Out there on the streets

Posted on August 27th, 2009 Won't you help brighten a lonely comment's day?

It’s been quite a busy day at the TCL city desk today.

To begin with, a bunch of personalities from my wake-up radio station were axed, en masse, this afternoon. I’ve only ever heard promos for the Motts’ show and I accidentally tuned into a Michael Coren repeat one night. Didn’t care for it. And Jacqui Delaney I found to be as awkwardly appended to my daily dose of waking petulance, the Bill Carroll Show, as the spelling of her name, and this clause. Plus, she was kind of abrasive.

But I wish them all well. It’s not always easy out there on the streets.

Take the Carties, for example. Almost everyone agreed that the concept was great; let’s have some alternatives out there on the streets instead of just the ubiquitous hot dog stand. The city clenched their butt cheeks extra hard on the requirements and only eight finalists (out of twelve entries), were accepted into the program. They had to pay a ridiculous sum for the carts which were sold, and branded, by the city. The vendors also had to wear city-issue uniforms. Oh, and the city told them where they would go and conduct their business. Some locations were great. Some, not so much.

There were also suggestions that the city might want to, you know, have a chat with existing street vendors to see how they do things. Kinda pick the brains of some of the people who have done this day in, day out, for decades.

the louder the bark, the hotter the dog!

Yeah … no, they didn’t do that.

I once bought a samosa from one of the a la Cart guys. His little shack was impeccably clean, almost too much so. He probably had the city’s sanitation inspectors living in his colon. The food was okay, nothing too exciting; proper City-Hall, middle-of-the-road flavour. And what’s this about handling every little thing with a pair of gloves on? With street meat, you get a dollar-store serviette (as dainty as the word implies), holding up a propane-soaked bun which is cradling a hastily warmed specimen of “dog” of some sort. “Hot” it most certainly is not. No latex glove, that’s for sure.

It’s almost inevitable then that the Carties would start dropping off, isn’t it?

Sad.

But Buskerfest helped me forget all about it! The name says it all; a street carnival filled with buskers. Open guitar cases, hats, plastic cups, and other collection receptacles abounded.

One of the performers flew in from overseas. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say somewhere in the region of Australia:

he almost lost his balance there for a moment. that is all.

Strangely, this is as exciting as it got. At least for me. In the ten minutes or so that I stood there, the routine seemed to go nowhere. Those knives never saw any action. I still don’t know why those people were lying there. I waited, I applauded; tried to cheer him on. Nada.

Oh well.

Elsewhere, some of the buskers had so much polish, they were like some kinda disco machines:

where do you think the disco ball is, baby?

It may not be to everyone’s liking, but everyone’s gotta make a living somehow. Even the very tall and gangly:

nah, the kids weren't scared of him at all

The evening ended with a rousing human beatbox, but that video is still being transjiggamafied. I hope this will suffice until then:

brrrrrrrrr

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