no colder weather

It’s October 25 and we have 22ºC (71ºF for those of you in the U.S.), but with the, so called, humidex, it feels like 27ºC. The rain is coming down in sheets … real downpours. We actually had a couple of forest fires, so this might be a good thing. Nothing like out west, but still.

The apartment across the hall from us is vacant being renovated … new paint, flooring and even a new stove. In a building like this they have quite the turnover — the young students move often and the senior citizens might move into a home or … elsewhere. The guys that do the painting always leave the door ajar when they finish in the afternoon — this has happened many times before — so I grabbed my camera and went in to take come pictures, as the late afternoon light was good.

They have a spectacular view there, on the other side of the building — they can see straight out to sea. Anyway; ours might be more … entertaining 🙂 Always something going on here — firetrucks and ambulances.

DSC_2215This is Fort Howe — the outlook spot of Saint John [click for better viewing]. Our building is taller, so I was actually looking down on it. Was aiming for the gull who was sitting on top of the monument, but he took off 🙂 There are almost always a few cars lined up there … they go up there to just sit and gaze for a while, in peace and quiet, I guess … just as we do. To the left in the picture you can see a small portion of the mighty Saint John River, on its way out to sea, under the Harbour Bridge. I love this little city, in case you’d missed that LOL.

DSC_2220My fascination with fountain pens and handwriting is still alive and kicking. In many ways I think it’s very much thanks to the online community it’s still so much fun. It even involves a little bit of photography! The shots some people take of nibs and pens are just … wow! In my Instagram feed I see so many marvellous shots. I used to have two Instagram accounts — one for ‘ordinary stuff’ and one for the pen community. That didn’t work in the long run. My old account got hopelessly neglected, so I merged them to @her.nibs. Now I’m probably boring my old Instagram friends to death, as I’m taking part in a daily handwriting challenge, but I’m trying hard to throw in other things too. It’s a very small niche of an interest, but still there are 20,000+ members in one of the Facebook groups. One could get hundreds of comments on a post about blue ink, for example 🙂 … quite amazing.

 

 

 

 

Sails

Weekend before last, we had something called Festival of Sails here in Saint John. There were twelve [or eighteen, now I’m not sure] tall ships in the harbour. The started arriving 10AM on Friday morning and I knew this. The programme for that weekend’s activities had been posted in the newspaper and all over Facebook.

So, a few minutes before 10 o’clock I took the car and drove up on the hill, to the look-out point. We live right behind this hill so it took less than a minute. I don’t know whether I live in a dream world, under a rock or what, but I just thought this would be easy … just drive up, shoot a few pictures and be done with it.

As soon as I’d driven up a little bit I realised something was going on, because there were cars parked on that narrow road leading up to the top. When I got to the first ‘plateau’, I was going to just forget about the whole thing and just get out of there. Literally everyone had apparently the same idea as myself, with the only difference they were there early — they were sitting on blankets  with picnic baskets on the lawn … they were milling about, elbow to elbow.

I left the car, with the engine running, walked a few metres away from it and shot a few random shots and left.

IMG_5079The weather was atrocious most of that weekend, but I saw so many, gorgeous photos of these ships online, on Facebook. This is one of I copied from the webcam.

I went downtown on the Saturday for a different reason, the rain was pouring down so hard, but there were people out anyway … lots of people. Some rain won’t put Saint Johners off from taking part in an event like this 🙂

Two ships hung around two more days … they were going overseas and needed to do some stuff before they left, so I took a few iPhone photos of them. One was Lord Nelson of the U.K. and the other Wylde Swan of the Netherlands.

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uptown [215/365]

It was my birthday, and rarely have I been this sick from a common cold! In earnest, a birthday to remember. My friend suggested I’d stay at home and rest, before we went out for dinner, while she went uptown to take more photos. She took off, and I took two of those cold medication pills that seem to be so popular here in North America. I’d never really tried them before, but I felt so bad I thought “it can’t hurt”. Well … it certainly didn’t [hurt]. I became all perked up — much more so than my usual self! It was almost unbelievable. So I called her up, and we decided to meet at Starbucks uptown. It was the hottest day so far. We roamed around the uptown area and took random photos.

FullSizeRender 25After supper at Vito’s, we took a walk along the beach and talked about old times. The saline air felt good on my airways.

downtown – uptown [133/365]

DSC_9568
The Old Courthouse, still standing

Here in Saint John, the downtown area is referred to as uptown. We don’t go there very often these days. Like most other people, we tend to go out to the shopping district. In the tourist brochures, they talk about the “bustling uptown”, but most of the time it looks dead. Unless there’s a cruise ship in, OR like when I went there yesterday; it’s around the noon hour. I wanted to take pictures, but there there were cars and people everywhere. You see a very small portion of King’s Square in this picture, and how the grass is beginning to get green, finally.

DSC_9584Red brick buildings, that’s what signifies uptown, and also one thing I fell in love with on my first visit here. I must have a real thing for red brick.

Here’s is the corner of King Street and Germain.

I decided to take Germain Street for my little photo walk. Not only because of the red brick, but also because it shifts from being a business area to residential. The picture on top of this post is a portion of all the numerous townhouses on Germain.

