Monday 20 August 2012

Around this town: Clara Hughes, Blue orbs, and other things

It's hard to believe. A stunning event that you know is true because you're seeing it happen, but yet doubts linger in the back of your mind simply because it's so improbable.

I'm not talking about the Bombers beating the Tiger Cats this week, but the owners of the Boyd Building taking down their illegal electronic sign. I don't mind electronic signs in general, and I don't even mind this one, except that the very presence of the sign meant that the owners intended to reneg on their intention to build a taller mixed use complex next door and in the adjacent vacant lot that used to be a park, which leads me to believe that the proposal was nothing more than a ruse in the first place to gain control of the park for use as an illegal parking lot.

However, the fact that they actually took down the sign gives me a bit of hope -- not much, but a slim little ray of hope -- that the owners may sometime be convinced to do something about that ugly and illegal parking lot on Portage Avenue if the City were to push a bit harder. And by "something" I don't mean cheap plastic planters.


During the recent Summer Olympics (c) a thread was started on the Winnipeg Zoom forum about doing something to honor the great Winnipeg-native Olympian Clara Hughes, now that it appears that her Olympic (c) career has come to an end (although I hesitate to write those words). "More than just a little park off Main Street."

Another great local Olympian (c) Cindy Klassen has a street and a fancy recreation complex named after her. Our civic and provincial politicians sprained their ankles racing to name shit after Jonathan Toews after just 3 seasons in the NHL, yet Hughes, one the greatest Olympians of all time, has a tiny park with a tiny little sign in her honour. 

I'm sure she doesn't mind, and she doesn't make Winnipeg home anymore, but it just seems a little out of proportion. 

UPDATE: I'm not sure how I missed this, but Regan Wolfrom posted about this a week ago. (I blame it on slo-pitch playoffs.) The Metro has picked it up as well.


A drama unfolded in the local bloggoshpere recently. North end activist Michael Redhead Champagne, a.k.a.North End MC, posted that his sister was missing. This alarmed me and several others who spread the word on twitter, because, you know, the people who follow me on twitter are just SO likely to hang out at the places where an abducted Aboriginal girl would be. 

Then came this post: Dear Woman Beater
You are a snake. A poisonous snake. A coward. Spineless. A mindless predator. Ruthless. Systematic. Power hungry. You must feel like a big man when you hit women.
That's just a small sample of the post itself. You have to read it, but especially the comments. There is some pretty crazy shit there. Accusations of crack use, rape, child beating, etc.. things I would not feel comfortable about having on my blog. And then a dialog starts between commenters who claim to be the lost sister and her mother. It's a unique slice of social media there.

Anyhow, I'm happy to report that the sister is safe.


Osborne Village will never be the same once Papa Georges is gone. Of the the great Winnipeg institutions started by Greek restaurantuers, Papa Georges was one of the go-to places for late night vittles after the bars closed. Moreso than the loss of Vi-Ann or even Movie Village, this will change the character of the area for me. PG's along with the Courtyard building across the street, mark the entrance to the core of the Village. The dense, quirky and pulsating mass of businesses that make the Village so unique.

You could see some signs. The building was looking worn in recent years. I'm not entirely surprised by this, but I do hope that whatever moves into that location will not be generic and mundane ... a franchise of a big US corporation looking for a high-visibility spot in a new market.


If you go to Google Streetview in about 2 months and look up Bishop Grandin and St. Mary's, there's a good chance you'll see a dork on rollerblades holding up a cell phone.

That blue orb has probably scanned all of the chip information off my credit cards.


That's Around This Town for today. 'Till next time ... 

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