South End « BOJAN'S BLOG


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Posts Tagged ‘South End’

[Old Blog] More tearsheets…

More tearsheets… Again, in collaboration with my significant other, we found a good home for a set of corner store pictures. The current issue of Saltscapes magazine is running a SIX (6) page spread. This makes my Holga the most profitable piece of gear I have 😉

Croatian word of the day: sreća happiness (but also luck) [sre cha]


[Old Blog] Entry 105

I am 30 today. It was a quiet birthday – just the way I prefer it. I don’t feel much of anything really. If anything, I am more sure than ever of what I want to do. We’ll see what the next year brings.

These are Bibles stacked up at the back pew of Saint James Anglican Church on Broad Street. This is still part of the same wedding in the South End.

Major snowstorm here so the last couple of days were perfect for reading and playing computer games.

Just downloaded OpenOffice. It works quite nicely.

For the past two days I have been listening to the news about the earthquake off the coast of Indonesia. Terrible tragedy.

[Old Blog] Entry 104

This is another South End image.

A German newspaper decided to change its tune, at least during the holidays.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

[Old Blog] Entry 103

Back to my South End project. This photo was taken last October, but i just got around to scanning. The Saint James Anglican Church where this wedding took place is one of many churches in the city facing almost imminent closure due to ever smaller congregations. A wedding such as this one is almost an exception these days. A third generation of South End families has tied a knot in the same church and they have every reason to celebrate…

Christmas is approaching and many of us are feeling generous and happy to share what we have with those less fortunate around us. Please remember that food banks and soup kitchens need your help in the months following the holiday season more than at any other period of the year. Every little bit helps. In France they do it with style.

I honestly don’t know how I would ever do my job without Google. Here is an interesting take on Google’s recent attempt at building a super on-line library.

And speaking of archiving, had an interesting thread on photo archives that came to mind after reading the previous story. I still shoot film which makes archiving easy, but D20 looks really, really appealing.

[Old Blog] Entry 97

ACAP volunteers are clearing Tin Can Beach at the tip of the Central Peninsula – as far south as you can go in the South End. This annual beach cleanup has been a great success story. Not only because an amazing amount of garbage is removed from the city’s beaches, but because every year, as more and more people participate, there is less and less garbage around to begin with.

My posts here have been rather sporadic. This is really busy time at work and I have been trying to expand my freelancing outside of the local market. No word yet on any of those efforts. I’ll try to be stoic about it. As a character in José Saramago’s novel The Cave points out: “There are some things that will happen only the day after tomorrow.”

[Old Blog] Entry 95

Here is the first of my boat trip shots. It’s really an exaggeration to call it a trip. I started working on a photo essay on the ambivalent relationship between Saint Johners and the surrounding waters. One of the first things that people here will tell you is that they live “right on the water.” They are very proud of shipbuilding, fishing and port heritage and deservedly so. This is, however, a place where you can find some of the most polluted waters in Canada.

Saint John is an industrial city with an oil refinery, pulp mills, power generation plants, large port… you name it and it’s here.

However, the most pressing problem, as far as city’s waters go, are the Saint Johners themselves. More than half of city’s wastewater is poured into the harbour untreated. There are places where you can see toilet paper, condoms and various hygienic products floating in the brown mush in what amounts to open sewers. Just to illustrate my point: a sample of 100ml of water that contains 200 fecal bacteria is considered unsafe for human contact. This summer, 100 ml of Marsh Creek (right behind my office) contained 7.8 million fecal bacteria. So, yes, it’s bad and it’s going to get worse if something is not done.

Local environmental agencies such as Atlantic Coastal Action Plan and University of New Brunswick in Saint John are monitoring and researching waters from around the city to determine the best plan of action.

This is a photo of Dr. Methven from the UNBSJ who, with the help from local fishermen, is trying to find out what kind of fish species live in the harbour and their migratory patters.

[Old Blog] Entry 81

Saint John Free Public Library Annual Book Sale was a blast. The stuff you can find and pick up for $.50 is amazing. This is also a first posting in a photo essay on literacy I wanted to do for some time now. Of course, there are others exploring the same theme…

Asia Times, a very interesting and highly recommended read, posted a beautiful image on their web site.

