"Uh-huh, uh-huh. Okay. Um Can you repeat the part of the stuff where you said all about uuhhh, things. Uhh... the things."
-- Homer Simpson

Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty

OK, once again, it’s been forever since I posted. I had some thoughts to lay down in bytes, so I thought I’d wander over here and do so. And while thinking about that, I decided to get the blog software up-to-date with the latest version of WordPress, and try out a new look-and-feel…like the new colours?

Ottawa Downtown Most of the folks who might possibly read this blog already know that I’ve been living in Ottawa’s centretown for the last few months. While I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the re-discovery of hassle-free apartment life after years of being perpetually behind with home maintenance, being right downtown is definitely starting to wear on me. For anyone pondering a life in the core of the city that sleeps at a reasonable hour, here is what I’ve learned:

  • From Bronson to the Canal and the 417 to Parliament Hill, every outdoor breath you take is filled with cigarette smoke, and the density increases exponentially as you approach any building entrance
  • Many, many people don’t know that you can turn left on a red light at an intersection of two one-way streets (not that this is documented anywhere, mind you) and these individuals become quite agitated if you honk at them
  • When driving across a one-way street, you need only check for oncoming traffic in one direction…and it doesn’t seem to matter to anyone which direction they check
  • During periods of heavy traffic, it is perfectly acceptable to advance into an already-blocked intersection (of course, why would people think otherwise), and if someone ahead of you does not do so, you should honk at them and throw a hairy fit
  • Making a left turn from the right lane with no notice whatsoever is fine if you really, really need to get somewhere
  • On a small street with no lane markers, the most sensible thing to do is stick to the middle, so that those other annoying cars on the road can’t sneak past you
  • The superhero moniker used for parking cops is completely inappropriate…they are much more like the Flash than the Green Hornet
  • The prevalence of Starbucks franchises (seemingly on every corner) is completely understandable once you attempt to buy a latte during regular business hours
  • Despite the many thousands of cars that enter and exit centretown every day, there isn’t a drive-through coffee shop or restaurant to be found, and this phenomenon extends for kilometres in every direction

Hopefully, this accumulated body of knowledge will be helpful to someone out there… :-)


"Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty" is from Downtown by Petula Clark, which I chose for the obvious reference to the main subject of my post. I've been enjoying the usage of this song as Juliet's theme on Lost.

3 Responses to “Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty”

  1. Hee Hee! The green hornets are called green hornets because the uniforms used to be green! They actually changed the bylaw officer uniforms to get away from the nickname…

  2. I can’t believe all the activity since I last posted. I also can’t believe I didn’t notice that Juliet had a theme. Which season was this from?

  3. All through third season…her very first scene was in her house listening to this song and cleaning herself up from having been crying (which we later find out was because of Ben not letting her leave). Then, in her first flashback episode, the song is used in her scenes in Miami. I’m pretty sure it was used in another episode, too, but I’m drawing a blank now…

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