Saturday, September 15, 2007

The BusWalk Tour Gets a Boost!

This weekend's Kitchener-Waterloo Record has a nice article about the BusWalk Tour. It makes me sound a little goofy, but I suppose that I really do sound that way, and kudos to Colin Hunter for working in the "drag" variable without being too sensationalistic OR serious.

I was a bit nervous because I know how easy it is to be misquoted (through the power of editing, selective listening, selective memory, and "sexing up"), and I was afraid I'd see something out-of-context that would make me cringe. Nope! I feel no need to write an annotated version of the article.

For visitors who are curious about the tour itself (and not my vain worries about appearance and representation), click here to read all references to the tour in this blog, and rest assured that more are coming. My walkin' shoes have actually disintegrated and I hope to get some more today; maybe there'll be another trip tomorrow?

You can stay tuned and read other things, though...I think this blog is an interesting enough place to hold your attention, and it's also "work friendly." Please feel free to comment, critique, and suggest.


Eli said...

Cool! It'd have been neat if he'd found a way to work in a quote from the Situationists or other champions of strolling-about-town, but it's a charming little article.

Walking around Kitchener-Waterloo was the first time I'd really noticed the urban environment. (It helped that I grew up on a dead-end dirt road, and KW was the first city that I'd ever lived in.) It was there that I first started paying attention to things like the little houses turned into artsy shops along Princess St (if I remember correctly), or the eerie, abandoned feeling of suburbs in the middle of a weekday. And then I read How Buildings Learn and I was hooked.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

I've always enjoyed wandering around and "seeing what I can see," but it was your posts about Toronto's organization and development (and "Civic") that really got me thinking.

I found myself wishing that *I* was in Toronto, and therefore learn about a city's development. A few years later it sank in that KITCHENER and WATERLOO are evolving cities as well. Revelation!

I've been unaware of champions of strolling-about-town, is there a book or site you recommend?

LJ said...

Interesting article in the paper. I look forward to following your adventures.You have a way with words

Anonymous said...

urban walksbouts? a new age Dr Livingstone i presume? fabulous

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Thanks, LJ & Anonymous! I'm not sure when the next tour will happen, but hopefully soon...maybe this week.

As for Doctor Livingstone, I didn't find the source of the Nile, but I DID find the source of Victoria St., which was almost as exciting!

Eli said...

That's cheering to hear. Hurrah!

Yeah, on moving to Toronto, I did embark on a kind of personal mission to find out about the place - hit the local library for some history books, that sort of thing - but it could have been true of anywhere. Everybody ought to get to know their neighbourhood a little better, wherever they are.

I really do have to make a trip back to KW, among other things just to see how it's all changed. (God, I just had a look at Google Maps and the development around UW's north campus blows my mind! Not to mention the light rail scheme they're working on...) We should do a walking tour sometime, before winter hits.

Other walkers: Guy Debord, who called the practice la dérive, and Baudelaire, who called it flânerie. Jane Jacobs helped to rekindle respect for the "pedestrian realm" in cities in The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Lots of other interesting links on Wikipedia's page on psychogeography.

Oh, and Spacing magazine, which is very much centered on Toronto but still has a lot for anyone interested in the workings of cities and towns.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Aha, thanks for the reading tips, Eli! The "Barthathon" is in bed with me for the next four months or so (!) and after that I'll NEED to read something VERY different. Some good walk-around books might be perfect.

Yes, you'll be a bit surprised by K/W's evolution: condo-lofts springing up everywhere, Uptown Waterloo's new buildings, and -- yes -- whatever's left of the cornfield we remember so well.

Next time you're coming up, give me some notice and we can definitely go wandering!

JJ said...

Looks like the reporter just wanted an excuse to publish something about you.

Did I mention you look just as macho as your real name in that snap there? No wonder you prefer to keep your name unpublished. :-)

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Yes JJ, I try to keep a lid on it! Shhhh...

smably said...

Wow, I love what you're doing here. I've been exploring the KW area as well, and blogging about it too, though rather less eloquently.

I'll second the Spacing recommendation. That's what got me interested in urbanism and caring about the city I live in. Wonderful magazine, and their blog is good too.

Anyway, it's really exciting to see that there are others in the area who like walking and exploring. If you ever want to go for a walk somewhere in KW, let me know! I'm certainly interested in meeting anyone else who cares about our city. :)

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Great blog, Smably! I'll put up a link ASAP (and I love your photos, by the way!)

My next excursion will be a solo one (so I can get back into the groove) but after that I'll check the bus routes and let you know!