Posts Tagged ‘jarry park’

Julia and I moved to Parc-Extension this month from Point St. Charles and what a difference.  Dense and bustling it couldn’t be much farther removed from The Point’s quiet village-ness.  But, it wasn’t always the exciting urban space that it is today.  By the late 1920’s developers were trying to sell people on the peaceful suburban character Parc-Ex had at the time.

The area above the tracks was sparsely populated especially above Jean Talon (or Hopper Ave.) as can be seen in this 1929 insurance map.

It wasn’t until the 1950’s during the post-war boom period that the area really started to fill out, mostly with Jews moving up from Mile-End or coming straight from Europe.  By the late 1960’s the Jewish population began to be displaced by Greek settlers who by the late 1970’s had come to dominate the cultural landscape.  But as South Asian immigrants began to move in in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, the neighborhood began to lose it’s Greek character and today during a walk down Jean Talon you’ll encounter one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Canada.

During a minor respite from the oppressive heat last week Julia and I took a walk around our new neighborhood up Durocher and then down Jarry, Ball, and St. Roch before finally heading back down Birnam to Jean Talon.

Parc-Ex-ers are apparently into street cleanliness.  You wouldn’t know it from the toilet on the sidewalk, though, just a few feet from that “propre pole.”

Parc-Ex has quite a few one story houses.  The McMansions of a half-century ago.

When we got up to St. Roch we noticed a grade crossing into Jarry Park.

Jarry Park was not always public property.  The Bagg family, which owned much of the land in the area leased it to the city for $1 a year provided the city use it as a public park with the option to buy in the future.  In 1935 the Bagg family  broached the subject of purchasing the land for a suggested price of $750,000.  The city, not being able to afford it opted for another lease.  But on September 11th, 1945 it was announced that the city would finally buy the property from the Bagg family for $509,173.  Jarry Park was here to stay and crossing the tracks into it from the west made for a nice, green change from the hanging laundry, ambulances and police cars and traffic of St. Roch.

We walked north along the edge of the park up to Jarry, hung a left and walked its length to l’Acadie.This is as close as we get to street food here in Montreal and it’s a real shame.  The smell wafting off that meat was amazing.  The city could only be improved by street food vendors and our lack of them upsets me to no end.  Get your heads out of your asses City Hall!

There’s so much left to explore here and this grocery store on Jarry had some great looking sweets as well as fresh produce and a large supply of malt beverages.

Doesn’t that look delicious?  Well, yes, it kind of does but unfortunately they were closed at the time.

A pre-security cameras anti-shoplifting sign in Marche J.P.A.

In the mood for some ice-cream and unable to turn down a $1 cone we stopped in at Bismallah on St. Roch.
Bismallah is also a casse-croute and serve $1.25 hamburgers!

The ice cream was quite good.  I got pistachio and Julia had vanilla.   Fresh meat (!) at a grocery store on St. Roch.

And an ancient beer fridge at Steve’s depanneur also on St. Roch.Finally a decked out apartment building on Birnam.  And home we went to to our Mickey’s vs. Guinness Extra Stout taste test.


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By Matt

LeBron James is joining his buddies in Miami in the ultimate expression of free-agency.  This is what the strengthening of players rights to dictate their own careers has been working towards.  The revolution that Curt Flood started decades ago has reached its zenith.  Let’s take a look at how we got here:

On September 29, 1879 at a meeting in Buffalo, NY National League owners colluded to keep salaries down by agreeing to reserve five players, untouchable by any other team.  What was at first a gentleman’s agreement soon became standard practice.  Five players soon turned into 11 in 1883, 12 in 1886 and 14 in 1887 with the latter being the first time a reserve clause had been written into a player’s contract.  Though the clause was deemed unconstitutional several times it wasn’t seriously opposed until 1969 when Curt Flood refused to report to Philadelphia Phillies training camp after being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals.  The reserve clause basically meant that the Phillies owned him.  But Flood did not want to play in Philadelphia, didn’t show up for camp and took the issue to court in an anti-trust suit.  He lost.  What he started would finally be finished in 1975 when Andy Messersmith of the Dodgers and Dave McNally or your Montreal Expos played the 1975 season without signing contracts and with the reserve clause no longer applicable, hit the market as free agents.  With players able to play anywhere they wished salaries sky-rocketed and leagues that had previously adopted caps only to reject them began re-instituting them.  The NBA actually had a cap for one year in the mid 1940’s.  By the early 1980’s salaries had, according to owners, become out of control and in 1984 it was reinstated (the cap that year?  $3.6 million).  That 1984 cap is basically the one that’s in place now and though players had before teamed up in isolated cases there’s been nothing on this scale before pro in basketball.

Will we see more of this in the future?  In the NBA, I doubt it very much.  Basketball is a sport uniquely suited to the one-superstar-plus-role-players system and if a player can’t carry a team on his back to a championship he’ll never be on the truly great ones.  In basketball winning is first and foremost the star’s responsibility.  Who’s really the all-time great on a team of stars?

I guess I should throw in one more Expos reference to make this a little more apropos.  Where and when did Curt flood collect his first Major League hit?  On April 14, 1969 against Larry Jaster of the Montreal Expos.  It was a double in the first inning of the Expos inaugural home game.

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