Monday, August 18, 2008

Crüe's-n-downtown

I get into work on Saturday and find a heavily-tattooed co-worker of mine coming up to me holding up his phone. "Check it out: Nikki Sixx! I met him at Portage and Main today." The image on his phone showed the two of them, standing beside the Bank of Montreal. As it turns out the Motley Crüe bass player, who was staying at the Fairmont, and his bodyguard were hurdling over the concrete barriers in attempts to cross Main Street just as my co-worker pulled up to the traffic light.


(The '80s hair metal legend is not the first rock star to defy local regulations. Last summer, The White Stripes performed music without the sanction of The Forks. This stunt can be viewed on Youtube.)

It seems to be with increased regularity that I see people walking across what was Canada's most famous intersection. They are almost always either bewildered middle class people too well-dressed to be from this city, or local bar-stars, drunkenly disregarding their life-long submission to city planning's ultimate tribute to misanthropic authoritarianism--a barricaded Portage and Main.

It is embarrassing to watch out-of-towners tepidly cross Portage and Main, knowing that you live in the city that has allowed this peculiar affront to urban existence for the past 30 years (yet has spent all that time stupidly wondering why people go downtown less and less). It is not easy to cross Portage and Main; it takes some degree of physical prowess, and is a hostile and degrading experience. I applaud anyone who does not take "no" or "use the concourse, weirdo" for an answer. Even this guy:

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still think Portage and Main could be made into a roundabout - with surface pedestrian crossings, and a safety island in the middle.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous NAUTICAMAN said...

What are we waiting for? A hundred people with sledgehammers could solve the barricade issue in just a few hours....

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your thought and intent is nice.

-A few errors. its not planners but politicians that made the decsion and continue to maintain the status quo.

-The opening up of Portage and Main itself will not bring more people downtown. But the one's that are coming will have a better experience, and the potential to further business development will heighten in the area. That's what you meant right?

-Also there are more people coming and living downtown than a short while ago. So your facts are wrong on this point. Although I do respect your passion and heightened urgency to see more happen in the downtown.

-

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of "tear down that wall". Do you think a few hundred people would be actually arressted?

What would happen after it was torn down?

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-Also there are more people coming and living downtown than a short while ago. So your facts are wrong on this point. Although I do respect your passion and heightened urgency to see more happen in the downtown.

More people aren't coming to downtown Winnipeg because planners or politicians made it better. It's because in the past few years there is a general trend in North American cities to return to the core.
But, as more people come and set up homes and businesses it will continue to become more attractive.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Louis Riel said...

after just spending some time in Barcelona and Madrid, P&M makes complete sense as a roundabout

9:41 PM  

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