Crowbar Restaurant Pries Away Barton’s Sketchy Image

By Gore Vidal Park

Barton Street Neighbourhood architecture

Barton Village about to get a makeover | Photo Joanna St. Jacques

The venerable Crowbar restaurant, at Barton East and Elgin is in for a

Barton Village Business Improvement Association President Jerry Canelli
is thrilled with the news.  “Barton’s back, baby!  When they put in the
new Beer Store, they made it a drive through because people were afraid
to leave their cars with a criminal themed restaurant on the corner.”

“It was really bringing down the property values here.  You got
everything you need right here: big parking lots, a funeral home, a few
rub and tugs, the detention centre, and yet nothing was taking off
around here.  Why?  Because you have a restaurant that just screams
‘hug-a-thug’.  That doesn’t belong on Trendy Barton Street.”

Crowbar owner Chris Bacon is non-plussed.  “I don’t get what the big
fuss is.  I named it Crowbar after Kelly Jay’s great Hamilton band.

For all these years, I never knew people associated it with the jail!
Once Mr. Cannoli  pointed that out, I knew I had to change it right

Not everyone is pleased.  Local hip-hop magnate Larry D-Money decries
the gentrification.  “We used to have the whole Stainless Steel crew
shooting their straight-to-youtube vids down here on Barton, but the
street’s no longer gangster, or even ganja.”  Jigz Crillz had to shoot
his last video at the City Motor Hotel.  ”

That’s forty minutes of his
time on the number 2 bus, rather than in the studio.”

But Bacon has no regrets with the name change, even though the
transition has been bumpy. “At first, to be true to Crowbar, I called
it “Oh What a Feeling” and put up a big neon sign, but then I got a lot
of people confusing it with Hamilton Strip.  So I’m having to change
the name again.”

When asked about what the new name will be, he hesitates.  “I’ve chosen
a name that fits with Barton’s new upscale image, but I’m still going
to name it after another great Hamilton band… I’m going to reopen as


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Ticket Pardon Scandal: “I Was Too Plastered to Park”

He’s got a ticket to rye

bad parking job

DeFlorencia avoids double parking ticket (Photo credit: Andrew Huff)

A stretch of Aberdeen Ave was reopened last Monday after being shut down following a Hamilton man’s drunken joyride.   Although no one was injured, the driver – 38-year-old Samuel DeFlorencia – is not facing any charges, and has managed to avoid paying a parking ticket.

“I admit I was very, very drunk [laughs],” says DeFlorencia.  “I shouldn’t have been on the road.   I don’t remember getting in the car.  I don’t even remember owning that car, to be honest.   So, I fought the parking ticket and I won.”

Hamilton Justice, Eunice Taylor, said “Although people who commit crimes while voluntarily drunk should be held criminally responsible for their actions, I cannot accept DeFlorencia’s admission of drunkenness as it appears he was too intoxicated to recall the events, and there is no evidence to corroborate his story.”

This is not the first time a Hamiltonian has used the drunk defense to avoid charges.  In the notorious case of Kendall Glansitch, he was charged, and acquitted, with arranging an illegal gambling ring involving cockfights, cracoon races, and a mobility scooter chop shop.  The judge found that during the five-year period Glansitch was arranging these activities, he was too drunk to be criminally responsible.

Don’t Drink & Drive

DeFlorencia is worried that his case may condone further drinking and driving cases.  To redeem his foolish actions, he spoke to an assembly at Westdale High School.   Deflorencia was ushered off the stage, after claiming he’s a better driver when he’s had a few drinks, but cautioning that very few people have this skill, and he doesn’t recommend trying it.

Teachers, parents, and police seem to have reached a consensus concerning DeFlorencia:  Alcohol gave him a second chance, but it’s Hamilton that’s feeling hung over.

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Rob Ford Mistakenly Sues Himself: “I’m prepared to fight it”

English: Booking photo /mug shot of Rob Ford t...

Rob Ford, staring into the mid-distance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even Rob Ford‘s closest allies say Toronto’s Mayor is his own worst enemy.   This may be the literal truth as Ford’s complicated legal entanglements have come to a bizarre head.

“It looks like I’ve sued myself for slander,” says Mayor Ford, outside of City Hall.  “I spend so much time with my lawyers, I overheard something on the radio, and I said, ‘Chuck.  Sue that a**hole for slander.’  I didn’t realize it was me.  Am I sorry?  No.  If I slandered myself, I’m prepared to fight it to the very end, no matter how much time and effort it takes.”

Ford’s political ally and brother, Doug Ford, stated, “This is something the Left has cooked up to trap Rob Ford.  If they weren’t so busy blowing the whistle on Rob, they might get something done.”

Ford’s opponents seem sympathetic this time around, though, believing it was an honest mistake.  Lately, Toronto’s council meetings have become increasingly cordial, with Ford absent much of the time for legal and personal reasons.

“Listen,  I told people I was going to be coaching football and taking a course on the French Revolution.  And that’s what I’m doing.  I make mistakes.  I’m not in council as much as I should be.  I sue myself, I forget the rules, but everybody does that.  I’m human.  At least when I end my career people will still be talking about how I drove this city on a gravy train with biscuit wheels.”

Whether or not Ford comes out ahead in the trial against himself, the one thing no one’s accusing him of is lack of character.

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MUD WRESTLING EVENT: “I’ll be front row, throwing mud and spreading awareness”

“I can’t keep my hands off them”


MUD WRESTLING FANS BEWARE! (Photo credit: roberthuffstutter)

Ask any college-aged male what first comes to mind when you say “Hess Village“, and the answer is always “women.”  That’s why, Kendall Glansitch, owner of the hot new club, Fondle, is hosting the biggest, outdoor mud wrestling competition in International Women’s Day (IWD) history.

