Thursday, September 25, 2014

Signs of the Times

This week's discoveries and inspiration.......

Having grown up in Pennsylvania, and having most of my family and family of friends involved or tied to the steel industry in one way or another, what is happening in Hamilton today feels very familiar.  Both major steel cities in PA, Bethlehem, where I grew up, and Pittsburgh are experiencing significant urban renewal.  Whether through arts and culture, small business, health care or the tech industry, it is wonderful to see new hope for post-industrial cities and towns.  That being said, it is always a question of how fast, how much, and most importantly, how to make sure people are not left behind with the changes and growth.

This past week, the search for a new space for Michael Thomas, Hamilton took me to many different neighborhoods.  Some are clearly seeing the benefits of change more than others.  In driving through and walking around neighborhoods in the city, it also became clear that there are some very special people here with some very strong roots.  It was great to see the signs of progress, but also very comforting to literally see the signs of the history of this amazing city which is now home.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Eat, Pray, Listen

This week's discoveries and inspiration...

This past weekend we took a couple of short road trips and on one of them ended up at Vineland Estates Winery in Niagara for lunch.  The food, wines and views were all really nice.  When you come to Hamilton to visit, it is a quick drive to Niagara and a worthwhile trip for sure.
Today, I spent a little over an hour at the Hamilton Farmers'  Market.  It's a great market  that offers lots of inspiration both visually and gastronomically.

Walking for many hours in the city this week, I was inspired and moved by the beautiful places of worship.  While I was able to enter a few, I guess it is a somewhat sad testament to the times that so many were locked.  That being said, enjoying the exterior architecture filled me with awe and admiration for the men and women who designed and built such incredible structures.  

We are discovering a vibrant music scene in Hamilton.  A concert series called "Live on Locke" is a benefit for the charity "An Instrument For Every Child".  " AIFEC provides ALL children with a high quality music education and allows them to explore their creative potential.  This program will build self-esteem, develop leadership and teamwork skills and realize a sense of fulfillment.  AIFEC will greatly assist in successfully carrying children forward, as vital citizens of their community."  The Friday night concerts are in a beautiful church with fantastic acoustics on Homewood Ave.  The lineup of  performers includes Hawksley Workman and 54-40.  This weekend is Supercrawl.  It is a huge music and arts festival that attracts about 100,000 visitors.   This year it features Spoon, Arkells, The Daptone Super Soul Revue, art, food and a pyrotechnic aerial circus show.  Come on down....all events are free!