Thursday, January 27, 2011

How do you live in a city that drives you nuts?

Is Hamilton any worse than any other annoying mid-size city? Probably not. I think what grinds away at us is that it has such potential. There is the physical beauty, the proximity to fine places-Toronto-Niagara-Buffalo, the affordability, and the character of the place. It's irritating and frustrating, but Hamilton is not bland. A positive trend is the blossoming of new media coverage. Raise the Hammer, and CATCH have been slogging through the muck in the city, now OpenFile Hamilton adds additional coverage of the good and the bad in the Hammer. Online content will have to fill the gap as the Hamilton Spectator continues to slim down. I went to a buy-out party for the latest group to leave. To say goodbye to Paul Wilson, Barb Brown, Gary McKay and John Kernaghan makes for a very sad Saturday night. But as my late neighbor Gil Simmons would say, press on. Hamilton it's nutty and nice but not to be ignored.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How dare people think they can have a porch at their new house?

The CATCH newsletter contained a gem recently, reporting on the remarks of certain Hamilton City Councillors and their outrage that some new home construction is including porches and my goodness-bay windows. These renegade houses apparently do not have the sort of palatial front yards suburban councillors favour. They therefore contravene by-law set backs-scribbled into planning guidelines which were written I believe before the printing press was invented.  The new houses which I guess are just built in the wrong postal codes, are too close to the sidewalk to allow a porch. The porch might encourage conversation, civility, engagement, and communication, with passersby, and that is clearly against the spirit of isolation and perhaps civic apathy that some councillors seem keen to encourage. All the more reason to locate in the lower city where porches like this one on Bay Street South are not just tolerated but allowed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

West Harbour Hamilton-now as popular as bedbugs.

This is a photo of Hess North where the City of Hamilton once wanted to build a Pan Am stadium. I have driven by this land thousands of times on my way home. Matt Jelly blew the whistle on the barrels of unidentified liquid abandoned on the site, I have been emailing people who should have been concerned about it for years. Jelly got the job done. After the lid came off the story, there was much furrowing of the brow by the city and the Ministry of the Environment. Now, not so much. The switch hitting city is now fretting about enhancing the Ivor Wynne neighborhood since a rebuilt Ivor Wynne will decrease their parkland. That's fine. But after sitting through the five hour stadium debate at council yesterday (and writing about it for OpenFile Hamilton) I heard two references to selling the West Harbour land the city bought for the stadium to developers in order to recover some costs. Is this a whim, a notion, a trend, a threat? Whatever it is, it should be watched. Developers can do good things, but we can't forget that the early developer ideas for what became Bayfront Park, was for light industrial use. Great things could happen on that West Harbour land, and they should, but they should happen with imput and imagination. Citizens be vigilant.

Monday, January 24, 2011

This is the stadium in Cardiff Wales. It's on the water, in the city and attractive. We just can't do that in Hamilton Ontario.

Too bad the Pan Am stadium has become a wretched curse in Hamilton. This is the rugby stadium in Cardiff Wales. It's attractive, you can get there by transit, there are markets outside when it's not is use. Other people can do it.

Hamilton Harbour in all its rugged beauty.

It's painful to see Hamilton Harbour and specifically the West Harbour, dragged through the mud, insulted and ridiculed as a result of the Pan Am stadium circus. In the Globe and Mail, in the Toronto Star it is called the "blighted" area. We know differently, the people who use the trails, sail, have a coffee at water's edge, bird watch and photograph and paint it. Today another council meeting on the stadium-it's one of the most absurd stories in Hamilton's history.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Photographer in purple-not afraid of mixing patterns.

The Bjorn Borg look works for me.

Arty hair.

Kia designer Peter Schreyer in basic black, in front of his anything but basic van in Detroit.

This person is straight out of The Sartorialist. Way beyond your ink-stained scribe.

Second appearance for tie-one-on. Great shirt too.

There are always plent of shots of beautiful women at the auto show in Detroit. I tried to find some stylish men in between shooting Porsches and taking notes.

Purple rain here I come. Purple is hot for men, this man can't possibly be from Detroit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Best in Show at the Auto Show

The best body at Detroit auto show. Porsche 918 hybrid

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Auto Show in Detroit

BMW M 1 at the Auto Show one of a slew of sporty machines on display.

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