DSC_9589One little, old boozer was sitting on the sidewalk, and when he saw the camera hanging around my neck, he asked “Do you want to take my picture?” He would actually have made a great picture, he was rather scruffy, so I said “Sure, why not!”. However, that was when he started negotiating … starting out with five bucks. I told him I didn’t have any cash and then he asked me what I’d use it for … where I’d put it up. So, I just walked away. I had this idea, floating around in my mind, I could have given him five bucks, and taken down his story … how he’d ended up where he was, but decided against it.

In this picture, though, you get the idea of how old and new is mixed in this city. The concrete part is a shopping mall, and the tall one is the Bell building.

DSC_9590Luckily, they’ve saved lots of the old parts, and it’s referred to as the Heritage district. You know you’re in it, when you see these blue street signs — otherwise they’re the regular, green signs.

Trinity Royal, on top of the sign, is the name of the ward (I think).

DSC_9586This graffiti pigeon has started to appear, quite frequently in the city — I’ve read about it in Twitter, so of course I had to take its picture.

I saw less graffiti than I’d expected. In fact, that was one thing I had in the back of my mind when I started out; graffiti.

DSC_9593I thought this one was rather picturesque, though … down in a narrow alley. Guess it’s more of a mural than graffiti.

Also so many quaint little restaurants I didn’t even know of before.

Walked all the way down to the new cruise ship terminal, and by the time I got there, I was rather tired.

DSC_9644One last red brick building, though. This used to look rather decrepitated, but now it’s being turned into upscale condos. I read about it in the local newspaper, and they look very posh … the condos, that is. It’s the corner of Water Street and Princess.

I love this little city.

 

 

Rockwood Park, or ‘how one thing leads to another’ [130/365]

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Peninsula to the right of Saint John is the downtown area

When I read about Edinburgh’s Blackford Hill in photographworks.me this morning, I was once again reminded of how lucky we are here in Saint John, to have Rockwood Park within our city limits. It’s a huge park, and only a couple of minutes from downtown. In this blog, if you’ve been following it for some time, you’ve probably seen every duck, squirrel, deer and blue jay that resides in it, but hardly any landscape photo of the park itself. That has its explanation. It’s a largely wooded area with oodles of hiking paths and little lakes. Not much rolling landscape, except for the golf course. Lily Lake is the biggest lake, and also where the duck pond is located.

I headed over to Flickr — my trusty photo storage — searched for all photos I’d tagged “rockwood”, to see what I had. The result in itself was not only a good reminder why I keep up the photography, but also that I should get out there in the early mornings more often.

Only once, have I pulled myself together, and walked up to the look-out-point. Here, you get an idea of the park’s proximity to the city’s downtown area. The building in the foreground is the Lily Lake Pavilion, where the restaurant is.

 

rockwood_lookout

 

Main Street [97/365]

mainstreet_northWhen you hear Main Street, you kind of expect it to be the main street of the place in question. That’s not the case here anymore. This is a small portion of Main Street North.

Main Street is long — it starts uptown, and ends pretty much where I was standing when I took this picture. Nothing much there. Not compared to old photos I’ve seen of Main Street in a lively neighbourhood … lined with small businesses on both sides. This all disappeared when they did the so called ‘rejuvenation’ of the city, which almost separated north end from everything else.

mainstreet_marigoldsThis picture, I took, mainly to get the marigolds the kids have planted in the mid section. There’s a big office building to the left, outside of the picture, and large parts of it is vacant.

I only got here in 2008, so I have no idea what it was like before 1967, but I can imagine it must feel rather sad for people who remember. Many buildings in the north end are boarded up, or in a sad state of affairs. I look at them, and imagine how beautiful they once were.

bakery_mainstreetMany of the few businesses that actually were there when I got here, are gone … like this bakery. It’s been replaced with a small pharmacy that’s part of the methadone programme, so it gets quite a few visitors.

So … this is Main Street North. There’s also a Main Street West, but of that I know nothing. The whole west side is separated by the Harbour Bridge and Reversing Falls Bridge. It’s like a different world 🙂 Many streets have the same name there, so the words ‘north’, ‘west’ or ‘east’ are added to them.

tourist in your own town [66/365]

When we moved to Saint John, back in 2008, I promised myself to never get “used to” its beauty and its … ‘quirkiness’. When we visited here, the first time, there were three things, over and above all, that made me fall in love: The ocean, the people and the red, brick buildings uptown. Since then, there have been many things added to it, but those three are still standing. I’ve made a point of never losing track of how much I love this little city … even the ‘uglier’ parts of town have their charm, in their own way … even a picture like this 🙂

uptown_fog

saintjohn_waterfrontAfter all, fog and decrepitated buildings are important parts of Saint John. It’s not just about glossy high-rises and cruise ships, even though that’s an every-day sight in the summertime.
harbour_morninglight A certain light can make even the cranes in the harbour look beautiful! I love the morning light most of all, but in recent times I haven’t been out to take advantage of it.

alley_saintjohnI was inspired by Joss’ post this morning … about taking a tour of the place you live — once again reminded of what a gem Saint John, New Brunswick is.

anthonys_cove

[Writing up a post with this many pictures, in the new editor, was a bit of a nightmare! Now I must go into the old and fix everything.]