Ben Bull crawls through the filth and emerges with a fistfull of gems.
By Ben Bull
Published May 31, 2005
Okay, so RTH is going bi-weekly. Great! That means we now have to do a Word on The Street every two weeks! That's fantastic! Thanks, Ryan! As you know, I have absolutely nothing better to do than summarize all of Jason's stream of consciousness "email updates," Trevor's cryptic commentaries and your "deep" musings on the changing course of our urban decline...
I don't know what the hell you're all talking about half the time, so I might as well just make this stuff up. Now there's an idea...How about we play a little 'Fact or Fiction'? Try and spot the deliberate mistake in this issues entry of WOTS!
Please send all responses to Ryan McGreal and mark your envelopes "Ryan, please leave Ben alone (or pay him some money soon)." On second thought, I'll settle for not being stuck with the bill next time we hook up for coffee, but that's another story... [Sorry, Ben, but the statute of limitations on references to my lamentable "dine and dash" has officially run out - Ed.]
Welcome to WOTS for this, our first ever bi-weekly edition for June, 2005. Here's what's (mostly) NOT been making the news in the past fortnight:
Strange sightings. Several readers have contacted us to tell us of a strange partially bearded man strolling around the downtown annoying the local business owners. On an entirely unrelated note, here's what RTHs Jason Leach found out for us recently:
There's a cool new hangout at the old Mermaid Lounge spot on Hess. The pizzeria our front makes it feel very European. Check out http://www.diavolo.ca for more info.
The Children's Aid Society has built a new halfway house facility on 143 Wentworth South. Twenty new dwelling units have been created. Now before anyone gets all high horsish about this RTH would like to make clear that we are firm supporters of providing top notch social service facilities for Hamilton's struggling citizenry. But, what we do not support is a dense concentration of these facilities in one single location. Our downtown has way too many social service centers in one small space and this has to stop! Clearly that isn't happening any time soon.
Other goings on around town:
Is the CBC coming (back) to Hamilton? Councilor Brian McHattie this week put forth a motion to approach the CBC and lobby them for increased coverage of Hamilton issues. This issue - first raised in an RTH article by Sonja McDonald - is all about improving our access to decent local news coverage and getting some different perspectives on our all too often one-sided issues. Here's hoping this motion goes somewhere - we'll keep you posted.
We are not alone. While Hamiltonians of all walks of life bemoan the loss of majestic buildings that once graced our core, spare a thought for Minnesota! Yes, flipping through the recesses of the Internet recently, RTH's Ryan McGreal came across this little lament for a demolished city. Check out the changing skyline and consider yourself grateful for what we still have left.
Hamilton's new glossy urban issues mag Urbanicity is scheduled for liftoff June 10. The fundraiser last week was, apparently, a huge success. Look out for the first edition of the slick magazine or contact the editor Reg Beaudry for more info.
The opening of the Kensington Gallery went well, according to owner Shara Ross. Another event is opening on July 8, and RTH will have a review in an upcoming issue about this fantastic new art venue in Hamilton. Visit http://www.kensingtongallery.com for more info.
Randy Hryhorczuk's work will be displayed in Kensington Gallery from July 8 to August 8, 2005
Transit Gallery is exhibiting "Living Arrangements" by Ian McLean and "Writers: New Paintings on Paper" by Gary Michael Dault. Join the opening on Friday, June 3 at 7:00 PM. Transit Gallery is at 230 Locke Street South. Call them at (905) 522-1299 or visit their website at http://www.transitgallery.ca/.
Hammer Town - Boom Town? The National and Toronto media was all abuzz about Hamilton these past 2 weeks. The Globe and Mail talked about the 'Beyond Bargain properties' for sale in town with writer Martin Knelman referring to Hamilton as, "The Big Steal" (pretty clever, eh?). He ended his piece with this sound advice, "Ontario has a new cultural hot spot. It's time for Toronto to stop sneering." Well said, Martin.
Also in the news, the Toronto Star featured one of many articles about the AGHs grand opening last week. Check out what they all had to say:
Finally, we could not end this edition of WOTS without a shout-out to all the fine folks at the AGH for a hugely successful re-opening. RTH's downtown chief has already toured the place and declared it "simply brilliant".
Downtown revitalization is as much about talking the talk as it is walking the walk. The buzz created by this wonderful facility is worth its weight in gold for what it can do for our embattled egos and still smarting downtown.
RTH - on behalf of all Hamiltonians - would like to say a big "Thank you" to AGH President Louise Dompeirre and all her staff, for a job well done. Be sure to check out the gallery today and make yourself utterly and unashamedly proud to be a part of this wonderful city.
P.S. In case you had to pinch yourself while reading this, and wonder if you really are still in Hamilton, let me assure you that all these updates are all TRUE! Hamilton really is buzzing these days. Here's hoping the good news just keeps on rolling on...
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