This is April Wozny, and we’re assured she doesn’t usually look or dress like this.
“Buzz ‘hoods pop up and then inflate like giant, shiny balloons,” wrote Toronto.com’s Stacey McLeod on February 3, 2009, “until the pricks roll in and pop them.” Bouncing from joint to joint along what was then a freshly trendified strip, McLeod explored the results of Ossington’s metamorphosis from the overlooked into the overblown. And with a few exceptions, the results, as more than a few of Ossington’s residents would agree, weren’t exactly accommodating.
“Our first stop was Crooked Star, just south of Dundas,” she went on. “The problem was, we didn’t stop because we couldn’t get in. It was packed so we pulled up our scarves and headed south to Reposado,” an idea that seemed all well and good until coming face-to-face with a no-room-for-the-holy-spirit capacity crowd. At 9:30 pm.
Her article was like a snapshot, a memento of the transition period from 2008 (the year of the GTA’s newfound love affair with Ossington) to 2010 (a year that evidently sees locals remembering the bygone era like some pre-annexation heyday). “Historically, downtowners claim a ‘hood until the 905ers catch on,” she noted, “and then after some huffing and puffing, the downtowners wave a white flag and move along.” But if there’s one thing that some residents of the occupied ‘hood aren’t doing, it’s bowing to the perceived inevitable. A quick dip into Facebook reveals a stubborn cadre of 416-loyalists with a different notion, perhaps intended to bridge the schism while thumbing their collective nose, and it’s not the least bit surprising that a bar’s at the forefront.
Baby Huey, 2007’s addition to 70 Ossington, is sounding the call with Ossington is the new Richmond: 905er Costume Party w/VANESKA. “It has been one year since Ossington has become the solid nightlife hotspot for 905ers,” it reminds the invited, “and we would like to celebrate here at Baby Huey for keeping it real. As one of the first bars to plant our roots here, let’s celebrate what our neighbourhood has become!”
… which is obviously written with several tongues planted firmly in several cheeks. Nonetheless, Baby Huey is all about paying homage, however dubious, to its neighbourhood’s lingering houseguests, encouraging attendees to array themselves head-to-toe in “your best 905er garb” (like April Wozny, pictured above) for a chance at an ArtStars* prize pack. The take? According to the event, “a silkscreened t-shirt, underpants, and a bunch of suburban trinkets scouted from the South Common Mall.”
As for the “905er garb”? While emphatically suggesting “flame shirts from Randy River,” Baby Huey runs the gamut: acrylic nails, straight ironed hair, pout, gelled crunchy hair, Wal Mart necklace, cakey pink frosty lip gloss, belly rings, and cubic zirconia.
Oh, and bronzer. Lots and lots of bronzer.
Shenanigans happen at Baby Huey, 70 Ossington Avenue, on Sunday, April 11, at 10 p.m.