Tag Archives: Condos

Condos- A&B Sound


absound_bagBag from a&b sound, boasting about the chain’s ubiquity in Western Canada at its height.

Alright, this one gets a little personal.

If you really want to put things into perspective, there may be nothing better than looking at an old electronics flyer. The bulky, expensive, low-fidelity TVs and stereos. Computers at ridiculous prices with processing power a fraction of the average smart phone today. What may be strangest though is media, and music in particular. I’m sure kids today will find it hard to comprehend that there was a time when you didn’t have access to nearly every song ever recorded from wherever you like. Even the P2P services like LimeWire and Kazaa that were accessible, popular and ground-breaking when I was growing up seem so archaic now; no doubt YouTube and Spotify will seem ancient and strange in a few years as well. Of course I always preferred physical media and got pretty swept up in buying CDs in the early 2000s (and if I’m being honest they’re still what I prefer, although I have to admit, Spotify has been awesome). And if you really want some perspective and more than a little appreciation, look back at how much money we used to spend on things like that. Hell, I can barely comprehend the idea of spending $25 on a CD with one good song on it and I’ve actually done it. Continue reading Condos- A&B Sound

Landmarks- The Feed Elevator

unifeed2004 The old Unifeed/ Shur-Gain elevator that stood by Macleod Trail in Millrise,  heavily damaged from both demolition and graffiti, circa 2004. It was demolished in July of that year. Photo gallery link. Photo credit: Joshua Soles

Wow, this photo. For some reason I thought of the building in late 2011, and it took me nearly two years, until late 2013, to actually find a decent picture of it (and, seeing as how this was posted back in 2004, the whole scenario makes me seriously reconsider my internet skills. Then again, you can only handle so many links to mechanics in India, before you give up Googling “midnapore elevator” completely).

In the meantime, my initial search for the elevator had led me to read about the Ogden Grain Elevator, which had been demolished just a week before. Reading the discussion about that building’s history, landmark status, and whether or not it could have been saved, led me down a path of urban studies and local history that continues to this day in the works presented here. Beyond that, I didn’t have a lot of interaction with the building. I remember seeing it on car rides home as a kid, along with the spinning SOUTHSIDE SELF STORAGE neon sign, just south of it and barely visible in the photo above. I remember the big white building, with the orange stripe, and the writing on it. When my older brother had a hamster, our dad suggested he get feed there. I also remember seeing it from the Midlake/Shawnessy Boulevard overpass, while walking to A&B Sound to buy Clash and 54-40 CDs back in 2004. It was only a short distance away from that “purple warehouse”, and in retrospect , I wish I had gone to take a closer look. Because a few months later, it was torn down.
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Landmarks- Empty Spaces

“There are a dozen cities where one might choose to grow old, their literary homecomings thick with temptation. Those are the places that seethe with pilgrims, where postcard racks adorn sidewalks and the same bells have rung for centuries, tours of significant sites available hourly. But those cities tastes of their own indigestion, wield a language lethargic with habit. They are complacent; their bones crack when they shift”- Requiem (excerpt), Aritha van Herk from In This Place (2011)

Is there a better description of everything the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta is not? Dynamic, with seemingly boundless growth and aspiration, the city’s “Be Part of the Energy” campaign goes far beyond the region’s strong relationship to the oil & gas industry, to deeply reflect its identity. But beyond the reverential tone of  Requiem’s opening stanza, beyond the sense of gratitude Calgarians surely have for the economic windfall of a place which can afford to be so busy and constantly reinvent itself, there emerges a concern for what is lost and a desire to understand what is happening. As van Herk continues,
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