I miss Elphinstone (a lot) how-ever I am enjoying being in Toronto right now.
This city seems new and improved from every angle compared to how I remember it was when I left for the West in 2004.
Perhaps it's just my attitude that's changed...
Two things I've learned in Canada are:
A perogy is a potato based food stuffed with cheese or other tasty fillings.
Proroguing Parliament is when a Prime Minister closes Parliamentary sessions for a period, often to avoid facing up to scandal or just to get a nice long vacation (which this time was met with giant waves of protest in rallies today all across the country!)
meditating on the bus
while rolling along towards a new life
I briefly open my eyes
the big city digital billboard say,
"best do-over ever!"
There is more to Hamilton, Ontario than smokestacks and steel. Here are 10 things I came to love about it during my time there:
10 - The Hamilton GO Centre
The Hamilton GO Centre is a beautiful art deco building, with an especially appealing interior (I love the font they chose for signs.) When my Internet was down, it was my favourite place to loiter with a laptop.
9 - Mex-i-Can
Mex-i-can is the best Mexican restaurant I've been to outside Mexico. Yum. Located at 107 James Street North.
8 - "The Factory"
The Factory: Hamilton Media Arts Centre is a collaborative group of filmmaking types who pool resources for space, equipment, and educational purposes. I took a screenwriting course there in the Fall that changed my life. Other creative communities could learn from this way of doing things.
7 - Locke Street
A funky street with interesting shops and an enjoyable vibe for walking down nestled at the bottom of the hill they call "The Mountain" in Hamilton. It's also the place to get bagels.
6 - James Street North
The slightly seedy, slowly gentrifying street north of downtown that hosts monthly art crawls. I predict this neighbourhood will get much nicer in the near future.
5 - Sky Dragon Centre
The Skydragon Centre is an emerging cultural centre downtown for activists, environmentalists, artists, and intellectuals. There are good hearts and minds in attendance.
4 - Waterfalls
The city is spending money trying to improve Hamilton's image by calling it "the city of waterfalls." The waterfalls are a nice surprise, and yes, they are indeed awesome.
3 - Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park is a great place to see swans, sailboats, and to find a bit of peace amidst everything.
2 - The Music Scene
There's great creativity here and many excellent bands all around. The Hamilton Music Awards were eye opening. It was here I found my rock muse.
1 - The unique flavour
It's not a suburb, it's not a big city, it's not a small town. There's an edge and evidence of decay, but it's safe and there are signs of beauty everywhere. There's history and ethnic diversity. There's nowhere else like it.
I'm glad I've had the experience of living here for 5 months. It's been character building and eye-opening. There will always be a soft spot for "the Hammer" in my heart.
A quote from A Course in Miracles (Chapter 13 #6) that was a good reminder today:
"When you have learned to look on everyone with no reference at all to the past, either his or yours as you perceived it, you will be able to learn from what you see now."