Richard Nelson

Archive for July, 2004|Monthly archive page

street names

In notes and observations on 2004 July 13 Tuesday at 21:11:00

[written July 13/04]

I’ve been thinking about street names. In the 19th century, many of Toronto’s mundane or utilitarian street names were lost in a kind of obeisance to the British aristocracy: Lot Street (what could be more mundane than that?) became Queen Street, Hospital Street became Richmond Street.

In the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the years after each world war, it was common to name streets after generals or perhaps battles. Toronto has no fewer than three Byng avenues (named after the British general in command of the Canadian Army Corps at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, arguably the most important overseas battle in Canadian history, and then Governor General during a constitutional crisis), a Currie Avenue (named after Canada’s first full General), and a Dieppe Avenue and Park.

During my lengthy work-outs this weekend in the Niagara Peninsula I was contemplating this when I ran along Jellicoe Avenue (presumably named after John Jellicoe, commander of the Grand Fleet during the Battle of Jutland) in the small industrial city of St Catharines – soon followed by Evangelista Court. I wondered: named after Linda Evangelista, St Catharines’ most famous native?

In Hamilton, Crerar Park was renamed Mahoney Park. Harry Crerar was a somewhat egotistical Canadian general who was viewed heroically at the close of World War II. Still he was an important figure, G.O.C. 1st Canadian Army and so on. And now his name is lost to the children of Barton Street.


Toronto looking down on the Calgary Stampede?

In culture, professional cycling on 2004 July 9 Friday at 19:41:00

Chris Zelkovich’s column on sport media in The Toronto Star is one of my regular reads, online or off, so I was a bit disappointed in what I took to be a tone of condescension in today’s column, particularly with respect to the Calgary Stampede.

I say this with no western prickliness – I’ve lived all my life in the Golden Horseshoe, and I have no knowledge of or interest in rodeo sports – but I sensed a kind of disdain for the event. Perhaps I was wrong.

He also committed an error of fact: pro cycling shorts are not made of neoprene (thank God!), but of various lightweight stretchy fabrics, such as Lycra.

To the substance of the column, I’ve had the sense that since the big rearrangement of cable-channel ownership the Outdoor Life Network has been treated as the Sports Network’s poor cousin. And even the relaunch Zelkovich writes of lacks coherence, as cycling (a sport I do follow) and rodeo have zero in common, including (I would think) audiences. If the magazine market is any indicator there are two quite distinct “outdoor” markets: folks who read Outside or Explore, who are interested in trekking and endurance sports; and those who read fishing and hunting magazines. I wonder if a network that tries to combine those would be successful. (This isn’t to say that someone can’t be interested in both; but the markets are not natural or obvious overlaps.)

The American OLN network carries all three of cycling’s Grand Tours (i.e., of Italy in the spring, France in the summer, and Spain in the fall) and has allegedly done well with it even though only the Tour de France features Lance Armstrong.

I hope it’s just a stochastic cluster!! :-)

In notes and observations on 2004 July 9 Friday at 19:37:00

An epidemic of public urination this week. I never see anyone peeing in public, and I’ve seen 3 folks this week: on Monday I saw a woman only semi-squatting in the lane that parallels Sherbourne Street opposite Moss Park – I thought she was spilling a cup of water! Yesterday, a man was bellied up to a sapling (a sapling!) in St James Park. And this morning a guy had it whipped out on Richmond Street, nonchalantly peeing onto the wall of our building. Wow. And yuck.

This is really an argument against running, I think. The things you see …

Faster, stronger, higher—better organized!

In time utilization, Uncategorized on 2004 July 2 Friday at 21:01:00

I’ve been implementing the system in David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” at both my home and work offices.