THE LAKESHORE WAS ONCE MOTEL & DINER CENTRAL – NOW CONDOMINIUMS HAVE TAKEN OVER

‘LAKESHORE’ by CHRIS RIDDELL

Along this strip
you could once find
vintage Thunderbirds
pulling into burger joints
before the movies,
and afterward they’d go
ripping up and down
the pavement,
surfing on the lake breeze.

That was when
the edge of town boomed
and everyone went to Lakeshore
to eat in diners
caressed by the cool wind,
and spend nights by the water
in small motels
on the beaches of Lake Ontario

Now their bodies crumble
as an excavator eats them
like crackers
and it’s stunning how easily
something comes to ruin,
how swift
the passage of time.

CHRIS RIDDELL is a writer and musician based in TORONTO. He’s written for Maisonneuve & The Globe and Mail, and his poetry has appeared in Vallum, Sulphur, and amomancies.  He endeavors to capture the beauty of the world, and universal truths about life on Earth.
You can reach Chris on Twitter (@itschrisriddell) and on Instagram (@modernquixote).  VALLUM, specializes in contemporary poetry, interviews and essays. It’s available, both in print and on the web at http://www.vallummag.com/archives_14_1.html

ONE OF CANADA’S OLDEST CINEMAS, DATING BACK TO 1911, HAS RE-OPENED AT 1035 GERRARD ST. E.

I’ve always believed that the best neighbourhoods have movie theatres in them. This one, in TORONTO’s East End, was brought back to life this year, and renamed The Grand Gerrard Theatre – the latest in a series of names, including the Bonita, the Athenium, the Sri Lakshmi, the Gerrard, the Wellington, and the Projection Booth.<The theatre was once used as a New & Used Auto Parts storage facility>

<The Athenium screened Greek movies><The Gerrard – equipped for Dolby Digital><Lining up for The Projection Booth><Re-opening as the Grand Gerrard Theatre in March/2019>  During its long career, the 520-seater was opened, closed and renovated several times. After recently lying dormant for three years, it’s come back yet again. The staff is currently booking special events, film screenings, live music, comedy, performance art, film/photo shoots, podcasts and more.To find out what’s happening at the Grand Gerrard Theatre go to https://www.cinemaclock.com/theatres/grand-gerrard-theatre

TORONTO’S EX-TRANSIT CEO, ANDY BYFORD, IS HAVING ‘A SET-TO’ WITH NEW YORK STATE’S GOVERNOR

<PHOTO – ANDY BYFORD strap-hanging, by JEFFERSON SIEGEL, NY Daily News>

<PHOTO – New York State governor, ANDREW CUOMO>

ANDY BYFORD and New York State governor ANDREW CUOMO haven’t spoken to each other for the last four months. And Cuomo believes the governor’s role, as an elected official and micromanager, is to be responsible for New York City’s vast and mal-functioning subway system. According to the New York Times & The Post, Byford is on the verge of quitting.

NYC Council Speaker, COREY JOHNSON is calling for city control of the subways. He says “losing Andy would be a tremendous loss . . . In Andy We Trust.”

“The governor can’t stand a competitor for praise,” an MTA insider added. “It’s really a very bad situation, but Andy takes it well.”

VERONICA VANTERPOOL, an MTA board member said she was worried about losing Andy Byford – “I’m fearful that now we have someone who has worked so tirelessly to restore public confidence. If he leaves, it would be a significant setback for the agency.”

<PHOTO – New York Times Magazine>

<The MTA is responsible for much more than subways, and ANDY BYFORD is its CEO>

As for ANDY himself, whose fans are legion within the MTA – “I love New York, I love this job, I believe in this system, I believe in this agency, and I’m here for the very long haul.”

DON’T EVER LET POLITICIANS PLAY TRAINS WITH YOUR TRANSIT SYSTEM.

BOARDED UP FOR OVER 100 YRS., MASSEY HALL’S STAINED GLASS WINDOWS WILL SOON FACE THE SUN

There are 93 of them altogether. They were so dirty and encrusted in grime, that no one even knew they existed. But now, thanks to a team of five glaziers from TORONTO’s EGD Glass and Vitreous Glass, this vast array of stained glass is getting a second chance.  <PHOTO ABOVE – boarded up Massey Hall windows before renovations began>

Restoration expert EVE GUINAN, in an interview with David Friend of The Canadian Press, said “pigeons had gotten between the glass and the plywood, and it was full of straw and all sorts of material for nesting. There were bird skeletons, old beer bottles. It was quite a treasure trove.”<PHOTO – Chris Young, The Canadian Press>  Subject matter – portraits of legendary composers & musicians decades ago.

<PHOTO – Chris Young, The Canadian Press; holding Johann Sebastian Bach’s headMs. Guinan’s team dismantles each window, washes them and reassembles them. The painting cannot be modified. Touch-ups are made on another layer of glass on top of the original. For protection against the elements all of them will be placed behind a layer of clear glass.

<PHOTO – Chris Young – the original stained glass portraits of Franz Shubert and Charles Gounod on a light table.>

Another layer of soundproof glass will keep out street noises. On top of all that, blackout blinds will close off the windows during concerts.  The revitalization project of MASSEY HALL will be finished in 2020. The budget – $139-million, contributed by the federal and provincial governments, the city, developers and private donors.  “We don’t have to knock it down and build something new,” says Eve Guinan, with relief.

<Interior of MASSEY HALL, the “Old Lady of Shuter Street”, before renovations began>

NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE, AND WE THOUGHT IT ALWAYS WOULD BE

The medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité was built between 1160 and 1260, making it one of the world’s oldest and finest examples of French Gothic architecture. <PHOTO – Eduard Baldus, 1860’s>

It’s so much a part of France that embedded in the square outside is Paris Point Zero, marking the centre of the city and the country itself.  Now that the roof and other parts have been destroyed by fire, the world is mourning the loss of the treasures sheltered there – the enormous stained glass windows, sculptural decorations, the organ and altar (saved), the roof, the spire (destroyed), the paintings and religious collections.<Front page ’24 Minutes’, PARIS, April 16/2019>  The destruction of Our Lady of Paris comes at a time when the city itself has seen some of the world’s most vicious acts of terrorist violence. France is badly divided in 2019, but in the face of all this, PARIS will survive – as it has through the French Revolution and two world wars.<Front page, Le Journal de Montréal, Quebec, April 16/2019>  President Emmanuel Macron has announced that Notre-Dame will be rebuilt, stating “it’s part of the fate, the destiny of FRANCE, and our common project over the coming years. I am committed to it.”<Front page, Toronto Star, April 16/2019>

<Editorial cartoon by GRAEME MACKAY, Hamilton Spectator, April 16/2019>