Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Gateway Journal Day 02 Part 2: Exploring Canal City
Today I explored the neighborhood around my lodgings. I am in "Canal City", which, as its name unmysteriously implies, is criss-crossed with many canals and waterways.
All of the boroughs of Gateway have simple names, like Canal City, Harbortown, Fishtown, etc., a system devised after "The Unification"... Apparently Gateway used to be a conglomeration of several smaller cities a few centuries ago, each of which had their own governments and were constantly at war with one another. Occasionally, someone will use the "old" names for places (adding to my confusion), but for the sake of this book, I am going to stick to the simplified naming system...call me a tourist.
The Canals vary in size and usage, and all manner of boat and ship can be seen on them. Obviously, the wider avenues are used by small cargo ships and touring boats, while the narrower ones are mostly local traffic. In some places there are pipes which dump what appears to be sewage or waste water of some sort into the alleys, which dulls the charm, but i've seen worse.... Of course, this is a more residential area, we will see what the industrial sections yield.
Overall, though, the effect is a pleasant one, the area around where I was sketching the first image was fairly quiet, a few people going about their business. Every now and then a head will pop out of a random window and look around, or call down to a wayward pet, or the sounds of playing children or arguing merchants will echo through the narrow alleys. The seductive smell of corner bakeries meets you around every turn, and I have to admit I found 2 of them to be absolutely unavoidable. I don't know what I ate in the second one, but it was delicious.
From what I have read, Canal City encompasses some of the oldest sections of Gateway, which is very clear when you observe the various architectural styles as well as the sense of newer structures stacked on top of the foundations of older structures. The elevated train lines are later additions that in many cases had to be built right up against or even through existing buildings, which I imagine is somewhat of an annoyance to those who live in said buildings.
However, I get the sense that almost no amount of annoyance can drive away residents around here, this is likely some of the most coveted real estate around, and I imagine most residents represent several generations worth of ownership.
More Canal City drawings tomorrow.