You want vegan? FU!
RE My vegan adventures, by Sarah Liss (NOW, October 5-11). For the most part I don't have a problem with vegans, until they step into my French bistro on a slammed Saturday and ask for a three-course vegan meal.
Fuck off! You are in a French fucking bistro. That means butter, cream, foie gras, duck fat, pork belly. We don't have TVP and wheat grass just lying around. If you want to call ahead and let us know your dietary requirements, we'll gladly come up with something more exciting than a plate of veggies.
Diabetic? Shellfish allergy? Those people call ahead all the time because they know that without due diligence they could end up in the hospital. Your restrictions are self-imposed and don't seem to be very important to you, as you won't end up in the ER after eating honey or butter. It will give you something else to bitch about with your skeletal friends, though.
Finally, I don't stomp into your precious vegan hangouts demanding fried chicken, so show some fucking respect when you come into mine.
formerly of Biff's Bistro
The omission of fresh from your list of Toronto's best 25 vegetarian restaurants for a second year baffles this vegan. For over a decade I've eaten at Fresh and almost all the places in your top 25, and I just don't get it. Tasteless, overcooked seitan and steamed vegetable are things I can get at my diabetic aunt's apartment.
Thanks for doing a veg issue the week of Thanksgiving. As a vegetarian, I find it hard to take when people wish each other a happy Turkey Day. Perhaps spotlighting vegetarianism at this time of year will help people realize that meat-eating isn't the only way to go, or the only way to celebrate!
Nuit Blanche, "a free all-night contemporary art thing" (NOW, October 5-11), was a wonderful event to experience.
Not only was it great to see and hear the works of our local artists and musicians and be able to wander into a gallery spot here, a normally desolate parking spot there, it was also impressive to see masses of people - families, young kids, older couples, everyone - out and about until the wee hours of the morning.
But then ambling along Queen West, my partner and I came upon the Drake, which was supposedly participating in Nuit Blanche. Instead of being able to walk through the doors, our curiosity leading the way, we were welcomed by a bouncer and a $10 cover charge! Forget the fact that it was 4 in the morning; what about the fact that Nuit Blanche was a free event!?
It was a slap in the face, a rude awakening. It was just a regular capitalist Saturday night at the Drake. As my partner and I walked away cursing under our breath, we heard the bouncer cry back: "Five dollars then!" As if....
Message to next year's Nuit Blanche organizers: Skip the Drake. Don't let them abuse the Nuit Blanche spirit.
Give Giambrone the gears
RE to catch a thief (now, october 5-11). While discussing the issue of bike thievery with your reporter, I repeatedly emphasized to him that before we criticize the police for their lack of action on bike thieves, we first have to look to the city and province for some leadership.
Both levels of government need to provide police with effective tools to deal with "resellers" of stolen bikes. The police brought the issue of pawn shops to the attention of the city in 1998.
The irony in your story is Councillor Adam Giambrone pleading "limited resources." Slow progress on bicycle theft goes hand in hand with slow progress on the Bike Plan. The latter should actually be helping the former. In 2005, $1 million from the bicycle budget went unused! With a little planning, this unused money could have been provided resources to reduce the bike theft problem.
There seems to be an awfully large disconnect down at City Hall. Cyclists can only hope that the good councillor isn't heading the effort to address bike thefts. Otherwise, we'll be in for a long wait.
Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists
Barrett Hooper's praise for the CBC's new Chris Haddock series, Intelligence (NOW, October 5-11), hits the mark. What's truly off-putting, however, is the CBC's pathetic way of dealing with the program's rough, tough, believable language.
After every block of ads there's a warning about strong language and the need to exercise viewer discretion, but parent CBC won't let us. Every "fuck" and even a "for Christ's sake" is excised, fooling nobody.
Just what the Front Street nabobs are protecting us from isn't clear, but obviously they don't think we're old enough to do it on our own, so they do it for us. If they won't let us adults hear stuff we already know, they should at least drop the redundant discretion warnings up front.
Fall of civil society
Alan Young's assessment of the Harper government is deserved (NOW, October 5-11). I'm ashamed we are such a depraved species. Where we've run out of game and lost reason, we turn against ourselves for the hunt.
Relatively small as these budget cuts to the court challenges and other programs might be in the big picture, they symbolize a great deal. The next government would do well to restore funding in these and other areas designed to promote civilized conduct.
We at Maggie's: the toronto prostitutes' Community Service Project and the Sex Workers Alliance of Toronto (SWAT) would like to ask NOW Magazine why you placed the ad for Street Outreach Services (S.O.S.) in the adult classifieds section of your September 28-October 4 and October 5-11 issues.
This ad promoting an exit program for youth between the ages of 13 and 25, with a focus on the lower end of this range, squarely placed among sex workers' ads, has an impact on our business.
This is also contradictory to NOW's position on sex work.
While we acknowledge that there is the occasional underage sex worker, we would not for a moment refer to them as such. Offences of child abuse are covered under the Criminal Code and are unrelated to sex work.
You cannot assume that sex work is inherently exploitative and targeting young people.
It is poor judgment and offensive to place in the adult classifieds section an ad in opposition to the businesses you profit from so greatly.
We hope you will continue to support the rights of sex workers in an age when there are enough resources dedicated to "rescue."
Maggie's: the Toronto Prostitutes' Community Service Project
Making up with metal
I feel compelled to congratulate you on two recent articles on some great bands. It seems that someone over there is catching on to the actual indie music - metal.
Your article on the Sword (NOW, October 5-11), despite its being written by that inveterate wanker Tim Perlich, was a nice touch, especially coming after your review of the Celtic Frost show (NOW, September 21-27). Evan Davies actually knows what he's talking about and gives a lot of space to 1349, one of the most exciting black metal bands playing today.
He should be covering a lot more metal for you guys.
Anyway, congrats. It's nice to see some actual indie music played by people who work a job on the side, instead of by emo bands in retro clothing bemoaning the fact that they aren't as rich as Death Cab for Cutie.
Nik Sarros's chronic shock was anything but "utter nonsense" written by "someone with such an obvious lack of self-control," as alleged in Chris Bransfield's weed-whacker letter (NOW September 28-October 4). Rather, what Sarros describes are classic symptoms of the disease of addiction.
Whether strung out on drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, work or working out, addicts tend to be unable to stop the behaviour. After stopping, they become restless, irritable and discontented, compelled to start using again. Addiction is a disease, not a matter of choice or lack of self-control.
Name withheld by request
Re Popping Cherry's Party (NOW, October 5-11). The temporary sports fields referred to cost $5 million not $500 as stated in the article.
Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corp