It looks like Calgarians, usually considered a fairly conservative lot, are being swept up by revolution.
Last October, there was the purple revolution that put Naheed Nenshi in the mayor’s chair, and now we have the so-called food truck revolution.
It might seem odd to characterize perogies and burgers as a revolution, but that’s what we’ve been led to believe.
“There is an appetite for food trucks in Calgary and it is ravenous,” the Herald reported. “Serpentine lines extended down the block . . . as eager eaters waited for tacos, fries, perogies, barbecue, burgers and pizza at the Taste the Trucks event, which was set to start at 11 a.m.”
Fries and tacos? What will they think of next…. You’d think downtown office workers had been rolling over rotting logs for grubs and seeds instead of enjoying easy access to some of the best eateries in the nation.
And like all revolutions, this one has already turned nasty: “Hey pimply kid behind the counter at New York Fries – eat your heart out,” said one animated blogger of a mall-bound outlet. Ouch.
Renovated buses and RVs, more usually seen catering to construction sites and communities too small to support a real restaurant, do not constitute a revolution.
And what of the eateries that make a commitment to occupying a costly street-front location year round and hiring staff for more than a few hours — should they be forced to compete with fleet-footed operators who roll up just in time to poach their lunchtime crowds?
The mayor seems to think so. According to our Jason Markusoff, Nenshi’s hands are all over this.
“When it comes to the food truck extravaganza that crowded Stephen Avenue on Thursday and will be a roving and delicious city fixture for at least a few months, the plaudits directed his way do have merit,” writes Jason.
“Several of Nenshi’s office staffers, from policy analyst to administrative liaison to communications advisor, worked intensely with various departments and agencies to make the food-truck thing that’s so popular in San Francisco, Portland and elsewhere, actually get off to a roaring start here.”
Maybe if Nenshi had thrown all those resources at negotiating the airport tunnel, we could have saved some money to put toward the long-awaited southeast LRT.
If Calgary wants a real revolution, it should look to France. In Paris, the sidewalks are turned into a beach for city workers looking for a little escapism at lunch during the summer. Now that’s a revolution. And you never know, that sandy gravel — just picked up during the cooling days of summer — might come in handy when the snow starts flying.