Updates from November, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 15:03 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    OpenFile has a report on a brawl between anti-fascists and separatists at Guy and René-Lévesque at noon Saturday.

     
  • Kate 14:55 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Soleil has a piece comparing Mayor Tremblay to Quebec City’s more combative Mayor Labeaume. It’s probably no coincidence that Le Nouvelliste – Gesca’s Trois-Rivières paper – also has a piece today pondering Tremblay’s unpopularity and talking about his chances in the next election.

    Municipal elections are still two years away. I don’t recall seeing the next municipal elections evoked so often in the media this far in advance – especially since only a minority of voters bother to turn out. The present city council was elected by 38% of eligible voters.

     
  • Kate 14:41 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The media are quite clear that Occupy Montreal was shut down fairly peacefully throughout Friday – the Journal emphasizes that pot and alcohol were found in some of the tents and that on Thursday most remaining on the square were homeless people. This doesn’t tally with other things I have read and heard.

    Saturday, however, reports are mixed. Radio-Canada says some indignés are back on Saturday to continue the pressure, with a concert planned for 15h.

    People gathered again at the square on Saturday and discussed how to carry on the protest.

     
  • Kate 14:03 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Various groups have won prizes for suggesting innovative ways of presenting the access points to our city instead of the existing kilometers of strip malls and concrete, but the Turcot looks like being rebuilt in the spirit of the 1950s despite these exercises. The UNESCO YUL-MTL winners are described here with videos presenting the ideas. Quel Avenir asks readers to suggest their own ideas.

    Connected to this, Le Devoir also asks why most modern Quebec architecture is so bad. Frédérique Doyon ends the article with a list of not-so-terrible structures built here in recent years.

    The Journal simply looks at the impending calvaire des automobilistes as the Turcot is tweaked and patched to hold up its creaking structure before the reconstruction.

     
    • William 18:22 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      In the Le Devoir article, I thought it was interesting that the first architect to be quoted blamed the Americans. How very Canadian of him.

    • Robert J 22:53 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      The author says the “megacentre” is imported from the States. Our outdoor malls are actually different from most in the States in that we do less strip development and more Brossard-style megacentres with large retailers separated by parking lots. What you see in the states is the same type of stores but strewn along a highway or major artery. I don’t like this idea that everything suburban or otherwise mediocre comes from the USA. All of the Western world has developed their own versions of car culture. It’s not as though Quebec or Canada would be exempt from the phenomenon. It’s also strange to talk about suburban “architecture”. It’s pragmatic construction for the most part, with a certain vernacular charm when its at its best (I kind of like seeing the backlit Place Versailles sign from the 40, for instance). To compare it to urban architecture has the same problems as comparing village architecture to city architecture. I think people often criticize the architecture when they mean to criticize the planning.

    • qatzelok 09:59 on 2011/11/27 Permalink

      It’s a common mistake to call the soulless style/placement of suburbia “American.” But this style/placement is related to no culture – except the culture of money.

  • Kate 12:39 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The Ville-Marie tunnel is closed this weekend as those infamous concrete paralumes are taken down before they can fall down.

     
  • Kate 12:30 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Two guys tried to rob a café on Saint-Denis Friday night: police caught one of them. Also Friday night, shots rang out at a trendy Old Montreal bar, one person was wounded – not seriously – and the perps are on the lam.

     
  • Kate 02:18 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    It would almost be more like news if the new year didn’t bring a transit fare increase with it. As of January 1, an STM monthly CAM pass rises from $72.75 to $75.50; a single fare remains $3. Full 2012 fare info in PDF form.

     
    • Steve Quilliam 10:27 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      I don’t have a problem with increasing transit fare once in a while especially since i got a raise that will easily cover that this year but i’m thinking about the ones that didn’t get any raise. A $2.75 increase is relatively important. I would have thought that a $1.25 increase would be enough to make it $74.00.

      More importanly, are we getting (or will we get) improvement that justify such an increase ?
      I’m not so sure as i dont know where all of the money is going but then again it is the same with taxes. I have a feeling that a lot of money isn’t going to the right place.

    • Michael 10:42 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      We got improvements! They moved all the garbages and recycling to out of the way places! Now I can just throw my trash into the tracks.

    • Kate 11:54 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      I have a feeling that a lot of money isn’t going to the right place.

      That’s a large part of why the Occupy movement exists.

