A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for January 2007

[URBAN NOTE] Two more things I hadn’t made clear last night, and one new thing

1. The person who was attacked looked to be OK the last that I saw him. He got hit several times on his left arm with the bottle, but his jacket seemed to be intact.

2. The incident began shortly after I crossed to the north side of Bloor, and followed me into the station. Outside, they were jsut a couple of metres away from me. Inside, at closest, the guy was a metre behind me before I broke away to the pay phones.

3. I still feel a bit shaky. This is normal, right?

Written by Randy McDonald

January 30, 2007 at 2:51 pm

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[URBAN NOTE] Update

My last blog entry was made a half-hour after the incident in question. After that point, I returned to the statuion, gave a statement to the police officers, and headed over to spend time with friends. (My thanks to bitterlawngnome, djjo, and danthered for the hospitality that they provided on such short notice.) The result? No more shaking.

The attacker was arrested shortly after my 911 call. I’ve been told that it’s uncertain at this point whether the matter will be brought to trial, but if it does the police have my statement and my contact information.

Tonight was to be my laundry night, but instead it’s a night of firsts for me: first time seeing a broken bottle used as a weapon, first time giving a statement to police, first time riding in a cop car. Ah well, such is life.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2007 at 11:43 pm

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[URBAN NOTE] Tonight I saw someone nearly get stabbed with a broken bottle at the Spadina TTC statio

It all began when, after getting late off of work, I decided to pop by the The Duke of Gloucester pub (649 Yonge Street) to see if some friends of mine were still there. I got out at the Spadina TTC station instead of the Wellesley or Bloor-Yonge stations that would have been more appropriate because I confused the Duke of Gloucester with the The Ferret & Firkin (720 Spadina Avenue).

Suitably chastened, I was walking north across the intersection of Bloor and Spadina just as something started. The gentleman with the bottle was in his 30s or possibly 20s, with tangled hair and possibly of Asian or First Nations background, one of (I think) a group of homeless people who had been hanging out in the Scotiabank’s heated lobby where the ATMs are. The gentleman being chased was in his 20s, tall and thin with tightly-cropped blonde hair, wearing a black leather jacket and talking on his cellphone. Something happened–I don’t know what–and the possibly homeless man was chasing the other, waving the bottle and telling him to “Get out of my space!” The man was moving, chatting on his cell as he went, but the man kept following. Midway between the streetcorner and the subway station, the threatening gentleman broke the bottle and continued waving it.

The man being chased entered the subway via a side entrance, one reserved for bus passengers. The man chasing him followed, chasing him around the turnstiles as one TTC staffmember safely behind plexiglass made a phone call and another followed the angry man, trying to get him to calm down. He didn’t and tried to attack, hitting the man’s arm with the bottle several times before he was separated. The man being attacked then fled down the escalator to the streetcar level. He was followed, the men weaving their ways through crowded corridors filled with streetcar passengers.

I don’t know what happened next, because, after escaping through the crowd, I ran to the nearest payphone and called 911. I left a message with them and then ran from the station, taking the first taxi away. My fight or flight reflex kicked in, I guess.

Well. I suppose I’ll have to check in with the police. I wonder if a criminal case mighht come of this. This is the first time I’ve seen something like this; I’m still shaking.

UPDATE (11:45 PM) : My followup post is here.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2007 at 7:32 pm

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[URBAN NOTE] Winter’s here

I’d seen some people skating on the rink at the Wallace Emerson Community Centre (1260 Dufferin Street) a couple of weeks ago, but Toronto’s most unseasonable warmth only ended last Monday the 15th. That day, the sudden arrival of snow and cold caused several hundred vehicle accidents across the Greater Toronto Area and delays and crowding in the TTC’s buses. Even now, every morning as I hurry off to work and the cold bites my hands, I have to make sure that I’m at the front of the line-up so I can be assured of not getting left behind on the curb covered with dirty snow.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 23, 2007 at 2:56 pm

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[META] Back

Really, it’s true. Life’s just been busy. Now that I’ve the apartment in serviceable shape, things should proceed with rather greater frequency and regularity.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 17, 2007 at 8:31 pm

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[BRIEF NOTE] And Europe ends here

Registan picks up on a post started by Douglas Muir at A Fistful of Euros, “The Caucasus: Europe, or what?”, that examines the southeastern boundaries of Europe, at least as Europe is understood as potentially qualifying one’s country as worthy of European Union membership. Unsurprisingly, Douglas and the people in the comments can’t come up with any firm conclusions. My only contribution to this debate is a suggestion that the tension identified by Jonathan Edelstein over a year ago, between cultural/historical/demographic and geographical/institutional definitions of Europeanness, is irresolvable, at least for this part of Europe’s frontier, and likely the case on others (North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, eastern Europe, Macaronesia).

Thoughts?

Written by Randy McDonald

January 10, 2007 at 11:14 pm

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[BRIEF NOTE] And in Afghanistan … ?

Joshua Foust at Registan argues that many of the soldiers soon to be transferred to Iraq will be pulled from Afghanistan. You know, Afghanistan, where the United States is trying to cajole a skeptical multinational coalition into providing the troops necessary to fight the Taliban. Not that the United States had enough there already–and not, perhaps, that Canada (among other countries) should have sent troops there and see several dozen combat deaths without a clear and plausible plan–but there you go. Who cares about grand strategy, or about resentful friends, when you’re trying to save your reputation?

Written by Randy McDonald

January 10, 2007 at 10:57 pm