Friday, Aug. 1

It’s my blog’s one month anniversary today!  Yay!

I had an absolutely divine day in the big city today, after languishing out in Nowheresville for a few days.   It was a beautiful morning and I had a few bob in my pocket (now, sadly, gone) and the anticipation of a wonderful visit to Kingston.  The first part of the day was a little bit marred by the crazy construction.  I had to pick up someone on Wright Cr., but Park St. is all torn up and it is hard to get there.  Then I tried to go from Wright Cr. to the Harvey’s at the old traffic circle and what a circuitous route I had to take!!  It sure will be nice when it is all done, but then it will be winter and I’ll be longing for construction season again.

I took my Harvey’s lunch down to Regent Park, one of the prettiest little parks in Kingston–ate my burger and read my Vancouver paper, a very pleasant thing to do.  I found some incredible plants in the park.  Unfortunately, the gardeners, who were there when I arrived, had left by then and I couldn’t ask what they were, but whatever they are, I want one!

Most of my few bob went on an oil change for my dear little car, Delores del Yaris.  I don’t think we need photos of that, but then I headed downtown to City Park, had a nap in the car and then sat on the grass admiring my old home on West St.   It was absolutely the best.  I left the car on West Street and wandered down King St. to visit a friend.   The old homes are looking their best and the gardens are lush and fabulous.  Ivy adorns walls and the sun filters down through the big old trees.   People were walking and cycling and roller blading and eating at the outdoor cafes.  The shops were open late and folks sat on benches and people-watched or read.  I couldn’t have had a better day.

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This is the old Harvey’s at Princess and Regent.  This used to be my big treat on a Friday night, on the way home from getting paid at my job at the Kingston Shopping Center.  A friend worked in there, and it was great to have a visit as well.  I believe that it is the only Harvey’s in town that hasn’t been rebuilt.   There are not many Harvey’s in Vancouver and I sure missed them while I was out there, but they have now opened one on Granville St. in downtown Vancouver.  I still like this one the best though, because of the fun memories.  Recently I mentioned my Friday visits to a young girl working there and she said “Wow, it’s been here that long?!”  Humph.  Amazing, isn’t it?

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One of the pretty gardens in Regent Park.  In the foreground is one of the fabulous bushes and top left is a slightly different kind.  The new leaves seem to grow in with these bright colours!   They are stunning!

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My beloved old West St.  I lived in three different apartments here over 7 years.  They were pretty rickety then.  Floors sagged, doors didn’t close properly, ceilings leaked–but I wouldn’t have lived anywhere else (until I moved to Vancouver).  What an incredible location it is, across from the big park, a block and a half up from the lake, 15 minute walk downtown.   I knew all my neighbours and still see a couple of them.   The mother of a friend of mine in Vancouver lived in the end house with the turret in 1945.  Didn’t look all that much different did it?

West St. taken by Kate's mother 1945

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Now along King St.  This is the Belvedere Hotel.  When I lived here in the 80’s it was a funky place full of students and artists.  My bicycle repair guy, Doctor Bicycle lived here and repaired bikes at the back.  He was an artist’s model as well.  Now it is a ritzy inn.

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This has always been one of my favourite little houses, at King and Gore.  The plaque on the front says it was built in 1819.  I did a painting of it, that I still have, of this house in fall, when it had a big tree next to it, alas, destroyed in the big Ice Storm of ’96.

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Wow!

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Yummy fish and chips!

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Dinner out at the Pig–Chez Piggy restaurant–fine dining.   The Toucan pub and restaurant is to the right of this picture and it is connected by a delightful little walkway.  I think this would have been a stable area back in the old days.

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The back and front of an awesome little jewellery store.  Even when I lived in Vancouver, I got most of my jewellery here.  We’re talking cheap and funky, not precious stones.

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In the 25 years that I was gone, so many of the old businesses disappeared–The House of Sounds, the Superior Restaurant, Linos, The Swiss Pastries (a particularly sad blow), Woolworth’s, the Sally Shop, both the upper movie theaters, and then more recently The Capitol Theater, S&R and Olden Green.  But here we have a little section–Wayfarer used books, the Tara Natural Food store (which was in a different location when I was here before) and Vandervoort’s.  Vandervoort was a hardware store but has remade itself as a general store, opened up a second floor and filled a niche that S&R left.  A-1 Clothing is still across the street too, as well as Chez Piggy and the Toucan, so my past is not entirely gone.

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This is over the carriageway on West St.

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Beautiful old doors on West St.  This was my door for a year.

So there you have it; a day well spent.  Happy days!

 

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