Friday, October 31, 2008

Midnight reflections

Somewhere between getting hit with a paintball from a rusted-out K-car while walking with a friend at the corner of Osborne and Broadway (and being called a "f---ing faggot" from one of the car's screaming passengers) at 8:30 P.M., and riding from Downtown, to St. Boniface, to Corydon--the trendy walkable area, you know--and West Broadway to look for a place where one could buy a cup of coffee and perhaps some french fries at 12:30 A.M. (and finding nothing but, at best, indifferent slackers who offered little more than a feeble "sorry, bro, the kitchen jus' closed") - I decided that I do not really like Winnipeg. The only parts of Winnipeg that I do like are whatever remnants remain of sixty, eighty, a hundred years ago, or whatever comes close to resembling, however modestly, a real and normally functioning city. A city where one doesn't have to drink and drive in order to have a relatively enjoyable night out with friends.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to do what most in this City do....start a family move to the burbs, buy 2 cars and visit downtown only if you have to.

Thats the peg.

**always amazed me how many restaurants were closed after 11 on a Friday night

7:48 AM  
Blogger mrchristian said...

I agree that Winnipeg can be a frustrating place sometimes. I think a lot of it reverts back to our "self loathing" issue or what ever you want to call it.

You visit other cities and their interesting nooks, districts, venues, late night diners etc. and know that we have the exact same infrastructure, population base etc. to do that here - in some cases better.

I think the average Winnipegger (let's call him Taras the rye bread baker) have been trained to look suspiciously and to cast stones at anything new or interesting so the easiest thin to do is just be bland and unimaginative.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Johnny G’s is open until 0400. I agree on the non-like, though.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps Winnipeg is just that, bland. Always was and always will be.

Perhaps, most that live here just like it that way.

So get on your bike, take a walk in the park, then get home to enjoy your backyard. Don't forget, there is always that 1 or 2 week vacation when you can leave and blow your mind elsewhere.

3:31 PM  
Blogger mrchristian said...

I dunno, I think a lot of people want more from the city. I think we've learned to hang our heads and settle for whatever we're given.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but I don't think so. Peggers live a somewhat insulated lifestyle that affords them everything they need.

Razzammataz is not part of this prairie landscape unless its Northern lights. I think alot of people, the majority, like it the way it is and prefer it to be "family" oriented.

It may be the short summers and lon winters, it could be the flatness of the place, whatever it is, I like it, I like the peace, the slower pace, the time to think.

Perhaps those that want more always fall short because of the expectations and comparisons that are made with what others have.

For me, the peg is tame, easy to get around, not too big, not too small. People should really cherish that and stop trying to be something else.

By the way, that applies to most of the Prairies, so don't feel offended.

3:57 PM  
Blogger J.Cotton said...

If there is no market, you won't find the services. People in Winnipeg seem to whine about not having certain things and then when they get them they don't support them.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there no market j.cotton? Or have our civic fathers mis-allocated wealth by subsidizing development in a way that does not make it feasible to offer these services.

There is no natural market for the Kenaston-McGillvary big box stores. There is an artificial socialized market created by the entire city/prov paying over $100 million in tax dollars to pave that farmland making those businesses possible.

4:56 PM  
Blogger mrchristian said...

I'm not saying the city has to be like a mini-Manhattan or anything. I like the city and the size and the pace and have chosen to remain here.

I just think that in terms of planning, growth management we often do a poor job and the hoops people wanting to do something different have to go through tend to be stymied rather than supported by the city.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree cotton, why should restaurants stay open on Friday night if no one goes.

The fact that no one goes may imply no one wants to go downtown. Perhaps this is the type of City we are.

As far as planning and growth management, the elected officials and those with the deep pockets choose to grow the City as it is.

How you change that other then running for office is beyond me.

I think one of the new councilors, Browaty said something interesting, he said something about being ass backwards. A few more of those types would do the City a world of good. I would like to see less professional politicians and more common people with no strings apply for the job.

That being said, what one thinks is a nightmare another may think its a work of art.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon , when I arrived here , I was baffled by the Regent/Lagimodiere Mall mentality. Seems like the Kenaston / McGillivray followed in its footsteps.

The place is very busy, and once all the shopping is done, all those people go home for the night and are quite comfortable.

