Archive for the ‘NYC’ Category

The NY Times Does Toronto

2009 May 18

In yesterday’s Sunday edition of the New York Times, an article appeared fawning over the city of Toronto.

The featured journalist, Danny Lee, makes a few suspect claims (streetcars trolleys run like clockwork??), and he seems to be so enamoured with the West End (West Queen West/College/Ossington) that almost all his recommendations take you there.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty glowing review of our beloved city.  The only thing is, who is reading this?  I might guess that most people reading the Sunday NY Times would be more interested in cocktails in Yorkville than at Sweaty Betty’s.  But I digress.

What it all comes down to is that TZero is actually a great, interesting, diverse city that can be an attractive destination for people even from one of the greatest, most interesting and most diverse cities in the whole world.

Goodbye L.C. Hello Photoshop?

2009 March 3

Any of you who have taken a ride on the TTC in the last few months have obviously seen this advertisement plastered all over the subway cars:

Is it just me or does this chick have a wonky-eye? 

I imagine she doesn’t really, considering she’s the star of an MTV spinoff reality show (okay, that might not be that great.)  But don’t you think the marketers could have chosen a better pic of Whitney Port, or at least put it through the retoucher machine?

Was Harper Speaking About Torontonians?

2008 November 20

Our current Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently claimed that ordinary Canadians don’t care about the arts or their funding.

Interestingly enough, the renovated Art Gallery of Ontario re-opened for business this past weekend, and I rode my bike by there yesterday around 5:30 pm only to witness an incredibly long line-up to get into the gallery.  I’m talking like around-the-block-long.

On a related note, I read this article this morning in the NY Times.  It basically talks about how, even though many of the museums in Los Angeles are facing budget crunches right now, there is still talk of bringing yet another public art museum to the City of Bevery Hills (financed by philanthropist Eli Broad.)

These two stories caused me to revisit thoughts I’ve had for a while about the state of the cultural institutions of Toronto.  We basically have two major museums: the Royal Ontario Museum and the AGO.  Yeah, we have a few other minor ones like the Gardiner Museum (ceramic art), the Bata Shoe Museum (footwear), and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.  I guess the Ontario Science Centre is kind of a museum, too.  However, given the fact that Toronto is the 5th largest city in North America (after Mexico City, NYC, LA, and Chicago) it’s a pretty sad state of affairs.  New York City is home to top-notch museums in art, architecture, photography, natural history, television, radio and technology.  Chicago has more than 40 museums open to the public, including three popular museums on the lakefront linked by a large park area known as the Museum Campus.  Even Montréal, which is half the size of Toronto, has like 4 or 5 major institutions.  What’s up with our cultural infrastructure?

One proposal that has been in the works for more than 5 years is the the Toronto Museum Project.  This would see a “signature piece on the waterfront [showcasing] Toronto’s cultural story and intercultural understanding.”  Current plans identify the Canada Malting Silos site at the foot of Bathurst Street as the proposed site for this new Toronto Museum.  Only time will tell whether this project will actually go forward, but I’m not placing any bets.  Two other contemporary museum projects went unrealized – Metronome: Canada’s Music City was shelved years ago and a more ambitious Toronto city museum, called Humanitas, was rejected half a decade ago.  There’s actually a current exhibit at the ROM entitled Unbuilt Toronto: The City That Could Have Been, that showcases unbuilt projects and unrealized building proposals over the last 150 years.

As for our city’s current cultural landscape, go out and support the arts – even if Stephen Harper thinks you don’t care about them.  I’m going to the AGO this weekend (although I’ll be prepared to line up.)

A Crazy Land of Random Dopeness

2007 October 5

So tonight I’m going to the grand opening of the new club CiRCA.  It’s hard to believe a venue could have so many people talking about it for so long, but this place’s opening has been a long time in the works.  Delivered to us by the former king of the NYC club scene, Peter Gatien, tonight CiRCA may be the coolest club in the world.  Even if it lives up to it’s hype, this place will have to be really amazing to survive, what with a questionable market for new clubs in TO – not to mention a 3000 person capacity!  Anyway, last night was the invite-only pre-grand opening party featuring a performance by Missy Elliot and welcoming Paris Hilton, among others.  Tonight, they’re saying there’ll be a very special guest: “one of the most instrumental people in electronic music, who laid the groundwork for not only the birth of electro music, but the nu rave culture-moment itself that has swept the entire world and is only getting crazier by the day.” I’ll report back tomorrow with details.

RANDOMLAND

Dance. Rock. Revolution. Rave.