1.02.2005

closet canadians?

Interesting comment here, though I'm not entirely sure I understand it.

More than closet Canadians, we are alienated Americans. I'm familiar with the anti-Toronto bias; all non-Torontonian Canadians seem to need to tell me how bad Toronto is. But that's one of the reasons I feel I'll be happy there: New York is hated by the rest of the US, and all the New Yorkers I know who have spent time in Toronto like it a lot. The main reason for choosing Toronto, though, is jobs.

To Beausejour: you lived in Washington Heights? Wherebouts? That's where we live. Why was your cross-country drive awful?

4 comments:

Beausejour said...

Sorry, I was being glib when I said "closeted Canadians." And Toronto's not bad. We non-Torontonians just bust on it all the time, and it's true -- if you are writers/editors (or am I wrong?) it's the place in Canada to do it. I still own part of small press there myself! I enjoyed my time in Toronto (and if you need a real estate hint - try the Annex or the Danforth) but simply not as much as NY.

Let me put it this way, aside from my real hometown, I feel like I have 3 other spiritual hometowns - one being Halifax, another being Montreal and the last being New York (and I haven't been in SF long enough yet to know). Each of those places were important to me for very different personal reasons, and maybe Toronto didn't have enough time to show me its true soul. Perhaps it will for you!

We lived in Washington Heights first on 170th Street between Bway and Ft Washington...then on Riverside just up from 158th. I wish it had a few more restaurants in walking distance but I'd recommend it to anyone - despite my running joke that any time on L&O when you saw them put up a WaHe address, there was a good chance that Lennie Briscoe (RIP Jerry) has run after the perp with his gun drawn.

The x-country trip was beautiful; it's an incredible country -- just a scary slice of what 'red state' America is really like (it's easy living in NYC or SF to think that "people really don't think Bush is a good choice, do they?"). I'm still proudly Canadian, but without any kind of smugness I can say that even though we can have conservative views and yes, there are religious fundies up north too, there's nothing at all like the vibe in the American heartland. It's very strange, and sad.

The election was a turning point and one I fear that will ultimately knock the US from its place in the world, a place it has worked hard to attain and has gone above and beyond the call in the 20th century to ensure. As a Canadian, that makes me sad as well.

L-girl said...

And I was just being dense. Sorry about that!

Yes, we are writers, but more importantly to our income (though much, much less important to ourselves) we are also legal word-processors. We need big corporate law firms, at least to get going, and that brings us to Toronto. Plus, there's baseball in our very own division, and it's in striking distance from friends and family in the NY metro area.

Oh yes, your first up-close encounter with the rest of the US can be positively terrifying! In that sense, yes, it's a big scary country out there!

We live on Bennett Ave & 190 St, just west of Broadway. We like it a lot up here. Funny, your reference to L&O - our address was once used as one of those fake addresses, but the building was the New Leaf Cafe in Ft Tryon Park. The marina in Inwood is a fave L&O spot, too. Good for fishing bodies out of the Hudson. :)

Can you elaborate on what you mean about America losing its place in the world? I would think that would be a good thing. I don't see it happening, but I'd like to. But I might be thinking of something else.

And p.s. I love San Francisco. It's my second favorite US city. Lucky you.

RobfromAlberta said...

I would say the US has lost none of its primacy and likely will not in our lifetimes. Progressive politics do not equate with global power. If anything, liberalism weakens a state rather than strengthens it. That may not be a bad thing, especially if you are not a citizen of the state in question, but in any case, US power is not going anywhere, so we need to come to some sort of accommodation with it.

L-girl said...

This is true. If anything, the US is consolidating power in fewer and fewer hands and interests.