north vs south...vs west?

Best sunny field to play and rest in, waking distance from home. North 

Before I upset the north side of Edmonton, by saying how much I want out of it, I need to make something clear. While I know that there are pockets in every city where you should be careful not to wander into, especially in the evening, as a small woman who doesn't know how to run very fast; it is very difficult to enjoy your surroundings when you're on the edge of where things are not so sweet. There are definitely a lot of things that I love about my north hood, as I've found my comforts and hangouts and places that I will frequent; but, and that's a huge but... I have had some really bad luck. It has left me with some sour opinions, for sure. But that doesn't mean I hate on the north, or any quadrant of this city. Everyone has their preferences. Mine isn't here.

Our tree, to the right. Also, the best hippie van with pony decals. South

Of course, I will be favoring the spot that I am most familiar with, and where I had more positive experiences. When I first moved to Edmonton, I arrived to live in the south side of the city, so familiarity makes it extra special to me. I remained (though not in the same place) for three years. Through this time, I found my way around, figured out my favorite places, met some new people, made some friends, and even labelled it as a home away from home.. something I hadn't experienced in years. That's a big deal.

Old Strathcona Antique Mall, my favorite Sunday treat. South. 

To be honest, it wasn't always peachy in the south side. My first place flooded, my second place was a bit of a frat house, and by that point, I became quite bitter about how loud and obnoxious things had turned out to be. I wondered if maybe I was growing out of a younger part of town, that my experiences were pushing me toward something else, and that maybe it was time to give another side of town a try. I mean, there's no harm in getting to know your city, and I gave it a shot. Unfortunately, I didn't find the safest place to rest.

So much yummy sunlight, through the windows of a basement suite. Pretty lucky. North.

My current living space is lovely. I love the natural daylight I get, I love having a properly fenced yard, and for noise, the only thing I hear that is offensive is maybe the occasional police siren, and my neighbour's three dogs who bark constantly at everything that moves. I feel sorry for them, to be honest. Different story. Anyway, this is the first time where I'm actually happy with the space I'm in. My place is spacious, well maintained, dry and free of mold, and my neighbours hardly make a sound. This is a score. It's almost kind of funny that I love my house, not the neighbourhood. Where in the south, it was never the house and always the neighbourhood. If I could plunk my current house into my old neighbourhood, it would be a perfect mix. Sadly, I'm not made of magic. Dammit.

A happy snowman, North

Walking distance from a strip club may be a bit of an indicator as to what sort of crowd I'm currently living by. My car has been broken into a number of times, though nothing stolen and may be just a bunch of kids playing a joke by showing me how many compartments they can open for me overnight. I've been pushed over on the sidewalk by someone who may have just been in a rotten mood, enough to want to knock anyone down, and I've been called a "fucking loser" by someone driving by, as I was walking my dog. This was within my first month of living here, actually, and it was almost a bit of a culture shock from what I'd come to know in this city. It's comical, really. Like two totally different worlds.

Splash park cool down, on 73rd, South

I think I'm entitled to my opinion, based on my experiences, we all are; but to be fair from bashing the north completely, know that I consider it a good place. I realize I need to be careful about posting my #upyoursnorthside rants when I'm frustrated, and maybe I'll hold off on that. Based off what I've heard from people who live here, they love their side of town, their city, their home, and will defend it when needed. I like that. I'm just glad people here are passionate about where they live. It's almost like a funny rivalry between which place is better, safer, nicer, cleaner etc. I won't get into the West siders, here. *Wink. This is a good city, all around. I feel fortunate to be here, and to have found so much to be happy for. I just know that I would be much happier elsewhere.

Old Strathcona Farmers Market, South

In the North, I don't walk around at night (though I don't really do that anywhere), I don't wander around far from home, I don't see anyone around to say hello to, and if I do.. they don't seem interested in small talk. Fair enough. Not everyone wants to chat. I've gone to the pharmacy to wait in line, where someone called me a "dumb hipster" under their breath. I've gone to the grocery store, where I was labelled a "stuck up, rich bitch" while picking out yogurt, and recently I was asked for change while I was standing in my own backyard, and called a cunt for not offering up my phone to use. Yeah.. I've had enough over here. Totally fair.

Tea Girl, North. You pick your tea, you pick your cup. Best.

I'm not trashing on the North side, entirely, it is a good place. Where I reside, on the outside, not so much. There are many great things to see and do, yummy places to eat, adorable little cafes to cozy up in, dog parks to play in, and yes.. there are nice people here. There are nice people everywhere in this city. Even my closest neighbours are some of the nicest most helpful strangers I've met. If it was really all that bad, my car would have remained stuck in a snowbank for months. Really.. I just feel it's fair to say, I just haven't had the best of luck and I want out. I don't like it. I'm sure there are people in the south with similar stories, or in the west, or the east. It's all different, how we experience things. This is mine. So here I am, defending myself from how I've been unfortunately treated.

Under our tree, three years ago. South

Anyway, I long for my old stomping grounds because it is where I felt safest and soundest. I found a place where I was able to escape the comforts of my home and feel almost equally as comfortable outside. Now that I work from home, I long for the social interaction, like I had in the south. I miss my bookstores, my antique malls, my cafes, my regular faces... I want to go back to what I had, before I landed in the situation I'm in. This is a great city, and I plan to stay here for a while before I branch off into something else. I feel my time as a freelance artist, gathering my balance, has only just begun, and Edmonton is a really supportive stepping stone. I want to grow, spread out, enjoy my time. Sadly, it's not where I am. Sorry north side, I am not feeling it. I don't hate you, but I certainly don't love you.

I would appreciate the freelance, so I can go back.
Email requests to breakfastjones@gmail.com

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