Description 63 - The Annex to Rexdale

If a goofball vegetable cutter can go from a Delhi market stall to China to fulfill his warrior destiny, then I can go from my downtown neighbourhood to the outer reaches of the GTA to help celebrate a friend's birthday and muse about the multicultural mosaic in practice.

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Associated links
Katherine Matthews: 42point1, purl diving and cinefolle
Rob Lee's blog Unconventional Wisdom
Rexdale in the Urban Dictionary
Albion Cinemas
Chandni Chowk to China: @Wikipedia, official website, official trailer (large) @Apple.com
Aishwarya Rai Official Website (find your own mousepad...)
Yorkdale Shopping Centre
OMNITV Ontario

Thank you to Rob for instigating the festivities for Katherine's birthday. Everyone who wanted to join in no doubt hopes all your plans work out next time.

The bus was one of those accessible low-floor deals with a step that lowers and raises for folks to get on easier, and that's what the beeping was about. No one was actually using it at the time, though - maybe the driver was trying to shake snow from it? Anyway...

Yorkdale ended up as a footnote in this episode, but as snazzy as the place is now, it has no small historical significance as one of the first major malls in Canada and the largest in the world when it opened in 1964. Shawn Micallef (that's two podcast posts in a row mentioning him) wrote an interesting piece about it on SpacingToronto a couple years ago. While not near any of the places I've lived, I would often go there because of its relative proximity to York University (for people who drive cars, which included me) and because it was a place to park and get on the TTC heading downtown. While it was never, to use a word I was suddenly using everywhere in this episode, skeezy, it was also nothing like the dizzying labyrinth it is now.

Up there at the top of this post, I use the term "multicultural mosaic", which I didn't use in the episode. But this business of various ethnic/cultural groups living among and not-among each other has to do with that. For people from outside Canada, "mosaic" is used to distinguish itself from the American term "melting pot", which suggests more assimilation required of immigrants. As thumbnailed in this Wikipedia article, the mosaic idea grew in Canada throughout the 1960's, and multiculturalism became part of official federal public policy in 1971. The CBC Digital Archives has an interesting section about that. You can pretty much figure, though, that when the government starts making rules and laws and initiatives about such things, it can get pretty tricky. But it has become as much a part of the Canadian identity as anything else - and so here it is in an episode about me seeing a bad Bollywood movie.

Speaking of Bollywood, in my previous job describing movies, I did get to work on a singularly Canadian version: Bollywood/Hollywood, Deepa Mehta's romantic comedy centred on a well-to-do Indo-Canadian family in Toronto. Dance numbers and everything. Well worth renting, maybe with some take-out curry chicken poutine from Smoke's Poutinerie.

Now that would be f-ing nuts. ;-)