A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘popular literature

[URBAN NOTE] “The fascinating history of Toronto’s oldest bookstore”

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blogTO’s Phil Villeneuve shares the story of Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop, the oldest GLBT library in the world still operating.

Very few book stores in the world have been fought off widespread hate, battled censorship at the Supreme Court, and acted as home base for an entire community of people. Toronto’s Glad Day bookshop has, which is why it’s even more special that it’s not only Toronto’s oldest bookstore, but the world’s oldest LGBT bookstore.

Glad Day took the title after New York’s Oscar Wilde bookstore closed in 2009 because of low sales and high rent. That shop opened in 1967.

Glad Day was opened in 1970 by Jearld Moldenhauer out of his home in the Annex. The residential space also doubled as the office for The Body Politic, a gay and lesbian political paper, which eventually morphed into Xtra and then to the now online-only DailyXtra.com.

After folks moved in and out of the home, Moldenhauer and a group men bought a place in Cabbagetown at 138 Seaton Street and operated the shop out of there.

It was a time when a gay and lesbian bookstore could exist out of someone’s living room and word spread wide enough for the city’s queer population to know exactly where to go — all very much on the down low and in fear of violence.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm

[PHOTO] Hotel Nelligan, 106 rue Saint-Paul Ouest

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Hotel Nelligan, 106 rue Saint-Paul ouest

Wandering Vieux-Montréal in the emerging evening light, I wandered past Hotel Nelligan, an establishment named after the great poet Émile Nelligan.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 21, 2017 at 12:05 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Apostrophen’s ‘Nathan Smith wonders why so many stories featuring gay children kicked out of their families feature the children later reuniting with these same people.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly draws from her own experiences growing up in a family marked by abuse to argue that Trump is treating Americans as any abuser treats their dependents.
  • D-Brief notes how the Moon is being bombarded by a wind of oxygen from Earth.
  • Joe. My. God. reported rumours that the Trump administration is set to remove employment protections for LGBT employees of federal contractors.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the firing of the US Attorney General for refusing to defend Trump’s anti-Muslim visa ban.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at how medieval people read maps.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders how the Trump presidency will end up, if he will self-destruct or if he will manage to threaten American democracy.
  • Torontoist interviewed some of the Torontonians protesting the US visa ban outside of the American consulate.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • blogTO notes the Distillery District’s Toronto Light Festival.
  • Border Thinking Laura Agustín looks at migrants and refugees in James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia.
  • Centauri Dreams suggests that Perry’s expedition to Japan could be taken as a metaphor for first contact.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a report about how brown dwarf EPIC 219388192 b.
  • The LRB Blog notes the use of torture as a technique of intimidation.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at China’s very heavy investment in Laos.
  • The NYRB Daily examines violence and the surprising lack thereof in El Salvador.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw touches on the controversies surrounding Australia Day.
  • Transit Toronto reports the sentencing of some people who attacked TTC officers.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that a Putin running out of resources needs to make a deal.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Centauri Dreams shares a proposal for the relatively rapid industrialization of space in a few short years using smart robots with 3d printign technology.
  • To what extent, as Crooked Timber speculates, the Arthurian myth complex science fictional?
  • Dangerous Minds shares a lovely middle-finger-raised candle.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the interactions between atmospheres and rotation for super-Earths and Venus-like worlds.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Wikileaks’ call for Trump’s tax returns.
  • Language Hat shares some words peculiar to Irish English.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the words of Trump are meaningless.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cown considers some scenarios where nuclear weapons may end up being used.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at births and deaths in Russia between 2000 and 2015.
  • Savage Minds considers, inspired by the recent Michel Foucault read-in protest to Trump, the relationships between Foucault’s thinking and racism.
  • Window on Eurasia calls for a post-imperial Russian national identity, argues that Trump’s assault on globalization will badly hurt a Russia dependent on foreign trade and investment, and wonders what Putin’s Russia can actually offer Trump’s United States.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell offers a unique strategy for journalists interested at penetrating Trump’s shell: trick them into over-answering.

[URBAN NOTE] “A new chapter for a beloved comic hideout”

The Globe and Mail‘s Mark Medley describes how Toronto comic store The Beguiling is managing its move from the soon-to-be-defunct Mirvish Village to a new College Street location.

For nearly two decades, visitors to the Beguiling, the charmingly overstocked comic-book emporium in the heart of Toronto’s Mirvish Village, would often be greeted by the sight of long-time owner Peter Birkemoe sitting in his “office” – perched behind his computer, at the first-floor cash register, surrounded by the ever-encroaching comics, artworks, ‘zines and other ephemera that have made it the most important comic-book store in Canada, and one of the greatest in the world.

“I’ve spent more of my life, hour-wise, awake, in this room, than I’ve spent in any [other] building,” Birkemoe said one morning earlier this month, as he took a break from preparing for the store’s last day, on Tuesday. He laughed, quietly, as if realizing this for the first time. “That will be sad.”

Countless obituaries were written about Honest Ed’s, the discount department store that anchored Mirvish Village, an eclectic block of art studios, restaurants and other small businesses, in the days before the brightly lit retailer shut its doors on Dec. 31, the result of a redevelopment that will significantly alter the southwest corner of Bathurst and Bloor in the coming years. The Beguiling, at least to its customers, is as vital an institution.

Since the store moved into its current home more than 20 years ago, it has served as a sort of clubhouse for many in the city’s comics community. It will survive, in name and in spirit, in a different form – a new location, on College Street, on the edge of Kensington Market, opened last month – but at the same time one can’t help but feel a sense of an ending, that a chapter is coming to a close.

“It will definitely be hard to have that feeling of something just so densely packed with history,” said the comics artist Michael DeForge. “I’m sure the new location will eventually get as lived in, and accumulate that history as it goes on, but that’s going to be a hard thing to get back again.”

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Beyond the Beyond links to a US military science fiction contest.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly notes that journalism is meant to offer criticisms of the president.
  • Crooked Timber has an open forum about the inauguration.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos from seminal 1980-era London club Billy’s.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper reporting on a superflare on brown dwarf EPIC 220186653.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ features Doug Merrill’s meditations on 2009 and 2017.
  • Language Log looks at the etymology of the Vietnamese name “Nguyen.”
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at Donald Trump’s desire for a military parade.
  • The LRB Blog looks at Donald Trump as a winner.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a book on the economics of skyscrapers and notes a skyscraper boom in China.
  • Steve Munro looks at buses and their distribution on TTC networks.
  • Transit Toronto looks at how Exhibition Place work will complicate multiple bus routes.
  • Window on Eurasia notes low levels of Russian productivity, shares a Russian argument as to why Russia and the United States can never be allies in the long term, looks at counterproductive Russian interference in Circassian diaspora institutions, and shares argument suggesting Trump’s style of language explains why he wants to forego complicated multilateral negotiations for bilateral ones where he can dominate.