Collette asks, how do you feel about Prince Albert? are you satisfied with the city itself? what would you change if you could?
My personality plays a role in the answer to this question. I’m a laid back and content person and generally happy wherever I am. I’m not a socialite, a partier or what have you, so I don’t need to live in a city with lots “to do”. I generally prefer to stay home or possibly visit people in their homes. So in this sense, I don’t require much from a city other than some good people.
With that in mind, I’m quite happy with Prince Albert, but I would be probably feel the same in any city I lived in—I was also quite happy, for instance, with Regina. It’s easy to get around and when it comes to essentials (such as groceries) has a number of stores to choose from. We’re getting more of the Big Box Stores, such as Future Shop, which is exciting in a way, but in the age of internet shopping (thank goodness for Amazon!) it really doesn’t make that much difference.
Prince Albert is also ideally located in terms of summer activities. We have a number of lakes within an hour’s drive (or less); countless lakes for fishing; lots of hiking/biking/hunting options. A three minute drive and we’re out in the country.
In this sense I am satisfied with the city itself, but what would I change if I could?
If I had magical city-changing powers, I would clean the city up. It’s always muddy or sandy or dusty and full of litter. It simply doesn’t look nice. I would also revitalize the downtown, which is in desperate need. The downtown should be hopping with shoppers and artists and walkers and coffee-drinkers. To do this I would possibly use my powers to close the Big Box Shopping Center in town, which isn’t helping any locally-owned business that I’m aware of; I would do something (positive) about the homeless/wanderers/addicts downtown. I would simply eradicate drugs, prostitution and crime (remember: I have magical powers).
I would improve the transit system, including making bicycle friendly (the city needs bike stands and paths). I would try and improve the older areas of town, which are filled with beautiful character homes but tend to be run down and sometimes unsafe. In a related move, I would ban cookie-cutter developments in the new subdivisions in town. I like a clean city, but the new areas look uptight, pretentious and squeaky-clean and lack character, which I don’t like. I would also magically create neighbourhood coffee shops and other community-oriented enterprises.
And while I’m at it, I’d get a good independent bookstore (in full cooperation with the humble local independent Christian bookstore, of course) into the city. Something like Regina’s Book & Brier Patch or Books & Company in Prince George, BC.
Now, if I was independently wealthy, or earned my living out of my home, such as through freelance writing or boxing items or some telephone-related services, I would move out of the city altogether. I would do that no matter what city I lived in, unless I owned a cozy character home of some kind. I’d prefer to live in a small town or an acreage out on the prairie or near the South Saskatchewan River south of Prince Albert somewhere.