Description 17 - Jane Jacobs and the Annex

Celebrating my neighbourhood and another American immigrant who helped make it what it is. Featuring music by Jennifer Foster, little boys play-wrestling, and the unwelcome strains of James Blunt.

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Associated links:
Jane Jacobs' house in Flickr
Jane Jacobs via the Project For Public Spaces
cbc.ca on Jane Jacobs
(and video from shortly after she moved to Toronto!)
Ideas That Matter
Robert Fulford interview
The Annex in Wikitravel
Jennifer Foster (and on Maplemusic and myspace)

Jennifer Foster was also mentioned in Description 05 when I missed her opening for MonteForte. Koop called her "J-Fo". :-)

As usual, there was a lot to cut from the soundseeing, so most of it is spent among the tree-lined streets and old houses. I'll have to do another one where I walk Bloor Street proper and talk about the stores and stuff. I didn't mention the Bloor Cinema, Trinity-St. Paul's Church (the home base of the world-famous Tafelmusik baroque orchestra and chamber choir), not even The Tap where Moe and Dave do their DJ thang.

And then there's Future Bakery, where I wrote the essay for this episode. I'd been having some writer's block and also needed a late Sunday brunch, so I went over there to take care of bizness. When I got there, I noticed that across Brunswick Ave. at the side door of the Brunswick House, a group of people were standing around, one of them sitting on the steps with a laptop. I recognised that these were members the improv/sketch group The Sketchersons, who I think were waiting to be let in to rehearse their Sunday Night Live show for later. One of them was the stand-up comic Fraser Young, whose work I admire and on whom I've had a persistent crush for about two years. I admitted as much when I added him as a friend on myspace, and he took it well. So I got a table by the window at Future, had my bacon and eggs (and those spicy home fries!), nursed my coffee and basically stared at the guy from across the street, with his emo windbreaker and soul patch and laid-back non-stoned-Mitch-Hedberg delivery, being all patient and stuff. Well, it's not like I was stalking! I didn't know the dude would be there! And I got my writing done - stalkers aren't very productive while they're stalking, are they? No. So there.

Did I go over and say hi? C'mon, you've been listening to this podcast long enough to know I wouldn't. I just ate and wrote and hawked until some kid finally let the Sketchersons into the Brunny. So thank Fraser for sort of...but not...helping me get my podcast done.

Damn, I love my neighbourhood.

Addendum: Great news from the Tony nominations in NYC: The Drowsy Chaperone, which started here at the Toronto Fringe, has been nominated for a crapload of awards, including Best Musical and Best Book for another crush of mine, the ubiquitous Don McKellar. Meanwhile, a young actress I worked with on my description day job once, Alison Pill, has gotten a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her work in The Lieutenant of Inishmore. Yay, everybody! And don't make Elaine Stritch kick you in the shins!

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