Archives: hamilton

pardon my lunch bucket

Surely somewhere in the planning of

the future city, there’s room for a bit

of green, of open space and lush

foliage where people can walk and

sit and get away from the concrete

of downtown.  We hope so, anyway.

-Pardon My Lunch Bucket 1971

Pardon My Lunch Bucket, Hamilton 125 anniversary book cover

“workmen taking a lunch break on Llyod D. Jackson Square construction”

I bought the book Pardon My Lunch Bucket from Mixed Media about a year ago. It’s a book published about Hamilton’s past and future for the 125th anniversary of the incorporated city.   The foreward is written by Victor K. Copps -the mayor of Hamilton at the time (1962-1976) and father of politician Sheila Copps. This is what he writes about the changing face of Hamilton:

“Let the detractors call us a lunch-bucket town.  All I ask it that they come to the new Hamilton and have a look around at what we’ve done in the last few years.  Let them see the massive projects like the Lloyd D. Jackson Square on its way up.”

Oh what I wouldn’t give to go back in time to prevent the building of Jackson Square.  The buildings that stood where Jackson now stands were of historical beauty, and were the heart and core of the city.  Victor Copps in his foreward talks about the changes that are coming to Hamilton: the rediscovering of our city, and seeing new things that didn’t exist here before.  I can’t help but smile at the thought that 40 years later this holds true for me.   I am rediscovering Hamilton, and am loving all the new things that are popping up that didn’t exist here before.

1860 City of Hamilton view

City of Hamilton 1860

Streetcars on James St. south 1906 & Gore Park

Streetcars on James St. south 1906 & Gore Park

King St. and James St. 1964, Hamilton

King and James St. 1964

Hamilton in the 1970's

illustrations of Hamilton's future year 2000

The illustrations above are of the future vision of Hamiton in the year 2000.  Highrises with hydrofoil water taxis.

 

*Pardon My Lunch Bucket, text by David Proulx, design by Joe Urban

*Mixed Media, 154 James St. north, Hamilton

cut

Haircut!  Long hair is definitely the lazy man’s way to go.  I’ve been guilty of being a total ponytailer, and have been known for taking year long breaks between visits to the hairdresser.  I’m definitely not someone who “does” their hair (this is mostly because I don’t know how) so a short haircut for me always has the risk of being high maintenance.  But when a change gonna come, it’s gonna come.  I am a last minute decision maker when it comes to haircuts, and when I want a cut I want it right now!  Luckily when I called up Strut Hair Salon, which is uberly close to my home, I was able to get a cut that very day.

It was a first time cut with stylist Mairead, and she did a great job of making some cutting decisions for me.  I like a stylist that can be decisive because I had about 25 million ideas for how I wanted to cut my hair.  It was a good cut, and satisfied my need for a fresh look for summer.  In all I lobbed about 4-5 inches off my head.  All my black locks on the salon floor looked like a small long-haired dog.

*Strut Hair Salon, 84 Walnut St. south, Hamilton, 905.540.4960

another one bites the dust

Former Zig Zag Zebra, at 30 King St. east was taken down to the ground today.

In the short time that I’ve lived in Hamilton I’ve already seen far too many beautiful old buildings torn down.  King St. by Gore Park; the centre of Hamilton’s downtown core is walled by some of my favourite building facades.  The buildings remind of New York, they are 4-5 stories, have huge floor to ceiling windows, and would make amazing lofts, and studio spaces.  I noticed another architectural firm that is housed next to 30 King St. on the 2nd or 3rd floor  -could be a good thing?  When the architects start moving in, which they have been in Hamilton, you know that’s a sign, they’re usually the first ones in on the gentrification scene right after the artists.

30 King St. east, Hamilton

 

The Century Theatre (also known as the Lyric Theatre) was a building I had walked by a million times en route to the Hudson on King St. (currently Club Absynthe) for acid jazz, white russians, and pool, from back in the day.  Nearly a decade later it caught my eye when we were sussing out Hamilton as a potential place to buy a house and I thought of the old Century pretty much as a selling feature.  This old abandoned theatre was living evidence of what was once a prosperous city with a rich arts community (the city in it’s hay day boasted over 6 major theatres  -amazing for a city the size of Hamilton).  To me the building served as a backdrop and muse for the cultural renaissance that I believe Hamilton is in for.  The Century was demolished sometime during the winter of last year.  I’ve even been sentimental enough to take a couple of the “Hamilton” bricks that are left in the rubble pile of the former Century.

century theatre, Hamilton

century theatre, Hamilton

Century theatre, demolition, Hamilton

 

Last summer the old Victorian house around the corner was demoed.  It had been abandoned by it’s owner for years, and had become home to many raccoons and other pesky rodents.  Despite it’s scavenger tenants, I still used to dream about buying the place and restoring it to it’s former glory.  It’s now an empty dirt lot (soon to be brown field) that my neighbours currently use to park their car.

old Victorian house demolition, Hamilton

 

 

field trip!

Tonight is going to be a good art crawl.  I’m sad to be missing it, especially the Field Trip: a spring pop-up shop that the folks from White Elephant have organized at the the old Friendship Gift Shop.

