A perfect day at Word on the Street Toronto


Word on the Street comes to Toronto this Sunday September 21st but with a schedule packed full of delightful things, how’s a Red Brick Reader to decide where to spend their time? Let us boss you around and we promise you’ll meet cool people, learn cool things about Toronto, and discover some cool reading along the way.

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The photographs of Allen Ginsberg – free exhibition

Neal Cassady and Natalie Jackson underneath movie marquee, San Francisco

There was a time in all of (most of) our lives when the Beat generation writers were just it, wasn’t there? Do you remember being a teenager and reading Howl? Or On the Road? How it spoke to you? How understood you felt? Most of us grow out of that and eventually we think that Jack Kerouac should get a job and stop borrowing money from people and that they should all do less drugs, get more sleep and use birth control but there was a time when we got them and they got us, those writers.

I can’t make you seventeen again but if you want to understand a bit more about those writers who made you feel so understood, there’s an exhibition on at the University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC) that may help.

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A modest proposal in light of bad news

Bad news in Toronto today as we were told that The Grid, an excellent alternative weekly, will be shutting down effective immediately.

Novelist Michael Hingston has a suggestion:

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Adam and other books to get you in the mood (for Pride)

UnknownWorld Pride week has just wrapped up here in Toronto and in honour of the parades all over the world, let’s talk about Ariel Schrag’s new novel Adam.

Our hero Adam is a seventeen year old boy who goes to spend the summer with his sister in New York. His California life of third-wheeling with young teenage couples in hot tubs is replaced by a Brooklyn existence and his sister’s group of LGBT friends. There’s a hot redhead in the mix. Hilarity ensues.

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Final sale: a bookstore eulogy in blurry iPhone photos

photo 4Last Friday, the giant downtown Toronto location of Chapters Indigo closed its doors. The store was best known for being attached to a multiplex and in decidedly non-21st century behavior, for attracting moviegoers who would entertain themselves before their shows by browsing the stacks. What a world.

This post is  different from most of the bookstore tributes we offer here at Red Brick Reads because the bookstore in question is a big box retailer not a charming independent. I have no anecdotes about quick-witted bookshop staff at this location for you. In fact, I’ve always thought the Chapters Indigo at John and Richmond looked remarkably similar to the big bad Fox Books location that puts Meg Ryan’s poor Shop Around the Corner out of business in You’ve Got Mail. A sinister comparison.

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