Friday, March 25, 2011

Nothin' Happenin' Here

Last night there was a cab parked on my street. It seemed odd because it was just sitting there, lights on, waiting. There was no honking of horns to hurry the soon to be passenger, just patient waiting. It must have waited at least 10 minutes, just sitting there. Then a woman walked around the corner, and approached the cab. She looked around a bit first, then got in. The cab pulled a u-turn on the street, drove around the corner and stopped. Then a minute later left. After a few minutes it came back up the side street and stopped on the side of the road, then left again. It's always the same cab company doing these strange pick-ups and maneuvers.
Earlier in the day I went for a walk through William Whyte. On the way home, as I walked down the lane behind the Dollarama, there was a young woman walking in front of me. She stopped at the top of the back lane going down Redwood. Then, as I passed her a van stopped and picked her up. Was it the way she was walking, or how she was dressed, or something else? I am not sure, but I knew what was going on when I first saw her, and was not surprised when the van stopped.
The day before, when I went for a walk through the St Johns area, I saw something else. As I entered a back lane, there was a kid on a bicycle coming out of the lane. I did not like the way he was riding his bike with only one hand on the handlebar and the other behind his back. I wasn't sure what he had hidden, and was a little leary to keep walking. As he passed I glanced back to see his hand was empty. But the feeling was still there, what was really at his back? What was there, hidden, just below the surface? And why was he down the lane. Then I saw a man standing inside his back yard at the edge of the lane. He was waiting for something. And chances are the kid on the bike was just there. As I continued the walk down the lane I saw the third part to the equation coming down the lane, a young kid. And of course he headed straight for that same yard. One kid picks up the cash, the other delivers the goods.
So, what do I do about these instances? Nothing. I have no proof of anything happening. I didn't actually see anything. All of these instances were just people moving about doing what they do. A woman standing in a lane. A man driving a van. A cab driver waiting for a fare. A kid riding a bicycle. Another kid going for a walk. A man getting fresh air on his own property. Nothin' happenin' here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Up To Everyone

I have been taking a break from patrolling the back lanes and reporting items to 311. Walking down back lanes, seeing the piles of garbage, and the lack of caring just wears me down sometimes. So, I have decided to take a break for a while. There are others in the area who have been reporting items to 311, and a City employee who is actually paid to report the bulk items and overflowing dumpsters. Given that, I should be able to take a break every now and then. After all, it is not my job to report garbage. I do not get a pay cheque to ensure the streets and back lanes of the North End are clean.
My daily walks have been on the front streets lately. I have been walking through the area of St Johns, checking out the local businesses, and enjoying old architecture.
But my last walk took me down the lanes, seeing garbage strewn, and mattresses piled. It is up to everyone to ensure their back lanes are clean. It is all our responsibilities to ensure our part of the City is clean. And it is up to everyone to make their area a place they want to live.
Now that it is Spring, and the garbage of the winter is showing through, we all need to do our part in making our streets and lanes a place we can be proud of, and a place we want to call home.