T.O. more than downtown
Once again now has published a "neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood" Bar & Pub Guide (NOW, March 10-16) that ignores water holes west of Roncesvalles. For those of us who get off the subway at Keele, High Park, Runnymede or Jane, Toronto neighbourhoods even before amalgamation (not to mention points further west), your message is clear: our hoods don't rate. When will NOW lose its downtown-centric bias and embrace all that the city has to offer?
It's all Bull
When was the last time your reviewers actually went to the bars in your Bar & Pub Guide (NOW, March 10-16)? I checked out the two I frequent on Queen West, and both had misinformation.
First, Lot 16 did not take its name from Lot 61. It comes from the fact that it's in Lot 16 on Toronto's City Plan. It's also open Sundays and has been for more than a year.
As for the Done Right Inn, it hasn't had checkerboard and fuchsia walls for years. I did notice that you got the Black Bull right. But, then, it's been around since 1883. Guess it takes that long to get it right.
Tell 'em John sent ya
Loved your Bar & Pub guide . but, duh, how can you possibly list "T.O.'s 100 Best Bars" without including Beer Bistro at 18 King East? You need to get out more. It's just a short walk around the corner from your offices. Tell 'em John sent you.
Racial slip a blip?
Re White-washed $50 (NOW, March 10-16). I agree that the Famous Five were racist. The mainstream women's movement has had undertones of racism since the get-go.
I find it ironic, however, that in an article discussing blatant racism, John Akpata lists and capitalizes the names of racialized people that "Janey Canuck" slagged on a regular basis, but he uses the word "native" to describe Canada's First People. The lack of capitalization shows a disregard for a population. As an aboriginal NOW reader, I find it upsetting that this little slip could have made it through. Thanks for the space to rant.
Re The poster glue that binds us (NOW, March 10-16). Banning random postering assumes that our city state is a fixed and growth-stunted creation! That the flex in its body at rest no longer moves or compels us!
Since urban communication is essentially political by nature, to restrain its easy and equal dissemination courts censorship and political repression.
Maybe [posters] are low-grade visual pollution to the comfortable mainstream holding sway over the whole, but isn't that the central point of postering, to gently jar the status quo?
I grew up in the burbs, and viewed the ritual of weekend garage and contents sale signs as magic-marker passports to community!
More bothersome is the recent shuffle of fixed signs on sidewalks advertising business specials, now that I am in a wheelchair!
HIV all over again
I'm grateful for the editorial coverage you have given the "news" of the emergence of the HIV supervirus through Dan Savage's column (NOW, March 3-9). He makes the case that a paradigm shift is needed to avoid the emergence of a new and deadlier stage in the AIDS epidemic.
But it may already be too late. Judging from public statements made by local organizations like the AIDS Committee of Toronto [advising us] not to be alarmed and to refrain from blaming HIV-positive people, we aren't even close to making the shift.
We live in a time and place where the practice of sexual responsibility is considered optional, and efforts to enforce it are considered radical.
Streetcar named big box
Re A tale of two St. Clairs (NOW, March 10-16). Let's all take a deep breath. Retail decline on St.Clair West started many years ago, when malls and big-box stores put the little guys out of business. In cities, retailers consistently underestimate the trade generated by pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders. The streetcar right-of-way will help revitalize St. Clair by increasing transit ridership. With the streetcar right-of-way, local establishments in the west end will be able to truthfully advertise that they're only 20 minutes from downtown by TTC, and that will be a draw.
As a fan of classic rock, I was glad to see your full-page ad for the upcoming Deep Purple gig (NOW, March 3-9).
Unfortunately, this version of the band is not touring with two of its key founding members. Neither keyboardist Jon Lord nor guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is in the band.
Way too many classic rock bands re-unite to tour without key members: Bad Company without Paul Rodgers; the Doors without John Densmore; Kansas without Kerry Livgren; the Who without John Entwistle; CCR without John Fogerty; Foreigner without Lou Gramm; Grand Funk without Mark Farner; Supertramp without Roger Hodgson; and Uriah Heep without... well, without virtually all original members save one.
Concert halls echo to the sounds of salesmen.
Face the music
Re Your ecoholic column on environmentally friendly instruments (NOW, March 10-16). You never asked what musical distributors could be doing to help our depleted resources.
We have supported the World Wildlife Fund to secure acres of the tropical rain forest in the Amazon, and helped sponsor programs to help replenish our dwindling pernambuco trees, which are sought after by bow-makers worldwide.
It's easy to see that top-quality ebony is on the downswing, and many manufacturers "blacken" poorer-quality ebony for better presentation.
New ideas are coming to light. The problem is that strong traditions in violin- and bow-making lead consumers to look for "that" sound that in many ways only real trees can provide.
We support a program called Strings Across The Sky that donates playable violins and bows to disadvantaged native youth in northern Canada. It's a small step, but a step nonetheless. I encourage all in our industry to start making a difference no matter how big or small.
Geo Heinl & Co Ltd, Toronto
Cool it ain't
How the hell could Andrew Dowler give Be Cool a two-N rating (NOW, March 3-9)? He deserves to be sentenced to an eternity of watching Be Cool, the worst film ever made.
Stripping's naked truth
Re Jodi Bailey's Love and Sex column (NOW, February 24-March 2). That was a really believable piece that had me engaged and believing Bailey's experience all the way through. It's so rare to read something from a dancer's point of view on Canadian strip clubs. I hope Bailey doesn't get loaded and high and want to give up. From beginning the journey at 19 and ending it at 27, I know how much fun it can be to dance if you don't do those "don't" things. Peace, and enjoy the journey!
Pot laws need to grow op
It wasn't a crazed man with a gun who killed four RCMP officers in Alberta last week (NOW, March 10-16). It was antiquated pot laws and out-of-control gun culture from south of the border creeping north. If weed weren't illegal, those cops wouldn't have been there in the first place. Instead, it would have been a bylaw enforcement officer delivering a fine for an unlicensed grow op. Getting tough with grow ops, as Anne McLellan promises to do, will only raise the stakes and make those who operate them more violent and more desperate.
Score one for the owners
I disagree with letter writer Bruce Hogarty's take on the NHL lockout (NHL Owners The Real Goons, NOW, March 3-9). Every survey I have seen shows fans believe that players and the union are in the wrong. The league cannot operate with players getting 75 per cent of the revenue.
Where credit is due
Thanks for your coverage of our show Wash Me Clean that played as part of the Hatch Series at Harbourfront Centre (NOW, March 3-9). A correction of the credits for the show: the set and lighting design were by Geoff Bouckley, sound/original music by Richard C. Windeyer. Keep up the good work!
Jetsgo's bad joke
When corporations have bad news to deliver (like, uh, bankruptcy), they'll go to extremes to make sure their secret doesn't get out ahead of time. Often, their tactics include well-orchestrated diversions, clever trickery or outright lies.
What a joke that Jetsgo sponsors NOW's Career Companion (NOW, March 10-16), which hit newsstands the day before they stopped flying.
You don't wake up one morning and just decide to declare bankruptcy. Jetsgo planned this move for some time.
Like everybody left stranded at Pearson, NOW must feel duped. I hope you got paid up front.