When I’m walking or riding my bike around Winnipeg, I sometimes stop and take photos of apartment buildings that call to me. They’re usually old buildings and it’s the history of them, as well as the beauty, that attracts me.
I think about the people who lived in them when they were new. Who designed and built them? Who planted the trees in the courtyards or the vines climbing the walls?
I choose to ignore the fact that some of these buildings might make me feel sad or angry, not nostalgic, if I was to go inside. For all I know, they might be deteriorating or infested with bedbugs. But I won’t think about that. Instead, I’ll imagine them in their heyday, when they were likely the talk of the neighbourhood.
I’ll think about the people who have decided to keep them going and brighten them up.
I’ll imagine those who sit, and sat, in those rooms or sun porches, perhaps sipping tea and reading books. Because that’s what I’d be doing.