Riot night, ten months later.

Riot night, ten months later.

“You were there?” Yes, right next to the first car on fire. And then, wandering the downtown core, calling into the station as another car got swarmed, the police moved in, hundreds streamed down an alley, looking for what might happen next. I’ve been thinking a lot the Stanley Cup Riot this week, not just because the playoffs started again, prompting more discussions on policing and crowd control. Last night was the RTDNA Awards, where our CBC team was honoured with several regional awards for our coverage. So were other outlets in the city, so the acceptance speeches were filled with memories of what we all saw and felt that night. I was excited for the playoffs last year. But 10 months post-riot? Not one bit. My city transformed, for better then worse Now, people who love hockey will say that attitude means I’m not a “real fan.” Which I freely admit. I wasa fan of what was happening on the streets, much more than the ice. It rekindled a bit of that spirit from the Olympics, the year before. The city, downtown especially, felt like a special place to be. People came out of their normal niches and commutes to gather together. The pavement was transformed into public space. During the Olympics, that was all capped off with the impromptu street party after the men’s gold medal hockey win. That whet my appetite, and I’m sure many others, for another crazy but good-natured civic celebration. As CBC’s Stephen Quinn recalled on the radio this week about the outdoor playoff parties: “It was fun, until it wasn’t.” Smoke rising,...