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Friday, May 22nd, 2015
8:34 pm - [MUSIC] Taylor Swift, "Bad Blood"
I would have blogged last night about Taylor Swift's song "Bad Blood", but sleep interfered with my blogging schedule. No matter: It's still a pop-cultural event, breaking a Vevo record to accumulate 20.1 million views in just 24 hours, and featuring dozens of female stars starring as superhuman crime-fighters, only starting with Selena Gomez as Swift's enemy agent Arsyn. (Facebook's Andrew was quite fond of Lena Dunham as a cigar-chomping agent, while Tumblr has noted that Swift plays with so many images that she appeared both as Jean Grey and as Emma Frost.)

Musically, the song is catchy. Lyrically, it is to the point, if perhaps too much so. Betrayal has occurred, and it's irrevocable.

'Cause, baby, now we got bad blood
You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you've done
'Cause, baby, now we got bad blood
Now we got problems
And I don't think we can solve them
You made a really deep cut
And, baby, now we got bad blood

Still, it's a fun song and a compelling video. Writing at The Atlantic, Spencer Kornhuber argued in favour of its subtly feminist imagery.

As a work of audiovisual filmmaking, it’s kind of a flop. With so many co-stars, the editing becomes so hectic that even the barest bones story here is indiscernible and you’re never quite sure who’s doing what. But the point of the video was already made with those posters. This is a fun imagining of an action-movie universe where women rule, a corrective to the Smurfette syndrome that, for example, forces Black Widow into being defined almost entirely by her entire gender while the men of The Avengers enjoy a diverse set of storylines. All the “Bad Blood” women have their own signature powers, gear, and personas—imagine that!

The song “Bad Blood” has widely been interpreted as a middle finger to Katy Perry, the pop singer who Swift often seems to clash with in the press. This interpretation may or may not be true, but in either case it feeds into old stereotypes about women as inherently catty, and into the limiting idea that females must necessarily compete for the top spot in arenas from music to dating. Swift’s been countering that narrative lately by playing up her same-sex friendships in social media, making her Instagram feed into a real-life demonstration of what the point of the Bechdel test is. The video extends that mission to epic levels. But it also features women betraying each other and facing off, as if to say, “We’re humans. Some of us are going to get along, some of us aren’t.” Again, that shouldn’t be a point that needs to be made—except for the fact that society keeps showing that is is.


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6:26 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "How Toronto learned to love the patio"
Spacing Toronto's Chris Bateman notes how Toronto ended up embracing the summertime patio. Immigrants and hippies, naturally, started it.

For all the time Torontonians will spend sipping lager and pinot on patios this summer, it would be easy to conclude that the people of this city have always embraced eating and drinking al fresco. Not so. It wasn’t until the 1960s and Yorkville’s counter-cultural era that prudish diners were finally coaxed outdoors en masse.

In the 1920s, outdoor restaurant seating was an impossibly exotic concept confined to the evocative text of vacation adverts. Canadian Pacific’s “Parasol Cruise” to the West Indies promised “black boys diving for pennies” and “Paris-like boulevards [lined with] cool sidewalk cafes.”

The St. Moritz On-The-Park—”New York’s only truly continental cafe—opened its own European-style outdoor seating area in the 1950s, followed by numerous others, prompting the writers of the Globe and Mail‘s “over the teacups” society column to wonder why no-one has tried a similar concept in Toronto. “With all Toronto’s new bohemian eating places, there’s nary a sidewalk cafe in the lot. Wonder why not?”

The Globe‘s assertion that there were no outdoor cafes in Toronto wasn’t entirely correct. Ice cream and milk shake stands offered patrons outdoor seating (even during the winter) as far back as the 1920s, and there are pictures of bundled up men hunching over warm cups of coffee during the frigid winter in the city archives.

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6:23 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Scarborough Civic Centre Gets a Library"
Torontoist's Jamie Bradburn looks at the Scarborough Civic Centre's exciting new library.

Many things strike you at once when you approach the new Scarborough Civic Centre library branch: the angles and curves designed to complement those on the surrounding 1970s civic buildings, designed by architect Raymond Moriyama; the extensive use of Quebec spruce for the beams; the scent of freshly baked cookies drifting in from the Mondelez factory to the northwest.

The finishing touches are still being applied as the Toronto Public Library’s 100th branch prepares for its public opening Wednesday, May 20 at 10 a.m. The building continues a tradition of library service in Scarborough stretching back to the dawn of the 19th century, when pioneers David and Mary Thomson loaned fellow settlers volumes from their private library.

