2268364162 Waves Of Change 2009: Water Kisses

2268364162 Waves of change

Water kisses the pier, a nautical scent in the air, sun glowing brilliantly in a pale blue sky.
Just outside Williams Coffee Pub at Pier 8 on the west harbour, tourists pose for photos by a soaring steel sculpture, while at a table a young woman named Faye reads her Bible. She lives near Gage Park. “I like the open space, being close to the water, feeling the breeze,” Faye says. Wind ripples the book’s thin pages she’s reading from Genesis. In the beginning, or at least in the 1980s, you couldn’t be down here on the water at the harbour at all. These bad old days of the west harbour are fresh in the minds of those with longer memories, but for most that history is fading fast. Questions loom over where it all goes from here, but the city’s waterfront parks have become hot spots where each year one million people — that’s million — buy mochaccinos and ice cream and tickets for boat rides and trolleys, and honey garlic at Wingfest. That’s just the annual tally from “points of sale,” not counting those who flock to the harbour and don’t crack their wallets. Look at the kids playing in Pier 4 Park atop a grounded tugboat, called the Bayport, that in its youth in the 1940s towed warships around Halifax Harbour.
Hear laughter as they dance in the water of the splash pad beside it. Those kids were not present at the creation, not yet born, when it all turned around, 16 years ago.

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