It would seem that every city, or town, has it’s very own unique set of quasi-celebrities. These people are not traditionally famous and are likely not rich, but everyone seems to know who they are. They may have a certain style of dress that sets them apart from others or they may have a physical characteristic that makes them unique, but they are everywhere!
Winnipeg has many characters! One that stands out is the ever famous guy who walks through his every-day life wearing lots of hats…layered on top of one another! Another man that I recall seeing more than a few times wandering around the city was never without his fanny pack AND his backpack. Dude is like a snail, he’s got his whole life wandering around with him on his back…and his fanny? He stands out because I caught glimpses of him more than once with his socks taped to his legs or washing his hair in a Tim Hortons men’s room. I’m convinced that he’s not homeless because of some of the clothes and outerwear that I’ve seen him sporting…I’ve never seen a homeless person wearing a sparkly clean Team Canada jersey, have you?!
When I moved to Vancouver I was sure that there were any number of similar interesting folk that I might stumble upon. Well, I’ve only been here a short time and I’ve repeatedly stumbled across two such colorful characters in the same small area!
Occasionally when I’m on my way to work in the morning I’m quite sleepy and tend to make sure to take a second look at things that look strange to assure myself that my eyes aren’t playing tricks on me. One such morning I was people watching while waiting for my morning bus and I spied a man shuffling along the sidewalk at a snail’s pace. I had plenty of time to blink my eyes and assure myself that what I was seeing was exactly what everyone around me was seeing. This little man shuffling along the sidewalk with a pyramidal mustache was wearing a red silk woman’s blouse and carrying a patent leather woman’s handbag. WTF!!! I’ve seen him several times since and he seems to have a lovely array of blouses and even some ladies’ shoes that he likes to wear on occasion.
My favorite neighbourhood personality would have to be the singing man who walks along South Granville every day. He’s an average older chap, fairly unassuming. He wears the same, or similar, clothes with the same blue jean jacket every time that I’ve seen him and he, seemingly, spends his days walking up and down the street singing the most beautiful operatic arias. The man has an amazing voice and a genuine smile that brightens my day whenever he crosses my path. Many people tend to be “weirded out” by this strange man singing at the top of his lungs while he walks around, but he’s widely accepted by the neighbourhood.