<Some of my favourite pictures seem to have rain involved.>
You’d never recognize the place today. New York City’s Movieland, 42nd Street, has been cleansed – Disneyfied, gentrified, purified, glamourized, call it what you will. The seediness is all gone.Chicago artist, MITCH O’CONNELL at – http://www.mitchoconnell.blogspot.ca – “Way back in the late 80s, right before 42nd Street was swept clean and purified by Disney goodness, you could still enjoy New York in all its noisy, colourful, rude and vivid glory.”“I wish I had taken 1000 more photos (and gone back at night) of the amazing buildings and people that could only be found there, but at least I got a handful of snapshots of the long gone cool decaying seediness of that bustling stretch of real estate.”
BUFFALO, New York State’s second largest city after NYC, has always attracted Canadians for – among other things – football, hockey, architecture, chicken wings, the Albright-Knox contemporary art museum, excellent restaurants, the airport, theatres, PBS, and friendly inhabitants. No doubt once this crisis is over we’ll be back crossing the bridges again. We’re all in this together.From our friends in BUFFALO . . . Dear Canadians – Our countries have closed our borders to non-essential travel. It’s moments like these that remind us how fortunate we are to be neighbors — a friendship that has stood the test of time and underscored our shared interests and values. We cannot wait for the day when life returns to normal, and we can welcome you back here with open arms. Take care, and be well!
Your friends in Buffalo.
Ms. Hidalgo has made a lot of enemies, but a great number of Parisians support her attempt to bring nature back into the City of Light. She learned a lesson from 2019’s deadly summer heat – 42 Celsius . . . 107.6 Fahrenheit with citizens bathing in public fountains and doing their best to keep cool. <PHOTO – AccuWeather> The Spanish-born Mayor has launched 8,000 construction projects, approved by city council (including a vast network of bicycle lanes) across the city. “There’s been a very violent reaction at times,” she told Adam Nossiter of The New York Times. “Part of it has to do with being a woman. And being a woman that wants to reduce the number of cars meant that I upset lots of men. Two-thirds of public transport users are women.” <Two-way cycle track, photo – Raise The Hammer>TORONTO could learn something about dealing with climate change from PARIS. Its government is “putting nature back in the city,” says Mayor Hidalgo – “We’ve got a proactive policy, compared to other cities in the world.” Paris has risen in the list of bike-friendly cities to 8th place from 17th since 2015. ‘The War on Cars in Paris” is a good read. It’s at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/05/world/europe/paris-anne-hildago-green-city-climate-change.html
<PHOTO by Terry King, who’s in the picture, and is now enjoying Southern California>
When Wilson and Lee first opened for business in OSHAWA, radio was barely a thing. The most popular car in the world was Ford’s Model T. And you needed a wind-up Victrolia to play fragile 78 RPM records. If in 1922 you wanted to buy one of those records, you could go to Wilson and Lee’s record store to find them among the musical instruments.Over the decades the firm survived depression, recessions, wars, technological changes (78s, LPs, 45s, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs), and these days back to vinyl. It was an excellent run.After 97 years in business, Wilson and Lee is about to close. The property at 87 Simcoe Street North has been sold to the Holiday Inn and brothers Bill (who worked at the store for 67 years) & Dave (52 years) have decided to close up shop. It’s the end of an era.<PHOTO – Bill on the left; Dave on the right – by Durham Region News>
CBC television reported this week that JAKARTA, capital city of Indonesia, is one of the world’s fastest sinking big cities. Because of that, a new capital on the island of Borneo is in the planning stages. Over 30-million live in Jakarta, which makes it even larger than Mexico City, and just below the population of Tokyo.The BBC has created a hair-raising video of this massive metropolis with some of the worst air quality almost anywhere. The address – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOSwBIstZUs
Not so long ago, MONTREAL was basking in official recognition as a “metropolis” by its political masters in Quebec City. Not so much anymore. MONTREAL is being treated like an adult child whose parents still call the shots. ALLISON HANES – “Transportation policy is the biggest bone of contention by far between Montreal and Quebec City, with the provincial government (CAQ) not only ignoring the city’s needs, but actively undermining them. On climate change, the city and province are also at loggerheads.”
<Editorial cartoon by TERRY MOSHER (AISLIN), Montreal Gazette; MONTREAL & THE REST OF QUEBEC> “MONTREAL’s main financial lever is property taxes, which it depends on for nearly 70 per cent of its revenue. For the rest, it must go cap in hand to the provincial or federal governments, making it impossible for the city to dream big without higher level approval.”
“Canadian cities are constitutionally “creatures of their provinces.” This parochial relationship is downright dysfunctional in a world where more people than ever are living in cities and municipal governments have increasingly complex and important responsibilities. While cities like PARIS and NEW YORK wield their clout, MONTREAL is being treated like an adult child whose parents still call the shots.”<“DOUG”, editorial cartoon by MICHAEL DE ADDER, The Hill> “Things aren’t much better in TORONTO, where Ontario Premier DOUG FORD slashed city council in half & announced he will seize control of the subway system. The City of Toronto Act, inaugurated in 2006, offers no more protection from paternalism than Quebec’s Bill 121.“
“MONTREAL may have metropolis status — but it seems like the city is on a tighter leash than ever.” ALLISON HANES’ complete column – https://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/allison-hanes-wither-montreals-metropolis-status
And in TORONTO . . . Mayor JOHN TORY fired off some choice words aimed at Premier DOUG FORD and his OPPRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE provincial government. Mr. Tory said “you’ll see me standing up for TORONTO when the provincial government risks stalling out the economic engine of Ontario just to waive less than one-tenth of one percentage point of the provincial budget . . . Cutting public health programs so as to find extra money . . . (eventually costing the city $100-million annually) . . . to pay The Beer Store to change their contract? What does that say about (your) priorities? Cutting public health and child care, by funding a greater supply of alcohol in corner stores? I will not let this city be pushed backwards.”
GUY JONES is a videographer who brings history to life by editing old films and making them more watchable. He slows them down to a natural speed and adds sound – making them a totally new viewing experience. This one is a look at the busy streets of UTRECHT, a transportation hub in the centre of the Netherlands. There’s a lot of activity going on, and the design of vehicles is fascinating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlCQXtfAWPc