There is NO shining city upon the hill, this was merely a silly slogan
born of the grand old party-pooper's ad-marketing department.
And, now, let's listen quite closely; this is barely a mere lament born from my time spent living much more fast n' furiously for fifteen some years in that brightly lit and little bit bigger city than Toronto sometimes too often so fool-heartedly still compare itself too, indeed now, too too often. Please enough already with that one. Can we not just come to an understanding that comparing "a place" to another like that is as futile as say comparing an apple to a somewhat too harshly seasoned steaming stew of cabbage, hog-roots and other sleepy vegetables?
Nor is this really a lament in anyway at all… AND, this is certainly not my conceding I no longer need "the glorious hectic"; just jump into my mind for even just one moment; you'll find that "the hectic" remains a very real and important part of my little old and not so quiet… thinking… No, this is about you, Tarrana, not me nor my other olden places, my cities of ghosts and other true lovers. This is about the place I do enjoy kicking around, if just for a bit, and for whom I will always adore in some smaller but still kind kind of fashion…
A way that becomes much clearer, as I make my way around these sharpened corners and down your long streets and back garage laneways; or while driving with expertise n' ease, like the calm master magician; as I stop-n-park my car in my old empty, still available, just off Niagara, surprisingly free-before-four-parking spot; and while I do grumble at your way more polite than need be and way too long traffic signals… or as I un-quietly sit here and watch your own gorgeous interpretation of "the glorious hectic" unfold around me on this current perch in one of now hundred no, thousands of fine coffee-spots. This way that comes clearly as I wander your street like another of my ex-wives once told me… simply as this semi coherent and conscientious ex-resident and well, "well informed tourist".
Most certainly I lament the loss of my old hideaways n' haunts as this almost ridiculous rash of poorly thought out or thought-through glass boxy towers sprout like weeds in the cracks of my long ago lost, over and done with past-pleasures... but I do applaud your desire for this wondrous new density! You always were and now will be forever almost one of the few remaining downtown-ier of places. It would seem that attracting these oh-so many more people with the lure of way too high rents for cramped little boxes that seem ready to disintegrate in mere moments… A plan that seems so wise, at least on the surface that it makes me scratch my head in wonder why you pro-public-transporters, you long always so suffering downtown bicycle riders yourselves, why? ...growl so bitterly loudly over these new found shiny new-neighbours of yours.
Why of course it's not the place I left not so not long enough ago. What good city ever stays the same way twice or for too long at that? But everything seems to be more or less left when and where I'd left it; AND this is no reason to wonder why I find the notion of re-settling down at the foot of and just west off that northbound don-parkway I once drove away on, with an impromptu instantaneously and remotely un-satisfying ejaculation of utter glee… Drove away on while pumping my fist in the air in celebration and screaming "finally". Leaving the place I had always loved but had almost immediately always, almost with every breath meant to leave the moment I started driving hard n' fast roots into the loves, moneys and mirages of so many of my first marriages and other first things that I did.
Would I ever return to plant new roots in this old place I had so happily left? The direct answer for my seeing no need to re-settle… Perhaps it's just plainer and simpler to say, quite honestly... Have I ever really "settled" for anything as yet? How could settling-back n' backwardly into your happy version of this silly little "the gloriousness of your interpretation of hectic", settle anything for me? - Of course, having so very few rules, I rule absolutely nothing out. ...I'll just quietly continue to masquerade my love of this little city behind silly derisions because it's plain, stupidly, silly and jolly good fun, with a Capital-T… And of course getting the opportunity to put on that giggly goofball grin I get on my face when I watch one of your good folks squirm under the blinding glare of those oh too two polished medals… of pride.
Lastly... to the much younger once was me, all the little-now-young fellas n' gals and the future boys and girls. By all means I applaud and encourage you in your desires to flee from those small worlds you've grown up inside of. Run and GO join into these circuses we call our great cities; although, I do worry that we're sadly breeding out what I'd call the really cool, spontaneously local and cleverest of fun-places… but that thought's just likely the old man inside me, worrying over no real changes what-so-ever. I'm sure they're are fun-spot-places for you in the all of these here's I've so happily called homes… and then once again… I'm drawn back to a thought still half thunk I had only just a little while ago… There really are just FAR far too many reasons for me to miss the great cities in which I've lived and called homes… BUT at exactly the same moment, so many more or least just as many good reasons to enjoy finding myself, exactly where I am here and now.
And for right now… we'll just GO to Toronto, every once in a while!
Toronto as a midwestern, provincial city... Yup, it's my favorite "slag" as it were. BUT, Toronto IS a jewel, a jewel of a nice small city on the Great Lakes. Certainly more dynamic than Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo... Not quite as powerful as Chicago... A great city on the Great Lakes. I've many a friend there. I enjoy visiting AND may one day live there again... If so, my mission will simply to be... to raise a good Torontonain boy there...