Path to heritage destruction
Thank you for your article on Disappearing Toronto: Toronto's Heritage Hit List (NOW, March 29-April 4).
Having just returned from Winnipeg, which has one of the best-preserved historic districts in North America, Enzo DiMatteo's piece reminded me of how poorly Toronto has preserved architectural heritage.
In the last few years alone, we've lost some classic modernist buildings in Don Mills designed by Canadian masters John Parkin and Peter Dickinson.
If we continue on the path of architectural annihilation, Toronto will wind up as nothing more than a vast cluster of ugly condo towers.
Andrew van Velzen
Mimico then and now
Regarding 15 Gems Under Threat (NOW, March 29-April 4). The historic features of the Mimico Estates provide a good starting point for redevelopment of the property, just as they did 60 years ago when the Longo family built the Amedeo Garden Court apartment complex integrating the historically significant components of the estate.
I hope the Longo family will be reinspired by the actions of their ancestors Amedeo and Lawrence Longo. Careful and sensitive incorporation of the heritage structures and landscaping features into a future development will make for a unique, interesting and highly marketable project.
NDP's peace deficit
While I appreciate Ellie Kirzner's attempts to put a happy face on the Thomas Mulcair win (NOW, March 29-April 4), I have to wonder where she picked up a sense of anti-militarism still flickering within the NDP.
After all, the NDP ran on a platform of not cutting the $23 billion Harper war budget last election. And in seeking a coalition in 2008, was willing to take the occupation of Afghanistan off the table. The same NDP stood with Harper to vote for the bombing of Libya. Peace? Not so much.
Homes Not Bombs
Tears of pride for NDP ride
Great article by Alice Klein on the NDP convention (NOW, March 29-April 4). It actually brought a tear of pride to my eyes when Klein wrote: "[Nathan] Cullen's vote-getting success, along with his courage and nonpartisan demeanour, have taken the country's progressives several giant steps forward toward a new, magnetic force field of value-based politics. This will attract the new participants we need to retrieve the country's soul from the tar-sand-fuelled fossils who are currently dead set on stealing it."
Sex workers still in danger
Thank you to Fleur de Lit for her timely, accurate and heartfelt article on why the Court of Appeal's decision on Canada's prostitution laws still leaves sex workers vulnerable (NOW, March 29-April 4). You make me proud to be a whore.
Our Lady Peace bias
I can't believe NOW lets Benjamin Boles write reviews (NOW, March 29-April 4). He's incredibly biased, and had preconceived notions about Our Lady Peace before giving the album a listen. He didn't even let readers in on what to expect from the album. Clearly, he's in the wrong business.
Jazz lesson for BBNG
NOW is at its bully-pulpit best with its cover on BADBADNOTGOOD (NOW, March 22-28). Writer Anupa Mistry - if she can explain exactly what a "deranged bebop fugue" is, I'll eat one of my jazz students' boat shoes - is palpably excited at the prospect of her imminent takedown of the twin straw men of jazz traditionalism and educational institutionalism.
The article is facilitated by her trio of "jazz futurists" who uncritically grant Mistry the pretext required to rail against jazz music's assumed "fusty codes," cloistered elitism, fetishization of rote virtuosity over individual creativity and, my personal favourite, ossification (proven, apparently, by jazz's presupposed reluctance to include Odd Future's Ass Milk as part of its mouldy canon).
If I've understood Mistry's "through the looking glass" history correctly, then John Coltrane and Charlie Parker (two of the most significant musicians of the 20th century who both died young and underappreciated) are part of music's fat cat hegemony while Pitchfork Music and James Blake remain marginalized?
More power to Earth Hour
So now that we have turned our lights out for another Earth Hour (NOW, March 29-April 4) and immediately gone back to leaving them on everywhere (walk around late at night and see), I am going to propose an Earth Stupid Day.
For that one hour, I would require people to bring a bag with them when food shopping, a coffee mug for Tims, and put the me/myself and iPods/Pads etc down so they actually realize there are birds (and people and cars) around.
And for sure this one hour would coincide with voting. The list is enormous, but you get my point maybe?