While Moriyama and local officials envisioned a library branch as part of the Scarborough Civic Centre from the site’s construction during the 1970s, no funding was provided. A master plan developed by pre-amalgamation Scarborough in the early 1990s included a new central library, but it wasn’t until 2009 that city councillors approved the current site at 156 Borough Drive. At the time, library planning guidelines indicated that all residents should be within 1.6 kilometres of a library branch, but the closest to the civic centre, Bendale, was nearly 4 kilometres away. Public consultations were held throughout the first half of 2010, and construction began in April 2013.

As designed by LGA Architectural Partners, the branch is filled with natural light. Sightlines allow users to see both across the library and outside to the park across the road. A series of roof planes create a series of swooping layers supporting a green roof. Future exterior landscaping will include a reading garden under a grove of trees to the east and an open civic space to the west.

More, including pictures, at the link.

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6:17 pm - [ISL] "Sand disappears from popular Burin Peninsula beach"
CBC Newfoundland explains why and how all the sand disappeared off a beach on that island. Photos and more are at the link.

Despite concerns from locals, [Norm] Catto, head of the geography department at Memorial University, says the province's beaches are dynamic and constantly changing, and this is just an example of that process.

"This is a natural fluctuation," he says.

"It occurs in response to storm events, particularly storms out of the southwest."

So where did all that sand go? Catto believes it is just off the shore at the bottom of Shoal Cove, and will return over time as conditions change and the winds calm down.

Some residents say they can already see the sand slowly migrating back up the beach, especially at low tide.

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6:14 pm - [LINK] "Michigan pastor caught on Grindr told gay teen he was going to hell: report"
The New York Daily News reports on an infuriating event that reminds me that, sometimes, people need to be outed.

The anti-gay Michigan pastor at the center of a Grindr controversy told a young parishioner he would go to hell for being gay.

The discouraging hypocritical words, spoken by Matthew Makela before Queerty discovered his secret gay hook-up profile, nearly drove 17-year-old Tyler Kish to suicide, his mother revealed to WNEM-TV.

Pastor Matthew Makela, of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Midland, Mich., was caught using the gay hook-up app known as Grindr.

“If he was going to go to hell for being gay, he might as well go to hell by committing suicide,” Jennifer Kish told the TV station.

The teen whose sexual orientation Makela labeled as wrong believed he needed to seek forgiveness for who he was as Makela increasingly vilified homosexuality and marriage equality.

“I needed to repent and hold on to the thought that God could change me,” Tyler recalled feeling, but now he feels sorry for Makela’s plight. “Everything he told me, in a way he was telling himself, too.”

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6:09 pm - [LINK] "Macedonia, the New U.S.-Russia Battlefield"
Leonid Bershidsky of Bloomberg View reports on Western-Russian competition in Macedonia, noting that a Russian policy that depends on weak and corrupt government is fragile.

Macedonia is a poor, landlocked Balkan country of about 2 million. To the Kremlin, it's also the newest front in an ideological battle, with the U.S. fomenting regime change to counter Russia's influence. As is often the case, that view is correct to the extent that Russian interests are aligned with those of a corrupt authoritarian ruler.

[. . .]

As for Macedonia, two months after the Turkish Stream plans were broached, the opposition leader Zoran Zaev started publishing secret recordings of officials' conversations. Zaev said the recordings, made by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's government as part of a sweeping surveillance operation, were handed to him by a whistleblower. The frank, and sometimes coarse, conversations cover a lot of ground, from violence against political opponents and electoral fraud to the purchase of a Mercedes for Gruevski using the Interior Ministry as cover (the interior minister, who has since resigned, is heard discussing the massage function of the car's rear seats with the chief of intelligence, who has also quit in disgrace).

Macedonians were not amused, and even the country's Albanian minority, which had never made common cause with the Macedonian opposition, joined huge rallies in the capital, Skopje. Last weekend, tens of thousands of protesters turned out in the town center, which Gruevski recently decorated with kitschy neoclassical buildings and statues at a cost the tiny nation could ill afford. On Monday, the prime minister, who has been running Macedonia for almost 10 years, staged his own counter-rally. He called the intercepts "a great lesson" and denounced Zaev as a foreign puppet with a "script writer," and called on supporters to "imagine a prime minister brought to power by foreign services."

