Monday, May 9, 2011

picture a walk in Halifax

The spring weather around here has been colder, wetter, and foggier than is apparently usual according to the locals and it's raining again today. Last Friday was pretty nice so I took the camera along one of our usual routes and didn't take a picture until we were some blocks away from here.

I remember lots of virtual walks taken a year ago and not being any wiser about what Halifax looked like if it was indeed a city. Having lived in the south end downtown area for seven months we've come to the conclusion it's really better described as a large college town, one that has many interesting walks but fairly small and easy to navigate if you enjoy walking.

There's a cluster of bank skyscrapers near the old city center on Barrington St. but the street itself is mostly empty shop fronts and the facades of historic buildings with nothing behind. We didn't walk that way on Friday, nor did we go to the harbor front, the big wilderness park, or through any of the neighborhoods where the houses are grandiose. Instead, we crossed the street out front, went south and then west before I took the camera out:



The first is a picture of some typical saltbox houses in a low-key neighborhood near the further end of the Dalhousie University campus. There's nothing special about them other than the fact almost every one you see is beautifully maintained.


This is part of an older dorm on campus and the section on the right is a very beautiful old dining hall. We peeked in the windows to see the old furnishings are still there but the hall itself appears unused.


The original quadrangle of the Dalhousie campus, established in 1818 which makes it one of the oldest in North America. Very pretty on a spring afternoon and other days too.


This is one of my favorite back yard gardens with a little studio cottage at its end. I wouldn't mind living here. A few weeks ago we saw a small and pretty house with a 'for sale' sign. When I looked up the real estate listing it was priced at $625k.



I rather like this house too but can't understand why there are so many without proper roofs. The sidewalk to the left leads to a large old graveyard.

(I refuse to take pictures of the 10-15 story apartment buildings that have been plopped into these neighborhoods.)



Truth in advertising.


The Public Gardens opened a few weeks earlier than scheduled and it's very nice to walk along its serpentine paths again rather than on the sidewalks that surround it.









The last photograph, the one I posted first because it's the prettiest, is one of the ponds near the main entrance to Spring Garden Road. Our place is just a block away but we had to shop for groceries so I packed the camera.

One of these days I'll take it with me again so I can post more pictures and continue writing my impressions.

Let me know if you're bored.

25 comments:

The Crow said...

Not bored one little whit! I love walking through other towns, and - short of being able to do so in person - posts like this are a real delight.

Fondest regards to Crow, when next you write to him.

Kay said...

I love the blog walks too. I added Halifax to my growing list of places to visit!

okjimm said...

Great pictures!!! and you're Spring is soooo much more advanced than ours.... rumor is that we will just miss Spring and launch right into summer.

jams o donnell said...

I love the walk and the great pics. I must do one of Romford - it will do much for the tourist industry.... by which I mean send people screaming for holidays on ctive volcanoes!

Steve E said...

You have a real good sense of humor, to ask if any of us are bored. Bored? Not on your LIFE!

The running commentary makes these posts like a wonderful book, which has only TOO FEW pages...although I'm sure there will be more. Thanks! A real pleasureful experience you publish...
PEACE!

Ol'Buzzard said...

Susan; a week ago you blogged - Painting in Stages. You requested people to offer a name for your painting - and that has bugged me. I have gone back to the painting a number of times and drawn a bland. Last night in some reading I ran across an intriguing possibility.

Cerridwen was a Welsh goddess and she had two children - the girl Creirwy was known as the most beautiful girl in the world and her son Avagduu the ugliest boy:
thus:
Creirwy and Avagduu

the Ol'Buzzard

Mary Ellen said...

I loved those pics, especially of the college campus. I love the old universities with the beautiful architecture and gorgeous landscaping.

Great pics, thanks for sharing them with us!

Randal Graves said...

Coffin, heh heh.

Bored? Come on, post more of these walks, hint, dammit, but I must inquire, do saltbox houses actually contain boxes of salt?

susan said...

the crow - I'm glad you enjoyed the walk. I sent your regards to Crow (along with spring pictures) and anticipate his reply shortly.

kay - You'd be very welcome to go adventuring with us.

okjimm - Yes, I was very happy to see Halifax has a Spring but just so you don't feel too bad, it's been raining again since Friday.

jams - Are you suggesting I should ignore the holiday brochures from Romford?

steve e - I'm delighted you enjoyed it. Except for weekend winter nights when the students are misbehaving this is a very quiet place so far.

ol'buzzard - 'Creirwy and Avagduu' is certainly a most intriguing title and definitely suits the piece. Since it might actually encourage a few people to look up the reference, always a better thing to do than watching television, I will use it. Thank you so much for continuing to remember the image. That means a lot to me.

nunly - Naturally, the campus has a lot of modern buildings too but like you, I prefer the serenity of the old ones. Churches are much the same.

randal - Heh, that one was for you.

They may contain barrels of the stuff for all I know. I'm still trying to figure out how they pay the mortgages so maybe they all sell the stuff.