Deutsche Welle, another interesting news site, has a story on computer games fair in Leipzig

Bob Bates, a game writer from the United States who attended the developer’s conference at the trade fair, said that German games are too complex. “You demand too much of the consumers. It takes too long until the player understands the game.” Bates said that U.S. game players give a new game a probation period of five minutes at the most. “If they haven’t understood the game by then and have not enjoyed themselves, then the game is not bought.”

Hmmmm… I always thought that figuring the games out was part of the fun.

NOTE: The photo was taken in May 2004. That tells you how much film I still have to develop.

[Old Blog] Entry 80

This is a cruise ship Voyager of the Seas docked at the Pugsly Terminal in Saint John Harbour. It’s huge. It’s the ultimate illusion of luxury. Just think about it: well over 3,000 passengers and over 1100 crew members crammed on a floating hotel…Brrrr… This is a view down the Duke Street.

This is terrible.

“The medical system collaborated with designing and implementing psychologically and physically coercive interrogations,” Miles writes in this week’s edition of The Lancet, regarded as a leading international journal on medical ethics.
“Army officials stated that a physician and a psychiatrist helped design, approve, and monitor interrogations at Abu Ghraib.”

The prisoner abuse by soldiers and guards is terrible, but you can look at it and be cynical and say what did you expect from people trained to kill and humiliate. When medical personnel does it, people who swore to protect human life at all cost…

[Old Blog] Entry 78

The little gardeners are helping Miville Couture in the South End Community Garden. Aside from getting a lesson in organic gardening, they are also helping the less fortunate in the community. The produce is divided between Romero HouseHestia House and the local Salvation Army.

The cat in the picture reminds me – we have a cat… Well it’s more that the cat has us, I think. One evening about a week and a half ago, around 9:30 p.m. two girls rang the bell holding this kitten in their arms (Mr. Soft Heart opened the door, needless to say). They came up with this story of a nasty mom’s boyfriend who is going to hurt the cat and since we are such nice people (I mean how can you resist that) would we please, please, please take the cat – it would cost us only 10 bucks. (At this point Mrs. Soft Heart and a little excitable girl who should be in her bed were at the door too.) Fully aware that most of that story is not true we decided to take the cat. She is quite a little rascal and given how she reacts to men, I would suspect that at least part of the story would check out.

And on the quirky side today…

Well, what can I say given how much time we are going to spend in one of these things, you may as well decide on something comfortable.

[Old Blog] Entry 77

South End is surrounded by water and the Port of Saint John. This is Barrack Point and Potash Terminal only about a block and a half from where I live.

[Old Blog] Entry 76

Blandists jamming on Pitt Street in Saint John’s South End.

Collection of today’s links:

For heaven’s sake. This is insane.

And this is disturbing.

Your tax dollars at work – again.

Now, I am not quite sure what I think about this, but some of the ideas do sound good. It’s the whole concept that somehow bothers me.

[Old blog] Entry 74

The guys who call themselves Blandist are jamming on Pitt Street in Saint John’s South End. The musical backgrounds of the Blandist members are quite diverse. They make energetic, rough music and they are starting to make a name for themselves. This is their vocal and guitar player.

The deal with the neighbours is that they play at reasonable hours and help out with shoveling on snow days.

[Old Blog] Entry 60

It was a dark and stormy night… Well, it was closer to noon on Broad Street in the South End and just before a torrential rain. Somebody actually lives in the little shack, although I never managed to meet the occupant.

He-he-he! You don’t say, Mr. Berlusconi. It would be easier to take him seriously if not for this and this and this and… You get the picture.

What is it with men and killing? And it’s not only backward Eastern Europeans that are doing it – thank you very much. Through my wife’s work, I have a fair idea about how prevalent domestic violence is in our society. If you could only hear some of the stories that women of all ages and from all socioeconomic backgrounds have (live) to tell. Here is a good start to do some research. It’s a .pdf file and it is big.

I’ll try to finish this posting with something rather interesting. The Walrus is a relatively new Canadian magazine that is raising the bar for magazine journalism in this country. Some of the stories are available on-line. This one is from the last issue and it is absolutely fascinating. It’s long. Get yourself a coffee, tea, cognac, scotch or whatever it is you like to drink when you read good stories and have fun.

