Thursday, June 01, 2006


The lady--distinguished looking and wearing sunglasses--sitting in the car in the parking lot may be a double agent, so I won't be long in updating you on my espionage activities.

The City of Legends, as it's known in international tourism circles, is hopping with activity. There's the buzz about Game Seven in Carolina and the victor's pending battle with the Oilers, of course. Even the few non-hockey fans here in North America's oldest harbour city are aware of the stakes.

But watching tonight's game on TSN (for my American friends: Canada's version of ESPN except that SportsCenter is spelled SportsCentre), isn't all that's going on.

The music stemming from George Street, the epicentre of the night life here in St. John's, is vivacious and intoxicating and full of pleasant surprises. Last night, for example, a lad named Jason (whose last name I can't recall) entertained the crowd with stirring renditions of Canadian classics such as "Four Strong Winds" and interactive Newfoundland folk favourites like "Excursion Around the Bay." Tonight, ECMA 2004 and 2005 Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year Nominee Banshee will be on stage at Bridie Malloys.

But I'll miss the game because spies like me can't afford to be spotted in the same place two nights in a row. I'll be holed up in the safe house, watching the hockey game-one eye on the lookout for people wearing shades.