To Team Putin, this is familiar ground: Events are following the same course as in Ukraine in 2013 and 2014, when Viktor Yanukovych's corrupt regime was ousted by a popular uprising. The Kremlin believes the U.S. fomented similar revolutions in Georgia in 2003, in Ukraine in 2005 and in Moldova in 2009 and made several less successful attempts to bring down pro-Moscow regimes in former Soviet countries. Waves of regime change such as the Arab Spring also fall under Putin's definition of U.S.-engineered revolutions. The word he uses to describe them is, curiously, the same as Gruevski's description of the incriminating recordings: "a lesson" for Russia on what to avoid.

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6:06 pm - [ISL] "Liberal Alan McIsaac wins seat in coin toss after recount tie"
CBC reports from Prince Edward Island.

Liberal candidate Alan McIsaac's seat in the P.E.I. legislature was affirmed by a coin toss on Tuesday, after a judicial recount of the votes in the May 4 provincial election revealed a tie.

Progressive Conservative candidate Mary Ellen McInnis lost the election by just two votes to incumbent McIsaac.

She officially filed for the recount in District 5, Vernon River-Stratford, on May 12.

Judge John Douglas performed the recount in a room at the Atlantic Technology Centre in Charlottetown.

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2:52 pm - [LINK] "Michael Sam first openly gay CFL player as he joins Alouettes"
The Toronto Star reported that out college football star Michael Sam will be playing for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.

Friday morning the former U.S. college football star and NFL draftee signed with the Montreal Alouettes, becoming the CFL’s first openly gay player. Financial terms of the two-year deal weren’t released.

“I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes,” Sam said in a statement released by the team. “I cannot wait to put on the pads, get back on the field and work hard each and every day with my teammates to bring a Grey Cup to the great fans here in Montreal.”

Sam arrives in Montreal after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams, then spending the bulk of the 2014 season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

And his signing comes two years into the CFL’s partnership with You Can Play, an advocacy group that works to foster inclusion for homosexuals in sport. Executive director Wade Davis says the agreement didn’t influence Sam’s signing, but thinks the relationship will help smooth Sam’s transition to the league.

“It speaks to the CFL being proactive and not reactive,” says Davis, a former NFL player who came out as gay after he retired. “The important thing now is that these conversations are being had. It’s really transformative.”

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9:33 am - [PHOTO] Streetcar selfie
Streetcar selfie

I was riding 501 Queen streetcar westbound from The Beach when I realized that I hadn't set a profile pic for my Kobo Arc 7.

(Is this duckface?)

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7:14 am - [PHOTO] Ten photos from Woodbine Beach on Monday
Monday, the last day of my long weekend, I went to Woodbine Beach in the neighbourhood of The Beach (or "The Beaches") in east-end Toronto. It had been years since I had last been there, and I felt a need to see Lake Ontario from close up for the first time in months. The water was still quite cold, though there were still some brave swimmers, and the beach is rockier than I'm used to, though less artificial than some. Still, under the very strong light of the afternoon, Woodbine Beach was another superb continued sign that winter had ended.

By the strand #toronto #thebeach #woodbine #woodbinebeach

Trees and cotton candy #toronto #thebeach #woodbine #woodbinebeach #lakeontario

Thalassa, thalassa #toronto #lakeontario #woodbinebeach

Beach conglomerate #toronto #lakeontario #woodbinebeach #concrete #conglomerate

Brave swimmers #toronto #lakeontario #thebeach #woodbinebeach

Looking inland #toronto #thebeach #woodbine #woodbinebeach

Towers on the beach #toronto #thebeach #woodbine #woodbinebeach

Point into the sea #toronto #woodbinebeach #thebeach #lakeontario

Beach volleyball

Beach trees #toronto #thebeach #woodbinebeach #trees

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Thursday, May 21st, 2015
7:00 pm - [LINK] "Sea rise threatens Florida coast, but no statewide plan"
Jason Dearen and Jennifer Kay's Associated Press article about the growing negative impact of sea level rise on Florida today is grim, not least because no one is apparently doing anything at the level of state government.

St. Augustine's centuries-old Spanish fortress and other national landmarks sit feet from the encroaching Atlantic, whose waters already flood the city's narrow, brick-paved streets about 10 times a year — a problem worsening as sea levels rise. The city has long relied on tourism, but visitors to the fortress and Ponce de Leon's mythical Fountain of Youth might someday have to wear waders at high tide.

