Vive Le France

The last couple of days have been wacky here at The Alder Fork as views have skyrocketed and a new blog was created. This means we can now get back to the usual business of this blog, Canadian culture, and other random thoughts that float through my head.  There is a book that sits open on top of my bookcase. It has been there since I moved into this room 5 years ago.  It is a collection of one man’s sketches and descriptions of Paris’ best architectural gems.  I periodically change the page so I can appreciate a new place for awhile. Currently I have the Musee d’Orsay and the Hotel de Salm (Palais de la Legion d’Honneur). The sketches are interesting not only for their detail but because limited space forces him to make a decision about which images to include. For example, the Musee d’Orsay is depicted as it appears from the Seine River, while there are 4 distinct views of the Hotel de Salm.  Like many people the thing I most loved about Paris is the coherence of architecture in the old part of the city. Although there are a number of styles represented, everything fits together like a well made quilt.  These two structures, which sit side by side on Quai Anatole-France, were originally constructed 100 years apart, under different prevailing architectural styles, yet neither looks out of place.  Most of old Paris is the same, even when old and new sit side by side.  I often wish that my city, Hamilton, had maintained more of its rich heritage.  It takes an uncompromising vision that outward beauty and complimentary facades create a more appealing living environment.  No one wants to live in an ugly building, sometimes we compromise because of what’s available.

I mention this because I want to be excited about proposed changes to downtown.  I’m not sure if the changes to City Hall, the Lister Block, the market/library and York Blvd. will really make a huge difference. But I am hopeful.

I just received the following email from James Clark about an upcoming show:

Just dropping by to announce a solo show that I have coming up next Tuesday February 17th. After your long Valentine weekend of romance, why not drop by The Free Times Cafe and hear some songs for the scorned and the forlorn?Depending on how your weekend goes you may need it. I’ll be playing solo versions of songs from “Sideshow Unattraction” as well as others.
I’ll be opening for singer/songwriter Joe Garant.
www.myspace.com/joegarantmusic
Here are the important details:
Tuesday February 17
The Free Times Cafe – 320 College Street (west of Spadina)
James Clark – 9 pm
Joe Garant – 10 pm
Cover – PWYC

Happy Valentine’s Day by the way. Created or not it’s a nice day for dating people to be more responsible to their partners. For you single people out there (whether by choice or not) make yourself a nice dinner and dessert tonight.

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