I’m not sure if it’s irony or serendipity that the A-Z schedule has me on H for today, because I’d like to write a little about my Hometown of Hamilton, and I’m not there at the moment, nor will I be all day. (I’m up in Toronto for the Ad Astra convention, whoohoo! More about that some other day.)
I was born in Hamilton, grew up there, and through my life there hasn’t been a time where I didn’t have my permanent address there. Even in my university days, I might sleep most nights in a dorm room or rented room in North York, but every other weekend I’d be taking the trip back home.
Hamilton isn’t a really big city, or a small town – the population signs have slowly climbed up over the years to cross the half-million mark though. It has the reputation of being this really gritty blue-collar city, but I guess I’ve never really seen that, unless I’m taking the bus on the Bayshore route past the steel plants. Half of them are shut down now anyway.
Hamilton is a college town – my Dad taught for years at McMaster University, and we have Mohawk community College and a lot of smaller schools as well. It’s a popular filming town, (The train station scene in the X-men, anybody?) It’s a city with a small, but determined and stubborn artist community. It’s the biggest hockey town in Canada that will never ever get its own NHL team for real. (We’re just a bit too close to the Maple Leafs and the Sabres, alas.)
I suppose nearly any city or town has all of those different neighborhoods and places that can surprise you and jump-start your imagination. But Hamilton’s are the closest to me, and I’m satisfied with that. Well, again, except now, because Eglinton avenue is close to me now, and if that can’t jumpstart a story I don’t know what can.
So, what’s your hometown like? (Either where you live now, or where you grew up.)