"If you want to benefit from the fact we've been here for 450 years, you have the responsibility to look forward to the next 450," said Bill Hamilton, a 63-year-old horticulturist whose family has lived in the city since the 1950s. "Is St. Augustine even going to be here? We owe it to the people coming after us to leave the city in good shape."

St. Augustine is one of many chronically flooded communities along Florida's 1,200-mile coastline, and officials in these diverse places share a common concern: They're afraid their buildings and economies will be further inundated by rising seas in just a couple of decades. The effects are a daily reality in much of Florida. Drinking water wells are fouled by seawater. Higher tides and storm surges make for more frequent road flooding from Jacksonville to Key West, and they're overburdening aging flood-control systems.

But the state has yet to offer a clear plan or coordination to address what local officials across Florida's coast see as a slow-moving emergency. Republican Gov. Rick Scott is skeptical of man-made climate change and has put aside the task of preparing for sea level rise, an Associated Press review of thousands of emails and documents pertaining to the state's preparations for rising seas found.

Despite warnings from water experts and climate scientists about risks to cities and drinking water, skepticism over sea level projections and climate change science has hampered planning efforts at all levels of government, the records showed. Florida's environmental agencies under Scott have been downsized and retooled, making them less effective at coordinating sea level rise planning in the state, the documents showed.

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6:57 pm - [LINK] "A Norway Town and Its Pipeline to Jihad in Syria"
Andrew Higgins had a grim little article up last month in The New York Times taking a look at the various social and human factors which made the Norwegian town of Frederikstad a notable source of jihadis. Apparenlty it was cool.

The real trouble started when they stopped causing trouble. Torleif Sanchez Hammer and his friends — all residents of the same small cluster of clapboard houses in southern Norway — had been having run-ins with the police for years but then suddenly halted their marijuana-fueled gatherings in the basement apartment of Mr. Hammer’s widowed mother.

Police officers in this placid Norwegian town had busted their marijuana parties so regularly that “we knew them all on a first-name basis,” recalled Ragnar Foss, head of a local police unit responsible for youth crime. But, two years ago, they cleaned up their act. “We wondered what had happened but were glad when they dropped off our radar,” Mr. Foss said.

One by one over the following months, Mr. Hammer and at least seven other young men who lived on or around just one street, Lislebyveien, made their way to Syria to wage jihad alongside the Islamic State and other militant groups.

As Europe tries to fathom such journeys by its young Muslims, politicians and scholars have variously blamed the influence of the Internet and radical mosques, or sources of despair like discrimination and unemployment.

But the subterranean currents that pushed so many young men to Syria from Lisleby, a Fredrikstad district of just 6,000, stand out as an example of a phenomenon none of those theories can explain: Why it is that certain towns, and even small areas within them, generate a disproportionate number of jihadists?

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6:54 pm - [LINK] "Scotland’s growing influence on UK foreign policy"
Kirsty Hughes' Open Democracy article about the growing influence of Scotland on British foreign policy--and on the growth of a distinctly Scottish foreign policy--reminds me of debates held in Canada over Québec's international role a generation ago.

Scotland’s policy stances on the EU and on global foreign policy, even in the absence of independence, are set to be of growing importance and influence – but have received remarkably little attention during the election campaign.

And while the outcome of the 2015 general election could transform the UK’s EU and wider foreign policy, one of the few similarities in the different campaigns in England and Scotland is that the focus of debate in both has been primarily domestic.

The probable greater impact of Scotland on UK foreign policy is in part due to the increased devolution of powers to Scotland, promised by the Unionist camp at the time of the referendum campaign and set out further through the Smith Commission Report. It means Scottish views on a raft of EU policies – from agriculture to finance to renewable energy – are going to need to be represented more in Brussels. And there is likely to be growing, quite likely controversial, demands from the Scottish government for a greater role and influence over key UK EU policies.

At the same time, if the SNP ends up with 50 or so MPs at Westminster as the polls predict – a seismic shift in Scottish and UK politics – they would certainly have some important influence over the EU and foreign policies of a minority Labour government. Even a minority Tory government might find that winning some foreign policy votes on sensitive issues that might split their own party could be won or lost depending on the SNP’s stance.

