Romy's Bingotown

Image from here.

I pretended that Romy was from someplace other than Brantford, Ontario (I think I may have settled on Windsor in order to make it conceivable that she had travelled on the Nindawayma when it had served as a ferry between Tobermory and Manitoulin Island.)

But in truth, Romy is from where I’m from. She’s from Brantford. Wayne Gretsky is from there too. So is Alexander Graham Bell, no matter what you Americans say. In fact it used to be called The Telephone City on the city signs. Now it's called the home of Monsieur Gretsky. (I'm not even sure I'm spelling his name right.)

Image from here.

Things are looking up these days, apparently, but a few years ago, downtown Brantford was being used as a perfect location for horror movies. It all started in the 80s when someone had the bright idea of building an Eaton Centre on the downtown Market Square, thus blocking the view of every corner of downtown from every other corner of downtown. Ruinous? Yes. I love the commentary by the graffiti artist who peopled the walls of abandoned buildings with shadows, as in the photo at the top of this post.

They put that Eaton Centre up because they were worried the downtown was deteriorating (cf. the 'doughnut effect') and they wanted to revive it. Instead, it eradicated whatever charm the place had left.

I had always heard there was an old Six Nations curse on that Market Square, declaring that any institution that built on it was destined to fail. All that land was supposed to belong to the Iroquois, promised to Joseph Brant for assisting the Brits against the Americans and their revolution.

Where the Eaton Centre was concerned, it took a few years, but the corp went down.

And when the corp went down, there was even less colour there than there had been before. For Romy, who gets depressed by drabness, that meant a move to Montreal, the most colourful city in Canada.
At least sometimes. Other times it's not.

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