Final thoughts on Nuit Blanche

  • David Topping at Torontoist has an excellent list of recommendations for how to improve next year’s event, including my favourite “Somehow Ban Trashed, Annoying People from Participating.” Also, you can tell by the article’s permalink that the original title was “The Nights Who Say Nuit” but I’m guessing the editor pulled that for excessive levels of nerd. 🙂
  • Another of Topping’s suggestions — Ban Non-Pedestrian Traffic — was echoed by Toronto Star columnist Christopher Hume. Pretty hard to argue with that, having seen a few people almost hit by cars and Queen Street ground to a halt anyway. Even leaving Richmond, Adelaide & Front open for cross-town traffic while closing off Wellington, Queen & King would help.
  • My Flickr traffic has gone through the roof in the last 24 hours, partly from native Flickr searches, and partly because Spacing Wire used one of my pictures.
  • Finally, while we could hear the rehearsals all week leading up to Nuit Blanche in the nearby park, and could also hear the early performances Saturday evening before we went out, we missed seeing Quixotic ourselves in St. James Park. It looked impressive too: how this performance at 5AM didn’t wake us up I’ll never know.

"nothing is happening! its so boring"

From Torontoist: Vanity’s Fair. I don’t know David Topping (though LinkedIn keeps telling me I should) but anyone who starts a story this way must be a decent guy:

Canada’s talented children have gone unexploited for far too long, an injustice that Universal Music has finally seen fit to remedy.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the label has “joined the search for Canada’s version of Miley Cyrus,” and, with YTV, has created a new TV talent competition called The Instant Star, designed for children 15 and under. The winner gets a record contract, fame, and, presumably, a shot at pubescence.

I, for one, feel that Canada could really do without a Miley Cyrus. Hannah Montana, though…we need us one of those.

I’d like to say that was the most disturbing TV-related thing I saw/read today, but…well, WIVB (a CBS affiliate in Buffalo, NY) pretty much wins. Poor Nellie just wanted to watch How I Met Your Mother, but WIVB was busy showing 2.5 hours of some wackadoo with a pistol sitting on a bridge. I was amazed to hear that families had come from all around town, sitting on the grass, waiting to see said wackadoo shoot someone (or be shot himself). It was also entertaining to read the [ahem] coverage on their website, rife as it was with spelling errors (click the image on the right for more detail) and amateurish reporting. To wit: “Apparently, one of the police sharp shooters took a shot of the gentleman and police have pulled the guy from the vehicle.”

What was really disturbing was the breathless excitement of the reporters. I’ve never gotten this fascination the American news media has with any kind of criminal possessed of a license and set of keys. If this guy had never gotten in a car, had instead just hung out on his front lawn with a .38, no one would notice. OK, well, the cops might notice, but the news media wouldn’t have choppers circling overhead while Burt the janitor updates the web site. However, because this guy gets in a car, news anchors instantly go from six to midnight as visions of white Broncos dance in their heads. In no time at all, Janitor Burt had created a banner ad pointing to live streaming video of the standoff and a Google Map showing the location. He’d also uploaded a pile of amateur pictures and opened up the comments, which range from “this is absolutely ridiculous, this guy is charging his phone. if i miss How I met your Mother I am going to be super pissed at this guy” to “Shoot the white trash in the croch”.

What’s the emoticon for “the human race is doomed” again?

[tags]torontoist, the instant star, miley cyrus, wivb buffalo, how i met your mother[/tags]

I think the $117 would've been better spent on an hour of therapy

From the “I’m glad it wasn’t my country” file:

Who got the money and why? It went to help pay a psychic who performed a ghost exorcism in one of the units. The occupants of the home reported hearing banging noises and seeing objects flying across the room by themselves, and told officials on Easington Council in Durham County, England they believed their apartment was haunted.

[via CityNews]


Torontoist makes a very good point today that I should’ve made yesterday: while the national news media makes fun of Toronto’s weather spazztasm, the local media leads the hand-wringing.


Big night for my teams. Montreal snapped a 3-game losing skid by scoring late to tie the game and then winning in overtime, while the Raptors beat Vince Carter and the Nets like a red-headed stepchild…a game T-Bone was lucky enough to see live. The Duke Blue Devils even beat Maryland tonight, which I kinda half care about.

[tags]haunted apartment, torontoist, toronto media, snow, canadiens, raptors, vince carter, duke blue devils[/tags]

"I left my thimbles and socialist reading material at home."


Wow, three days without blogging. That’s probably a record. I can explain: busy Friday, busy Saturday and today I feel like ass.

Friday I was at work until about 7:30, and by the time I got home all I really had the energy to do was eat and watch Friday Night Lights and The Wire.

Yesterday we intended to see There Will Be Blood but when we got to the theatre we found that the new Eye Weekly film listings had lied to us. No wonder Torontoist hates them. No other showtimes worked so we had one last meal at the Biryani House in Roy’s Square. It’s closing in two weeks (moving just around the corner onto Hayden Street) to make room for 1Bloor. Mmmmm…samosas and pakoras and shrimp masala…tasty. After lunch we walked back down Church street, cleaned up a little and waited for CBGB to arrive. They joined us for dinner and a couple of tasty drinks at Smokeless Joe (hence the picture above), then back at ours for a bit.

All was going well until I woke up this morning stuffed up, with a sore throat and a pounding sinus headache. Last night I had nothing; by this morning I was deep in the throes of a cold. Shitty. I feel very unpleasant right now. As such we did next to nothing all day; I have no energy. My day has been limited to lots of basketball, football and movies.


The first movie we watched today was Stranger Than Fiction (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which, based on the ads, I’d all but dismissed as typical Will Ferrell clowning. It was, in fact, very funny, clever and sweet. Ferrell is so good at the subtle humour he showed here and in Winter Passing that it kills me to see the ads for crap like Semi-Pro. A few times in this movie I laughed out loud, and I rarely laugh at Will Ferrell movies.

We also watched Marie Antoinette (imdb | rotten tomatoes) this evening. The first half was interesting, but it completely lost steam in the second half. It was like watching a dessert cart being paraded around…it looks lovely and inspired at first, but after you stare at the same sweets for two hours it loses something. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it that much to begin with; Sofia Coppola had me in the first half, but lost me again in the second.

I forgot to blog last week about Italianetz (imdb | rotten tomatoes), yet another foreign entry at a past film festival that I wanted to see. The story was about a Russian boy set to be adopted from an orphanage by an Italian couple (hence the title) but who worries that he has a mother somewhere that, should he go to live with another couple, he’ll never see again. The plot takes him on his search for her, but the real star was Russia itself: a dirty, drunken, stormy, barren, corrupt plain of despair…that one little boy refuses to give up on. Worth watching, if you can tolerate the dodgy subtitle translations.

[tags]friday night lights, the wire, there will be blood, eye weekly, torontoist, biryani house, 1bloor, smokeless joe, stranger than fiction, marie antoinette, italianetz[/tags]