Intersections: QUEEN & BATHURST
A stumbling man, seeing my camera, offers to moon me. Welcome to Queen and Bathurst, Queen West's orphan intersection, the anomalous hiccup in a tidal wave of shopper-friendly neighbourhood hipstermination.
Loitering is a popular activity here. I can spend the better part of the day watching horrified BMW drivers fall victim to unsolicited windshield cleanings from grimy kids - or wonder what the fuck went wrong for the guy polishing off a bottle of Listerine in front of St. Christopher House Meeting Place, which used to be CIBC.
Gone too are Mr. Sub and San Francesco's, now a Starbucks and Pizza Pizza, respectfully. But the Big Bop remains.
Night after night packs of teens park themselves at this enduringly dingy institution, more often to see their friends' brutal high school bands who have no place to play.
Mr. Pong's is also history and so that also means no more drunken posing with that panda family plywood cutout in front of the restaurant.
I'm thinking one of the many fancy home decor stores will make a play for designer lounge chair domination.
Check the fate of the F.C .Burroughes Building: offering homes for "flagship retail" and other "opportunities," the appearance of a Tim Hortons, a swanky Mexican resto just north of Queen and Tota in the old Q Bar.
You know gentrification in the area's in full swing when lovable dives like QueensHead are getting renoed and the Wine Rack pulls down the sign limiting patrons to one bottle of Sherry per day.
Can you prorogue my layoff? It's the question anxious Canadians all wish they could ask the PM, whose done a disappearing act since he unveiled his weeny stimulus package. More than 120,000 lost their jobs last month, but our Don't Worry, Be Happy PM and his conservative economist friends keep spinning that "we're well-positioned to weather the storm" yarn.
Mega-miner Barrick Gold's tarnished eco rep takes another hit.
Amid allegations of human rights abuses, Norway's government pension fund has sold its $200 million stake in the T.O.-based company for dumping waste directly into local rivers at its Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea.
It's part of the political choreography at budget time for the mayor to put a positive spin on the numbers. And so he was this week when he announced a four per cent hike in property taxes. But council's right wing loses all credibility when it screams for deeper cuts to city departments. Where were these law-and-order types when the cops came calling for a $1 billion budget for 2009?
Stems of roses imported from Colombia in 2006, many of them, according to a delegation at a Commons committee meeting this week, "grown in blood" by near-slave labour in sweatshop greenhouses. A thorny issue. Thinking of a bouquet for Valentine's? Check out locally grown.