Bomba's Best of T.O. shout
I want to say thank you to NOW readers for the honour of once again being selected one of the top graf writers in your Best of Toronto issue (NOW, November 3-9). My team recently completed a mural at the southeast corner of Keele and Eglinton.
It took me five years to actually get the wall and funding from the Toronto Arts Council, a bold move during perilous times. While trying to secure the wall, I lost four youth who were participants in the project, all in very horrible deaths that will forever mark our collective consciousness and underline the importance of public art to heal our communities.
This wall is dedicated to all youth who have died in our city due to gun violence. And to the artists who have dedicated their lives to empowering communities beyond the gentrified areas of our city.
Thank you, NOW, and thank you, Toronto. Peace and respect to all my graf writers and bombers, old to new-school. Keep rocking them walls.
The unrestrained glee I felt at picking up a copy of your Best of Toronto edition quickly turned to dismay when I saw what my fellow citizens had deemed the best new restaurant in town. Having recently had the misfortune of having brunch there, I can boldly state that Cardinal Rule is a hipster con. While I applaud the replacement of meat with tofu in some dishes, Cardinal Rule is a standard greasy spoon, only with more tattoos and flat caps.
Adam Vaughan's the choice
I couldn't agree more with readers' pick of Adam Vaughan as best local politician in your Best of Toronto issue. He's brilliant, creative and compassionate. He has engaged community associations in a collaborative planning process that has, thankfully, rendered the OMB irrelevant in Ward 20. We should be so lucky as to have Adam Vaughan as our future mayor!
Grange Community Association
Ellie Kirzner writes that "occupy is a brand" (NOW, November 3-9). Surely, the notion of a brand is distasteful to those who style themselves as anti-capitalist. But other than that loose self-definition, these folks seem to be occupying themselves with little else than running an "inclusive" encampment.
Over a century ago, the most radical unionists in North America joined together in a new union because existing ones were not tackling the root cause of gross inequality, which was capitalism.
They proposed to organize and eventually precipitated a general strike that would turn control of industry over to workers. Now we have a crews of anti-capitalists "occupying" parks.
Quathiaski Cove, BC
Why I'm occupying T.O.
Thanks to Alice Klein for Robin Hood Goes G20 (NOW, November 3-9). As one of the occupiers at St. James Park, I would like to say that there are many grievances that need to be addressed by our politicians. Economic disparity is indeed an issue, but so is our electoral system when Stephen Harper receives 40 per cent out of the popular vote and ends up with a majority government.
Here in Canada, we have native reserves that have no public school buildings for children. Yet we have billions of dollars for fighter jets and nuclear submarines?
It's like this society is becoming a serious joke. That is why I am living in my tent in St. James Park. Going to university, studying hard and getting good grades landed me here, unemployed and honestly quite upset with this corrupt system.
Johannes Di Silentio
Review, rewind, replay
When I grab NOW on Thursdays, I flip to the disc reviews first. They're often insightful and even funny. The review of the Sea & Cake's latest release, The Moonlight Butterfly (NOW, November 3-9), is great. I felt like I could hear the music being described. Oh, wait - that's because I have been hearing it since May, when it was actually released. I know the S&C is coming to town this week, but why recycle your reviews when you only make space for five or six each issue?
Ooh, Mary Walsh - scary
Regarding the 411 on Ford's 911 (NOW, November 3-9). I wouldn't know Mary Walsh if I tripped over her. If she accosted me at any time, never mind in that outfit with a sword on her ample hips, I would probably push her and then call 911.
She touched Mayor Rob Ford on the shoulder. How would Walsh react if someone came up to her early in the morning in her driveway?
Walsh is not a particularly delicate, fragile-looking person and could easily be a threat to anyone, even without opening her vicious mouth.
Too late to fight Hydro sale?
Adam Giambrone makes a very good argument for keeping 100 per cent of Toronto Hydro public (NOW, November 3-9).
The problem, however, is that the current leadership at City Hall is not interested in rational arguments. They are on an ideological mission.
Torontonians are vigorously fighting back, as can be seen from the campaign against library cuts.
Will it be too late before we organize a fight-back against the sell-off of public assets? I hope not.
The best bookstore category was omitted in last week's Best of Toronto issue. The Readers Poll winner is BMV (471 Bloor West, 416-967-5757; 10 Edward, 416-977-3087).
The runner-up is Type (883 Queen West, 416-366-8973; 427 Spadina, 416-487-8973, typebooks.ca).