[Old Blog] Entry 59

Yesterday was Bash the Trash day in the South End. Thank you all who came out to help clean our neighbourhood.

I have a few links I really want to share.

About this one I am going to say just one thing: Holly cow! Here in Canada, we are in the middle of a very important election, but come November our American friends will have an enormous responsibility on their shoulders.

This is also disturbing.

Is it possible to run things differently? You bet. Check this out.

This is a photo of Terry AlbrightNew Democratic Party candidate in Canadian federal elections for the riding of Saint John. So Saint Johners, and especially South Enders, go check it out. I am not going to tell you how to vote, but it is pretty hard not to vote for Terry when this and this are the other two options. There is a Green Party candidate, too. He is a nice guy, but as a party they have this kind of problems which kind of damages their credibility. Also notice the rating of other national parties. If you think environment doesn’t matter, go back and read this, please. Oh, and by the way also read this. Huh!

No more blatantly political postings for a while…

[Old Blog] Entry 58

I keep referring to the Zipper as my nemesis. It wasn’t really that bad, but I guess I am just not made of astronaut or paratrooper material :). Photographing fair was a blast though.

Well, I think we can crack open a small bottle of champagne because Croatia is on its way to Europe. There are many issues that remain to be resolved and the transition will be difficult in many ways. This is not the same European Union of the late 80s and early 90s. However, belonging to a family of nations build on respect for each other’s differences, human rights and environment will do us ton of good. Here is a story from a Croatian daily – if you can read Croatian, the comments on the bottom of the page are interesting because they show a wide range of opinions. Which is indeed very good. Here is a BBC coverage of it.

In Canada, the federal election campaign is entering its final week. We all knew that Conservatives are mean, but I think we all hoped they are not stupid. You can reason with mean, but it’s hard to deal with the stupid. Well, they just proved us oh, so wrong! They are in fact unscrupulous and stupid.

On a lighter note. We used to devise quite ingenious way of cheating on exams. New technology is wonderful.

[Old Blog] Entry 57

Yahooo! The annual Community Fair is on and Campbell Amusement is again in town. I love everything about fairs except going on the rides. I do LOVE bumper cars. If you want a real scoop on what these fairs are all about you should visit here. And if you don’t really care, you should still check it out because Susan has a phenomenal blog on carnies. (And a ton of links, too! that will open a whole new world you never knew existed out there.)

In order of appearance in this photo are a Ferris Wheel, Zipper (my personal nemesis) and Skymaster. You can also catch a glimpse of Starship and something that I don’t know what to call (Susan help???) but it looks like mini hang gliders. It actually looks like a lot of fun too.

In the world of sports, Croatia was so unlucky. But not all is lost – yet.

In the world of politics, this is what Paul Wells from Macleans magazine thought of the English leaders debate. I tend to agree.

This is just cute for some reason…

[Old Blog] Entry 54

Part of the reason why I’m working on my South End ‘project’ is that the neighbourhood is entering a period of great change (the other part of ‘why’ is here and here). This is old sugar refinery that does not exist anymore. It is being torn down and it yet remains to be seen what will replace it. This area has a potential to be the most picturesque part of the city, or they can go ahead and build a casino as some have been proposing. What is really amazing, is how little the area changed compared to over a hundred years ago. To see what the Central and South End Saint John used to look like (courtesy of, Saint John Waterfront Development Partnership) click here.

[Old Blog] Entry 53

My wife says she likes her husband better on sunny days. Well – it’s true. I am utterly miserable without sunshine and in fact suffer from what I suppose is a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Bottom line – I am not a very nice person to be around for most of the year :). We had an absolutely gorgeous weekend, though. I don’t remember weather like this in the last three years that I’ve lived in this city. I was wearing shorts, the sun was shining, it was warm and my daughter was flying a kite. I promised to myself when I started this blog that I will not post any family shots and that promise still stands – except today. I am a very lucky man indeed.

[Old Blog] Entry 52

This gorgeous lettuce that Miville is cutting will end up at the Romero House, a local homeless shelter and soup kitchen. Here is another photo of Miville in the South end Community Garden.

Here is an interesting news item that supports some of the things Jane Jacobs is talking about in her new book Dark Age Ahead.