Lisa said...

These photos are marvelous! Halifax is very pretty. And thank you for sparing us the out of proportion apartment buildings cluttering some of those neighborhoods. I know I'm an architecture snob, but couldn't they make some effort to stay in line with the earlier buildings?

Pagan Sphinx said...

I love a city that can be easily "walked". Halifax is just the right size.

susan said...

lisa - It's almost like the building boom arrived here late and ended soon after. Of course, with the whole tourist thing being of major importance there are a number of new and renovated old buildings that are more in line with the aesthetic. Unfortunately, most are very expensive condos and even the rental places aren't affordable for us. sigh..

pagan sphinx - I was just over at your place and glad to see you were well enough to go back to work. I actually really enjoyed walking in Boston even though it's huge. This place is pretty but there's not much culture once you're done with the fishing museum.

TheCunningRunt said...

Great shots of a place I've never been, but am becoming more intrigued with as these posts accrue.

And as others have said, thanks for keeping it "native" - I can see high-rises anytime I care to travel down-valley, which is never!

marja-leena said...

Absolutely not bored! What a lovely city and gardens, or that part of it anyway, thanks for sharing. I too detest high rises. More photos from your walks, please.

Liberality said...

The first picture is so beautiful. You live in a sweet little city there. These types of posts are intimate slices of your life--of course I am intrigued! :)

susan said...

cr - We're planning a trip to Cape Breton and Newfoundland this summer. It's supposed to be spectacular but I have a feeling you and Elliot would do a better job than me in capturing the beauty we'll see.

marja-leena - I promise to take the camera with me again next time it stops raining. I detest high-rises and more so being stuck living in one. We're only on the 7th floor but I kept getting dizzy my first weeks here. That was partially because our balcony was broken and there were no railings. No, I didn't go out there :-)

liberality - Rather sweet and boring too. That's a price we pay being away from the big ones. I'm so glad you're enjoying what I show and tell :-)

Gary said...

Love the photos and particularly Mr. or Mrs. Coffin's final rest. It looks so lovely. Anna will be there in June - alas I'm working and can't find another ticket yet.

gfid said...

it's a lovely city. bored? boredom, like happiness, comes from within.

over $600k for a small house?! oi! so, if i do the math..... in 30 years i'll have paid off my $130k townhouse, and will have a down payment for another lifelong mortgage in beautiful Halifax. leaves just starating to open here in the frozen north.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Cape Breton is absolutely wonderful. So unspoiled. Meat Cove, at the far tip, almost feels like the end of the world. I know you will love it!

susan said...

cr - We're planning a trip to Cape Breton and Newfoundland in the summer. I'm sure you and Elliot would do a better job of photographing the beauty we expect to see there than I'll manage.

marja-leena - I'm glad you're enjoying pictures of the places I choose to focus on. The high rises are indeed the least attractive but there aren't so many as in other places.

liberality - Sweet, yes and also a bit boring but although we may choose, we can never find perfection.

susan said...

gary -
Love the photos and particularly Mr. or Mrs. Coffin's final rest. It looks so lovely. Anna will be there in June - alas I'm working and can't find another ticket yet.

gfid -
it's a lovely city. bored? boredom, like happiness, comes from within.

over $600k for a small house?! oi! so, if i do the math..... in 30 years i'll have paid off my $130k townhouse, and will have a down payment for another lifelong mortgage in beautiful Halifax. leaves just starating to open here in the frozen north.

pagan sphinx -
Cape Breton is absolutely wonderful. So unspoiled. Meat Cove, at the far tip, almost feels like the end of the world. I know you will love it!

Blogger went down and so did my email but happily yesterday's comments were still there! Thank goodness for small mercies.

gary - It's a nice place. I'm sorry to hear you can't make the trip but I can see a new job might make that difficult. Please give Anna our phone number in case she'd like to meet for lunch or something.

gfid - It appears that any and all livable buildings within hailing distance of the south end are very expensive. Unfortunately, a number of other places just don't have grocery stores etc. in walking distance. I'm glad you're seeing the start of Spring.

pagan sphinx - We've already seen a few places that look like the end of the world. I'm really looking forward to seeing Cape Breton.

Francis Hunt said...

Seeing and reading about places where other people live is always interesting - you immediately feel you know them better!

Anonymous said...

Hey Susan,
Thought I'd pop over and see what you're up to. Neighborhood walk was quite nice, love the old houses and gardens. Thought the gravestone photo very funny.

Hope all is well your way. And thanks for adding me to your blog roll. I've had a few visitors from your site.

Still accumulating recommends for next time I do such post. Would it be ok with you if I included your site?

susan said...

francis - I'm glad you're back from your holiday in Turkey. I wouldn't at all mind taking pictures while walking along Aegean beaches :-)

noodleepoodlee - Nice to see you again. I don't often take a camera along on walks but now and again it's fun and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I'm very pleased to have you as a visitor and anyone who knows you would be welcome.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan, will give you a heads up when I post next recommend.