Again, maybe thats what we are for the most part, and for the rest, well, no use whining about it, find a coffee shop ( how exciting )

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Commercial D said...

Yo Rob—time to GTFO!

1:18 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I doubt it was a coincidence that soon after the city-wide smoking ban, Perkins stopped being a 24-7 establishment. I'm pretty sure that move killed the market in most of the city for a late night restaurant to go after the bars close. The fact that the buses stop running a half hour before that point is a little perverted too.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking as an Exchange resident, I have to say your final sentence captures my love-hate Winnipeg relationship brilliantly. *salute*

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, final two sentences. ;-)

9:00 AM  
Blogger The Rise and Sprawl said...

Christian, I don't think that this is civic self-loathing on my part--there are many things that make Winnipeg a great city, unfortunately few of them translate into a decent quality of life for a person that ventures off Albert Street or a tree-lined residential street:
-after 10 p.m.
-on foot, transit, or bicycle, especially if you have young children
In functioning cities, people move to urban neighborhoods close to downtown because they walk and take the bus to amenities.

J. Cotton-- There is a huge market for people to eat late in Winnipeg, but just in far-flung suburbs, or in drive-thrus.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In functioning cities, people move to urban neighborhoods close to downtown because they walk and take the bus to amenities.

That's not the North American experience. So basically you want an older European experience where the "piazza" was the center of town and the only lanes in town are walking lanes. Unrealistic and not going to happen unless you elecet a slew of politicians who are stubborn enough to believe that is the way to go.

Don't forget, just because a minority live in downtown doesn't necessarily mean the majority are interested in giving you a lifestyle that you want.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Dave Shorr said...

I want a city where the buses run until at least half an hour after last call, instead of 45 minutes before it.

I wonder how MADD feels about that.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember people saying no one would live downtown nor the inner city.
The all the sudden some condos and SFH are built and they are all sold. People came.

I remember people saying Corydon would never work. Then the patio’s arrived and the vision unleashed, and people came.

Build it and people will come.

The problem is this Rob my friend.

The majority of Winnipeggers are followers. They are not leaders.

They are too busy trying to make themselves feel better by ripping g other people apart.

Most of the creative types are gone, leading and creating elsewhere.

Say what you want, but Glen Murray came as close as anyone to helping Winnipeggers believe in themselves.

Until Winnipeggers believe in themselves and allow people with visions and business acumen to do their thing, this city will not change.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said

I would add though, that there are some trying to "create", but they are clueless as to what the bigger picture is trying to be achieved.

This should be always challenged.

Ueducated leadership, and not blind leadership is needed.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boo Hoo! You don't like what they are serving at 12:30 on a Friday night so you proclaim that you "do not really like Winnipeg". How would your experience be any different in Calgary, Edmonton, etc.
I appreciate what your blog typically represents but what are you doing to make Winnipeg into your urbanist utopia other than complaining about it?

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

after having stumbled upon forums such as and some of the local blogs i have come to realize that winnipeg is a very insecure, contradictory and self loathing entity..

People here just want the status quo. They dont want anything to change, nothing creative or forward thinking. The people who are creative and are forward leave.. its that simple.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I remember people saying no one would live downtown nor the inner city. The all the sudden some condos and SFH are built and they are all sold."

Sure - at a quarter the speed of condos elsewhere in the City, and maybe a fifth as fast as condos downtown in Vancouver or Toronto, at best.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hold on folk......there is an area of downtown that is heavily populated and is very nice. It's the village and Corydon area.

Perhaps people should move there and enjoy what those areas have to offer instead of hoping that other areas become what Osborne village has many downtowns does this City need?

Market square, shut the streets down and it will be lively, but not very populated, not on the scale of the Osborne village area anyways. The Exchange same thing.

Ahhh, if you can't afford an area, don't expect one to be built for you at your price with transit servicing your every whim. You want to stay out beyond transits operating times, use a cab, thats what they are there for.

The Peg has enough of everything, you just gotta pony up and suck it up if you want a certain lifestyle.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous FormerPegger said...

I had so many 'not like' moments that eventually I got up off of my ass and GOT OUT.

Best thing I ever did.

Oh and the arch over Corydon? WTF?

5:03 PM  
Anonymous GotOut said...

"how many downtowns does this City need?"

You. Just. Don't. Get. It.

5:10 PM  

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