The green of Spring is truly the catharsis of our white Wintertime clime. The coming of Spring serves up a caboodle of adventure in my downtown of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Following is a cook’s tour of just five sunshine delights that shall burst from the salvo of Springtime .
First. I get to peddle my phat green bicycle with the fat black and white tires around and around Wascana Park. Wascana Park is the second largest urban park in North America. (Stanley Park in Vancouver is larger; Central Park in New York is smaller.) Wascana Park is where a daily colubrine of people walk their Fidos and Towsers, where laughing children feed the honking geese along the shore, where the Harley riders gather and parley by the fountain, and where the steel statue of our Queen rides nowhere while seated high upon her horse.
Second. I get to go for Good Earth Americano Decafs with my nephew, Brad, to languidly sip in the outdoor Fred Hill Mall. In Winter we always talk hockey (Brad used to scout for the Chicago Blackhawks); in Summer we talk everything but hockey, especially including American and urban politics and the lively daily downtown bands. The pedestrian only Fred Hill Mall is a collage of consumers and bouquets spread out upon red and grey cobblestones. And now having a newly constructed Downtown Plaza conjoined to both the Fred Hill Mall and Victoria Park, downtown Regina is dazzling.
Third. I get to stroll over to the Mercury Café for some smothered golden fries to be somothered in vinegar and ketchup and washed down with a vanilla shake. The Mercury Café is a replication of a 60’s diner, its red and silver décor presenting a nostalgic gray and white photo of the 13th Avenue Safeway past (looking quite like the Safeway present). To find the Mercury on 13th Avenue, just look for the shining rocket on the rooftop.
Fourth. I get to lift weights at the University of Regina whatever time I choose, every day. We have been lifting weights at the university since my son was 15 years old (he’s soon to be 31). In Summer I have at least 50 days vacation, and so committing to such a lifting regimen is simple (simple not to be considered synonymous with easy).
Fifth. I get to busk! Wherever there's a ruck of consumers is where I'll be: the Extra Foods parking lot on Broadway Avenue, the Safeway parking lot on 13th Avenue, the Value Village parking lot on Broad Street, the Shoppers parking lot on Broad Street, and of course, Victoria Park, the Downtown Plaza and the Fred Hill Mall.
The esemplastic power of my Springtime imaginings has temporarily cured my Wintertime Weltschmerz. I shall now, in raised spirits, retreat to my studio of Buskology (my living room) and pen a summer song, of which I already have the snappy title, Braylon’s Sombrero.
And to part, as we affectionately bade our farewells in the buskerhood ... Stay tuned.