When I was young, Halloween was only a holiday for children. Shops only sold child sized costumes, there was nothing for adults except to buy candy to hand out. Some people in my neighborhood even gave out homemade treats like popcorn balls, or nickels wrapped in wax paper. As me and my brothers did not have school the next day, I thought it was the greatest holiday ever.

When I was a young adult, I convinced M to put on a costume made of cardboard (that could cost no more than 50 cents), and we would go over to friends’ for “trick or drink” . Our friends considered it quite odd, but they would provide alcohol on demand.

At some point has Halloween become a holiday for adults, with costume parties, etc. If everyone is going to do it, what’s the point, so I haven’t dressed up in years (and years). But, today’s newspaper said the tourist spot was having skeletons in the shop windows, so I decided to rush over across town. And here are a select few.

I did have to fork over a dollar to park (1 hour), so this wasn’t exactly free entertainment.

Some of the merchants were handing out candy to costumed kids, so there were a lot of people milling about, but the best show was over by this skeleton. There were persons from the opposing political camps waving banners about and insulting each other, in a bit of street theater. But as my parking meter was about to expire (and I did not want to spend another dollar), that was it for today’s visit (skeletons are much more interesting that the Christmas decorations which are soon to follow).

Art on the street

One doesn’t have to go to the museum to see art (which is good as the local museum is currently closed), it can be found on the streets, which also saves the cost of admission. 😉

If one needs to see a giant pumpkin, why here it is. And it is conveniently located about half a block from the creator’s house. (It would be a b$#@+h to move).

Even the telephone box sports some art, like this picture of a parked car, which is right next to a parking place for one’s car. (Not shown is the parking meter for said car, which allows 6 minutes for a dime).

And then there is this bit of art, which represents, uh, yes, one of those.

These steel cut-outs of birds are part of the signage for the alternative free newspaper offices. The tilework is by the same artist who created the pumpkin.

And all of this art is located right there next to each other on one street corner, available for free viewing (except for the 10 cent parking charge, daily, from 9am to 10pm).

Past and Present

I had to visit the big city, and it was to a part that I don’t normally go past. I usually come to the city for a specific reason: the airport is there, perhaps I’ve come to buy fabric, books or food, or I’m there for a hockey game. But on this day, there I was at a former military base and I realized that the last time I was there was in 1976 (how is it even possible that this was 44 years ago?). I had come to the city for a professional meeting, and my brother was stationed there for a school.

My brother lived in a barracks just like this one (if not this very one). It is currently in use as offices, and is being overshadowed by the massive construction going on nearby.

The higher the rank, the better the house. My brother started out as your average private, and ended up a Master Sergeant.

But the base was de-commissioned in 1999, and is now a medical hub for the area. And of course the building continues.

As soon as one section is up, they add another bit.

I do love to capture reflections, all the wonky lines mirrored against the rigid forms of modern construction. And I hope this area retains something of the spirit of the wonky ghost lines of soldiers who trained here in the long ago past.

Finally Fall

I had gone across town to an actual meeting and was wending my way home, when I noticed that there was one of the last farmer’s markets of the year going on. There wasn’t much in the way of produce, but there were the essentials: coffee, butter and dairy, bread and baked goods, all from local tiny businesses. It wasn’t very late, but the sun was already setting, reminding us that summer is going fast.

And of course there was a bit of the local music scene there as well. As long as one plays for free, there is always a place to perform. But enough of this, I had to rush home.

Because I had left my car in a parking lot as the new key didn’t work, and I was in race to pick it up before the night set in. I was hiking across the park as a shortcut to my destination (which is a fairly bad idea except on the trails). Yet it was a beautiful night. One can see the line of cottonwoods and mountain ash that grow along a stream changing into their fall colors. This gives one yet another sign, summer is really over.