Cleanup On Aisle Zero

Scarth Mall (GarbageI)Some intoxicated gents had a temper tantrum/outburst of macho bravado last night on the F.W. Hill Mall around 2:45 a.m. I spent about 45 minutes this morning cleaning up with the aid of a broom and shovel.

So outside of the garbage that’s already blown away, and one garbage can in the middle of the mall that’s too heavy to move on my own, everything’s back to normal if anyone’s planning on coming downtown today. There’s two more shots after the jump. Continue reading “Cleanup On Aisle Zero”

Saskatchewan Fashion Week

Considering that we only recently got rid of all the snow and ice from the delightful winter of 2013-14, no one’s likely in the mood to think ahead to the fall/winter of 2014-15. But if you attend Saskatchewan Fashion Week which runs May 8-10 in Regina you will get a taste of what’s to come. That’s because the 22 fashion designers who are participating in this annual festival will be showcasing their fall and winter lines.

Saskatchewan Fashion Week debuted in 2012, and this year there’s been a bit of a shake-up. Instead of using a large tent on City Square Plaza to host the runway shows and after parties, organizers have opted for the sound stage at the corner of Broad and College. Here’s a link to a Street Wear column in the May 1 issue of Prairie Dog where SFW marketing coordinator Jill Sveinson talks about the change and what people can expect at this year’s festival.

Saskatchewan-born actor Amy Matysio will host the runway shows again, and in addition to the 22 designers you’ll also be able to see some of the province’s top hair stylists, make-up artists, models and more in action. You can find more about Saskatchewan Fashion Week here.

(Side)Walk Of Shame

Victoria Park (east sidewalk)This is looking north on 19 block Scarth near the south-east corner of Victoria Park. I didn’t have a protractor with me, but I’d estimate the slope of the sidewalk by the tree to be around five degrees.

Actually, the whole stretch of sidewalk up to at least mid-block is a mess. You can see another bad spot after the jump — and at the top you get a good sense of the slope in the first shot. Click both pictures to enlarge. Continue reading “(Side)Walk Of Shame”

Ice & Fire Festival

This festival hasn’t been held for a few years now, I don’t believe, but it does have a bit of traction from before that as an effort on behalf of local arts organizations and other community groups to bring a degree of acceptance and celebration to the season that we spend a good chunk of our lives existing in in Regina.

Other communities have winter festivals (most famously, Quebec’s Winter Carnival) so Regina isn’t alone in trying to make the best of a challenging situation. This year’s Ice & Fire Festival runs Feb. 13-17. The festival is generally a family-friendly event, and the list of community partners includes : New Dance Horizons, le Conseil culturel fransaskois, Dunlop Art Gallery, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina Downtown BID, Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective and the Skate Canada Saskatchewan Centre of Excellence.

One highlight promises to be several indoor and outdoor skating performances by the Montreal skating troupe Le Patin Libre. There’s a whole pile of other performances, exhibitions, concerts and community gatherings associated with the festival which culminates with a day-long celebration on Family Day. You can find a complete breakdown here.

15 Reasons To Live

This documentary screened at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto last spring. The director is Canadian Alan Zweig, and the focus is on an eclectic mix of people who encountered significant upheaval in their lives that caused them to wonder about the meaning of existence. Yet each one still found the inspiration they needed, be it love, work, art, friendship and more, to continue on.

15 Reasons To Live screens tonight at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. at the RPL Film Theatre. Here’s the trailer:

The Door Prize That Keeps On Giving

pee-wees-big-adventure-1985-paul-reubens-pic-1Like most North American cities (as was discussed on this blog a couple of days ago), Regina has cycling infrastructure that ranges from terrible to non-existent. If you’re a casual cyclist, it’s merely annoying. But if you are someone who rides a bike on your daily commute to work, for transportation to social events, and to run errands, it’s a serious problem.

There are many in this city who clearly hold the opinion that bikes have no place in regular vehicular traffic. At least that’s the impression they give by the way they hang out their car windows and holler at those of us white knuckling it along side the half ton pickup trucks. Well guess what? We feel the exact same way. Most cyclists would much rather have their own set of infrastructure, completely separate from traffic. As it stands, we’re far more observant of car lanes than drivers are of ours. To illustrate this point, New York City cyclist Casey Neistat made this video of the sort of obstacles blindly placed in bike lanes that cyclists are just expected to negotiate their way around. While Regina isn’t exactly New York, we at least have this in common.

I Always Wondered What Happened To The 40-Year-Old Virgin: He Moved To Toontown

Maybe it’s because I live with my two daughters, my wife, and my mother-in-law, but I think that a guy expressing anti-women sentiments is like a guy bitching about the Roughriders in Taylor Field. No sense in complaining: it’s going to go on around you whether you like it or not.

That’s not going to stop some people, though. Especially if the women in question don’t behave the way the misanthrope expects them to.

Exciting Goings-On On City Square Plaza

SFWThe tent that was erected  in early April on City Square Plaza to help host the Juno Awards has been joined by a second tent that I imagine will be used as an entranceway/shelter during Saskatchewan Fashion Week. That’s probably a good idea as during JunoFest people, including those working security at the gate, were more or less exposed to the elements while they were waiting to get into the show tent.

