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The process of resettling in a different neighbourhood is most likely confusing for humans as it is for robins. I'm happy to note that the last two years have been a far cry better than my first attempt to live in St. Catharines in the early nineties. Frequently, I reminisce on that Maple Street apartment with its upstairs school teacher taking issue with my art works lodged under her sensitive nose and ears. It had to be followed up by a letter from the city prohibiting my business in an area zoned residential. I made my exit as cooperative and anonymous as possible forging onward with my humble beginnings.

Getting settled might depend on one's situation or some fortunate circumstances such as my opportunity to live next door to the Fairview. As in my case if you are not born here it might be news to you that the Fairview is one of the first covered malls built in Canada. Presently I'm enjoying another era as I look across the yard over the fence to the busy mall that once drew hoards of onlookers to Fabian's one and only appearance in the early sixties.

Getting settled might depend on one's situation or some fortunate circumstances …

James Kershaw's move to the Fairview

The Fairview community includes many senior acquaintances and familiar faces who visit the mall daily not only enjoying potential business opportunities, a second home, a recreation, and relaxation venue but to nurture its very existence by shopping. But mall walkers are also shoppers and even though you might not see them carrying bulging plastic bags, they are keen at spotting what's new, or what's good to buy. There's a group of us, maybe twenty or so regulars who travel on the smooth light gray ceramic tile. We are considerate of others and gladly divert our paths away from oncoming shoppers.

Normally I can do about eight laps up and down the corridors in thirty minutes. Mind you, I'm not an exercise freak. If I was, I might seriously consider an account with the next door YMCA. But it's only necessary to get my ticker going a little faster for a spell and for the most part with my mouth closed. Any good car needs maintenance, and since I don't drive by choice, figuratively I am my car.

Perhaps my walking in the mall is another way I reach out and get comfortable with my environment in a safe, supervised area. By sitting on sofas located in two principal areas I can subject myself to many stimulating shapes, colours, sounds and smells while the effect seems so much more relaxing than a bench outside somewhere. As a walker in the mall, I can make use of the space for exercise to feel good and improve health and body awareness. The presence of others with so many differences points to limitless possibilities and challenges in the use of public spaces. After all, the bottom line which is of interest to mall owners is whether the potential for an increase in patronage, quality of life and monetary exchange exists. Lately I found my thinking a lot clearer when I'm walking. And in these times who doesn't need to get out of the confusion and into more clarity?

A New Neighbourhood

Date

May 14, 2016

Author

James Kershaw

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Jim Kershaw says

August 20, 2016,

I increased the walk to 60 minutes daily (or most days).

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