“I love women.  That’s why I own an exclusive nightclub.   It’s their bodies – there’s nothing like it.  My waiting staff always says can’t keep my hands off them, and it’s true.   That’s why I knew I had to do IWD this year – Fondle-style.”

“This is the wrong guy for IWD”

Goderich is drawing some negative attention, too, with claims he’s missing the point.  Gladys Pointer, the president of McMaster’s student womyn’s club says, “This asshole doesn’t get it’s a day about empowerment, not subjugation.  He’s disrespectful to his waitresses, and he never has to play by the rules.  This is the wrong guy for IWD.”

 “I’ll be front row, throwing mud and spreading awareness”

Racy flyers claiming, “The Hottest, Bustiest, Wettest Women’s Day Ever!!!” did attract  Councillor Scott of Ward 16.  “I’ll be front row, throwing mud and spreading awareness.”

Despite the vicious debates, it’s expected that several hundred will attend today’s events.  If you feel your employer is acting inappropriately, please see the resources below:

Hamilton’s Resources for women:

Hamilton 24hr Crisis Lines:

  • Native Women’s Centre 1-888-308-6559
  • Fem-aide 1-877-336-2433 (Women dealing with violence)
  • COAST (mental health) 905-972-8338
  • Good Shepherd 905-523-6277
  • Inasmuch House 905-529-8600
  • Hamilton Interval House 905-387-8881
  • SACHA 905-525-4162
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Half-Baked Racism Draws Media Attention to Seniors’ Home


“Innocents Hamilton” protest the “hatecakes.”  ‘We make our cupcakes with sugar, eggs and flour, not hate.’ (photo credit: brink animation)

“It was all tongue-in-cheek”

Oldin Indeway Manor, an assisted living community home in Ward 16, is known around Hamilton for its sterling reputation as a haven for our city’s aged citizens.   Yesterday, they shocked the public by unveiling an aggressive marketing campaign involving a symbol that characterized racism in their generation: the swastika.

“Why can’t old people do irony?”

“We never meant to be offensive,” said Alfred Peaknuckle, an eighty-five year-old war veteran.  “I fought the Nazis, for crying out loud.  It was all tongue-in-cheek.  We did it to draw a crowd.  We heard on the news that restaurants are doing it, so why not us? We need the funds from the bake sale for new curtains, cutlery, and an antenna for the goddamn T.V.”

“Innocents Hamilton” Won’t Sugarcoat This

Not everyone sees it that way.  A coalition of local dissidents called “Innocents Hamilton”, have made several posters in reaction to the controversy.   The posters (example above) show baked goods with messages including, “My cupcakes spread tooth decay, not hate,” and “Make peace-cakes, not hate-cakes.”

The bake sale coordinators said, “It’s not illegal, so we’re not taking it down.  In fact, our goods are selling like hate-cakes.  Why do young punks get to use irony?”  The management team have offered their sincere apologies, and hope this never happens again.

I think every Hamiltonian would like to forget this week’s controversial events.

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“I really dropped the ball on this one”

Ball's Falls

The well trimmed bushes envelop Ball’s Falls (Photo credit: John Vetterli)

What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Ball’s Falls?   Of course, it’s Jordan’s glistening jewels: Upper and Lower Ball’s Falls.  

It was a very different image that shocked a team of bird watchers – the “Ball Gazers” – on Sunday afternoon.   The arbourist, Hung Bae, was trimming the thick bushes around the landmark, when the Gazers noticed he was relieving himself in full view.  “Things got hairy there for a minute,” Bae says, “when the gazers began to point and fuss.   I didn’t think people would care that much about peeing outdoors.  I really dropped the ball on this one.”

Testy gardener was half in the bag


Mayor shows council what he saw that day – photo by Joanna St.Jacques

Mayor Bob Bratina, an avid gazer and witness to the event, explains to council that “we’ve all got itches to scratch, but alcohol was definitely a factor.  The guy was testy and half in the bag.  I came to Ball’s Falls to see a nuthatch, not …well, you know.”

Bae admits to drinking on the job, and says this wasn’t the first time he’s taken advantage of relaxed city rules.  “I’m not proud, but a lot of us here hit the sack pretty early, clocking out at midday.  I’m just going to take the blow because that’s the way the ball bounces, doesn’t it?”

Ball’s Falls Won’t Take it on the Chin

The site administrator, Rob Winterger, worries Bae’s example will make Ball’s Falls a sore spot, instead of a pleasure area.  “In a nutshell, we don’t want one slime ball holding us down.  You can’t go cracking a nut with a sledgehammer, but it’s important that we terminate his position for our spotless image.  We do this regretfully, and wish him the best.”

Bae faces a tough road ahead, but he’s planning on picking up where he left off, trimming bushes and bouncing back as soon as possible.

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The new McMaster Children's Hospital Logo

The new McMaster Children’s Hospital Logo

We’ve done it again, Hamilton.  We’ve made it through another week.  I have a fabulous new photographer, and a mysterious graphic designer who has donated a logo (coming soon!).   All-in-all a good week.   I had a delicious luncheon with the mayor, sampling the goose wings of Hamilton.  They’re good, but in a gamey way.

Coming this week?   Big ideas from small minds.   Hamilton’s wish list of gigantic public works projects.

My favourite comments:

  1. razor pocket mod “You should take part in a contest for one of the best websites on the net. I most certainly willhighly recommend this website!”
  2. Hamilton’s Newest Big Idea: “Glen Nott Massive HAMILTON sign on the side of the mountain, big enough that you can read it from the CN Tower. That’ll show ’em who’s boss.”
  3. Peter Graefe – Did you spy Dollarama’s spring 2013 collections while you were there?
  4. Stam – Farley you look awesome in heels.


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