I love Ottawa. The city may be an acquired taste with its frigid Winters (except for this one), humid summers, and strange balance of government/private industry but I have yet to meet a city I where I would rather be. St. John’s came close; I seriously considered trying to get a dock job and never come back. What really makes a place a home is your attachments. You associate your parents’ basement with “home” because of its isolation, poor lighting, and convenient room service. I call Ottawa home because of my attachments to various communities and landmarks. And when it comes to landmarks, one of my most influential landmarks is my “music hedge”.
The “music hedge” is literally a hedge. There is a bus stop beside it (for daytime busses) and it is pretty tall but aside from those it is totally unremarkable. However, this particular hedge is a highlight of all of my late night walks home. The late night bus stop leads me to walk a particular route and this hedge happens to mark the last bend before the straightaway to my house. Distance-wise, it also turns out to take about one song to walk that stretch. As I am sure you realize, the last song you here tends to linger. Do you have to let it linger? It doesn’t matter if you have to let it linger! Anyhoo, the hedge song concludes my night. It could be upbeat, or inflecting, or angry but it ends up framing any of my night’s events.
Now that all that preamble is out of the way, I can finally get to tonight’s hedge song. Tonight was “We will still need a song” by Hawksley Workman. Needless to say, I finished the walk with a huge grin. I have seen this guy in concert twice and plan on seeing him every time he comes to town. Seriously, the dude puts an individual touch on every performance. There are some musicians that I am perfectly happy listening to their albums at home and there are those that make the show an experience.
This city is so full of landmarks for me that it is hard for me to exist elsewhere. I literally work about a 5 minute walk from where I was born and those two things are not even the most influential reasons why I am tied to that area (shout out to Hintonburg!). Some call it the city that fun forgot, but I call it home. Fuck yeah, Ottawa.