Thursday, December 15, 2005

living in Toronto: the appreciative post

Every now and then, I am reminded of why I like living in Toronto. Tonight, that reminder came as I finished renewing my subscription to Vanity Fair. On the website's Roundtable section, there is an article by Anderson Tepper on the strength of the Canadian literature scene in Toronto. It's a brilliant piece. I loved his comparisons of Toronto and New York:

Toronto, like an eclipsed, earlier version of New York, is being re-written, remapped, reimagined. [...] Toronto: a mini–New York; an anti–New York; a younger, more global, more tolerant New York.

It's not the first time the two cities have been compared. Peter Ustinov once said that "Toronto is like New York run by the Swiss."

Unfortunately, we've had some bad years since then. John Barber of The Globe and Mail wrote recently that Toronto is now more "like Cleveland run by the Canadians." Years of rule by an uptight Italian-Canadian-Catholic police chief has left my area of the city a pale shadow of its former self. (I flew to Spain for some goddamned backroom action! Hello!) Marge Simpson may have uttered the best recent description of Toronto: "It's so clean and bland... I'm home!"

But Tepper's article made me appreciate my city again. Just as the Turner/Whistler/Monet exhibit I took in last year at the Art Gallery of Ontario did. As does the fact that tonight, I finished my Christmas shopping in 30 minutes without setting foot in a shopping mall.

Check this out: Tepper mentions the Murmur project. What you might not have read about Toronto in a novel by Atwood, Ondaatje, or Irving, you can discover by walking around with a cell phone and listening to the narrative recordings.

Of course, Jason will likely post a bitchy comment about how Canadian literature is an oxymoron. Ignore him.

22 comments:

Adorable Girlfriend said...

As a former New Yorker, I am not sure whether I like the comments or not. However, I can assure you being compared to Cleveland is no selling point for the American tourist.

Adorable Boyfriend has sold me on Toronto though. It seems like a wonderful city to fall in love, raise a family and be happy. Despite how mushy that sounds, isn't that pretty much what it's all about? Perhaps a change here or there, but we all want to be happy and in love with our mate and our city.

Toronto it is!

toobusyliving said...

Too bad that you'll never get to experience the murmer project because you hate cellphones.

toobusyliving said...

Boyd - speaking of what makes a city great, are you still having us all over for The Apprentice finale tonight?

madamerouge said...

not enough Xanax in the world, TBL

your judgemental aunt said...

AG - I've been to Cleveland and Toronto is nothing like it.

M.ROUGE -
Catholics good.
Backrooms bad.
Readin's stupid.
Vanity Fair Sux.

We've got it pretty good here compared with a lot of our North American counterparts. It's pretty liberal here. Besides backrooms will only break up those queer marriages you love so much.

toobusyliving said...

Backrooms got you nuthin' but cryin'! :(

toobusyliving said...

Boyd - don't forget to pack your emergency road lit for the drive to work tommorow - I'd hate to see you stuck in the snow at yonge and front without food or any way to stay warm.

http://www.autobarn.net/aaaroadkit.html

Jason said...

Did you ever read that edgy book by Margaret Attwood where only certain women can make babies and it's all futuristic and shit? I think it won the Giller, the Governor General's award, was co-authored by Mordechai Richler and Red Green. It spoke to me of womyn in day where things move so fast that we sometimes forget to reflect. I think it was called 1984.

madamerouge said...

YJA - I think backrooms could help keep marriages together--gay or straight.

TBL - you continue to be a nightmare

Jason - I'm going to kill you with guns.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

You kids are out of control. Now make up, kiss and eat all of your peas.

Jason said...

Did you know Animal Farm was really about Russia and its leaders? It's true, my grade 9 teacher told me.

fatrobot said...

i too dig this city
it has hardly any wolves

Carrie said...

oh crap...y do i always have to follow fatrobot!?

there's nothin worse than following a funny man.

ya. i know.

how come I wasn't invited to the finale of the apprentice? oh how about a WEEDS night mloyd? we could pop ativan and surf the net after smoking some and enjoying our show....sans tbl....jk PETER!

madamerouge said...

mitz I am SO hoping they re-broadcast the season... I'm going to tape it and we'll have a weed-a-thon. (!)

I love Mary Louise Parker so much, it hurts.

madamerouge said...

or maybe I can just buy the fuk'n DVD when it comes out. OH and I hope they also release the soundtrack. I'm so buying that.

Carrie said...

ok you're on! we're going to have a girlie, weed night! woot!

your judgemental aunt said...

I know Jason is Crazy but I thought he was smart. Everyone knows that Animal Farm is about Big Brother. I mean it wasn't hard to figure out when Piggy and all those kids had to create their own society when they got stuck on the beach in middle earth.

your judgemental aunt said...

I know Jason is Crazy but I thought he was smart. Everyone knows that Animal Farm is about Big Brother. I mean it wasn't hard to figure out when Piggy and all those kids had to create their own society when they got stuck on the beach in middle earth.

sirbarrett said...

It's good to be appreciative once in awhile. Thanks for the murmur link. It was so informative and so typically post-modernistically Canadian. My favorite quote: "I distinctly recall, it was on the third floor, or the first, or the second or the third floor, one of them...there was a bar called 'damn straight'...I had a friend who's unfortunately deceased, but he was so good at doing these odd curative programs that you see all over the place." How pointed! It really speaks to the experience of Toronto. I agree with fatrobot too. I don't think I've ever even seen a wolf in Toronto before.

madamerouge said...

I once saw a fox run across Mount Pleasant, right by David Balfour Park. He had red hair like me.

Caracola said...

I am in love w/ canada!

Jason said...

Boyd, I suspect that you may be a faggot.