On Sunday night, I took 3 buses to Kirkland to see my buddy Patrick and take a walk, catch up and take some photos for this project of mine. Walking through quiet streets and empty parking lots on a summer evening is probably the best way two people can bond, and hearing about specific memories he had growing up while we passed so many different "landmarks" made me feel like I also grew up there with him. I could go on about our conversation for hours and talk about how all suburbs really aren't so different, but I don't think I could say it better than how he did:
" There is some cathartic inexplicable relationship between the suburban experience and memory. Wether we like to admit it or not, we are nostalgic creatures by design. Born and bred into these monuments to 50’s and 60s optimism, we are constantly searching for the lost simplicity of the Good Old Days. A time when you could play with your Dollarama slinky and not question it’s philosophical merit as a metaphor for the human experience. In a place where you were endlessly told that you can be anything you want to be in life, while sitting in a home identical to 4 others along the street. If you grow up in these rows and rows of cookie-cutter houses, no matter how good or bad the present may, your environment unconsciously molds you into a historian with rose tinted glasses. It doesn’t matter if at any one moment the strip mall in front of the Colisée was a gym, a discount clothing store or a Staples, to me it’s something more. It’s the place where I would line my pockets with 2$ peanut m&ms before sneaking into R-rated movies as a 12 year old. It’s where I ate s--t on my sisters bike trying to get up the cracked concrete ramp and had to walk it home with the kind of fear and terror only found in a guilty 9 year old. It’s the parking lot where my dad first taught me to drive at 16 and where I still go to practice as I keep coming up with excuses as to why I don’t have my license. When I walk down that bike path and pass my old elementary school, my old football field and my favourite park as a kid with the wood chips and the green plastic dinosaur, I smirk. For good reason. See that’s what everyone gets wrong about the suburbs. It’s not some utopia far away from any danger or problems the postmodern world has to offer. But! It’s not some self righteous dead-zone with no running busses filled to the brim with snobs, cults and nothing to do. Okay maybe on second thought the bus thing is a little accurate (f--k the 201) but still. The suburbs and especially the West Island is just a neighbourhood like any other. They have their obvious problems and their very overt positives. The only real difference is the kind of people and culture it has a tendency to produce. People who will gladly write a giant rambling and quasi-pretentious paragraph on a couple quiet cul-de-sacs, an unevenly paved bike path and an empty movie theatre parking lot. "
Couldn't have said it better myself.