Back from the Middle East

The Street of Facades, Nabataean capital Petra

I am back from my trip to Egypt, Jordan and England.  In the next few weeks I hope to post some thoughts on  the past and present living spaces of the places I visited.  I was able to see some very old towns and structures.  There were also many new developments being planned and a lot of modern tourism infrastructure near very old places.

My trip challenged my perspective on so many subjects related to cities: development,  density, transportation, construction materials, retail type, parking, climate, water, sewage, monumental architecture, power and legacy, to name a few.  I haven’t had it all sink in quite yet, I probably wont have any conclusions anytime soon.

On returning to Regina, I found the city so impermanent.  I kept imagining what buildings future tourists would be crawling over in 2 or 3 thousand years.  The Leg maybe, a column from the Land Titles Building or the base of the Cenotaph surrounded by native grasses.  It seems silly to imagine Regina in ruins, in some sort of future without us.

My experience in a place like Petra was imagining that place in the past as a vibrant cross roads full of people and culture.  Sitting up above Petra’s main thoroughfare on the path to the High Place of Sacrifice, I daydreamed about young Nabateans gazing from my perch 2000 years previous.  As they watched people strolling to the theatre in the evening , could these young Nabateans imagine a world without them in it?

Anyway, enough daydreaming, I did want to mention some local changes that came up while I was gone.  The first, is the closing of the Book and Brier Patch.  The cafe attached to the South end bookstore was something of a highschool hangout for me.  I was quite sad to hear that the store would be closing.

The second change concerns another South end retail mecca, Southland Mall and its proposed plans for redevelopment.  The inside and outside will be updated with new trimmings, lighting and a new anchor, Zellers, will be added.  If you’re heading to shop at Southland Mall take a few minutes to look at the concept drawings displayed on the North-West open square, inside near the Safeway.  There is also an interesting history of Southland Mall including photos and news clippings, inside along the wall of the Safeway.

Back from the Middle East

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