The old hometown

Just an excuse to post a pretty picture I took when I was over there for a conference earlier this week. The colors are nicer when you look at it full-size.

It’s been over five years since I really lived there, and more than three since I sold the house. Time flies when you’re — um — old.

True north and all that

So this conference that is keeping me from being in Canada for Thanksgiving and also making me miss The Bandicoots is now redeemed by the fact that I will actually be there for this (which I’ve missed for the past year or two) and for a friend’s graduation from library school in London (the one in Ontario that actually has its own Thames). Pretty good tradeoff all in all.

Also on the agenda:

  • Groceteria research in Detroit, maybe Toledo, and Niagara Falls
  • Quality time in the Toronto Reference Library
  • Falafel Queen (just discovered it’s now closed and I’m depressed) and all my other favorites
  • London and Windsor for the first time in twelve years
  • Seeing friends (I hope) in Toronto, Detroit, and Buffalo
  • Maybe another side trip yet to be determined

More later…

Cross-promotion

In case you haven’t visited the other site — you know, the one that actually still gets lots of traffic and attention — you might be surprised to see how much its geographic reach has expanded in the past two years or so that I’ve been really actively updating again. There are now entries for forty of the fifty United States and eight of the ten Canadian provinces (none of the territories, alas). My goal is to get something up for all them within the next year.

Here’s a handy map:

Everybody needs a hobby…

Atlantic Canada adventure, part 2

I’m home. Flying back from Halifax only took fifteen hours longer than driving would have. I hate flying.

So I’ve now done the Maritimes. I’m glad I’ve been there and I enjoyed the trip, but a return trip is not a terribly high priority for me. The whole area is just too rural and lacks a lot of the urbanity and diversity I associate with Ontario and Québec, though there are still some interesting notes I’ll add to that long essay on suburban form in Canada I’ve been formulating for years now.

A few more random thoughts:

  • New Brunswick is the only “officially bilingual” province in Canada. Greater Moncton (and particularly) Dieppe was the only place I visited where it really seemed to “take.”
  • There are a lot of a highways that seem to have much more capacity than the traffic requires.
  • I found Halifax the most interesting place of all, probably because it’s the biggest city in the region and had some of the only decent bookstores I found.
  • Halifax also has one of the oddest street numbering systems I’ve ever encountered anywhere.
  • I’d like to read a spatial history of Saint John because I really don’t understand how it developed the way it did.
  • A&W’s “beyond meat” burger? Meh.

Another new crush, dammit…

I don’t think I could ever have a completely monogamous relationship with a city. I get crushes too easily, and they make me a little obsessive, even when they’re never really…uh…consummated.

This week, for the record, it’s Cincinnati (which I’ve finally gotten used to spelling correctly) and I’m now in that “uncovering its history and doing my Groceteria research” phase following the lovely weekend we just spent together. I’d been in Cincy exactly twice before, once with Bob on the 1998 U.S. Tour and once in 2006 with Mark. Both were quick drive-throughs which gave me no real feel for the place but made me want to see more. Apparently I also considered moving there, at least for long enough to write this.

I probably wouldn’t actually move there now, but it seems a nice enough place to have another affair with. I’m in Pittsburgh next month for a show. I hope this won’t make things awkward between us.

Anyway, more soon. With pictures of chili and neon signs and my new favorite neighborhood.