Friday, March 09, 2007

It's Your Downtown

I like music.

I bought fifteen CDs in three days.

That's normal, right?

Okay, no, of course not. But eight of these CDs cost me $2.99 and the other seven cost me $1.99, so you can understand my thought process here.

These fifteen CDs, most of them in near-perfect condition, came to $37.85 before taxes. $40 in an HMV will buy you two Black Eyed Peas albums. I do not consider this a difficult decision!

Half a day of work at my old job equals fifteen CDs, and I consider this trade more than fair. Granted, yes, I'm unemployed now -- but, man, it's not as though I'll need to buy any more CDs for a while!

So while I'm on the subject of employment situations, here's how it shook down on Wednesday. About fourty of us transient worker types showed up at an orientation meeting, the organizers told us about the job and passed out sheets for everybody to write their info on, and we were told that anybody picked for the position would be contacted. (I haven't heard boo from them since, which means I'm still unemployed yet -- but the fat cheque I'll be receiving for the previously mentioned overtime means I won't have to sweat my current setup right away.)

That took maybe half an hour. And I certainly didn't have any other pressing matters that day -- because, remember, I'm unemployed now. (I'm still getting used to that.) So, it being such a nice day out (it was a really nice day out), I poked around downtown a bit with the ol' handy-dandy outdated digital camera and took some shots of interest.

Of note:

This is one of the signs posted around the site of the future Manitoba Hydro building. You see a few of these as you circle the premises, just to remind you that PCL (Construction Leaders) is concerned about safety.

What made me notice these?

Ah, of course. Thanks, PCL! Construction Leaders! How glad I am that the construction of downtown's newest signature project is in such safe hands!

I sure hope that blueprints and materials lists never require proper proofreading, because if they do this building is probably going to collapse within a year.

Aluminum Sound is where I'd bought four CDs for $2.99 on Monday and another four on Wednesday. Right in the front of the store is where they're keeping the bin of three-dollar CDs (all of them in excellent condition, I can attest so far), and there are still a bunch of good ones left. If you're looking to bolster your 54-40 collection -- and as far as I am concerned you have no good reason not to -- you need to get down there as soon as you can. You live in Winnipeg! Don't even pretend you aren't interested in buying things for cheap!

Bourbon Street Billiards gets my patronage from time to time, but not for ever actually playing pool. The reason I consider this a notable picture is so you'll know where to go if you're downtown and want to play X-Men vs. Street Fighter, because the room to your immediate left when you go down the stairs is de facto the last 'arcade' left downtown. A couple pinball machines, Tekken Tag, Bust-A-Move, nothing fancy -- but it's all we've got, now, so I go down there whenever I'm nearby and drop whatever quarters I've got on me.

Remind me to talk about arcades another time. I bet I could go on for a while.


So, the A&B Sound building -- is it haunted? Is it cursed? Is it a disguised government base for covert operations? I've been wondering about this.

I mean, Manitoba is a land of countless business opportunities, right? Manitoba Means Business and all that? So obviously there must be a perfectly logical explanation as to why a highly visible and fully furnished two-story building, sitting in the heart of downtown and right across the street from one of the busiest large-scale arenas in North America, has been sitting vacant for over a year.

Pirate ghosts? Plague of locusts? Passageway to Xanth?

It can't just be that it's blindingly ugly. Winnipeg is not so destitute a city that the stores don't sell paint.

If you have any ideas about why it's still empty -- or, hell, any ideas on what someone could do with the building -- let me know! I don't have a whole lot else to do right now (besides update my resume again, I guess), so I've hit the point where civic conceptual thinking exercises seem like a good idea.

Man, this unemployment stuff feels weird now. This'll take some getting used to.

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