Tag Archives: Cam Fuller

Cam Fuller sums up life in Saskatoon in one blog post

This is great and rather sad at the same time.

You have to feel for the citizens of Lastown. They’re hard-working. They mean well. But they’re always a step behind the times.

Take their current debate on food trucks. Every city in the world has food trucks. They’ve become a symbol of cool, sophisticated urban living. Civilization did not crumble in places that adopted food trucks. But Lastown officials are agonizing — agonizing — about allowing them in their fair city.

This gastronomic soul-searching should not be surprising. Even lowly hotdog carts were once forbidden in Lastown. They were regarded with suspicion — alien contraptions you could see only in movies set in New York City.

But times changed, eventually. People were travelling more and seeing how other people lived in more modern towns. They returned home and politely requested that hotdog carts be allowed in Lastown after all. To everyone’s surprise, city officials gave in.

Eating food outside, cooked by someone you didn’t know, was an incredible novelty — practically an illicit thrill — for Lastowners. They kind of liked the “big city” feeling, and lined up at the few hotdog carts they could find on a few street corners for a few weeks during the city’s short summer.

But in order to avoid culinary chaos breaking out downtown, city officials made sure that hot dogs and sausages were the only things available from the food carts. Fresh meat was banned in favour of safely salted and heavily nitrated tubes of delicious deboned meat byproducts. You never saw hamburgers on a Lastown food cart, no, no. In addition to being a tad fancy, hamburgers were almost certain to be a source of food-borne illness. Lastown’s city fathers made sure their children would never get sick from a sidewalk patty.

Twenty hotdog summers came. Wiener, ketchup, relish. Sausage, bun, mustard. Onion, peppers, pop. And 20 hotdog summers went. Wiener, ketchup, relish. Sausage, bun, mustard. Onion, peppers, pop. Lastown street eaters got used to the numbing routine of the limited menu.

Life went on. Lastowners lived their dry-ribs and deep-fried-spring-rolls lives. But one day, a downtown restaurant put tables and chairs on the sidewalk in front of its establishment. You should have heard the commotion.

“It’s like we’re Paris or something!” longtime Lastowners marvelled.

It’s funny how change triggers change. Lastown was starting to look so European that only a decade or two later, an entrepreneur got the idea to rent bicycles to tourists. He asked Lastown city hall for permission to set up in a park beside a hotel. The idea was frowned upon. What if other businesses demanded the same consideration, renting or selling things that customers wanted? Pretty soon the park would be full of people, you know, doing stuff. The bike rental idea was sent back for further study.
Wiener, ketchup, relish. Sausage, bun, mustard. Onion, peppers, pop.

Make sure you read the entire post.

Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra moving to Riversdale

The StarPhoenix’s Cam Fuller has the story.

The SSO announced Wednesday it will occupy the building at 408 20th St. West, less than one block west of the Roxy Theatre. It will be the first time the organization has housed all of its components under one roof.

The building will allow space for rehearsals, meetings, administration and storage. It will also house the symphony’s book and music sale inventory and the sale itself. The sale raised a record $119,585.08 this year.

The symphony’s first silent movie event at the Roxy Theatre last year got it thinking about the neighbourhood and helped developed a relationship with Tom Hutchinson and Terry Stannard of Magic Lantern Theatres, and Randy Pshebylo, executive director of the Riversdale Business Improvement District.

“That’s really the first time we’d been in the neighbourhood,” Jill Reid, SSO general manager said Wednesday.

“We had such a good reception there, we were so welcomed.”

The SSO signed a 10-year lease on the building, which has been used as a hardware store in the past.

“Good business involves wise investment,” Hutchinson said in a release. “Just as we invested in the Roxy Theatre in the hope that others would see its worth and support it, we know that investing in the future of the Saskatoon Symphony, and bringing its energy to Riversdale where it can be part of all the positive change happening there, will pay huge dividends to everyone involved.”

On my desk at work there is a RFP from the City of Saskatoon asking for a consultants report on how to fix 20th Street.  It may be a little late being put out because there has been more good news about investment on 20th Street than there has been for years.  In many ways it started with both Little Chief Police Station, the Roxy Theatre, and then later with the work that Shift Development Inc. has done with The Two Twenty and Collective Coffee.