There’s been a few smaller events associated with Saskatchewan Fashion Week already, but the main festival kicks off today. For a breakdown of all the stuff that will be happening visit the SFW website.  I believe plans are also in the works to have Prairie Dog fashion maven Amber Goodwyn do some blog coverage. So hopefully that pans out.

Exciting Goings-On On 19 Block Scarth!

Ohanlon patio prep-0I was out for a walk on this fine evening. It included a trip to Central Library to revisit Carol Wainio’s excellent exhibition at the Dunlop, a 20-minute bask on one of the benches by the Cenotaph in Victoria Park, and a leisurely stroll up and down Victoria Avenue from Smith St. to Broad and back.

There are still clumps of snow lingering in areas that don’t get exposed to much sunlight, but as I was sitting in Victoria Park I heard the sound of a buzz saw on the eastern edge of the park. When I investigated, I discovered a group of gentlemen hard at work outside O’Hanlon’s Pub and the Copper Kettle Restaurant.

You can find more photos after the jump.

Continue reading “Exciting Goings-On On 19 Block Scarth!”

The Doritos Locos 15,000

From the Houston Chronicle:

The wildly popular Doritos Locos Tacos are taking thousands of people off the unemployment line, according to Taco Bell’s chief executive officer.

CEO Greg Creed, 54, told ABC News that the taco has created 15,000 jobs because of the heavy demand for the product. Creed said roughly two to three employees have been added to 6,000 Taco Bell locations.

Creed also said “that the company used a spray gun to coat a regular taco shell with seasoning”, in case you were wondering.

“There are no downsides!” I told my girlfriend when I read this. “It’s all downsides!” she responded. I think more reasonable minds might come down somewhere in the middle?

I Used To Live Here

 

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More than one year after its tenants were evicted, the Crescent Apartments have finally come down. And I, for one, am glad. I used to live there. When my husband and I were evicted over a year ago, I was furious. At the time, Regina had a vacancy rate of 0.6 per cent – and the City was approving the demolition of a building housing 12 families (the vacancy rate is still below one per cent). Now that it’s down, I can stop feeling steam coming out of my ears every time I pass through that area, knowing that there are huge, beautiful two and three bedroom apartments sitting empty. I suppose others must be breathing a sigh of relief too. With the city’s housing summit only a few weeks away, an empty building full of spacious apartments sure would look bad.

Shortly after receiving our notices, my neighbours and I would often exchange rumours we’d heard about the landlord’s plans. Some were convinced it was coming down for parking – not a crazy theory given that’s exactly what is becoming of the landlord’s other property, the Black Building, at 1755 Hamilton St. That building housed 46 families. The parking lot theory was also not crazy because the General Hospital, just next door, is renowned across the city for being a tough place to find a parking spot. But these were people’s homes. And they were beautiful. Yeah, they’d seen better days, but the bones of the place were great. The Crescents was built in 1912, and was even on the heritage holding bylaw list (until it was taken off so the landlord could apply to demolish it). All of the apartments had at least some – if not all – of their original features; oak trim, mantle pieces, cornices, and glass lighting fixtures. Surely the landlords had something else in mind. I wondered if they might be thinking of turning the place over to refurbished, retrofitted luxury condos once they’d turfed everyone out. They might have made a killing off that. That’s what would happen in other cities, anyway. Of course, I should have known they didn’t have that kind of imagination. When I went by the other day and took these pictures, I could make out the old iron radiators, and at least one mantle piece left on the main floor, barely visible through the rubble. I guess no one was told that they could take these things out and sell them in other provinces where people actually value that kind of thing.

As you can probably tell, I’m still angry. I can’t complain for myself anymore, though. My husband and I landed very comfortably on our feet, and we now own a nice little house that I love. We even have a garden (at least we did the last time I checked, before all this snow arrived). But that’s not really the point. Some of our neighbours didn’t land as comfortably as we did, and either had to move to parts of the city they never wanted to be in, or to other apartments at twice the price and with half the space. And, because they live in a province without rent control, they never know how much the rent will rise. It’s a stressful situation that a lot of people in this province are forced to live with.

Goodbye, Crescent Apartments. I’m told you housed half the arts community in this town at some point or other. You were a great old building, and probably could have lasted another hundred years if you’d been treated right. The wreckage of your former walls now lays as a monument to apathy and neglect, like the ghosts of so many buildings in this city that have gone before you.

More Flood Fears

Earlier this month Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency issued a warning that if the weather ever warms up here several areas of the province face a strong risk of flooding. In the Regina-Moose Jaw area, the risk was rated “very high”. Yesterday, Saskatchewan Environment minister Ken Cheveldayoff held a press conference to issue his own warning that people needed to prepare for higher than expected spring run-off. You can read more in this CBC report.

Whether the flooding will reach Biblical proportions will likely be determined by the speed of the spring melt. If things remain cool for much longer, then we have a sudden spike in temperatures, things will get ugly pretty quick. To help everyone prepare for that eventuality, here’s a bit by British comic Ricky Gervais where he breaks down the story of Noah’s Ark: