Yeah, I’m A YIMBY!

May 23, 2016

I am tired of certain people making up stuff about what it is I am against. Blinded by their own personal agendas they cannot see — or perhaps choose not to see — the positive message that I pursue.

Yes, in my backyard (specifically that part of my backyard on Commercial between Venables and Adanac), I want to see a fine four-storey permanent home for the Kettle Friendship Society; a home that will include 30 supportive housing units and 12,000 square feet of admin and Drop-In space. I want to see this home built on what is now the publicly owned parking lot (shown on map as (5).

Map

I want to see the buildings along Venables (1, 2, and 3) replaced by a four-storey block with retail on the bottom floor and three floors of apartments. There are several of these already completed successfully in close proximity, including City View Terraces, right across the street from the proposed building), the block at Venables & Salsbury (just one block away), and the apartments on the Drive opposite Grandview Park (just four blocks away). The Casa and the Marquee would be examples a little further south along Commercial. I would see these as rental apartments.

small-piazza-in-bardolinoI want the old and little-used Commercial Drive section between Adanac and Venables (6) to be closed off to traffic and turned into an Italian-heritage style piazza. This I see as a lively community space where, for example, Uprising Bakery (7 on the map), could have tables and chairs out on the piazza, adding to the street life, recalling the public squares of Italy. This would be a significant addition to the public realm.

That’s what I want to see in my backyard, and I am certainly not alone. A design along these lines would give the Kettle exactly what it is asking for, would increase density while maintaining neighbourhood building forms, would provide Grandview with much-needed rental accommodation, and would provide the Drive with another lively public space where they can meet their neighbours and have fun.

But that’s just the YIMBY in me talking.

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Image: City Abstract #4

May 23, 2016

City Abstract IV


Poem: Having

May 23, 2016

[in homage to Ginsberg]

 

I have seen the best minds of my generation squander their extraordinary talents on the marketing of consumer goods and the maintenance of shareholder value.

I have seen them abandon all pretence of worker’s rights at the behest of foreign and domestic bankers, Friedmanites from Chicago and MIT.

I have seen them relegate the environment to the dustbin, a victim in the race for quarterly profits and analysts expectations.

I have seen them treat safety issues as public relations issues, and seen them lobby to lessen their liability.

They have shamed seniors into wearing diapers, taught children how to smoke, and taunted teens into starving themselves to death.

They have sold goods that have killed millions, children, pregnant women, families, clans, tribes and nations, here and around the world.

They have spiked the waters of the masses with a poison called greed.

They have swallowed our ethics and morals and spat them back in our faces as branded goods for which it is right and necessary that we pay to display their logos.

You have contributed to their victory with every discretionary purchase, every dollar saved or spent.

You have accepted their world view with every envious glance, every lottery ticket purchase, every time you have watched a TV program starring “celebrities” or giving away a million dollars.

You have bowed to the inevitable with each ring of the alarm clock, each punch of the work clock, each end-of-week celebration.

You have become your parents, your older sister, your Uncle Frank with his shiny pants, your parents once again.

I have purchased things I could have made myself.

I have allowed my city to become plastered with advertising slogans, from store signs to billboards to the names of buildings and arenas.

I have dressed my children in designer labels, given then Elmo dolls and Flintstone vitamins, and let them choose CocoPops and TV cartoons over papaya and reading for breakfast.

I have enough of everything I need, and yet forever I need more; and

We have accepted all this bullshit, washed it down with the liquid lies of the liberal’s election hoax.

We have time and again made the wrong choice; time and again we have meekly accepted that the choices we are offered are the only choices possible.

We have been active participants in our own kidnapping, paying the ransom over and over again.

We have failed ourselves — and the bastards have won.  At least for now.