PostArctica: The Giants in Montreal

Went downtown today to check out the giant marionettes that are dominating the scene in the city this weekend. It is pretty cool because the crew that accompanies each giant are energized and organized much like a Cirque du Soleil act. The down side of this is that it really is like watching a one ...

PostArctica: Longing

PostArctica: River High, Shore Erosion In Verdun

The Saint Lawrence has been much higher than usual this spring in Verdun. Today I walked between the Natatorium and the Marina and there were parts of the lower path already washed out. My first concern is that many trees along the shoreline have already leaned into the river and I wonder if this erosion ...

PostArctica: Trees Cut Down In Verdun

It was inevitable were they going to proceed with the poorly conceived beach project on the Verdun waterfront, but it turns out that even though the city has recently said that the project has been postponed, a large swath of trees has been cut down on the proposed beach site. So my question today is ...

PostArctica: Printemps

I may have said this before but it bears repeating… I once had a problem photographing something in terms of composition, or maybe it was just attitude, in any case, I advised myself to just go in like Friedlander shooting cacti. And it has very much become a part of my personal aesthetic as I ...

Things Are Good: Covert Strategies for Supporting Urbanism

One of the biggest challenges facing cities in the 21st century is how to make them more people friendly. Parts of many cities have been left to rot, or have been neglected, thanks to decades of car-dominated thinking. This car-focussed, and individualistic, urban design has made discourse around making cities people friendly hard; it’s time ...

PostArctica: There Are Memories Everywhere

PostArctica: Stormy Today

Was out and about this afternoon. Nature has a way of evening up the score – after a relatively balmy and dry January and February, March so far has provided our coldest temperatures and this could be the biggest snowstorm of the year, Outside the Mount Royal Metro station. Corner of Rivard and Marie Anne. ...

Things Are Good: Move to the City for a Slow Life

It’s often thought that cities are buys bustling places where nobody slows down. Sure, the streets are busier and there is more activity, but the city is a slow place for living. Arizona State University researchers looked into the lifestyles of urban dwellers and discovered that they are slower than people who live elsewhere. The ...

PostArctica: This Is A Bench! Enjoy!

Picture taken in the area that will become the Verdun beach. Going to miss the rugged spontaneity,  the urban explorer sensibility, that got so beautifully cultivated in an organic manner through here.

PostArctica: Dan Bern In Montreal

Had the great pleasure of attending a Dan Bern concert Sunday afternoon at a bar downtown. It was a small back room venue with excellent sound, perfect for this type of performance – one singer with a guitar and harmonica. From wiki “Dan Bern (also known as Bernstein) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, novelist ...

Things Are Good: Improve Transportation by Ending Subsidies for Automobiles

Many drivers think that gas tax (or their car-related taxes in general) more than cover the costs of infrastructure of cars. The reality is quite the opposite. People who don’t drive subsidize those who do. In terms of infrastructure itself we have spent more money on roads than on other forms of transit. This combination ...

Things Are Good: Detroit’s Farms May Save the City

Detroit is a city that has been witnessing a lot of change thanks to poor urban planning and bad economics. The past decade has been very rough for the people of Detroit and they are turning to old, but innovative, ways to revive the city. We have seen artists move to Detroit and even some ...

Things Are Good: Montreal’s Streets Continue to be Focused on People

Walking the streets of Montreal already provides a pleasant experience – and it’s about to get better. The city has dedicated an additional $1.7 million to what it already spends on making selected streets car free. The pedestrian areas promote local artists and encourage people to visit neighbourhoods throughout the municipality. People love the initiative ...

PostArctica: Today on Mount Royal

Unusually mild for today’s date and with a lot of snow and ice on ground level that makes for some perfect fog, especially as you go higher on Mount Royal. How foggy was it? That is Beaver Lake straight ahead. It was quite surreal up there, you could hear people talking on the roads before ...

Things Are Good: Busting Urban Planning Myths

There’s a lot of misconceptions about how to make cities a better place to live that need to be cleared up. A popular belief is that adding more lanes for cars will help curb traffic jams – when the opposite it true. Some backwards-looking individuals think that adding bike lanes is bad for business when ...

Things Are Good: Trees are Great for Cities

Cleaning the air and keeping areas cool are what trees do best. A new study has looked into how best to use trees from a purely utilitarian standpoint. Essentially they drilled down to what trees do best and where they can thrive. The researchers cataloged the best places to plant trees based on factors like ...

PostArctica: Almost Done!

Tomorrow is the last day of autumn which means it is also the last day of L’automne (please drop by and like the page if you haven’t already). One of the most interesting experiences of my life has been walking and photographing the Verdun waterfront over the last three months. Tomorrow I take it to ...

PostArctica: A Symphony of Ice with Beaver Update

It was pretty cold out there today and a huge sheet of ice was breaking up and floating down the river when I got there. You can hear it as the individual pieces clang against each, especially the moving ones banging against the more solid ice close to shore. (and light backgrounds do highlight the ...

PostArctica: Beaver Situation Takes A Turn For The Weird

Was down at the river today just trudging through the lower trail when I spotted some chicken wire fences wrapped around some trees. As I had blogged about a problem with beavers aggressively attacking trees on the Verdun waterfront, I assumed there might be a connection.   So this is all good, except, and I ...

PostArctica: Canadian Graffiti

PostArctica: When Nature Gets Creepy

It is cold and there is enough of a wind to blow some of this tall grass around, occasionally flying into your face. Snow has fallen forcing swaths of it to collapse creating the illusion of these low lying dark spaces where all kinds of horrible troll like creatures may exist, just waiting for you ...

PostArctica: Beaver Activity on Verdun Waterfront

Well, there usually is. I have been walking the Verdun waterfront almost every day since October 1st and while I have noticed the odd tree that has been chewed, it is only the last week or ten days where it has been disturbingly noticeable. I say “disturbingly” because it really is a thin strip of ...

PostArctica: December 6, 1989

Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department Maryse ...

PostArctica: Come To Standing Rock!

Inspired by veterans at the site I wrote this song tonight. My gift. Feel free to add, subtract, change, whatever it takes to make this a great song.   We have blood and dirt on our hands from all these son’s and daughter’s commands we never really did very much for the land but now ...