One reason Scottish foreign policy views have received little attention is that there is a general but mistaken view that devolution covers domestic issues only, and that even under ‘devo-max’, foreign policy and security would be excluded from Scottish influence. Yet with the UK part of the EU this domestic-foreign distinction makes little sense. With the EU passing laws from health and safety, age discrimination, competition and trade policy to sanctions, renewables targets and so on, what is domestic or ‘foreign’ is blurred and overlapping, and many of the EU policy areas lie within Scotland’s devolved areas of policy.

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6:51 pm - [LINK] "Q&A: Iranian Balochistan is a 'Hunting Ground'"
The Inter Press Service shares an interview with an Iranian Baluchi leader who argues that Baluchis, like other Iranian minorities and like their co-ethnics in neighbouring Pakistan, face an oppressive state.

You once said that Iranian Balochistan has become “a hunting ground”. Can you explain this?

It´s a hunting ground for the Iranian security forces. Even a commander of the Mersad [security] admitted openly that it had been ordered to kill, and not to arrest people.

As a result, many of our villages have suffered house-to-house searches which has emptied them of youth. The latter have either been killed systematically or emigrated elsewhere.

The fact that our population has decreased threefold since the times of the Pahlevis speaks volumes about the situation in our region.

Human Rights Watch has further documented the fact that the Baloch populated region has been systematically divided by successive regimes in Tehran to create a demographic imbalance.

Less than a century ago, our region was called “Balochistan”. Later its name would be changed to “Balochistan and Sistan”, then “Sistan and Balochistan”… The plan is to finally call it “Sistan” and divide it into three districts: Wilayat, Sistan and Saheli.

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6:48 pm - [LINK] "Russians may be sanctioned for O Canada snub"
CBC shares the Associated Press' report about the latest Russia-Canada contretemps. The sad thing is that I don't necessarily believe the Russian statements that this was accidental. You?

Russian news agency TASS reported the Russian team is facing sanctions after players left the ice before O Canada. The Canadians crushed Russia 6-1 in Sunday's gold-medal game, and most of the Russians quickly departed for the dressing room, a breach of the sport's etiquette.

"Once we arrive back home after the world championships we will look into this question and we will get in touch with those in charge at the Russian Ice Hockey Federation," IIHF president Rene Fasel said in the statement to TASS.

"The IIHF has its own protocol and some sort of punishment will be handed down."

According to TASS, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Viktor Tikhonov and Dmitry Kulikov were among the few players who remained on the ice for the anthem.

Russia's general manager Andrey Safronov called the incident "a shame."

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6:41 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Precarious work is now the new norm, United Way report says"
The Toronto Star's Nick Madonick notes the increasing precarity of employment in Toronto. This has an obvious, and negative, impact on the lives of Torontonians.

Precarious employment is here to stay, a new study shows, and Toronto’s new economic reality impacts everyone from the working poor to the middle class.

The research confirms United Way and McMaster University’s groundbreaking 2013 findings that fewer than half of workers in the GTA and Hamilton are in permanent, full-time jobs.

Instead, about 52 per cent of workers are in temporary, contract, or part-time positions.

“All the indicators suggest that this is the trend of the new labour market,” said Wayne Lewchuk, the report’s lead researcher.

“This is the new form of employment.”

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3:28 pm - [LINK] "PhD student defends thesis in Mi'gmaw language, a York first"
Sandra McLean, writer at York University's yFile, reported on how a graduate student there defended a thesis in the language of the Mi'kmaq of eastern Canada.

While researching the historical rights of his First Nation’s community of Listuguj in the Gespe’gewa’gig district of the Mi’gmaw on the southwest shore of the Gaspé peninsula for his doctoral thesis, York PhD candidate Alfred Metallic came to believe there was something missing in what he was doing – an integral piece of a larger picture.

Not much had been written about that part of the Gaspé Peninsula and northern New Brunswick, the seventh district of the Mi’gmaw Grand Council, until Metallic turned his eye to it, but that didn’t explain the feeling he had.

It wasn’t until after he had written his comprehensive exams and was back in his community that he realized what was missing was the Mi’gmaw language – its connection to the spirit of the people, their ways of life and the land – and the way stories are presented back to the people, his people. Metallic’s dissertation was his story, and he needed to tell it using the oral traditions of his people in the Mi’gmaw language of his community and district, to share the knowledge and learning he’d accumulated, but also to help preserve his native language, which is at risk of disappearing.

“Our language, it’s how we maintain our relations and how we understand where we come from. It gives you access to your place in the world,” says Metallic. In the Mi’gmaw language, the action comes first, then the person. It’s the opposite with the English language.

