Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Arm in arm with my fair city

  • Print

Winnipeg is a courtesan, a beautiful lady of the night, a lover of people, surprisingly warm in a sometimes Arctic climate. She can be coy and seductive, playful and sinful, childlike and innocent and available.

Take her hand, embrace her and fall in love with her, if only for an evening. Stroll with her arm in arm across the Osborne Street Bridge, stopping to gaze down at the Assiniboine River, meandering through the magnificent park that bears its name, sweeping along Wellington Crescent and winding its way through historical neighbourhoods towards its sister, the Red.

In winter, she breathes hoarfrost on our trees and turns rivers into skating trails.

We play on the winter wonderland she provides, falling on her hills only to stand again and wait for her new visitors to arrive when the ice melts and her rivers welcome kayaks, canoes, riverboats and fishermen.

Walk with her to Osborne Village, where paupers meet princes and poets meet kings and where buskers offer a song for a coin and proffer a smile even if for just a passing nod. Women in designer boots, beggars in blue jeans, seniors and children -- they know the lady well, from her icy stare to her warm summer breath to the fall colours she wears. Vendors with makeshift carts selling jewelry or Polish sausage bow as she passes. They all take her in just as they welcome each other, always without judgment.

She offers you food and wine in intimate bars and restaurants and touches your hand as you toast her beauty, her rawness and her daring. She's sexy and she knows it. You laugh with her, and at her, and either way is good with her. She bends to your wishes and whims.

The evening is young as she beckons you to the Village. From the bars and shops to bakeries, bookshops and tattoo parlors, she opens new doors and new perspectives and introduces you to new friends.

For a gentle kiss she'll show you the stage of the Gas Station Theatre on which her lovers perform. From drama to comedy spaces and to the music and rhythms of local performers, our lady can make us cry, laugh, think and dance.

Helmeted students with backpacks and laptop cases pass her on bikes and turn their heads in a kind of reverence of the lady who provides them with a place to rest. They lay sprawled on her benches in Osborne Village Square or occupy coffee-stained tables that surround it. Readers with books, writers with eyes that are blackened from sleepless nights and young girls pushing strollers all feel safe under her gaze.

Troubled faces, each line telling a story, push shopping carts filled with a lifetime of memories or today's meal. She offers her ear for their troubles, listening to their hearts as they sit on her stone ledges, emptying their souls from a flowerpot filled with stone.

Her buses empty, as she welcomes her passengers, a different crowd matching every different hour of her day. She places no limits on the time you spend with her, timeless moments in the spell of a mysterious woman.

The man in the wheelchair is her friend, a sign on his lap, a cup in his hand. He is one of her regulars, they say. He arrives each spring, a perennial thriving in the garden she has provided for years of loyalty.

Something about her costumed patrons speaks to us of the melting pot she has become, an ever-changing and vibrant face on this platform of cobblestone. Cyclists in full cycling garb, bikers in leather, dyed hair and shaved heads, the well-heeled and high-heeled, well-rehearsed actors in an unscripted play.

The sounds of a well-tuned guitar competes against the blowing horn of an irate driver just as the gentle words of a folk song have always been juxtaposed with the crueler realities of life. The music reaches upward, carrying with it the hopes of small children and aging hippies and a wise woman.

 

Village resident, aspiring romantic and loving grandfather Myles Rothman enjoys a single martini to greet his evenings, listening to Dylan, and the company of good friends.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2014 A8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Raw: Video shows destroyed West Hawk Inn

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.
  • A mother goose has chosen a rather busy spot to nest her eggs- in the parking lot of St Vital Centre on a boulevard. Countless cars buzz by and people have begun to bring it food.-Goose Challenge Day 06 - May 08, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of the new school-zone speed limit?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google