Walk your city: Toronto Ireland Park

I discovered Ireland Park incidentally on one of my barefoot strolls along the lakeshore.

I will never forget that warm summer night I stumbled upon this location. To recreate the surreal experience I had, skip this post and just go there, preferably after dark.

A history of pain

In case you’ve forgotten your grade 7 history, here’s a little refresher: the Great Famine displaced almost 2 million people and killed another million.

Well, this is turning out to be a cheery post.

Toronto saw an influx of Irish immigrants in 1847 which constituted one of the young city’s first major civic crises. In the summer of that year almost 40,000 migrants landed on Toronto’s shores. To put that in perspective, the city’s population that year was about 20,000.

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Burning Chrome featuring live improv by Prospero & Bit Reduction

Burning Chrome returns on September 12th

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What is Live Improv?

The idea is for the musician to approach the show with no pre-conceived idea’s about re-producing tracks. Some elements including sounds, instruments and patterns may have been researched but no practiced and no sequenced. There is no plan about what to play or when. What happens at the show will be all created and programmed on the fly.

BIT REDUCTION

Power noise & gritty ambient project, a mesmerizing blend of distortion and harmony.

https://soundcloud.com/bit-reduction

&

PROSPERO

Born as a solo project in August 2001 under musician and DJ Wade Anderson, Prospero’s music fuses traditional industrial electronics with a variety of acoustic percussion and exotic instruments. In their fifth album “Paradise or Apocalypse” Prospero continues to explore new themes galvanized by the addition of tribal and folk elements as well as vocals from Sandford and Veela.

Prospero has done this type of show twice in the past. Once with Displacer in 2012 at a Darkrave and once solo at Live Event Sunday’s at the Savage Garden Night Club.

Follow Prospero and download his new album Paradise or Apocalypse

http://www.spreadingtheinfection.com/
https://www.facebook.com/spreadingtheinfection

 

DJ Skeletalkitten &  Synescape

Spinning noise, industrial, dark ambient and experimental music

 

Hosted by 2872 Dundas Street West, Doors at 10:30 PWYC

Keep your receptors filled

Join the Burning Chrome group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/355088194506557/

The post-modem city – a photo tour of Toronto latrinalia

I’m not the first to marvel at bathroom graffiti and certainly not the last.

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Java House – Queen St & Augusta Avenue

My fascination with these writings is hardly academic. Take it from someone who has a fruity liberal arts diploma, there is no shortage of literature on the matter. There are thousands of doctoral theses on gendered studies of bathroom graffiti, structural analyses of urban stall culture, the “dialogic nature of washroom tags” and so forth.

They even have a formal name for the subject: latrinalia – which proves nothing other than the fact that there is literally no bottom to the pit of scholarly mental masturbation. It amuses me to no end that universities fund research that essentially involves sitting on the can and philosophizing.

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Must’ve been the pad thai – Java House – Queen St & Augusta Ave

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Falling in love with The City

I walk a lot.

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Any conscientious tourist will tell you the only “real” way to experience a city is to stroll through it and absorb all the sensory experiences it has to provide.

 

I walk my own city with a dedication that borders on obsessive. In fact, when weather permits I walk barefoot, and cherish the subsequent blisters, scrapes and bruises like merit badges for the  Toronto Urban Scouts. It’s not sadism, I’m some different breed of weirdo – one that likes the notion of my skin cells being scattered in the oddest corners of the city.
I like to make my mark on things and I’ll even admit to a few acts of vandalism involving my wiggly toes and the wet concrete foundations of new condo towers.

 

I’m a part of this city and it’s a part of me.

A couple days ago was the 26th anniversary of my hatching day and I woke up with the mother, father and Holy Ghost of a hangover after the mind-blowing Grendel concert the night prior. You know, that kind of full-bodied physical not toxic hangover from dancing until your toes go numb and cheering until you’re hoarse. Every inch of my body felt like it had been worked over with a meat tenderizer and the brain booted slower than yo momma’s XP machine (HA!)

 

With half a day to kill before the dinner party I figured I should work up an appetite, so I applied the regulatory dose of caffeine and started walking.
Why yes, I will subscribe to that

 

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5 reasons why scoots are awesome

1. The community

Wave
The bike wave

Just this week, I got absorbed into a pack of bikes joy riding on Bayview Avenue late at night. It was the coolest experience I’ve ever had riding around Toronto. I pulled up behind them at a light just before the long stretch of open road after Lawrence Ave and they waved me up in to their midst. We shot down the street in tandem and dominated the road all the way to the Rosedale Valley juncture. They were all riding in from out of town, so I took the lead and showed them the beautiful valley before splitting off to head home.

Bikes and scoots don’t always play nice together – there is a lot of elitism amongst bike riders and all kinds of snooty segregation along the type of bike you ride, the manufacturer, mods and so forth. I see a lot of it on motorcycle forums where people will endlessly debate or outright fight over what the superior make and model is. On that road, none of that noise matters; I get waves from Harleys and Vespas all the same. People who ride understand the joy of the experience and there’s a sense of camaraderie that no car driver will ever experience. It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the ride there.

2. Read it and weep!

Mwahahahha!
Mwahahahha!

My work is about 20km away from home. One gas tank will take me there and back for three days before I have to refill – so that’s 120km. Total damage? 5 bucks. Every time. I cackle at the gas station next to other drivers who grow bored waiting for their gigantic tanks to fill. After riding on my M2 for just over a year, my insurance bills is just over $600 a year which is totally worth it considering I can usually milk 7-8 months out of the riding season.

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Five things I’ve learned scooting in Toronto

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1. Your safety is your responsibility.

This effectively means it’s your job to make sure you don’t get hit by other drivers. In my experience car drivers range from mildly distracted to outright brain dead, and although you’re likely to be in the right when they hit you, that’ll be little consolation when you’re in a full body cast. Which leads us to the second principle of scootin’:

2. You are fragile!

Think of yourself as a delicate butterfly in a universe of rampaging pachyderms. No matter what bike you have, you’re a tiny little speck on the road and you are very vulnerable to the elements around you. Car drivers barrel down the road surrounded by 2 tones of metal so you can imagine they have large blindspots and are overall less attentive to their environment. Always give them a wide berth and expect unsignalled turns and last minute decisions.

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