lundi 15 septembre 2014

In the city of last things...

"These are the last things (...). One by one they disappear and never come back. I can tell you of the ones I have seen, of the ones that are no more, but I doubt there will be time. It is all happening too fast now, and I cannot keep up. (...) These are the last things. A house is there one day, and the next day it is gone. A street you walked down yesterday is no longer there today. Even the weather is in constant flux. A day of sun followed by a day of rain, a day of snow followed by a day of fog, warm then cool, wind then stillness, a stretch of bitter cold, and then today (...) an afternoon of fragrant light (...). When you live in the city, you learn to take nothing for granted. Close your eyes for a moment, turn around to look at something else, and the thing that was before you is suddenly gone." 
(Paul Auster)

Fittingly perhaps, these photos were taken in front of the boarded up and dilapidated 110 year old Queen Anne revival style house that looms over Macleod Trail on the way into downtown Calgary, known locally as "The Yellow House". It was built in 1905 for clothing entrepreneur Enoch Samuel Sales. The house has miraculously escaped the fate of the wrecking ball - Calgary's list of historical buildings is an ever dwindling one, so intent are its inhabitants in their efforts of gentrified blandification and in espousing a synthetic form of optimism that does away with the past - a mentality all too common to former pioneer towns. It is slated to be moved several meters down the road onto grassy grounds and tarted up into a ritzy restaurant.