Category Archives: Ottawa

welcome to Ottawa

Word is the Ottawa Senators are eying Le Breton Flats as a possible site for future home games. Possibly a new arena; possibly outdoor games played in the iced-over pit that until recently was home to contaminated soil.

More likely, the former.

It’s a dandy idea. And if your response to the proposal was “Why didn’t anyone think of that before?” well, you’re almost certainly new to Ottawa. If so, welcome. And please, try our shawarmas.

We’re a complicated city. Sort of. Home to the most powerful men (and sometimes women) in the country, we nonetheless find it a challenge to design and build a bridge that can support the weight of a pedestrian.

Fortunately, we know what makes a city truly world class: sporting events. Lots of ’em. Without major international sporting events, you’re nothin’! You hear that, Paris? Is a World Juniors warmup game coming to you? I thought not. Continue reading

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dancing with the stores

Earlier this week, I was lost in the College Square Loblaws, remaining calm in no small part due to the always-soothing sound of California Stars — to my ears, still Wilco’s crowning moment. And as I hummed along to the music emanating from the mammoth market’s PA, a thought struck me:

They’re playing Wilco as background music at Loblaws!

Moreover, this followed recent encounters at the same store with decidedly unmuzakky numbers from Nirvana and Sonic Youth.

Music to shop by, it seems, ain’t what it used to be.

It’s a brave new reality that brought to mind an unpublished feature article I wrote some years ago for a local newspaper. I had pitched the piece as something of a music review of what’s playing at the local malls. And while the editors were kind enough not to assign the story to another writer in my stead, they were not kind enough to run it.

And so, without further ado, I will run it myself. What an age we live in, this era of the blog. If only it paid better. Continue reading

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flagging tradition

Today is National Flag Day, it says here. For some, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the pennant that has represented Canada for nearly 50 years. To me, though, the day represents a missed opportunity for what could have been the coolest Canadian tradition of all. Continue reading

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reasons to be cheerful: New Year’s Eve edition

Here in my favourite time zone fewer than 12 hours remain in the year of our lord 2013. And while that means it’s premature to offer a summary of the year’s events, I’m willing to take a chance on at least noting a few positive things that happened during this nearly-completed year. I do so mostly to counter the relentless stream of depressing images and memories that have graced our media in recent days and weeks. Canada’s media have, for example, chosen the Lac-M├ęgantic tragedy as the news story of the year — surprising, given that they know all too well it was not the story on which they obsessed in 2013. Perhaps they were too embarrassed to acknowledge what was truly their ‘news story’ of the year — though that doesn’t sound like our media.

So, as we prepare to bid farewell to another year, please allow me to take note of but three good things that strove to make life a little more bearable amid the grim news of the day. Continue reading

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the delicate art of booing

Sunday’s the day. Freshly healed from an injury that kept him out of action for last week’s loss to his former team, Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson is set to return to Ottawa. It’s good news for the Senators, as the Red Wings appear to be the only team our troubled local heroes can reliably beat. And it’s good news for Ottawans, who will finally have a chance to greet the prodigal winger and to celebrate his contributions to your Ottawa Senators.

There will be a tribute to the former captain whose ship has since his abandonment struggled to navigate choppy waters. Expect thunderous applause. And booing. Continue reading

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