In that light, it’s also interesting to follow the current federal election campaign. It’s absolutely amazing to see that all of the political parties can so conveniently separate municipal issues from health issues, from environmental agenda, from foreign policy… No problem! We can look and fix each one of these things in complete vacuum. As if improving urban space and ensuring clean air will not have impact on health of the population. It’s either that these guys don’t get it or they think we’re stupid and we would not understand if they tried to explain why it’s their set of policies that is going to work the best on the whole. It irritates me to no end. They are all guilty of it to some extend. I am also considering sending some books to at least two of the party leaders about environment and economy – things like Beyond Growth and Green Gold so that we can move on beyond we-are-all-going-to-loose-our-jobs-if-we-clean-the-air-we-breathe rhetoric and start doing something constructive. But don’t listen to me here is Jane:

Any institution, including a government agency, that is bent upon ecological destruction or an outrage on the built environment argues its case or bullies its opponents by righteously citing the jobs that supposedly will materialize or, even more effectively, the jobs that may be forfeited or jeopardized if the ugly deed is not done. To this day, no alternative disaster, including possible global warming, is deemed as dire a threat as job loss.

[Old Blog] Entry 51

This is Saint John Community Food Basket food bank that serves the people in the South end. It’s one of the more fortunate food banks because, although it relies heavily on donations, it also receives some money that allows them to actually purchase better quality foods. The non-profit I work for is currently involved in a pilot project aimed at helping people use available food in a more nutritious way.

This brings me to the excellent book on communities, urban development and North American society that I am currently reading. Dark Age Ahead, despite its ominous title, is full of wisdom. The author is Jane Jacobs (88), the wise woman of urban studies, and we all better sit up and listen to what she has to say. And this is what she says about today’s North American neighbourhoods:

One can drive today for miles through American suburbs and never glimpse a human being on foot in a public space, a human being outside a car or truck… This is a visible sign that much of North America has become bereft of communities. For communities to exist, people must encounter one another in person. These encounters must include more than best friends or colleagues at work. They must include diverse people who share the neighbourhood, and often enough share its needs.

She also has some important thinks to say about the distinction between family as a biological unit and a household as an economic unit. She is really concerned that our society does not make a distinction between the two:

Two parents, to say nothing of one, cannot possibly satisfy all the needs of a family-household. A community is needed as well, for raising children, and also to keep adults reasonably sane and cheerful. A community is a complex organism with complicated resources that grow gradually and organically.

The stress put on today’s families is enormous financially, mentally and emotionally and it is anybody’s guess where it is going to go. Here is the truly scary part:

If the predicaments of North American families continue mounting and climb further up the income ladder, I have no idea what kinds of households will emerge to deal with needs that families are at a loss to fill. My intuition tells me they will probably be coercive. This is already true of the most swiftly multiplying and rapidly expanding type of American households at the turn of the millennium – prisons.

[Old Blog] Entry 47

This is the old sugar refinery currently under the wrecking ball. My good friends who just recently bought a house now have a million dollar view of Partridge Island and Atlantic Ocean.

Here is also a letter to the editor that appeared in the Telegraph-Journal in October last year. I don’t know what is this guy smoking, but he is certainly NOT describing the neighbourhood I live in. Here it goes in all its vitriolic ugliness:

Public safety ‘is’ the real issue

Relating to the recent attention paid to the policing woes in Saint John, it is indicative of the ignorance of city council that they still believe uptown development will somehow turn our fortunes around. Any luxury dwellings in the south end would need the fortifications of an armed camp if you have any realistic expectations of security.

Break and enters, car thefts and assaults are the norm uptown – just ask any police officer – not to mention the squealing tires, unmuffled motorcycles and aggressive or unstable panhandlers.

The rampant vandalism of Harbour Passage is a prime example of why uptown development is doomed. The lower elements have virtual control of this city and our beleaguered police can barely keep a lid on it.

TO think upwardly mobile individuals would want to live in certain areas or raise a family surrounded by such filth and ignorance is idiotic. If you want people to stay here or consider moving back to town, you have to keep them and their belongings safe. Otherwise, you are only providing more victims to the ample criminal element in the city.

Ron Boyce
Saint John

Ahhh…Nothing like a helpful and concerned citizen…

[Old Blog] Entry 46

Back to blogging… The server problems at the provided a fine excuse for falling behind on scanning and shooting – not to mention the darkroom work.

