Bow Crescent is one of my favorite streets in Calgary. I love the old houses that line the river. I love the way the new infills fit perfectly with the culture of the street. I love the smell of the river, it always reminds me of summers at the lake. The old trees seem to separate you from the rest of the city, as if Bow Crescent is permanently on vacation.
Yesterday, I had to visit Bow Crescent to pick up extra keys from the seller of a condo in Tuscany that my clients had just purchased. He just moved to his new home on Bow Crescent.
I was forced to parked 5 blocks away and walk past police cars, dump trucks, sump pumps, piles of garbage, and pools of sludgy mud.
But those things weren't nearly as noticeable as the smiles. There were smiles everywhere. From the families pulling carts of water while their children offered a drink to clean-up volunteers, the groups of students covered in mud throwing soaked dry wall into dumpsters, exhausted workers sitting on the sidewalk and enjoying a sandwich before they got back to work, the policeman driving their quads through puddles, and the health inspectors working overtime, even the homeowners whose lives had changed drastically in just a few short days - everyone was smiling. The support of an entire city can do that to you.
I walked up to the beautiful new side-by-side home of the seller. He had a big smile as well. He told me about how their newly developed basement was under 7 feet of water; everything in it destroyed. But with the help of 15 volunteers, people he'd never met before, they ripped out everything from the basement and in a long human conveyor belt, had the basement completely stripped in only a few hours. The rebuilding of his basement and his life has already started. (I thought he was a pretty cool guy so I googled him later and it turns out he's a really incredible sculptor).
As far as non-living things go, losing your home would be the worst thing that I can imagine. I'm proud of how our city has rallied to bring not just help, but a little happiness to Bow Crescent.
It's never going to look the same, but Bow Crescent is just as beautiful as ever; if not more.