“The Petrolienne” ?

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Althought the name bicyclemark gave me, the Torontonienne, is not a misnomer (I lived in Toronto for the past 7 years, and it is a home to me), my real roots stem from a town called Petrolia. And as bicyclemark heard this morning, this tiny (one stop light) town was the first town in North American to discover oil (hence the lovely name). The interesting thing is, that it wasnt until I was old enough to have traveled to several other areas, and reflect upon my hometown, that I realized I grew up in a THEME TOWN! (of sorts).

Some of the oil-theme features include:


street lights shaped like oil derricks; the following street names: Oil Street, Tank Street, Eureka Street (where they first struck the black gold, Eureka!!); a town mascot named Derrick the Oil Derrick (oh the cheese); one of 4 restaurants is named the Oil Rig; the bar the Pump House; oil-related tourism of course … and I m sure there are more.

Perhaps the touted Disneyfication/ Cultural Commodification phenomena that is talked about so much right now in urban studies is somehow related. Was the formal branding of Oil Town an economic-development strategy by the town of Petrolia? Apparently many communities are seeking economic revitalization through the development of theme towns. Coca cola town, Food Town, Bavarian town (in the USA, and allegedly an economic success), UFO/Alien theme, Wild West town. Yes, the oil history of Petrolia is authentic (which sets it appart from many self-created theme towns), but there was definitely a plan to market the theme. I mean, who decided to creat oil derrick lamp posts?



Keeping in bicyclemark tradition, heres a lil bit of Amsterdam. There is a Ferris Wheel is Dam Square. I like Ferris Wheels, they re fun, nostalgic, and you get a view of the city. But definitely not worth the 8 Euros someone told me one ride costs (hearsay, I didn t actually stand in line to find out the cost). What is the value of a Ferris Wheel ride? When does the experience outweigh the cost? I think I would pay 4 Euros.

Today’s Sounds: the magnetic fields – (i’m addicted)


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