Friday, April 13, 2007

So, you think you too need a shelter from the beige?

I like to think of the excitement factor of cities as an 'alert' type of scale. Kind of like the domestic terror alert now adopted in the States. Orange means medium. Red means a significant scare or significant risk. You get the color idea...

Ottawa Beige may not be a new term but it has been reinvented as a label by the founder of this blog. Beige is inoffensive. Beige is the kind of conversation at Starbucks in the Glebe when you have returned from a vacation in some more exciting place and your friends have been gardening all this time or something lame like that. Most of our buildings are beige, their materials blending in nicely with the overcast, often rainy weather. Beige is the mood of a room full of senior-level bureaucrats making routine, yet highly diplomatic decisions; it's the color of not stepping on anyone's toes too hard, too often or not at all. If the city had a medeival-style crest of arms, it would have to feature a lot of beige...

If you need a shelter from the ever-creeping tide of beige, we will endeavour to bring it to you, contruct it for you and let you play in that shelter. To prove that Ottawa doesn't suck or doesn't suck as badly as the popular lore would have it. To praise cheap, good restaurants and tell the world who has the really good beers on tap. To review a book or two. To provide quick, off-the hip, occassionally caustic social commentary while not taking sides and not flaunting any obvious ideology or a bent(say, I will remain very discreet in my support for the Oilers and may even heap a small amount of praise on the Sens one day). To point out the neat, innovative, off-the beaten path cultural opportunities to be found in the city. To guide anyone who wants to be guided through a neighbourhood or a piece of obscure local history. To entertain and provoke and kick at that oversized punching bag known as civic smugness , and to poke holes in our blindfolds, may that be political correctness or snobism or other social affections.

We'll also do weird things. Maybe an interview with a performance artist - or a 900-pound elephant seal. Maybe an article about the chaotic and lawless past of Bytown. Probably lots of references to comic books, geekdom in general and to random acts of evolution.

Anyhow, welcome to Ottawa Beige.

1 comment:

joncormier said...

I said "No Manifestos!" Dammit, already you're flaunting the rules.

Whatever - there are no rules.