A Day Full of Politics

I've been keeping one eye on Toronto City Council because they're voting on the postering by-law. Unfortunately this meant that I missed the breaking news that Belinda Stronach jumped off the S.S. Harper and joined up with Team Martin.

Also, I'm sad that I won't be able to help take down the Liberals in the BC election. Gordon Campbell has hacked social services in that province, the NDP didn't do a great job running the province considering how long they were in power but giving the Liberals free rein of the province wasn't that much fun either. I'm actually more interested in seeing how BC will vote on all the interesting voting reform initiatives.

Toronto the Good

When I first found out about Spacing Magazine I fell in love with the idea of a magazine dedicated to Toronto's public space. I've written one piece to the mag which is now online and will have pieces in the next issue.

Spacing is also having a fundraiser at the Steamwhistle Brewery Distillery District next week. It's only 10 bucks (20 if you can afford it!). I'd love to see you there.

MediaScout

If you haven't already subscribed to Maisonneuve's MediaScout, what are you waiting for? MediaScout is Maisonneuve's daily analysis of what the Big 6 media outlets are covering (Four papers and two TV news programs). The sages at MS break down the papers and show you what they're leading with, how the newsrooms are spinning the stories and any missteps in coverage.

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Go, now!

Now That's Good Eatin'

One of things I did when I was in NYC was visit the Museum of the Chinese in the Americas, a little museum tucked right in the middle of Chinatown. The museum was showing an exhibit on Chinese restaurants in the US, which is also lovingly reviewed here by Gish Jen.

Chinese restaurants have been on my mind a lot lately because of Cheuk Kwan's great 13-part documentary series which is screening around Canada because of Asian Heritage Month.

If there's a single type of business that speaks of the immigrant experience in Toronto, restaurants would have to be it. Once any nationality or ethnic group reaches a certain size it seems that invariably a restaurant pops up in Toronto. Interestingly, I still can't find a decent South East Asian place in Toronto (one that serves decent Singaporean, Malay, Indonesian)....

I love my neighbourhood

Sooner or later something really bad is going to happen in my neighbourhood. But for now I just have to contend with the silliness of urban life.

Reflecting on 9-11

Reflecting on 9-11
I finally got around to reading William Langewiesche's American Ground, his long feature turned into book on the 9-11 recovery efforts. Langewiesche, who writes for the Atlantic, managed to get access to the site less than a week after 9-11 and was there for months afterwards. It's probably one of the best pieces of long-form journalism in the last couple of years and well worth getting (it's already hit the syllabus at Ryerson).

Reading Langewiesche also prepped me for Joel Meyerowitz's 9-11 exhibit (http://www.911exhibit.state.gov/) which is currently showing at Contact. Meyerowitz' a NYC street photographer is showing some large format photographs of the site at an old empty building turned into a gallery on King St. W. They're a perfect compendium to Langewiesche's wonderfully reported book.

Sweet Sweet Vindication!

It's in a study it's gotta be true!

I'm Putting This Up In As Many Places As I Can

I'm using the power of the blogosphere to get the word out. The posters are available from the Toronto Public Space Committee to download or you can buy a package of 50 and start your very own anti-Nike campaign. I also post about it on Torontoist.

Those Randy Classical Music Fans

One of the things that has always pissed me off about the contemporary marketing of classical music are the really really lame attempts at sexing up classical music. Bond, Vanessa Mae, that annoying new tenor quartet. They're sooo mainstream and heavy handed....

Let's put this hot, young soprano in a short skirt and this hot young tenor in a leather jacket and tight pants and those classical music buyers will just swoon! WRONG! I'm not sure how to make classical music "sexy" again, or whether that's even really worth it. Much of the music can be challenging and simply doesn't fit in the 5 minute snippets, mp3 driven culture of music today. British classical music writer Ivan Hewett argues that the sexiness of the music is just below the surface. With most opera it's not below the surface it's right there (Rigoletto is about a duke who sleeps around and how one jilted dad seeks revenge, Don Giovanni = Don Juan, etc.)

PBS: Yet Another Arm of the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

A story in the NYT reports that the Republican chairperson of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting thinks that PBS should change its liberal bias. Uh, isn't denying PBS funding to do its job enough damage guys?

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