I visited my mom over the weekend in Welland, my hometown. It's funny how desperate I was to get out of there 6 years ago, and how when I return I have mixed feelings. I definitely feel sentimental for certain things, sometimes for how slow and quiet it is. My favourite part of the city is the main street area, which used to be the downtown. The real downtown has since moved over to where a giant Wal-Mart was built.
But I still love the half-abandoned, struggling and sad little main street strip and surrounding neighbourhood--and I try to imagine what it was like as the hot spot it once was.
Now it's quiet and a little lonely. But I grew up here, and my favourite buildings are mostly still standing. Since I've been gone I've said goodbye to two buildings to fires: the Welland Club, the old mansion where I held my first art show; and Welland High, a school that went empty for decades after my mom attended, and where I later went to preschool.
Some of my favourite buildings are still around, like this one which used to hold the Welland Post Office. It's boarded up because it was unsafe for some reason.
And Welland of course is famous for the canal, it is definitely central to the city, and in my memories it takes centre stage. Walks along it, swimming in it, etc. etc. We've always lived near the water.
A lot of shops look like they've been closed for years, but are actually secretly thriving.
Poor little guy! There is quite a French population in Welland, and Jory went to a French school (even though no one in his family is French. Don't ask him to speak for you though!)
A new friend.
I'm still here all the time, it's where most of my family lives. I've always wondered what it would have been like to be raised in a big city, or on a farm, but I'm pretty happy with how things turned out anyway.