York environmental studies Professor Anders Sandberg, Metallic’s PhD supervisor, helped put the process in place with the support of Professor Barbara Rahder, dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) and FES Professors Robin Cavanagh, Mora Campbell, Stefan Kipfer and Peter Cole, among others. York became the first Canadian postsecondary institution to officially sanction the use of a language other than English or French in graduate work, and Metallic the first PhD candidate at York to defend his thesis in an Aboriginal language – it was written and spoken in the Mi’gmaw language.

More at the link.

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12:30 pm - [PHOTO] Last of a breed?
Last of a breed? #toronto #queenstreeteast #thebeach #sexshop

This lone sex shop on Queen Street East caught my attention, the yellow signs doing what they were probably supposed to.

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Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
9:32 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Your Misplaced New York Nostalgia Will Get You Nowhere"
At the end of March, Vice hosted an essay by one Zachary Lopez talking about how cities change. The New York City of now is going to be removed--transformed, priced out, whatever--and that is perfectly normal.

Someday, somewhere, in the not so distant future, on a social media forum not so foreign from the ones we know, someone is typing "RIP NYC." Someone is typing, probably in all caps, "I can't believe Darkroom/Motor City/St. Jeromes/that crepe place on Ludlow is gone! I did something there, once! RIP NYC!"

I understand this sentiment, mostly. My capacity for nostalgia is the same as yours, which is to say it colors how I perceive every little thing. Before basic human empathy and the occasionally (very) correct online scolds kicked in, I myself felt a cold fear that B&H Dairy might disappear in last week's Second Avenue disaster and with it my favorite square footage in New York City. Even if the wanting seems trivial in the light of actual suffering, it is not unreasonable to want everything to stay right where it always was.

You know, in your hearts and heads if not your status updates, that the world erodes. Even Chinatown will someday be replaced by one enormous Thai restaurant. I will go there, and I will tell my grandchildren that I did lines of cocaine where the peanuts on their papaya salad sit. My corpulent grandchildren will listen, the fat in their ears expanding. I am old and angry and can't be expected to remember that, by this point, everybody is allergic to peanuts. Probably the only thing they won't be allergic to is cocaine. Social mores change. I hope I won't bore them.

I remember the blackout of 2003, the big fun inconvenience of the early aughts, the great liberation from having to pretend that cops and firemen were our friends, whatever name history will settle on, maybe just "Goodbye to All That Ice Cream." I was talking to a long-past friend on a landline—he'd gone from a Robitussin problem to an American military problem to a God problem so I was relieved as hell when the phone went dead and not all that nonplussed to see that the relief had spread, all those problems avoided, on a citywide scale. Good for us! I remember how all the punks and the gays at Mars Bar were feverishly working together on their rapidly dying phones to find that last working coke dealer in Manhattan and huzzah, they found him and he had bags of special blackout paste for sale and well, whatever, if you closed your nostril long enough something happened for sure, so here's to unity. I remember helping hide Dash Snow behind the bar when the cops came. And then I remember how a friend and I crossed the Williamsburg Bridge together at 3 AM, no one around, no lights but those of the theretofore estranged sky, and it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

To live in the city is to be displaced by the city, to rage against market forces, to be sure that things were irretrievably better in the impossible-to-pin-down-to-a-specific-date "then."

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7:00 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Early 19th-century schooner discovered in condo development site"
The Toronto Star's Alyshah Hasham wrote about the discovery of a schooner nearly two centuries old near Fort York in a condo development site.

It is the oldest ship ever discovered in Toronto, an early 19th-century schooner found this week by archeologists doing a routine exploration of the site for a condo development near Fort York Blvd. and Bathurst St.

It the ship’s day, everything south of Front St. would have been underwater, with several wharves jutting into the lake, the largest of which was the Queen’s Wharf, a major commercial hub built in 1833.

“We suspect this ship was scuttled deliberately to provide a scaffold for the workers building the wharf,” said David Robertson, senior archeologist at Archeological Services Inc.

The archeological dig began in early March with the intent of documenting the wharves built there in the early 1800s, Robertson said. On Monday, they discovered the wooden skeleton of the schooner.

Only a small portion of the ship remains: the ship’s keel, or spine — which runs about 15 metres from bow to stern — and a portion of the hull.

Patty Winsa wrote earlier this week about how the site was and will be preserrfved.

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