Sunday, November 27, 2016

Close calls

I was quite shocked to read in The Star that there was a shooting in South Riverdale right near Dundas and Broadview at 4 pm.  I was biking back from The Citadel (which is Dundas and Parliament) after seeing George F. Walker's The Damage Done.  I passed by that intersection probably 15 minutes before the shooting.  This isn't a case of thinking that I would have been snarled up in this, as the shooting was inside a house (and most likely a targeted attack) but I'm still glad I wasn't around when it happened.

There are too many guns floating around in Toronto, though apparently the number from the US is somewhat on the decline.  In any event, I wouldn't be too surprised if the feds decide to make it harder to buy legal handguns and they certainly ought to restore the gun registry for handguns, so that transactions can be tracked.  I would definitely support that.

I think the East Side neighbourhood (South Riverdale and Leslieville) might be slightly more dangerous than when Walker lived here, both in terms of gun/gang violence and the street drugs are definitely more lethal, but on the other hand the neighbourhood is definitely gentrifying, and if the GO station opens near Gerrard Square in 5-6 years then it will definitely fuel even more gentrification.  To a certain extent, the remaining gangs will be squeezed out of Leslieville and then will run up against the Beach and the Upper Beaches, so who knows where they will go then, though perhaps North York or even jumping way west to Etobicoke.

I did enjoy The Damage Done, though there were a few things I thought Walker probably could have cut.  I don't think Bobby is likely to be able to reintegrate himself into his daughters' lives (and that might be a more interesting play) but it was mostly interesting to see Tina skating on the verve of a breakdown, which is why she is enlisting Bobby's help in the first place.  Anyway, there is one more week to catch it, and it is certainly worth it if you are a Walker fan.  What sort of made the whole experience more "real" is that the older audience members in front of me had spent the entire time prior to the play talking about how they were dealing with their parents who had all been put in different residential settings, and one of the mothers was pretty deep into Alzheimer's and didn't recognize her daughter.  I'm expecting we will start seeing more and more of these types of plays soon.  Walker did have one of the characters in Escape from Happiness in a semi-catatonic state but this doesn't last throughout the play, and I don't think he has yet really tackled what it would mean for his marginalized characters to have to deal with aging and infirm parents. 

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