Coming down on the upside. What am I? A 90s Seattle grunge band?

Do you ever brush your teeth and get immediately famished? Wait so long after a meal to orally hygienate (I’ll allow it -Ed) that your stomach demands further tribute? Well I’m trapped in that predicament now, so it’s time to decide what kind of food I’d like to taste additionally minty fresh. Ixnay on the orangeway uicejay.

I’m hungry because I just got back from picking up my $9 boxspring, which smelt less minty fresh and more basementy fresh, so that’s chilling out on the porch crammed with a bunch of fabric softener sheets. I swear if there’s ever a logical, clever way to do things, I’ll be the last to find it. Like pouring boiling water into my green bin to break up the detritus that’d built up (it worked. Though in entirely unrelated matters it now has maggots). So in an hour or so I might have a gloriously clean smelling boxspring. Or given my track record I’ll have a boxspring with maggots. Frankly it could go either way.

One thing my flatmate and I accomplished hefting this boxspring 800m back from The Brick was looking a bit closer at the neighbourhood. Geary Ave, which flows perpendicular to my street, forms part of an area with room to grow. It’s mainly industrial, with a bunch of underground clubs and venues. It’s a great space on the cusp of gentrification. Walking back, I was commenting on how open it was, how much space still existed there. It felt like a rarity for a city as built up as Toronto to have nice unused patches like that. Then I looked to my left and saw a nice espresso machine staring back at me. My eyes widened and glittered a little (I think. I haven’t had an out of body experience in a while). Turns out there’s a small Dark Horse Espresso branch sub 5 minutes walk from my house. It’s in a converted auto body shop, harnessing the industrial feel of the original fit out, but with a few nice touches. There’s a bakery out back where they bake goods for all the outlets. It’s a charming little spot and damned fine coffee so close to my place. 10 points to gentrification.

I got home and looked up the location. Someone on one of those Toronto blogs mentioned that it made a great complement to the brewery that was moving in. Brewery? In my hood? Turns out there’s a Bellwoods Brewery opening up around the corner from me. Seriously, I could get great coffee and beer on a 10 minute Saturday morning walk. Holy shit. Gentrification, I see your value now.

Of course this is just the start of something. The Phil Collins level genesis, commodification of an aesthetic that’ll become an inexorable tide of unwanted commercial garbage. When the tide grows high enough, will I still be willing to hold on as tightly? How long until we get a Starbucks? Goodlife? Tanning salon? Fake plastic tree repair store? How long until those little niceties grow into a system that seeks to cater to every inane need that people could have? When convenience itself becomes a hindrance and annoyance? I give it a year. Mark my words, in one solar circumnavigation I’m gonna be bitching about The System and A Man and A Plan and A Canal and Panama.

Enough of that for now though. Grumbling is hungry work, time to waste this toothbrushing.


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