Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Public Art in Hamilton needs spring cleaning.

These doors have to go. They have been on display too long, and from the beginning were never interesting. Note the one on James Street South with a blanket of cigarette butts around it. C'mon Hamilton this is not Public Art. This is embarrassing.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I read today that the witch hazel is in bloom on The High Line in NYC. So, usually before the end of February the red- wing blackbirds are back here. That's the best sound of impending spring.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Hamilton ON

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Talking about Houston

Spoke with Arlene Bynon on AM640 today about my trip to Houston, working on a piece for the Toronto Star Travel section. The rodeo and livestock show is coming up in March there-would love to go back for that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

At the Port of Montreal. It would be great to see something like this in Hamilton.

Needed: Watchdog for West Harbour

Boarded up and left behind. Houses in the Barton-Tiffany neighbourhood in Hamilton were bought by the city to make way for the Pan Am stadium in the West Harbour. Now with the stadium located at a rebuilt Ivor Wynne, what's to become of the neighbourhood that was? I'm blogging about in on Open File Hamilton tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Working on North End Hamilton stories. Storm clouds ahead?

What is going to happen in the Barton Tiffany neighborhood where the city expropriated people, boarded up houses and now like a fickle lover is turning attention to new passion-Ivor Wynne. Those left behind in the West Harbour neighborhood now look out to a bitter view. Excellent piece at Open File Hamilton, I will be blogging about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hot on Houston

I am working on a story for the Toronto Star on Houston. I was there for three days and some some splendid art, gardens, some weird food an offbeat museums.

Letter from London: Being Boring

Letter from London: Being Boring

This is interesting piece about the state of sculpture in England. I take from it:go for it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

A market in Oaxaca Mexico.

Fabric, food, books, shoes, hats in a wonderful, colourful jumble. Exploring markets in Mexico snaps the senses alive.

LRT in Houston-taking a chance with design.

A section of the light rail system in downtown Houston. A reflecting pond, places to sit, flowers. Would we do this in Hamilton?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sorry folks I think the new Hamilton Farmers Market is underwhelming.

Hamilton Farmers' Market
Hamilton Farmers' Market
Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia
 The first two photos are of the new Hamilton Farmers' Market, the third photo is of the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. To me the so called new Hamilton Farmers' Market with brighter (and uninteresting lighting) looks a lot like the OLD market. No colour, no warmth, generic signage, a terrible view from the top floor looking down, and no escalators. Where are all the cool places to eat? Why are all the flower vendors split up so that now they have no impact? It has all the charm of the Customs and Immigration arrival at an airport. Look at the Philly market, note the stalls that have an individual stamp, neon lights, and a variety of lighting rather than just banks of prison issue fluorescent lights as we get in Hamilton. I was really looking forward to the new market, but after all the delays is this as good as it gets? Is this a hint of what we have to look forward to in the rebuilding of Ivor Wynne? Let's hope the Market gets gussied up as the vendors settle in, and dare to individualize their spaces.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Light rail in Houston Texas. It looks good but has not worked miracles.

I was in Houston on the weekend and took a spin on the light rail system. People on board thought it was good but too limited. There is only one link, running from a museum district to the downtown. There have been plans for years to add more routes, but it has never happened. The train was modern and clean, and the stops designed well,  and free of litter and graffiti. This shot was taken on a Saturday and as you can see the downtown was sparsely populated. Monday to Friday the scene would be different. Several people I talked to were riding the light rail for the first time, though they had lived in the city for years. They were only riding it because the Houston Marathon was making it difficult to drive in the downtown core. And driving is where it's at in Houston, which is a sprawling city where the car is king. As glam as LRT might be, the people I talked to thought a comprehensive bus system would serve the city better.