This week, Toronto started on a path of great change. Phase one of the demolition of the Regent Park Projects began on Monday.

For more on the history of the neighbourhood and for the revitalization plan visit:
  • Regent Park

  • Now, I've been thinking about this long awaited turn of events frequently this week and I had lots of issues I wanted to discuss here on 'ol Bloggy McBloggerson when I found the time. My mind has been swirling with thoughts about urban planning and race relations and equality. Infrastructure. Transformation. Hope.

    But right now it's Friday night...I've been working all night...I just took a nice hot bath and have just now poured myself a glass of red wine. And when I think about the "projects" all I can think of think of is that unforgettable stand up routine from the one and only Dave Chappelle.

    So I won't go all Jane Jacobs on your ass tonight folks. Enjoy.

    David Chappelle:

    I was taken to the ghetto once, that's the worst when you're taken and you're not expecting to go. Usually you want to know when you're going to the ghetto, like, "I'm gonna see some wild shit, I gotta prepare myself to see something crazy." When you're taken its different. I had a limousine driver, it was after the show, at like 3 in the morning. I had a limousine driver, he's a nice guy, talking to me and shi'. He's like, "Where you from, dog? DC? Word. That's a rough city, man." And his cellphone started ringing, he's like, "Hold one one second. Hello? Oh, what's up nigga? What? What the fuck, slow down, what? What the fuck? No! No! No! Fuck it, I'm on my way!"

    "Hey, I gotta make a stop real quick." At 3 o'clock in the morning, and I didn't know he was taking me to the ghetto at first. I started looking out the window, see gun store, gun store, liquor store, gun store, where the fuck you taking me? This don't look good. He didn't say shit. He just pulled up in front of an old rickety building that looked like a project. I've never been there before, I'm not sure if it was a project, it certainly had all the familiar symptoms of a project. A fucking crackhead ran this way, tktktktktktk! Then another one jumped out of a tree and shit, tktktk! The guy said, "I'll be right back," and left me. Took the keys with him and just left me. At 3 o'clock in the morning, in front of a project, in a fucking limousine. This was not good. I was like, "I gotta look around, find some landmarks, see if I can figure out where I'm at. I might have to escape on foot." Now this is when I know I'm in a bad neighborhood, you only see this in the worst neighborhoods. Remember, this was 3 o'clock in the morning. I looked out the window, and there was a fucking baby standing on the corner. And the baby didn't even look scared, he was just standing there. And it made me sad you know, because I wanted to help the baby. I was like, "Mm mm I don't trust you either, click! clllick! The old baby-on-the-corner trick, eh? Not gonna fall for that shit. But where is this limousine driver?" As time goes by I start feeling worse, I was like, "What the hell is wrong with me, I'm scared of a baby! But this baby could be in trouble, he may need my help. I gotta do something." But I wasn't gonna get out of the car. I'm serious, man. I just cranked the window open a little bit. "Hey baby! Baby, go home, man! It's 3 o'clock in the morning man, what the fuck are you doing up?" The baby says, "I'm selling weed, nigga!"

    [later] "Hey, baby! Stop selling weed, all right, you've got your whole life ahead of you." He goes, "Fuck you, nigga. I got kids to feed!"

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