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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Time Warp

I'm a huge advocate of the revitalization of Hamilton's downtown core. James Street North's makeover is a huge credit to the people of Hamilton given the fact that this revitalization is a grass roots movement-- a domino effect primarily spear headed largely in part by Tim Potocic, owner of Sonic Unyon records with the creation of Art Crawl/Super Crawl (  An impossible feat for our ineffective city council who couldn't even run a garage sale, yet alone a revitalization project.  There has been a tremendous influx of new businesses in this area and others outside of our city are beginning to take notice.  My friend Audrey showed me an article in the latest issue of Chatelaine, which spotlighted James Street North as a "hot hood" and named it a "hipster hotspot" (The Art Gallery of Hamilton even created its own link to the article  Ok, so maybe the article itself was not researched well as two of the featured businesses mentioned are actually on Locke Street, but hey, Chatelaine is a national magazine, so people across the country are reading about downtown success story.

With that being said, I can't help looking excitedly forward to a bright future for this city without looking back.  I am still sentimental about downtown Hamilton's past.  I miss the glory of The Royal Connaught Hotel.  I miss the Pagoda Chop Suey house. I miss the Eaton's department store.  All of these businesses are just faded memories.

There is one Hamilton proprietor who has successfully kept his business going while maintaining a piece of Hamilton nostalgia. Jim Pappas use to frequent Martin's Bowling Alley throughout his childhood.  When the business went up for sale in the late 1980's Jim couldn't bear to see his beloved retro hang out become another ghost of Hamilton history, so he bought the business.   

Jim still owns Martin's and he hasn't changed much inside.  It is like stepping back in time. I'm surprised that the bowling alley isn't used in movie shoots. It is such a cool retro throw back, complete with vintage looking shoes, wooden bowling balls and cigarette machines (non-operational, but boy do they bring back memories!). You almost expect Don Draper to be bowling in the lane beside you. Whenever I am there I feel a bit like I am in an episode of Laverne & Shirley.  Sometimes my games are often distracted as I am searching out of the side of my eye for Carmine The Big Ragu.  Thank you Jim for preserving this piece of Hamilton history.

       Shameel! Shamazel! Hoffenpeper Incorporated!

The Fella with a strike

There are not many people who can get me out of my heels

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