I am definitely a busy-body when it comes to my neighbourhood. It is a super-populated multi-culti rectangle that, in my opinion, is constantly changing shape. So today I delighted in reading this observational piece in new culture zine Savfaire:
Obviously, I have my own interpretations of Park-Ex, though I do agree with the “respectful crackhead” notion. There are drugs and drug dealers in every neighbourhood, and at least in Park-Ex there are no panhandlers or squeegee kids feigning poverty. And also I take great, GREAT solace in knowing that I do not have to contend with neighbours blasting The National or Radiohead: here it’s either modernised Greek folk songs, Bollywood favourites or Nigerian Afro-pop. And I adore that.
The main omission, I think, is the family aspect here. There is an abundance of kids, which is a good thing for the future of any neighbourhood. Additionally, as a home owner in this part of town, I am finding a turnover in development: that most single family homes and duplexes are being bought by young families. Most grupsters avoid buying into the “landlord” role, so many buildings with several apartments stay on sale for a long time. But on my street alone, I’ve seen young couples buy and move in to at least four duplexes: basically in every one that goes on sale.
And in the late summer, local indie promoters are opening a new venue on Jean-Talon and Alexandria. Bringing the kids up to our neck of the woods will be interesting…but I see them moving up out of Mile-End already. It’s getting too expensive there, and in Montreal tradition, when your rent is too expensive, go up: McGill Ghetto to the Plateau. Plateau to Mile-End. Mile-End to Little Italy. Little Italy to…Park Ex! All roads lead here.