We split our time between Calgary and Canmore, so the big decision I had to make was which one to showcase in this month’s post. I decided on Calgary for a few reasons: 1) we live here about three-quarters of the time; 2) I routinely showcase the mountain landscapes around Canmore in PBC posts, so it’s Calgary’s turn; and 3) Beakerhead comes to Calgary in September, so there are some pretty cool things to photograph here in YYC.
Tentacles in Inglewood
Inglewood is the oldest neighbourhood in Calgary. It grew up just across the Elbow River from the original Fort Calgary established by the North-West Mounted Police in 1875. In 2016, one of the buildings in the neighbourhood was invaded by a giant octopus! This temporary exhibit, by UK artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, was part of Beakerhead.
Skipping Stone Bridge
Like many cities, Calgary grew up where it did because of water bodies: the Bow River and the Elbow River. Calgarians are fortunate because a lot of the land adjacent to these rivers is public land, so there is an extensive river pathway system in the city. Bridges – both road bridges and pedestrian/bicycle bridges – determine how Calgarians travel from one side of the river to the other and have been some of the most contencious infrastructure on the landscape of municipal politics here. The Skipping Stone Bridge is one of the newest bicycle/pedestrian bridges across the Bow River, connecting the neighbourhood of East Village to a fantastic urban park and the neighbourhood of Bridgeland. The red light along the roof line of the Saddledome is visible across the bridge, to the left.
The rivers are one of the main reasons that Calgary has an above-ground light rail transit system (LRT). The first LRT route started operating in 1981. It has been extended several times since. When the west leg started operating in late 2012, our lives changed for the better. Anytime we’re going somewhere within a 15 minute walk of the nearest LRT station, it’s faster and less stressful to walk to/from the nearest station and catch the train that it is to drive! I took this at one of the downtown stations one night when I was ready to head home after a long day of photography for Beakerhead.
Perhaps the most recognized piece of public art in Calgary is Wonderland, by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa. It’s a 12 m/39 ft tall wire sculpture of a girl’s head. Two openings in the neck allow visitors to walk inside the head. It’s a popular lunch time spot (every day during food truck season, at least 2 or 3 mobile eateries are parked at the nearest street corner), currently rated #19 of 287 things to do in Calgary (according to TripAdvisor), and is a favourite subject for photography (especially at night). It’s challenging to come up with a fresh take on the subject, so when I saw the sun casting a pretty decent face shadow one day early in the month, I fired up my camera!
This is My Town
Taken with my phone camera, this image encapsulates so many things that make Calgary, Calgary! The two most recognized buildings are visible: the Calgary Tower and the Bow Building. It shows just how compact Calgary’s downtown business district is. It conveys how fortunate Calgarians are to have access to a fair bit of public green space right in the centre of the city. It’s taken on the grounds of Fort Calgary (now a well-maintained, historic exhibit complete with community garden), the start of it all. And it includes one of the dozen or so temporary, large-scale art installations that were part of Beakerhead 2016. Oh, and it’s a typical blue-sky day; Calgary is the sunniest large city in Canada, enjoying almost 2400 hours of bright sun each year, spread over 333 days. That amounts to just over half of Calgary’s daylight hours!
Please click on through to A ‘lil Hoohaa for the link-up to all the rest of participants. I treat this photo blogging challenge as a month-long photo assignment, which makes it pretty low stress. New participants are welcome to join the photo blogging challenge any time. Will you join us? The next theme will be announced here on October 2.