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Showing posts from 2016

Just Build It - Stop The Inane LRT Debate Before We Are left Behind

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I really can't fathom why there is a mind-numbing debate in Hamilton right now about the LRT. People are actually spending money to make No LRT in Hamilton signs and posting them up around the city.  As one acquaintance pointed out...really badly designed signs at that.

I could see the validity of serious debate if the city were considering LRT without outside funding (if that were the case, it just wouldn't be considered at all I suppose) BUT THEY'RE NOT....

The province has committed $1,000,000,000 to build it. period. Count them zeros! That's a Billion... With a B....When does a city get a 1 Billion dollar capital infrastructure investment from the Province...  let me help you.  Never.  And yet here we are with a $1Billion dollar gift of state of the art transit infrastructure sitting on a silver platter and the city is debating what to do.  Let me answer the question for you.  TAKE IT!  before someone else does.  I suspect that some people at Brantford city hall …

The Most Canadian of Pastimes

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I would argue that on any list of "Most Canadian" things to do, skating outdoors on some frozen body of water should definitely be included.  From the famous Rideau Canal in Ottawa, to countless frozen ponds from coast to coast, the image of Canadian winters almost always includes an image of someone skating and often playing hockey.  Of course this is an image that for many Canadians is simply a romantic ideal and the truth of the matter is that (especially with the mild winter we've been experiencing this year) most skating takes place in a very controlled environment:  an arena, a rink, a skating path.  I found an exception to this here in Hamilton!

Hamilton Theatre Fun - Frost Bites Festival

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For the next few days the fine folks at Hamilton Festival Theatre Company (the people that bring you the Hamilton Fringe Festival every summer) are presenting a imaginative and fun theatre experience that is a perfect respite from the cold of February.  You should go!  It's a really fun experience.

Frost Bites is staged at the Cotton Factory located at 270 Sherman Street North.  This spectacular facility was up until as recently as 1972 home to the The Imperial Cotton Company Limited.  In it's heyday the Cotton Company was only second to the steel industry in its contribution to the local economy.  Today the the building has taken on a second life as a home to many local art and creative based enterprises and as an event space.

The Hamilton Fringe Frost Bites Festival has taken full advantage of this remarkable and historic building to stage several bite sized theatrical presentations from a number of genres and when I say full advantage I mean it.

Skate!

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We haven't had much of a winter this year, but now that the cold has finally set in why not embrace it!  One of the better places in the city to do just that is down at Pier 8 on the waterfront.  There you will find an Olympic size outdoor ice skating rink that offers one of the best views you'll find on two blades.

Playing It Forward - Hamilton Music Scene

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Last Tuesday was a great night for the Hamilton music scene and you should have been there.  Playing It Forward was the brainchild of Hamilton's Shari Dunn and Jonny Kerr.  On their own, Jonny and Shari have been performing in the Hamilton and Brantford area and are a talented duo.  Regular performances at the Cat and Fiddle and on the bill with many other local artists have connected the duo to many of the best performers in the Hamilton Area.

Playing it forward had the double goal of raising money for a worthy cause (the Brian Lee Grifith Guitar Bursary) and bringing together some of Hamilton's best singers, songwriters and performers for a celebration of their songs.

Steps (and railcars) Into The Past

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The Incline Railway Lines (yep...there were more than one)

My Aunt Elaine (not actually my aunt, but that's what we've always called her) who grew up around Cainsville on a farm told stories of her father taking his horse and cart down the Hamilton mountain by cable car to take his produce to the Farmers' Market.  My parents had heard the story many times but never really understood what she was talking about.  So when I told them that we went for a walk up the stairs where the cable car used to be to the top of the escarpment they had a good laugh - realizing that Elaine wasn't as crazy as they thought.

Hamilton Music Scene - Hello Cat Piano Open Jam

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Hello Cat Piano - An Awesome Open Jam / Open Mic Night
I'm a musician who's a recent transplant to the Hamilton area, so I've been really interested in connecting with other local musicians and hopefully getting a band together soon.  As any musician will tell you, open mic and open jams are a great place  to connect with other musicians and This Ain't Hollywood has a great one with their "Hello Cat Piano" open mic.  Even if you are not a musician it's worth coming by just to listen - Read on to find out more about this great Hamilton tradition

Tropical House - A Tonic For The Winter Blues

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It's January 26th...it's not even February yet. Which means that there could very well be lots more winter left.  With the lack of snow and generally grey feeling of everything right now I find myself reacting with vitriolic responses to anyone who is on vacation in warmer climates.  As if they have the nerve to post pictures.  What the hell!  "na na na na na I'm sipping Margaritas" I hear them saying.  With their bare feet sticking out in front of a perfectly good view of the beach...
Ah well - I have found a small reprieve from the cold and grey - Gage Park Tropical House

Hamilton's Awesome Farmer's Market

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The weekly grocery shop - to many people the thought of grocery shopping can be both daunting and painful.  Crowded aisles, barely ripe produce, vacuum packed meat from a factory farm, long lines at the checkout, and if you have a question...good luck!

I spent some time at the Hamilton Farmer's Market where shopping is much more human experience.

Really Great Jerk Chicken

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I know winter arrived pretty late this year, but if you're like me then the prospect of another month or more of winter has me wishing I was on an island down south.  I may just have a small respite for you If you are craving a bit of the taste of summer, or the Caribbean.  You really owe it to yourself to head over to Granny's Place (9 Robert Street Hamilton) for lunch some day to enjoy some of their awesome Jerk Chicken.

The Best Chicken Wings in Hamilton (...the World?)

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Hands down.  Listen, Save yourself some time, stop reading this and just go eat some.

With the number of pizza and wing places scattered across the city and when you consider that Hamilton is just down the highway from the birthplace of buffalo chicken wings, you'd think that there might be lots of contenders for best chicken wing in the city.  I am however going to take a risk here and just call it.   Work, an unpretentious (in fact...super friendly) hang-out on James Street North and its my hands down winner.  I don't even hesitate to say that you'd be hard pressed to find a better wing anywhere.