When I was in highschool, my friends and I used to joke about the north-end/south-end divide in Regina. Being “north-enders” (defined as living north of the train tracks/Dewdney Ave.) we identified as being a little rough around the edges. Many students drove rusted out Cameros (or in my case an Oldsmobile dated 4 years before my birth), while the “south-enders” seemed to drive newer cars and were a little more clean cut. It all sounds delightfully ridiculous now, but as 15-year olds it was one small, but important, piece of our identity.
While these neighbourhood/community boundaries are purely imaginary, there’s something to be said for identifying, and maybe even celebrating, the subtle differences. Socio-economic trends and patterns of development do influence where people choose (or need) to live. The result is that people with similar means (and sometimes philosophies) tend to live near one another. Patterns do emerge in cities.
“Bikes of San Francisco“, by designer Tor Weeks, is a fun take on this notion of neighbourhood identity. She uses different styles of bicycles to symbolize the uniqueness of San Francisco’s various neighbourhoods (a 10-speed in the Presidio vs. a unicycle in the Haight). It got me thinking about all sorts of ways to typify communities and what things might be iconic to different neighbourhoods in Regina.
I haven’t come up with one measure to be used across all communities just yet, but I say we start tossing out ideas (we’re allowed to be a little tongue-in-cheek here).
For example, when thinking coffee, I can’t decide if the downtown would be a really strong espresso or a frou-frou coffee with lots of whip cream and fancy syrup, though I feel confident that Cathedral would be an organic blend and that, prior to it closing, a basic cup of jo from ‘Just Bean Brewed’ or ‘7-11’ would be the General Hospital area.
Or, perhaps it makes more sense to pick one icon or location as the symbol for each area/neighbourhood. Bushwaaker for the Dewdney strip, The Ukranian Co-op or German Club for the Heritage neighbourhood, Taylor Field for North Central…
Thoughts? What do you think could be used to symbolize your neighbourhood?
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