“WAT MEANS‽” (sic)

The New Year’s levee is a Canadian tradition – and a term in Canadian English pronounced like Chevy. It is generally pleasing to attend these public receptions held by mayors, lieutenant governors, premiers, and other officials.

Today I managed to avoid being interviewed by the many reporters present who were researching (indoor) streeters from those of us in line. Just before you meet the dignitaries, you are handed one or the other of two free lapel pins.

White-gloved hands extending from red-serge sleeves hold a tiny brass lapel pin in the shape of Toronto City Hall

Like last year, I pigeonholed our mayor-for-life, David Miller.

  • I showed him last year’s photo (“Bruno Gerussi’s David Miller’s Medallions”), which drew a good laugh.
  • I mentioned that last year I asked him to get rid of the megabins, which has mostly happened. He said they’re going away slowly.
  • I told him the street-furniture project was going to be much worse than people thought. Why? There will be tens of thousands of corporate logos (I said 23,000, and I’m not going to bother looking it up now), and whoever doesn’t win the contract is gonna sue. But there won’t be 23,000 ads, he replied. No, 18,000 square feet, I said (and ditto on looking that up). Well, let me ask you something, he said. What is the city supposed to do when all the contracts come up for bus shelters, garbage cans, and the like? Produce with a zero-advertising budget, I said. Well, we can’t afford that. Ah, but the city never came up with a budget to prove it. I don’t need a budget; I know it’s fiscally impossible. This entire city was set up to fail by the Mike Harris government. Then I asked him whom to talk to about city-wide typography and was pretty much whisked away, albeit with thanks for knowing such “specific” information.
  • TTC vice-chair Joe Mihevc listened to me for a moment and pretty much told me to just show up at this month’s TTC meeting to talk about shitty TTC signage. I believe he actually gently touched my elbow and pushed me away. In fact, I watched the dynamic in and just beyond the queue, and not only is it all about throughput, pretty much everybody is treated like a crazy. Certainly there were quite a few street-involved and/or mentally-ill-looking and/or transgenderist and/or senior and/or disabled people in attendance. I know I shouldn’t, but being treated like a crazy leaves me feeling embarrassed.

Tomorrow I document all my plans for public space in ’07, among other projects. It ain’t all about the Spacers, and I let it be known that I don’t want to do everything by myself.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.01.01 17:31. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2007/01/01/levee-2007/

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