A Downtowner Eats Her Words

After coming out in favour of downtown, Renee Sylvestre-Williams stumbles onto a kickass fashion party–in Woodbridge: “Drummers, cage dancers and fire dancers stalked the stage warming up the crowd who happily started whooping and cheering as each model strode down the catwalk. Wine was drunk, cameras flashed and when a shirtless model came out the screams just increased in volume.”

The same night Ethnic Aisle was hosting our first event on the urban vs. suburban divide, I was in a car heading up to Woodbridge. Woodbridge. In the suburbs.

It was the launch of the Grafic Women’s Concept store which features top designers from around canada and the world. That, however, is not the focus of this article.

Just last week I wrote a piece for Ethnic Aisle stating my case for why I live downtown. I was adamant about my choices. Quite  frankly the suburbs don’t really register except for the odd moments when I have to go there and then I mutter about the inconvenience of getting there and the general lack of things to do.

Just as the 40-plus people discussed the misrepresentation of the suburbs as bastions of blandness, I was experiencing what was one of the best parties I’d been to in a very long time. Oops.

Magnet Creative, the company behind the event, shipped a bunch of downtowners up north of the 401 and Identity threw up a tent in the parking lot and gathered a random mix of people:  Anita Clarke from I Want, I Got; GRAFIC shoppers, and locals.  The tent was surrounded by luxury vehicles and men who would fit the term “gino” were checking them out. Women were preening and posing and kids were running around. Instead of the self-consciousness of the downtown event, the atmosphere was relaxed. Think fashion show, tailgate party and car aficionados all in one spot with alcohol and nibbles.

Until the fashion show started. Drummers, cage dancers and fire dancers stalked the stage warming up the crowd who happily started whooping and cheering as each model strode down the catwalk. Wine was drunk, cameras flashed and when a shirtless model came out the screams just increased in volume. After a few minutes of being too cool for school from the downtowners, myself included, we all drained our glasses and whooped along with the rest of them.

My point to all of this? While I probably won’t head up to Woodbridge or the other GTA suburbs very often, I won’t be so quick to call the suburbs boring. Granted not every trip out will have car service, wine and a fashion show but it won’t be bland.

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