Please discuss.

* That someone would be Ron Koudys, noted landscape architect. His work defines developments and streetscapes throughout our city and region.

1 comment:

rashbre said...

Its strange, as you remark, that it can sometimes take years to closely view something in your own town. Its the same in my London, where it can be ages before certain sights get seen, and then a many year gap (and probably with 'visitors') before they are revisited.