2008 blogging year

32new20yearAs 2008 slides into posterity it is time to reflect [amongst other things] on the state of juniorannex.  Clearly, there were more posts, more page views than in years past – but who am I kidding, not anywhere near the number of views of blogs I read.    But then again – I do have a day job. 

Summer posting was quite light so as I look forward to 2009 I intend to post not only more regularly, but also attempt to keep posting on an even pace and on a wider variety of subjects. 

The recent couple of posts about Kingston seem to have generated a bit more traffic, and so depending on how much I feel like saying about the limestone city, I will investigate a better way of getting those posts into a separate page / blog / something….

Happy New Year – Junior

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five bouquets to kingston city council (2008)

kingston_marketsqFollowing yesterday’s post one might think I have only disparaging remarks for council, however on occasion the city does get it right.  The sharper eyed will notice that things the city gets right are largely events – development, not so much.  More on that tomorrow:

(1) Market Square* outdoor public skating rink:

This is probably one of the most inspired redevelopments of a public space that I can think of.  It has the right scale, it respects the visual history of the area and lastly but most importantly it actually draws people almost every day of the year.  I am not even a particularly good skater, and yet the mere existence of this rink has brought me out to skate more times than I would otherwise do;

Recommendation:  leave it as is – don’t try to get clever and jam more functions into the square – it works right now.

(2) Movies in the square;

If you are detecting a theme here – it is for the reasons listed above – the square is a particularly appealing public space.  The introduction of family friendly movies into the square during the summer period was an inspired move.  The only suggested improvement I could make would be to close off King between Market and Brock in order to reduce the traffic noise generated by the cobblestones.

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five brickbats to kingston city council (2008)

montreal-streetThe Kingston City council deserves at least five brickbats for:

(1) their failure to create a welcoming entrance to Kingston

Does anyone think that driving down Division Street from the 401 to the hub represents a ‘gateway’ to Kingston to be proud of?   Between the 401 and CN track is about a kilometre of bland fast food and boring retail – from the CN tracks south to Railway Street, Division is a combination of abandoned buildings, a new police bunker, and drab houses – finally from Railway St to the Hub at Princess, the streetscape signals that Kingston is a poor, rundown city with little to offer.  Yet signs on the 401 direct potential tourists to use Division to access the downtown area.  I suggest that the initial impression left by the neglect of Division St is that the city doesn’t care much about its citizenry, nor tourists for that matter.  There has been absolutely no effort whatsoever to beautify Division street, to create a welcoming streetscape, rather it has all the look of an escape route;

Recommendation:  research and implement strategies for improving suburban streetscapes– while you’re at it, have a good look at how blah Gardners Road is…….

(2) throwing bags of money to finish the downtown arena which so far has turned in a third of the profit anticipated.  Does anyone think 2009 will be any better?

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the influence of seapower upon history…

china_454174aWell, well, lots of signaling going on…

(1)  It would seem that Alfred Thayer Mahan has been dusted off and been getting a thorough re-reading.   Somehow I don’t think the Chinese Navy will care a culturally relative whit for the fate of any Somali pirates who might be unfortunate enough to cross their paths.  Could it be that China views the security of its trade routes as being important to the continuing health of their economy – as opposed to say the post modernist Royal EU Navy?

(2) Meanwhile India proceeds a little more cautiously in ratcheting up the heat on Pakistan – just enough to capture their attention….