The Hammer in Downtown Hamilton
I’ve lived in Hamilton (aka “the Hammer”) for the past 14 years. Visually, it’s hard to ignore the sheer amount of burly construction workers that crowd our streets. In their neon orange uniforms they look like fluorescent Santas. Sometimes they fill your heart with a feeling of promise, progress and renewal; other times, it’s a sinking feeling of frustration, confusion and apathy. With Hamilton’s steel-manufacturing heyday well in the past, the city is hard at work trying to reshape itself and forge a new identity.
Skateboarding, photography, collecting cavities, and blowing my nose.
Hamilton is historically known as an industrial town. Located 40 miles southwest of Toronto, it’s an affordable option for many immigrant families and students. On the surface it’s all grit and rust, but beneath it is a well-kept Canadian secret. With an amazing trail system, a beautiful waterfront, a booming arts and music scene, and a fast-growing downtown core, there’s plenty to do here.
A giant Tim Horton’s double-double coffee, then a long aimless skate around town. If I’m feeling social and want to gawk at girls I may head west. If I feel adventurous and brave, I head east. Grab a burrito. Make some instant coffee at home and record a goofy song. Maybe have a late night beer somewhere low-key.
The bus drivers, our library system, the arts scene, cheap rent, diversity, a sense of pride living in an underdog city.
No jobs, demolition-happy councilmen, the streets look deserted at night-time, the smell.
Countless major films have been shot here. And we have tasty tap water.
Neil Young driving a motorized scooter into the side of a bus.