Field Trip: a spring pop-up shop, Friendship Gift Shop, James St. north, Hamilton

A great write up of the Pop-up shop and preview of the art crawl tonight can be found here.  Photo taken from http://hamilton.openfile.ca

 

I’ll be taking my own field trip to Windsor to visit Steve at his artist residency.  Windsor and Detroit, here I come! Stay tuned for more posts from my field trip.

dropping stitches

Going to my first knit night…

1970's Vintage Knitting Book

1970's Vintage Knitting Book

 

Before heading to my first knit night ever I had to buy some yarn.  When you live in downtown Hamilton with no car any last minute options for yarn purchasing can be limited to mainly The Dollar Store.  Luckily a friend had recently tipped me off to a knit shop that just opened in Westdale called Fireball Knits .  I decided to take a little look.  Although currently their selection of yarn is limited, as the store has just barely opened, the owner, Elizabeth assured me that more wool would be coming in soon.  According to Elizabeth, in addition to selling yarn, Fireball Knits also offers all different sorts of crafty classes such as; yarn dyeing, weaving, drop spindle, spinning wheel, crochet and knitting.  They even sell spinning wheels! I ended up buying two types of yarn, and Elizabeth even pointed to a picture on the wall of the very sheep my yarn came from.

Last week I went to the knit night at The Brain, which has been host to a knit night now for an established amount of Wednesday evenings, (so established that it appears they even received a free plate of Portuguese nata custard tarts!).  There was a good show of knitters -about 15.  A friend taught me a basic stitch and I was well on my way to knitting a monster-green dish cloth.  I’m not going to fool anyone with my novice knitting skills, cast on cast off.

When I used to work as a librarian I saved some books from the discard pile, which I thought might come in handy if I ever decided to take up knitting.  It’s a good place to go for some knitting inspiration.  These pictures are from the book Knitting Techniques and Projects.

retro blue knit sweater and knee high socks

Knit two piece bikini

retro 70's knit picnic

knit argyle scottish knee highs socks

retro knit caps hats

retro 70's knit tunic

*The Brain, 199 James St. north, Hamilton

*Fireball Knits, 777 King St. west, Hamilton

picnic

Lush green grass, and budding trees, who could resist this lofty patch of greenery?

Steve and I picnicked at Dundurn Park this weekend.  We packed up some fixings from the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, bundled up Steve’s grandma’s quilt, and headed out to enjoy the spring sun.

Dundurn Park, Hamilton, Ontario

Grandmother's quilt

Steve Newberry, Seema Narula

My latest favourite are these sparkling fermented teas from Ercilia’s Fine Food in the Hamilton market.  They are refreshing, bubbly and a little special treat above and beyond your regular tea.  I bet it’d be fantastic in the summer with fresh mint and some clinking ice in a glass.

Kombucha Wonder Drink

Kombucha Wonder Drink, Sparking Fermented Tea

meats, cheese, picnic,

I picked up the cheese from Sam’s Cheese and Meats.  Usually my default cheese is the raspberry cheddar, but for this picnic I opted for a smoked aged cheddar.  It went really well with the spicy fennel salami, roasted pepper, and greens from our Plan B organic food box.

meat, cheese

doors open hamilton

We did some informal Doors Open Hamilton wandering over the weekend.  The Art Gallery of Hamilton had their annual Spring Art Sale, which nicely coincided with doors open -free admission, and we got to check out a great new exhibit.  If you have the time I recommend stopping by the AGH to observe Diane Landry‘s installation Defibrillators -beautiful light, soft sounds, and mechanical operations.

Diane Landry -Flying School, AGH

Diane Landry -Flying School 2000, photo by Mike Lalich

Diane Landry, Defibrillators, AGH

Diane Landry, Defibrillators, photo by Mike Lalich

 

*Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King St. West, Hamilton

magnolias

Pre-picnic we walked through the cemetery across the street from Dundurn castle.  There were some really old tombstones and a few small groups of tours from Doors Open Hamilton.  We were there mostly because I wanted to see the massive magnolia trees that were budding and blooming throughout the cemetery.  I bet these magnolia trees are at least 50+years old.  So beautiful…

magnolia tree, Hamilton, Ontario, cemetery

magnolia, Hamilton, Ontario

magnolia, Hamilton, Ontario

 

record numbers

In lieu of Record Store Day April 16th I wanted to do a rundown of where to pick-up a little local vinyl.  You could say that in comparison to the likes of Toronto, or Montreal, Hamilton is no thriving metropolis.  However, for its size, Hamilton still holds it down with regards to the number of record stores per capita.  We’ve got Cheapies, Dr. Disc, Books + Beats, Hammer City Records, all right downtown plus a new one that’s popped up over the past few months next to Mex-i-can on James north.  Then in the east end on Ottawa St. there’s Starddust Records for your country, 50′s, rockabilly and surf music and in the west end in Dundas we’ve got Records on Wheels.  On the occasional art crawl or open streets on James north there’s sometimes a man that I’ve bought from that’s had some real gems.  The seller of those rare finds, is who told me about the record sale at the Festival Banquet Centre, which tends to happen twice a year.  I’ve also come across some great deals at the Deep Groove Record Swap that’s hosted at  The Brain.  So no shortage of records over here, in case you were worried.

The photo is taken of the front window next to Mex-i-can at James and York/Wilson.  I’m sure with a little digging and flipping you could manage to find a few goodies.

 

yellow

During my short-cut walk home from downtown, I noticed from the back of James St. north, a tri-colour combo I adore; hot pink, baby baby blue, and bright yellow, perfect spring colours for Saturday’s sunny warm day.

James St. North, Hamilton

backyard, Hamilton

bbq, grilled veggies

It seemed fitting to end the sunny day with a colourful spread of roasted veggies on the BBQ.  We sat in the backyard and chased the sun until it hid behind the rooftops.

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