There's a place on the edge of town that I just love. I think I love it for it's strange mix of abruptness and tranquility. There's a large building, an old wartime factory, a run down imposing sort of building; it literally is the last building in the city. It's literally busy city streets, shops, traffic, people rushing along, mobiles in hand conducting what I'm sure is very important business... until you hit the factory. Then it stops. It just stops, all of it, the buzzing chatter, the honking horns, the mix of exhaust and fast food grease, gone., as if it never really existed at all.
Instead, there's a huge parking lot of sorts, really it's more of a mix of gravel and asphalt bordered by some grass the city planted a few years ago to create some green space. Beyond that, there's a boardwalk and park benches where you can walk or jog, of just sit and look at the river.
It's a cool spot now, everyone goes over to "the Factory" now as soon as the warm weather hits, to bike, to sit, to play Frisbee, whatever it is they do. People bring their kids and their dogs. They listen to the sounds of the river mixed with the music of local young bands jamming inside the factory itself.
I giggle when I hear everyone buzzing about our local treasure. It's as if it wasn't here all along. I've always loved this place on the edge of town, way before it was cool, it was just peaceful, quiet. I remember sitting on the ground, my back against the big old factory, silent for decades and I'd imagine the sounds it used to make, humming machinery, the chatter of workers, the horn blowing that signaled when it was time to work and when it was time to quit. It's still my favourite spot, but not in the summer. Now my very favourite day there is the first snowfall. Not a huge dumping, you know, the first dusting of snow, usually in November. You wake up in the morning and there's just enough snow on the ground to let you know that Mother Nature has been busy overnight. As soon as that day hits, most people trade in "the Factory" for indoor pursuits,. It's a shame for them, but it's magical for me, because at that time of year, by about 10 am, the sun still has enough strength to warm my face and slowly melt the snow and then, I, along with a handful of others who are brave enough to face the coming winter, get it all to ourselves again.