Friday, August 15, 2008

A Place To Live A Place To Grow...No no...It's Queen Street West!

Special shout out and thanks to Anita who sent me the link to an article about one of the best neighbourhoods in the world!

If neighbourhoods are more than mere geographic designations – if they are characters, in the literary sense – then Queen West would be one of those mysterious shapeshifter types, possibly self-knowing, possibly mad, sexy, a little dangerous, a liar. A femme fatale. You wouldn't know if she was a protagonist or antagonist until the last page. And maybe not even then. From The Toronto Star written by Andrew Pyper author whose novel The Killing Circle is set in Queen West.


mister anchovy said...

An interesting article. At a certain time and place, I liked that neighbourhood quite a lot, and as you know I lived on its peripheries on a couple different occasions for many years. It has a historical connection for me too...I remember as a kid, lining up a couple days before Easter at Czehoski to get our holiday kielbassa. My mom grew up on Bellwoods, and her and my dad used to go dancing at the Claremont, which later became the Sanctuary and which last I checked was home to a Starbucks. It's very funny that street signs now say Art and Design district. You have to know that when it is on the street sign, it's already been gone for a while.

In ways it is still an interesting area, but one which is becoming more and more difficult to afford to live. But cities change, and neighbourhoods change and shift in all kinds of ways. These days I like to visit Queen West from time-to-time, but it seems so different to me now I feel like a tourist.

Candy Minx said...

I am always surprised at how much it still feels like a separate and organic neighbourhood. I am always surprised oh ok, sure there are some franchises but overall it is still rough around the edges, there is still a feeling of art tolerance and openess.

I was worried about seeing the lower east side in NY recently. It had been a couple years since I was there, and like Queen West, it is one of my stomping grounds. One of my haunts. I know the lower east side almost as familiarily as Queen West.

I don't feel like a tourist in either Queen West or lower east side. I feel a sense of relief. Ah, my people, home.

And it is still an artsy feeling area!

Musicians and artists can be spotted in both locales!

Yes, Queen West is much more expensive, but it also seems that people do still find a way to make a living there and get a place to live. same as lower east side.

Maybe there is still room for magic in the big cities!

Joy Renee said...

interesting. i've been contemplating neighborhood as character lately as it has crossed my mind to someday set a story in a trailer park like the one i'm living in. the things that go on here!!

i know. the general media consensus is that denizens of trailer parks are beneath notice like adolescent pimples except maybe in coverage of tornadoes and hurricanes that rip through them.

i can't help but think that we inhabitants of such neighborhoods are completely under the radar of those conducting the studies on the 'creative class'

and a part of me recognizes that i may be guilty of something analogous to 'terminal uniqueness' for my own attitude towards the neighbors i've been living among for seven years. their antics amuse me like those on sitcoms or Desperate Housewives.

i watch it all as one who is in the audience, holding my sense of self apart from them. yet here i am. here i live. here i implement my 'creative habit' making stories that 99% of my neighbors would not have the discretionary funds to buy even in paperback and for which the professional class who are guardians of the publishing industry could never envision a 'market' for.

Creativity and Markets! What an unholy match. Almost a love/hate relationship. Neither can survive without the other yet both hold the other in contempt.