Updates from September, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:49 on 2011/09/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Oh dear. Students at the HEC got up in blackface and Jamaican colours, feigning Jamaican accents and horsing around. A McGill student happened to be there and caught it on video. The school has expressed regret.

  • Kate 21:28 on 2011/09/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Just as the city expedites its massive three-year, $4.4-billion infrastructure plan, the hot potato collusion report shows the city is in it up to the neck. The report text in scribd format.

  • Kate 15:33 on 2011/09/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Maisonneuve’s one fully accessible article for fall is a look at the fate of Hour, its transformation into Hour Community and the prospects for free alt weeklies in general.

  • Kate 15:07 on 2011/09/15 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse seems to have ended its summer series on long-lived local businesses, but here’s a brief Hour piece on Park Ex’s Afroditi bakery marking 40 years turning out baklava on Saint-Roch.

  • Kate 15:03 on 2011/09/15 Permalink | Reply  

    The Mirror has their fall arts preview; Neath looks at the upcoming 60-second film festival; Le Figaro looks at our new symphony hall; a mural honouring Oscar Peterson was unveiled Thursday in Little Burgundy.

  • Kate 11:51 on 2011/09/15 Permalink | Reply  

    As the weather turns chilly, it seems more natural to ponder hockey stories: prospects for Carey Price, remarks on the state of the team spinning off its golf tournament this week; concerns about Andrei Markov’s recovery after taking most of last season off.

  • Kate 09:42 on 2011/09/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Gruesome little story here: a man has admitted he cut the throat of a homeless man on a bench in Viger Square in 2009 but claims he has a total memory blackout of the event. Except he also remembers why he did it – to impress girls.

  • Kate 09:08 on 2011/09/15 Permalink | Reply  

    People who live in the gay village and people who do business there have submitted a petition to the city, asking for help with the homeless and drug addicts that hang out there and make street life there feel less than safe. @William also posted an open letter from someone running a village business who was injured by a street person in a recent incident.

    Coincidentally, there has just been a ruling in an incident going back to 1996 when police swept 78 homeless people out of Place Émilie-Gamelin in a dawn raid. They will all get indemnities of $2500 for their trouble.

    • Steamboat Willie 12:31 on 2011/09/15 Permalink

      There’s a drop in centre just east of Papineau for street kids, perhaps some come from there. Otherwise it’s hard to feel too bad for the gay community, they’ve been freakish about making their area homogenous based on sexual attraction and they seem to be wanting to do it more. If they want the police to help, they should try to get these kids off of drugs.

    • Kate 13:56 on 2011/09/15 Permalink

      You don’t have a coherent argument there, bucko.

      The gay village has to cope with the fact that the city doesn’t want things like drop-in centres and other forms of social support visible in the downtown core, so they tend to get pushed east of the Main and towards eastern Ville-Marie. The fact it’s a gay village is almost beside the point, but it does tend to be perceived as an area where life goes on mostly at night. My impression is that this campaign is to emphasize that people also live there and do business there, so the unspoken policy of using the area as a sort of safety valve for society’s misfits isn’t helping them and isn’t helping the residents.

      On considering this, I wonder whether one reason the city feels OK about allowing the drug trade and other insalubrities to take place there is that there aren’t many children in the area.

    • William Raillant-Clark 15:49 on 2011/09/15 Permalink

      Kate, because of your second paragraph, I just would like to point out that we are not asking the police to arrest people illegally – we are asking the police to apply the law and to protect us from violence in the same way that other communities are protected elsewhere in Montreal, and we are also asking for the Province to offer appropriate social services. I’m glad that you raised the question of children – many gay families do not feel safe living near their community because of the concentration of dangerous people in our neighbourhood. These families – and families without children – have just as much right to be safe as anyone else.

    • William Raillant-Clark 15:50 on 2011/09/15 Permalink

      And to the idiot above, if you actually knew anything about the subject, you would know that it was a straight man, Mr. Jean Drapeau, who created the Village by shoving the gays out of downtown in two moves – firstly in prepartion for the 76 Olympics, and in a second wave before the visit of the pope.

    • Kate 15:55 on 2011/09/15 Permalink

      Like the Pope was going to stroll down Stanley Street.

      (Actually, the only person I know who interacted with the Pope during his visit was a gay friend who said he was just walking along, and the Popemobile went past him and the Pope waved at him specifically! Little did he know!!)

      I know you don’t want people illegally arrested. Ideally the homeless would be housed, the drug addicts would be rehabbed, and the area would be treated less like a sort of unlicensed sector (referencing a gay writer here, Samuel Delany, whose “u-l” in Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia seems based on that kind of district).

      One thing I would ask, though: are there not people who kind of like the rough edge? If the Village became sort of quiet and gentrified and embourgeoisé, would it still be the Village?

