Lawrence Avenue crossing the Humber River, connecting Weston Road and Scarlett Road. The water level had been completely over the bridge as a result of Hurricane Hazel. By the time this picture was taken, the main river was in its course, but was flowing very fast, so that it was banked up against the curve of the bluff, and there was a standing wave head-high above the level of the bank on this side of the river. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In 1954, Hurricane Hazel hit Toronto and the city was never the same. I was 2. The only memory I have of the event are family legends:
- Father was an invalid, unable to work, recovering from a life-threatening illness.
- Brother was 10, he bailed water, because the sump pump couldn’t keep up with the surge.
- Mother donned her mack and wellies to face the rain and wind en route to the only source of income for our family.
In response to the disaster the city changed the building codes, no building on flood plains. We have Hazel to thank for the riverside park system that we take for granted today. Watch this CBC report about the impact of the storm.
Sandy will make her presence known late this evening, with the peak hitting us Thursday morning. I am wagering she’ll be downgraded to a tropical storm by then. I’m not dismissing the possibility of a disastrous impact. By I’m calm, like the Nonagenarian. The city is prepared. We have advance warning. The cupboard is full, and bottled water is on hand.
OK – I do hope the plumbing holds up!
Image via Wikipedia
I blame Charlie Rose. He has a marvelous series – Why Shakespeare? – running right now. Jude Law was one of the guests, with an ulterior motive – promoting the second Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock Holmes film. Law plays Watson. I really didn’t like the first film. But Law talked about how much he, Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. had learned on the first and how that had improved the second. So when I arrived at the cinema yesterday and found that the film I came to watch would not start until later in the day, I purchased a ticket to Sherlock Holmes and hoped that Law spoke the truth.
He did. I only looked at my watch once, and I laughed, out loud, more than once. A vast improvement on the first film. Still stylish. Still influenced by Asian fight films. The second Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock Holmes film had sass, a soundtrack and Stephen – Frye that is. Oh yes, and Jared Harris – the best performance of a villain that I’ve seen in years. [Yes, better than Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort.]
I only looked at my watch once during the entire film, because the pacing was tighter than the first. SPOILER ALERT – The opening exposition was a delicious bit of choreography, and in true SH style, what appears to be true might not be.
Garry Marshall‘s New Year’s Eve was the film that had drawn me to the theatre. What better film to watch on the last day of the year? As it turned out, none better. That ensemble comedy turned out to be a three-hanky tear-jerker albeit with laughs. I loved this movie.
The multiple plots were deftly handled. There wasn’t one that I didn’t want to know how it unfolded. The cast was huge, and often surprising. That might have been the only drawback, because some times a bit part had a name player in it, and that pulled me out of the moment – but just for a moment.
The big star of the film was New York City during the holidays. The year that Brokeback Mountain came out, I arrived in Manhattan on the 1st of January. Confetti still lay on the street in Times Square. FAO Schwartz was dressed for Christmas and the Rockefeller Center tree was still alight. The magic I felt as I walked the streets then was captured in this film.
I am adding New Year’s Eve to my list of favourite contemporary holiday films.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.
The first time I heard about Occupy Wall Street was a call from my sister. Her husband had heard about the arrest of 100s of protestors in New York City on the Internet. Yet he could not find one single regular news channel covering the story. My sister was calling to see if the story was making headlines outside the US. Was it possible the story was being suppressed internally? Nada, zip, rien. Two days later the stories began to appear on traditional news channels.
Occupy Wall Street wanted justice for the victims of the perpetrators of the economic crisis – Big Banks. The movement spread to all seven continents.
I must admit I was puzzled. Why occupy Wall Street, when government leaders were ultimately responsible. They kowtowed to lobbyists. They passed ineffectual legislation. Government – and only government – has the power to arrest and enact legislation to rectify the problems. They have it, but refuse to use it. Occupying Wall Street will not change a thing.
Do the protestors fail to see the enemy within – legislators who refuse to act rather than do their jobs – actually take care of the people’s business – change the system. The enemy within are the political parties that invest their energy in strategies to hold on to to power rather than to use the power they already have for the common good.
Road Trip Kudos (RTK) – State of Pennsylvania‘s Welcome Center on I-90 – at the eastern border, just across the line from New York. Beautiful, clean and with a view of a vineyard in bloom with Lake Erie as a backdrop.
Road Trip Complaint (RTC): Bad or non-existant signs. [I don’t have a GPS} so the octogenarian is the navigator. Probably the last time, because she can’t read street signs and maps very well anymore. She was a cracking navigator in her day…taking the job away would be just one more sign that she is winding down.
I think there is a business to be built. I offer my services to a community as a “stray, first-time traveler”. Then I visit with a few goals in mind – finding city hall, the local entertainment venue and a number of hotels – that sort of thing.
If Morgantown had paid me to find the EuroSuites Hotel – I would tell the friendly folk of this mountain college town. Name your streets and put signs up so people can read them. The hotel is as bad. One of the instructions was “drive through the BBT parking lot to reach ours.” Yep…I’m not kidding!
Beautiful day in West Virginia. Got to pack and run.