Goodbye summer, we hardly knew ye (pt.3)

Posted on September 20th, 2010 No comments. The post is really that bad, huh?

…continued from previous post

Believe it or not, despite taking inexorably long I actually had a point to make with this entire series. It has to do with the kinds of people that attend the C.N.E. (or even just the grounds), and I’m going to call these people Conservationist Urbanists.

balloon pop, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

They’re a group typified by the belief that older was definitely better and although they like the urban thing wholeheartedly, they prefer to do it in the city of the 1930s, for example. I think I’d count myself one of these people – the historical edifice on the city is something I trip out to regularly.

games, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

The other group, those standing in opposition, I’d like to call the Progressive Urbanists. They like change for change’s sake, new is good and more of it please. I’m wishy-washy enough to count myself a Progressive Urbanist too in that, as long as aesthetic has been taken account, supplanting something older isn’t necessarily the end of days. After all, another, even older building once made way for what I’m sure in its day was called the new monstrosity on the block. Now it’s just another monstrosity.

carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

It’s my theory that Progressive Urbanists have a natural aversion the C.N.E. (you can grow into it!) After all, the heat, noise, and crowds don’t stop the maddening throngs from hitting up Canada’s Wonderland every summer, so that’s hardly an excuse. And yes, you drag your kids to these things (sometimes they drag you), so let’s let them decide how much fun the “olde tyme city fayre” would be for them.

games, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

What I’m trying to say is that there aren’t many good excuses. It’s a matter of preference, and that’s all I’ll accept, damn it! But I’m cool with that – to each his own and all. A direct, “I just don’t like the Ex” will probably save a lot of time and effort.

games, skeet ball, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

Conservationist Urbanists look at the Exhibition with a little melancholy twinkle in their eyes. They see the world that existed at a time when they would’ve liked to have been there, all in the context of 2010.

swings, rides, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

I like a good merry-go-round as much as the next guy but I try to remember that at one time even this simple amusement was a novelty. It probably replaced a rock-throwing competition (what else would you do in Muddy York in them days?)

carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

I’m afflicted with an equal measure of the Conservationist and the Progressive. The old Ferris Wheel is still a pretty good ride, no?

ferris wheel, rides, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

Ya get up in those little teetery pods and you’re just kinda hovering over the crowd, looking out, chatting with your girl / boy, doing illicit substances with your buddies, whatever – that ride is at its zenith, you can’t improve it much.

game, midway, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

Other activities are on par with the rock-throwing brouhaha of yesteryear and I’d say good riddance any day.

bottle breaking game, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

The gambling along the midway is a good way for some children to learn how some mommies and daddies trifle away their inheritance. Downright educational.

gambling, games, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

I find it really hard to hold to one particular ideal or another because I see merits in both. It’s a sort of Asian approach, embracing the yin and yang, as it were.

gambling, games, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

At the end of the day I find it telling to see who enjoys the Ex and who doesn’t – I always invite at least a few people to come with and say goodbye to the summer. It has, thus far, been a fairly accurate gauge of the stance of the invitee. I try to always whittle down the memories and excuses to that final, guttural feeling that expresses the like / dislike of the fair.

rides, carnival, fair, cne, canadian national exhbition, toronto, city, life

At that point, and on rare occasions, sometimes people who thought they liked moving forward discover that looking back isn’t so bad, and people who prefer the past can see beyond it to the promise of the future’s past.

What's on your mind?