The Canadian years, the grid

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 16 November 09:33


the grid

We sat at the table of our residential 'new' home. My father had a piece of writing paper in front of him. He put a dot in the middle. ‘This point is the center of Calgary’ he explained. 'Center street, ‘therefore, this street is called center street’ ‘Calgary is a young city, there is nothing older than 80 years. It is a cattle and oil city, just like Houston in Texas. You could easily think that you were walking about in Texas. In the center, were the station and the major oil buildings, offices of multinationals. Slightly out of the center, you’d find the ‘Stampede grounds,’ the fenced in grounds where the herds of cattle were driven to it from the train, it was also known as ‘cattle grounds.’ ‘This is beef country’ he continued,’ beef and trade, otherwise you would have the oil industry and for the rest nothing. Only businesses and restaurants and banks who live of the off spin of these two branches.’ A few years later, I knew he had it almost right. The construction was a different strong branch and, in particular, the road construction because of the extreme frost each year that would freeze the highways to bits. The roads and highways would end up every spring with potholes and cracks. But he was right that this would have been a spin off, because without beef and oil, the roads were unnecessary, and Calgary would have been a piece of prairie. Calgary was such an intersection in an area that grew from a local, to a  global oil market center with its offices and buildings that offered work to thousands.


‘Right’, said my father, ‘centre street.’ You can never get lost. Because when the city was built, everything was given very careful consideration. Here there are no street names, leave alone in a chic little neighbourhood to the left or right of the city, Calgary makes use of a grid. a large cross, which has two axes: North to South and East to West, where the axes intersect is the center point. Point zero, center street. From the North to the West, run the streets and from the East to the South, the avenues. We live, 428, 14th Street Nw. This means that we are relatively close to the absolute center, North Western Administration sector, 14 blocks from Centre Street and 428 means 4th Avenue, 28th house’.’ So if you know this’ my father said,’ and you've never been to Calgary, you  can drive easily to our house. For example, if you drive on the 12th street and are looking for our address, then you know that you still have 2 blocks to go to the North West on the imaginary grid in your head and if you then arrive at the 14th street, then you know that you will find our house between the 4th and 5th avenue, in that block of houses’. ‘That's great’, I said, when it dawned on me. ‘You can immediately find your way anywhere.’


‘Let's see if it is clear to everyone,’ continued my father,’ I am driving on 2nd Street NE. I want to go 776 20th Street Nw. What should I do?’ We knew it all right away, you slide 18 blocks up, until you drive on the 20th street and you know you’ve got to follow North West, until the name changes to 20th Nw.  You are then in the North Western Administration sector and you need to drive on until you get to the 7th avenue crossing and then the only thing left to do, is stopping at the right house.’ It's genius’, I said ‘and so simple.’ ‘All great ideas originate in simplified forms’,said my father with an affable smile.

San Daniel 2014


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Reacties (2) 

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Blijf het indrukwekkend vinden dat het ook in het engels uit gebracht is, ik lees je Nederlandse versie binnenkort helemaal
okay lief mens ..dat vind ik heel fijn..x