    • qatzelok 16:31 on 2011/09/15 Permalink

      The gay village was a poor, marginal area before all those gay yuppies arrived with their Abercrombie and Fitch. The attempt to push out the poor is probably coming from business owners and property owners/speculators who want to maximize their own revenue.

    • MB 17:00 on 2011/09/15 Permalink

      Rubbish, qatzelok, absolute rubbish. This isn’t just about capitalism, it’s a quality of life issue (“life” including concerns about business). They’re asking for help. Nobody wants to worry about getting mugged or attacked, gay, straight, rich, poor, merchants & residents alike. It’s far more important to see how the issue is approached, if it’s a question of policing itinerants or improving social programs or both.

      Furthermore, gentrification isn’t just a question of “gay yuppies”, it’s happening all over the city (not even mentioning that *gasp* straight people live, work, play, and profit in centre-sud). There are still parts of this neighborhood that remain “poor, marginal areas”. It’s not like there’s a switch that decides if the entire neighborhood is gentrified or shabby. That’s what suburban development is for. This is part of the heart of the city we’re talking about.

    • William 06:42 on 2011/09/16 Permalink

      Kate, I think all of us love the very special energy of our Village – this is not about creating another Marais, Chelsea or Castro. This is about keeping people safe – including the thousands of families who pass through after the fireworks displays on Saturday night. No-one, be they gay, straight, homeless or home-having, should have to be confronted by open air drug sales, drug use and the mayhem and threats that result from it.

    • rc 06:43 on 2011/09/16 Permalink

      Are these merchants and residents arguing that their security is being less cared for than residents of other parts of the city? If that’s the case, then it becomes a human rights issue and perhaps it should be approached that way. if that’s not the case, then what are they hoping to accomplish? 10 -15 years ago the city was still one of the cheapest and poorest. When you move into an area, you can’t expect it to be cleaned up overnight. Furthermore, the neighbourhood is full of young, well-to-do people and has been a large party centre for many years. I would also that these two realities also bring the drug dealers, organized crime, thieves and trouble-makers– it’s not just the presence of some street kids and some mentally ill adults. I say this as someone who lived on the plateau for several years (I have never seen crime like I did there and the gentrification of that neighbourhood began 25 years ago).

      As for families, are there many gay families who are intent on raising their kids down the street from sky or unity? I would have assumed that gay families are like straight families and choose to raise their families in safe, residential areas with access to good schools.

    • James 08:03 on 2011/09/16 Permalink

      I feel for the guy who was beat up outside his store. And I know if it were my neighborhood, I’d probably be wanting people not to be wilding out on my streets. Butt.. I agree with the poster above that they should be asking for help not from police but from social workers etc. I agree with the gentrification/homogenous neighborhood vibe that this story gives off. I can’t help remember the time I saw some gay guys go into a store to buy deoderant to come out and spray on a homeless person I was sitting next to. I get the vibe that white middle class people can party as hard as they want there (as i have) but grimey youth are persona non grata.

    • ant6n 08:55 on 2011/09/16 Permalink

      What’s up with this “our Village” speak? Trying to create some sort of gated community? O Or is it for “us gays”, but “others” are welcome, too?
      I lived there for a couple of years last decade (not 25 years ago…), and for me it was always “the Village”.

    • Steamboat Willie 11:50 on 2011/09/16 Permalink

      Good point about the kids Kate, they certainly don’t have that card to play. They’ve always fought diversity in la Village gai, I think that’s the entire point of the place. I don’t even think there’s any heterosexual bars in the entire area. If you’re a straight male doing errands down there you’re bombarded with attempts to make sexually-oriented eye contact. It’s just not a fun place if you’re not gay. So this anti-vagrant thing seems just another step towards their attempts to extend the homogeneity of the area.

    • Kate 12:05 on 2011/09/16 Permalink

      you’re bombarded with attempts to make sexually-oriented eye contact

      Welcome to what it’s like for women everywhere else in town.

      A lot of strange things are being said in this thread and since I’m not a gay man and not living in the Village I am not really the person to make a definitive response. But it seems to me not unreasonable for Village residents and businesspeople to want to see an end to the unspoken notion that since there are some clubs in the area therefore it’s OK if violent vagrants, dealers and addicts prowl their streets.

      Don’t forget, the current effort was started by a man who was attacked and injured in front of his store, not something we’d accept in other parts of town. Welcoming diversity doesn’t mean you should have to tolerate violence.

    • William 14:26 on 2011/09/16 Permalink

      If someone feels excluded by the term “our village” (or “our city” or “our country” for that matter), it says more about that person and his or her own insecurities than it does about the proud and welcoming people who live there. Lots of latent (and not so latent) homophobia in this thread.

    • ant6n 07:25 on 2011/09/19 Permalink

      Not liking the term “our village”, especially as a former resident, has nothing to do with insecurity or ‘latent homophobia’; but rather it’s about not liking categories of “us” and “them”.

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