    • Matt 13:06 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      Does anyone know how they come up with these fare hikes? $2.75 is about 3.78%. Where does that figure come from? It seems a little high to be related to inflation or even—what’s that called?—l’indexation du coût de la vie (is that the same thing?).

    • Kate 13:57 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      Inflation is defined as a “rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.” Cost of living is a little more complicated than that, having to do with paying for goods with after-tax dollars and so on. (I’m no expert – I just looked this up.) But they’re clearly related.

      I think they probably did some math adding up the projected rate of inflation plus some other figure connected with funds needed for improvements.

  • Kate 02:14 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Interesting piece on the history of Yiddish in Montreal and the young woman who’s written a book about it. A hundred years ago this city could support a Yiddish-language daily, the Canader Adler, and we had the first Yiddish school in North America on Duluth Street. The article mentions that people wanted to integrate and thus didn’t teach it to their kids, but I also wonder if the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language in Israel didn’t also give Jews a different language to focus on.

     
    • jeather 09:53 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      Based on the people I know: no. Oh, schools taught Hebrew — some Yiddish as well — but it wasn’t a spoken language in the home. Neither was Yiddish.

    • Kate 11:55 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      Wouldn’t the grandparents have spoken it, though?

    • jeather 23:30 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      So we’re talking about people born in the 20s, yes? Some of them spoke it, and some of them spoke it in the home to their kids, but mostly they spoke English in the home, and their kids spoke English to their kids in turn. I don’t know of any non-Israelis who speak Hebrew in the home (not that they don’t exist, just that they’re rare — the anglo Jewish community is a pretty small community).

    • Kate 16:27 on 2011/11/27 Permalink

      I had the impression that many Jewish folks, even if not Israeli, felt a sense of duty to teach their kids at least some Hebrew for religious purposes and in case they wanted to exercise their right to return to Israel at some point. But I’m not Jewish (which is probably pretty obvious) and am basing this impression mostly on things said by a few friends over the years.

  • Kate 01:45 on 2011/11/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Thoughts on the social meaning of the l’Acadie fence between TMR and Park Ex, with some history of the areas on both sides: the writer seems torn between wanting to think it’s a serious social barrier, and not wanting to.

     
    • Kate 19:39 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      I’m replying to my own post, perversely. Taylor Noakes has just tweeted a plea to the mayor to tear that fence down.

      But I’ve seen some remarks about it on reddit that point out, realistically, l’Acadie itself functions as a hell of a barrier, as people often drive along it at highway speeds and that the fence exists at least partly to ensure kids don’t run out into the traffic.

      So I’m not sure taking that fence down would be anything but a gesture. I’m not underestimating the power of gesture, but I wonder what folks from Park Ex would even want to go into TMR for. There’s not much interesting stuff in TMR, and to get to its minor commercial area in the middle you have to plod through long blocks of bland housing.

      (If I lived in TMR I’d want the fence down to make it easier to nip over into Park Ex for a souvlaki or a curry – but then, if I could afford to live in TMR, that isn’t where I’d live.)

    • Robert H 15:41 on 2011/11/27 Permalink

      “…but then, if I could afford to live in TMR, that isn’t where I’d live.”

      Hah hah! C’est exactement ce que j’allais dire. J’ai une cousine qui y habitait y il a dix ans, et je croyais que même si c’etait une ville où on fait bon vivre, c’etait pas a mon goût; une ville dortoir classique du genre: boisée, ennuyeux, somnolent et on l’aime comme ça.

    • Blork 21:23 on 2011/11/27 Permalink

      As I implied in the comment that I just left on the Geist article, TMR is not this upper-class enclave that the article implies. I used to work near there and spent plenty of time walking its leafy streets. TMR is no Rosedale. It’s not even Outremont. Most of TMR is middle class at best, built up n the 1940s and 50s. It’s mostly modest duplexes and tiny (900 sq ft) single family houses that haven’t been renovateed in 30 years. There are a few pockets of wealth but most of it is fading middle class. Kate, as you imply in your comment (about the natural barrier and the safety isue) the fence isssue is really just a tempest in a tea pot.

    • Mary 06:14 on 2011/11/29 Permalink

      Thank you for posting this article, I thought The Little Shop had closed when Mrs Silverstone died a few years ago but apparently her daughter has kept it open. Can’t wait to visit again when I come back to Montreal, it’s certainly the most interesting place in Park Extention, and has been for a very long time, 30 or even 40 years.

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