Comment 41622

By moylek (registered) - website | Posted June 07, 2010 at 08:04:19

I approached the event with hope but not optimism: 1) this is Hamilton, 2) cars are a normal part of life in a downtown, and 3) it's not like you can't walk around James North as it is (look at the Art Crawl). So I spent an hour or two on James North yesterday: wandering, shopping, lunch on a patio. It was wonderful and I want to do it again (though without spending so much money).

I thought I sort of knew the street, from walking and cycling it dozens and dozens of times, but I saw many things for the first time - buildings, bars, shops, architectural details. And people.

I walked more slowly and more quickly; I crossed back and forth repeatedly. I spoke to people: friends, neighbours, merchants with booths, the blind guy with the squirrel.

I was surprised to find that James North without traffic was not simply James North minus traffic. It was something more and better than its normal self. It was a destination and a place to be; it was was soothingly free of mechanized noise and bubbling with human sounds. I felt something of some other cities which have pedestrian districts, something that I thought was only for nicer towns. And I was relieved to feel that it was still very much Hamilton, not the watered-down-somewhere-better that I feared it might be.

I don't know what a monthly open James North might evolve into or feel like, but by gosh and golly I'd love to find out.

Comment edited by moylek on 2010-06-07 07:24:58

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