Ron Nurwisah, Boy Reporter

Boy Reporter is a Toronto-based journalist and blogger. He frequently writes about urban life, visual arts, culture and anything else that strikes his fancy.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Where did the week go?!

I got home from Vancouver and poof a week disappeared. I have a piece published in this month's issue of This Magazine on two organic food events that a bunch of people here in Toronto run.

I also continue my work as a fact-checker with Canadian Living, in fact the folks at CL want me to come in to the office so I can work a bit more efficiently.

Lotsa fun summer events coming up too, Scream in High Park, Fringe, Hillside, tons more.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

It's a mag mag mag world

Is this the cover of the best magazine in America? The Chicago Tribune thinks so. The trib released its list of top 50 mags recently and Blender, a cheeky little music mag got the nod.

Blender didn't figure prominently in the National Magazine Awards, which are dominated by the same half-a-dozen mags every year (the New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, VF, the Atlantic, Wired among others). But the fact that it got the nod from the Chicago Tribune should help, the Trib being one of the best American papers that's not the New York Times.

It also got me thinking about which Canadian mags have received nods from the Canadian Magazine Publisher's Assoc. I'm happiest about the President's Medal given to Maisonneuve, which in my humble opinion really is the best (or at least the most interesting) magazine in Canada. I'm also proud that the Georgia Straight managed to get two honourable mentions for feature writing, a little reminder that a weekly still can actually publish long form features. Now if we can just get Eye or Now to agree with me.

Thursday Morning Coming Down

I had a ridiculously fun week in Vancouver. A couple of highlights include.....

1) the amazing Rilo Kiley show at Richards on Richards with Hanson, Carlos and a few others. Read Hanson's review here.

2) Drinking at the Trap and Gill, seeing geeky SFU Quiz Bowlers shaking ass to bad 80s songs and Modest Mouse

3) P:ANO at Blim

4) Car Free Commercial drive and seeing all the crazy choppers from PedalPlay, hanging out with Amy from Momentum magazine, seeing people play ball hockey on the drive and walking down the middle of the street.

5) Walking around in the rain

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Karaoke-couver

Just hours before I head to Vancouver, I spot this article in the Georgia Straight about how Karaoke is the hot new bar trend in Vancouver. Thank Goodness. Vancouver has had some pretty lousy bar trends (swing dancing, salsa, anyone?). Karaoke is one thing I can get behind.

I've nearly lost my voice countless times in drunken sessions in Karaoke rooms, those air conditioned things you rent out where you can bawl out songs amongst friends, but nothing beats catterwauling to a crowd of people who don't know you.

I went with the staff of eye weekly a couple of years back to the Gladstone and had a ball and found out that my bosses can sing! DAMN, they can sing. The last time I went I apparently did a version of Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say I Love You" that got the girls in the front row chatting approvingly, or at least I think they thought it was good....

Boy Reporter in Vancouver

Boy Reporter is heading to the West Coast on family business.... he will try his best to post. In recent news, my sister convocated and is now trying to make her way in the real world! woo hoo! She'll be spending the summer knee deep in wormpoo at TerraCycle.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Summer Nights, Summer Reading

Somewhere in between all that "splashing around" I usually get an unhealthy amount of reading done over the summer. So far I've tackled Robert Fulford's book on Toronto Accidental City and John Bentley Mays' book also on Toronto is in the queue.

Also on the list is the new Jonathan Safran Foer, my friend Darren O'Donnell's book Your Secrets Sleep With Me, a comp copy of the new John Ralston Saul that I snagged from Penguin.

If you can't figure out what you're reading this summer the Village Voice has their annual summer reading issue. There's also the New Yorker debut fiction issue, usually a pretty good bet.

Let me know what you're reading this summer....

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Things That Go Boom!

Montreal art collective ATSA (Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable) are going to be doing a little installation at Dundas Sq. featuring a smoking wreck of an SUV!

This really makes me happy.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Smog Isn't Just Some Indie Band

Sarah, posted on Torontoist today about smog. We've had a weird year for smog here in the GTA. First there was winter smog and now we have summer smog, which is like winter smog but heated! Mmmm that's good eatin'.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, die prematurely each year from smog. While there might be some debate to smog causing deaths. It's pretty hard to debate the fact that smog has a health impact on children and adults.

Later this week, policy wonks will be coming to City Hall for a smog summit. Chances are there'll be a smog advisory in the GTA, reminding them that action is needed sooner rather than later. Well there's a few easy solutions right now. Ban these ugly suckers, for one.

The other solutons are much tougher but with the population in Canada aging and a stretched health-care system doesn't fighting smog make sense financially and politically?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Re-Reading Toronto

Sometime this week I celebrated my second-year anniversary in Toronto. One of the strangest things about moving to Toronto is how the Toronto books I've read in the past have gained new life. A book like Anne Michael's Fugitive Pieces and Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of the Lion are both set in Toronto yet I read these books years ago before I ever set foot in Toronto.

Walking through the Beaches and seeing the water filtration plant or going over the Bloor Viaduct, both important settings in Ondaatje's novel, I can't help but imagine what was going through Ondaatje's head when he wrote the book. How did Ondaatje capture this little part of the city?

I read Anne Michael's Fugitive Pieces in my first year and someone recently pointed out that large parts of the book take place in parts of Toronto that I'm very familiar with. Perhaps it's time that I re-read the novel?