1. There is an art scene in Hamilton, and it is small, yet manageable. I see the same people, and even though we mostly don’t know each other’s names, we still nod, and smile, or recognize each other.
2. Hamilton has pretentious people, and artists like every other place does. Yet, I feel like we don’t have too many that I hate being here. Maybe more people=more people you don’t like, and if anyone knows me, I eye roll a lot at people. Especially “pretentious” people. I can’t succinctly explain pretentiousness to anyone, so I’ll save that for later.
3. You can do anything in Hamilton, because there’s not much to do in Hamilton. Think about it. In the short time I was in Toronto, I felt overwhelmed by the number of events, and parties, and after parties, and shows, and craft shows, and fairs, and queer bath houses, and kids sewing lessons and. Comparatively, we aren’t that big. There’s some boredom, yea, but there’s the opportunity to make more, and grow in the spaces between.
4. In Hamilton, you are good, or you are not. You are not “fake good”. You are honest. The man who paints abstract paintings and who did some hard drugs for the past 15 years, but has been into art for the last 5, he’ll tell you this. And he’ll tell you, “My work is alright, I really just started painting and I love it.” This versus “WOW HAVE YOU TRIED THE ORGANIC/VEGAN/DELICIOUS FOOD FROM THIS PLACE?” Only to try it, and then realize it is probably the worst thing you have eaten this calendar year. Some things are still hyped, but we don’t live on hype.
5. I was selling some left over copies of Oh Hamilton!, and I couldn’t believe how many people stopped and exclaimed at the sight of the zine, even if they didn’t buy it. “Oh are you from Hamilton? I am from Peterborough/Brantford/Ancaster!” It was as if seeing a little piece of Hamilton at this big fair gave them some excitement, and allowed them to open up a dialogue about the smaller towns and cities that they were from.
6. It’s nice to come home to somewhere quiet. Somewhere slower, a little quieter, a little less popular and populated. I think I could do Toronto on the weekends, and Hamilton for life.
Still, I know there are positives about living in Toronto. More people, more places, and events, and it’s not always a bad thing. But sometimes it’s just nice to love the place you’re at like you love the one you’re with.