An Endangered Species On the Drive

May 1, 2017

There aren’t many of us left it seems. Few enough, at least, for our needs to be ignored.

The “us” in this case are the folks who gave up wristwatches some time in the 60s and who have never bothered with cell phones in the years since. We are the “us” for whom the ubiquity of public clocks in the world we grew up in meant that no watches were necessary; we could turn our head and quickly find a clock somewhere on a wall that would tell us what we needed to know. Not now.

I guess building designers and interior decorators believe we all have cell phones these days and so the need for public clocks has disappeared and they are not designed into places any longer.

That’s “us” being ignored.

This whole thing came up for me today when I was halfway through my latest monthly walk on the Drive and I was resting for a moment outside the now closed and empty Wonderbucks store. I happened to notice that the only thing left in the store is a wall clock above where the cashiers’ desk used to be. It was still running, though an hour late (damn those time changes), and it was comforting for me to know the time.

So, there is a clock available to the public in Wonderbucks. There is another in the Tim Hortons in Il Mercato, and a third at Skylight Restaurant (over the serving hatch at the east end of the building). There may be others, but these are the only ones that come to mind right now.

We need to encourage more public timepieces. And more benches for sitting, too.

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Changes on the Drive #69

May 1, 2017

May showers, eh? What started out as a not-unpleasant cool mist in the air became, by the end of my walk, a steady downpour. Oh well. Who needs a suntan when you can rust?

Right down at the southern end of the core, the old Food Stop at 2289 Commercial is being refitted. A wall has been erected onside making it into two spaces, though there is still only a single door. Could be a private office connected by a corridor at the back, I guess.

There had been some suggestion that perhaps Donald’s produce would be expanding into the Food Stop space. However, a “manager” there that I spoke with didn’t know of that plan.

The Sweet Greek at 2227 Commercial has now been open just under a month. See my review from early April. The owner has lost his big Greek beard since I was there last, but his welcome was just as warm.  This morning I had a mini baklava that was perfect, without any cloying sweetness. Nice place.

 

At the old Russell’s place at 2068 Commercial, the new construction continues apace.

 

The old laundry at 2058 now sports a large “For Lease” sign.

Meanwhile, the former Waves Coffee shop at 1850 is still vacant (2 months), as are the old Wonderbucks space at 1801 (3 months), 1740 (7 months), and 1706 Commercial (5 months), along with 1704 E. 1st.  The vacant store at 1735 Commercial is being used this month as an NDP Provincial election office. In Il Mercato, the former Strawberry Bakery spaces continues to be unoccupied after 28 months.

Three big spaces in the core of the Drive continue to flounder: The Libra Room at 1608 Commercial is still closed after 9 months, the “opening soon” signs looking a little weathered these days. Same could be said for the Roma at 1500 Commercial, with little change since the new owner signs went up last month; it has been closed for 6 months now. Across the street at 1447, the Charlatan is still closed, three months after they said they were closing for renovations; unfortunately, there is no evidence of any work being done.

While we are in this mode I might as well mention now that the Tandoori Palace at 1439 Commercial is currently closed though they were actively renovating this morning when I went by so hopefully the closure will be brief.  The “opening soon” Bao Down restaurant at 1408 is still not open (closed now for 9 months). The storefronts at 1303 (7 months), 1108 (36 months!), 952 (8 months), and 902 (24 months) are all still vacant or closed.

There are some positive signs, too.  The pub on the corner of Graveley has been rebranded as The Dirty Penny. I hear that Dolce Amore gelato is planning a sort of re-opening on or about June 1st, with new flavours and delights; can’t wait!  And the Art Gallery at 1704 Charles now has a name, it is called Nina Di Gallery.

Also, the new Rosemary Rocksalt bagel place is now open at 1350 Commercial. It is bright and airy but has the personality of a fast-food joint. I bought a half-dozen mixed bagels and will give them a try.

 

Finally, the REACH construction in the 1100-block seems to be racing ahead which is good news for all of us waiting for its reopening..

 

Previous Changes on the Drive editions.


Image: Stairway In Maui

May 1, 2017


Poem: Last Playboy of the West End

May 1, 2017

 

He stands erect

his jacket checked at the door.

Surveys the floor

where dancers more or less perform

to an MTV norm

writhing and circling by.

With his casual clothes

and his casual attitude

to casual sex

he is already a casualty

rushing headlong for an accident

and it meets him tonight in the form of

Barbara

a Barbie-doll beauty with C-cup breasts

and a heart full of

barbarous revenge.

She picks him

she tricks him

she licks

his ego

until he stands tall and hopeful.

He buys her a drink and engages in chat

while he makes sure that

he doesn’t smell too bad.

“Come back to my pad

and fuck me,” she croons

He swoons and tries to play it cool

but his head bobs up and down

like a fat man on a trampoline.

She drives

he strives to keep it in his pants

tries to make small talk

but just kind of rants

about nothing in particular,

his cock bent reticular in anticipation.

She parks and barks,

“We’re here.”

In the condo

he tries to fondle her charms,

but she wriggles from his arms.

“Show me what you got to arouse us.”

So he drops his trousers.

 

His flagpole slowly wanes in the breeze of her

obvious indifference.

Less than impressed

she refuses to divest

the clothes from her blessed

body.

Instead, like a cat, she screeches,

“Whaddya call that?

Some kind of bonsai?

I’ve had 12 year olds bigger than you, boy,

and 70 year old royals making me come.

So I’m not gonna sleep

with some self-absorbed creep

with a prick the size of my thumb.”

 

He went home by bus

didn’t make a fuss

just pulled the trigger

gave a small shiver

like the third orgasm of the night

It was the first thing he’d done right

all day.

 

 


May Day!

May 1, 2017

In the absence of anarchism, we can at least celebrate May Day!