Resilient

Spotted in late August, this little tomato plant is the best example of resilience I have seen in a while. 

I’m assuming the seed of a patio tomato fell from a nearby balcony, lodged itself in a space between the sidewalk and a foundation on a downtown street.  It then would have survived the freeze and thaw cycles of an icy North Atlantic winter.  It would have been tread upon and scraped over. 

Not only did it survive the Halifax winter (and “spring”!) but grew to blossom and even produce fruit on a shaded street that is dominated by massive urban building project. 

If this had been a wee spruce tree, or other native spicies, it would, perhaps have been a charming find.  But a tomato?  Here?  Impressive!  

My hat goes off to you little plant!  I hope the seed of one of those tomatos carries on your impressive will.  

A Book Walk

My past few posts reflect some of my travel experiences, so let’s bring it a little closer to home.  Come with me for a walk through the (relatively) brand spanking new Halifax Central Library – Opened December 2014.


In a city settled in 1749, and which celebrates it’s history, change does not come easy.

So, when it became apparent that the existing library building no longer met the city’s needs, a series of public meetings and consultations followed by proposed designs and more public meetings, wringing of hands and fretting ensued.  In the end though, we have this stunning piece of architecture in the heart of our old city.


Designed to resemble a stack of books, the outstanding feature is the 5th floor cantilever over the entrance plaza.



Inside, many public and private spaces are created around the central atrium and its criss-crossing staircases.

image
The roof-top terrace offers a broad view of the Halifax Harbour, the historic South End and the Downtown (CBD).  Inside, all that glass provides an appealing interaction between the urban neighbourhood and the cosy spaces within. There are small meeting pods, living room-like spaces, an auditorium, community rooms, an enormous children’s  section, banks of computer games as well as…….lots and lots of books!!


And coffee!  Gotta have coffee!


The reference section keeps safe and available the documents which record the history, of which we are so proud.

There are information “booths” on all floors…..


…. And the sparkling main circulation desk is backed by an interesting art installation.  Each of those wee pieces of art on the wall behind the desk is an individual painting.  And each is exactly the size of the card that librarians keep in the pocket of a library book.  Lovely, don’t you think?


The Central Library has been an architectural success, garnering many awards, including the “World Building of the Year Award in the Civic and Community Category”  in 2015 at the World Architcture Festival in Singapore.  But even better than that, with 6,000 visitors per day in a city of 414,000 souls (298,000 in the urban core) Haligonians and visitors alike have embraced this place – making truely the “city’s living room”, just as the designers proposed.

Thanks for walking with me.  Now I’d better get reading before my books are due back…….

These photos were taken with my iPhone just last month (Feb. 2016).

Gathering

Gathering on rainy Saturday morning at the Halifax Seaport Market.

image

Brunch on the steps….

image

While listening to some live music.

image

Visit a few of the vendors.

image

image image image image image

The oldest continuously running farmer’s market in North America, now housed in a beautiful bright building on the waterfront. Nice and warm inside on a cold damp day.

image

image

image

image

And all ready for Christmas.

image

image

Happy Christmastime to you. May peace and love bind you and joy be yours this Holiday season.

WPC – gathering     All photos by iPhone.

 

 

 

 

Warmth

On this rainy December Sunday afternoon, in corner of the brand spanking new Halifax Central Library, a man and a child share a moment. Their position on the cozy sofa under the glow of that floor lamp suggest that they could be at home. But then, I understand that the architect’s aim was to design a space that will become the “city’s living room”. Judging by this intimate scene, and the many others we witnessed, I’d say it’s a great success.

20141228-180330-65010680.jpg

A Tale of Two Cities

Most Christmas stories don’t begin with a tragic explosion, but the tale of the Boston Christmas Tree does.
During WW1, the port city of Halifax, NS (my hometown) was an important naval point of departure for both men and supplies enroute to Europe. On Dec. 6, 1917 a fully loaded French munitions ship broke its mooring, and drifted, colliding with another ship at the narrowest point in the harbour. The resulting explosion, the largest man-made explosion to that time, flattened the north end of the city, killing 2000 and injuring 9000. Halifax was devastated.
The people of Boston received the news immediately via telegraph, and quickly dispatched medical personnel and supplies as well as food and water. A train arrived just 2 days later.
This generous effort has remained a part of the fabric of Nova Scotia’s history. And every year the people of our province send a Christmas Tree to the people of Boston in recognition and thanks.
This year my family & I are in Boston for a few days before Christmas, so the first thing we all wanted to see was The Boston Christmas Tree.
A gift that recognizes goodness in the human spirit.
Wishing you all the very Happiest of Holidays!!

20141222-171633-62193916.jpg