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The Globe & Mail looks at the reincarnation of the Ritz-Carlton with a photo essay.
Ian, Robert H, and Hamza are discussing. Toggle Comments
I say without irony that the reopening of the Ritz-Carlton is a major Montreal cultural event, like an exhibition opening at the Museum of Fine Arts, U-2 at the old Hippodrome site, the Jazz Festival, or–for people who like loud, fast, stylish cars–the Formula 1 races. I’ve been reading the coverage about it and this brief essay from Richler-fils is the best piece yet: an atmospheric, anecdotal, literary rave, and a great endorsement of the Torriani’s efforts. This hotel/institution is one of the city’s icons, and if it thrives it’s better for Montreal than a million advertising campaigns. I hope Andrew Torriani’s misgivings about threats from student protesters are unfounded. Speaking of which I realize there are other major on-going cultural events that many would consider more relevant to the average citizen than the re-opening of a posh establishment that devotes itself to the pampering of people for whom at least $425 a night is standard lodging. But I don’t believe mine or anybody else’s enthusiasm for this project cancels a concern for social and economic justice. What’s more, to assert that its mere exisistence is a rebuke to those principles is to endorse a destructive, misguided expression of discontent.
What about the Ritz reopening constitutes the label of ‘major Montreal cultural event’? What ‘concern for social or economic justice’ are you not cancelling? By ‘atmosphetic, anecdotal, literary rave’ are you referring to the compelling description of the ‘perfect seared scallop with puréed spring peas’?
Alright Hamza, I’ll explain further. An entity of considerable renown and duration that had been out of commission is back in operation. Such an entity could be a school, a museum, a monument, a business, etc. Whatever the function and whether public or private, if that entity has presence in a community sufficient to render it symbolic or iconic, such a restoration becomes a critical indicator of that community’s health and an important event. Of course it’s irrelevant if you don’t care, but there are plenty who do.
Social or economic justice: what does the Ritz reopening have to with that? Very little except for its employees and those who have found it to be a useful symbol (see above) of economic injustice (see the opening paragraphs of the Globe & Mail article). The connection is admittedly tenuous, but it’s not me who made it. Also, the line is drawn pretty firmly between those who care about something like a posh hotel’s renewal and heads being cracked in the street by police during a peaceful demonstration. My point was that one can care about both events, that one concern need not cancel the other.
A rave: Webster’s New World Dictionary defines this as a colloquialism signifying “a very enthusiastic commendation” (though I’ve attended the other variety). Jacob Richler might be doing a favor for an old friend, but his article, interwoven with recollections from his past, reads much like that definition.
‘perfect seared scallop with puréed spring peas’? That particular atmospheric and compelling description which you have chosen to highlight, coming as it does at the time of this writing, makes me think about brunch. Good bye.
My point was basically that the plenty who care are the few with plenty. enjoy your pureed peas .
Thank you, but that’s not where I’m going as I’m not among the few with plenty.
In other news, rich people can afford awesome stuff that the not rich can read about in the rich peoples’ newspaper.
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