This is another image from the gay pride parade in Saint John that was held last year.

Since my last post, I managed to finish reading Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler which I warmly recommend despite the initial misgivings. I also finished Frank Herbert’s Dune and found it quite interesting second time around. I read it when I was about 17 or 18 and a lot of the book was lost on me at the time :).

Because of a persistent friend, I also read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. The writing is sloppy, the writer has no guts to take the story anywhere serious, and as far as thrillers and mystery novels go, this one is not worth your time. Now, having said that, I did found the premise of the sacred feminine and the idea of a prominent role of women in Christianity intriguing. Brown provides an easy read, so if you are looking for something you can read on the beach or at your cottage – go ahead, pick it up and have fun with it. Just don’t take it too seriously – there are far better books dealing with similar concepts.

[Old Blog] Entry 43

Here is a link to the work of one of my favourite photographers. Enjoy.

It’s foggy today as it was last July when I took this picture of Miville Couture working in the community garden that he helped start together with a couple of other people. He is also a transcendental meditation teacher and firmly believes in organic agriculture. Talking to Miville is like plunging into a pool of knowledge and wisdom.

[Old Blog] Entry 40

The first ever gay pride parade in Saint John (July 2003). Most of the celebrations took place at Queen Square in South End. Gay parades are these days more of a celebration then a political rally, but not so in Saint John. When your Member of Parliament says this, then it’s political. Anyways, it was a fun thing to attend and make photos of.

If you are interested to read what I think of The Fall of Berlin 1945, click on more.

I am finishing the The Fall of Berlin 1945. The narrative is compelling and the mass of facts and historic tidbits is truly impressive. Quotes from letters of ordinary Russians and Germans to their family and friends offer a personal view of the war that makes it all the more real:

“A fragment of a platoon from the Grossdeutschland, which has escaped amid nightmare scenes from the final evacuation of Memel…found a doctor delivering a baby by the light of a couple of lanterns. ‘If the birth of a child is usually a joyful event,” wrote one of the soldiers, ‘this particular birth only seemed to add to the general tragedy. The mother’s screams no longer had any meaning in a world made of screams, and the wailing child seemed to regret the beginning of its life.’ The soldiers hoped for the child’s sake, as they made their way down to the port, that it would die.”

Diary entries, letters and notes of the German and Russian top military and political leadership reveal unimaginable lunacy, paranoia and greed. The book also has a detailed military action plan and, if you are into that kind of thing, I am pretty sure you could use the book to replay a fairly accurate battle on you tabletop. I have to admit that after 300+ pages I simply skip over the unit numbers and descriptions of various weapons at their disposal.

The savagery on all sides is truly astounding:
“..a sixteen-year old Berliner called Dieter Borkovsky described what he witnessed in a crowded S-Bhan train from the Anhalter Banhof. ‘There was terror in the faces of people. they were full of anger and despair… Suddenly someone shouted above the noise ‘Silence!’ We saw a small dirty soldier with two Iron Crosses and the German Cross in Gold. On his sleeve he had a badge with four metal tanks, which meant that he destroyed four tanks at close quarters. ‘I’ve got something to tell you,’ he shouted, and the carriage fell silent. ‘Even if you don’t want to listen to me, stop whining. We have to win this war. We must not lose our courage. If others win this war, and if they do to us only a fraction of what we have done in the occupied territories, there won’t be a single German left in a few weeks.’ It became so quite in that carriage that one could have heard a pin drop.’”

Mass rapes, looting and destruction were the norm. Propaganda machinery on both sides did an excellent job at dehumanizing the enemy.

The disturbing part are Beevor’s occasional attempts to somehow justify the rapes and crimes committed by the Russians as an understandable part of a war in which Russians suffered so much at the hands of the Germans. He is trying to understand and explain why these things happened, but I don’t think that is quite possible.

As one of my colleagues once said referring to a mass grave in eastern Croatia with remains of Croatian civilians killed by Serb paramilitary forces: “Don’t try to understand. You can’t. It’s a sign of being normal. Once you start understanding, it is time to seek help.” Respecting a human life is a big part of being civilized. I think that is worth remembering – especially these days with recent images of torture streaming from Iraq into our living rooms.