My final story of 2011 is about steamed wieners

From a story in today’s National Post about an adorable new business in Parkdale:

While the bourbon and Mexican food of Grand Electric may be the neighbourhood’s hottest spot for the 25-to-40 set, among under-19s The Hot N’ Dog is the place to be. Open since Dec. 5, the wiener slinger has become an institution for the young scholars of Close Avenue faster than you can say “give me the works.”

Click here for the full story and a much better photo, by the Post‘s talented Tyler Anderson.

This story was a rare example of shoe-leather journalism in the 21st century. I was simply walking through Parkdale in search of something to eat when I saw the “grand opening” sign outside the Hot N’ Dog and decided to check it out. It’s nice when a piece originates with a real-life discovery as opposed to a web one.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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Oldies but goodies

Illustration by Steve Murray

One of my favourite annual traditions in the National Post‘s Arts & Life universe is the end-of-year Cultural Lessons. They’re essays in which the writers meditate on what they learned from popular (and I guess not popular) culture over the year. I suppose it’s our chance to tell you what we really think.

Anyway, published Tuesday, here’s my one and only for 2011, about how fortysomethings made a lot of the year’s interesting music — meanwhile, the young folk not so much.

Illustration of an aged-looking PJ Harvey and Jay-Z by the talented, nice-smelling Steve Murray.