Bernstein, Copland, and the Fanfare!
Earlier this year, we went to the Singing for Everyone Community Choir event and it was a marvelous evening. Their next concert is coming up next week and I urge everyone to come along and just have a great time.
It was a slam bam thank you ma’am kind of night.
“It’s alright,” she said with a slight frisson of uncertainty perhaps
as she unwraps and taps the money-box on the dresser.
He pays to caress her, to possess her as she bumps and grinds
and too quickly finds the kind of passion paid for.
He wants more before he’ll leave: sixteen and still hard.
But she’s on guard, body barred against free love.
Push came to shove. Above his pleas she screamed and screamed
until the apartment teemed with neighbours and passers-by
who wondered why this nigger came by and by to be in a white girl’s room.
It’s a warm, hormone-rushing, mosquito-swarming kind of night.
Fox-fire bright, passions tightly wound and sprung.
No brass bells are rung, no masses sung, but masses gather to enjoy
the black boy toy with the last of his time on a slippery slope
as the hempen rope grips and gropes for his hopeless neck.
This afternoon I visited the City Planner’s Open House at WISE Hall to see the plans for new zoning, and thus new housing types, that the GW Community Plan is visiting upon the neighbourhood. I am not going to discuss the approved Plan’s conclusions (there have been millions of words, quite literally, been written about that already) but will concentrate on the process.
Anyone reading this blog carefully over the last four years or so should understand that my issues have never been about housing form or types, new or old. My entire concern — throughout the GW Plan period, and today — is with the process being used to bring change. I said to someone the other day, and it is quite true, that if a fully open and transparent process brought forth a huge tower on every intersection on the Drive, I would accept it (hate it though I might). The GW Plan process was anything but open and transparent which is why it was opposed so vociferously by so many for so long. But the Plan was pushed through and, regardless of how badly we have been treated to this point, we need to ensure that the process moving forward is more open and transparent. Which brings us back to today’s event.
Rezoning and introducing new styles of housing into a community is a complicated business for both planners and residents who may be anxious for the future of their properties. I thought the Planning Department did a pretty good job today of explaining the new zoning areas, and what each type of housing actually meant. The poster boards were clear and full of illustrative detail.
Most importantly, I listened to several conversations in which residents discussed their own very local issues and anxieties with members of City staff — what larger, higher, buildings might do to their own streetscapes. In each of the conversations I heard, the staff were respectful and helpful and, yes, caring about the consequences. Obviously, with general approvals in place already, there is little that can be done to change the new zonings. But this meeting did, at least, try to explain and impart useful knowledge to residents.
Thanks to Andrew Pask and his team.