In a time before blogging was my extracurricular activity of choice, I used to draw like a fiend. On break at work. Zipping around on buses between home, school and work. I’d fall asleep with pens and markers in hand as I tried to draw just a little more (my Mom has the ink-stained sheets to prove it!)
It was in one of these scribbling sessions where I first crossed paths with Junia-T.
Hailing from Sauga’s southwest, Junia’s been in the rap game since before most people knew what Internet radio was. Back in 2003, after we met and exchanged info while riding the city’s notoriously unreliable Mississauga Transit #26, you’d find me with Junia and his 3-5 Playa crew in their basement sessions while sketching out the cover work for Up to Par… Da Mixtape.
Over a decade later, and the Sauga City cat’s still at it, as one of the artists performing at the free upcoming The We & We Free concert on Friday, May 9th at the Izakaya Sushi House!
“SaugaTweetup is like a tweetup in Toronto… without the Toronto douchiness.”
SaugaTweetup is worth the trek to Mississauga.
As someone born and raised Mississaugan, I know the city hasn’t been without its shortcomings in the past. Nothing to do but hang at the mall. Next to nothing open past 9 o’clock. You need a car to get anywhere. Mississauga doesn’t scream glitz, glamour or an expansive nightlife, but no matter how long I stay away, there’s still one word that resonates with me when I think of the city just west of Toronto:
You Can Take the Boy out of Sauga….
Despite how often I make fun of Mississauga (see “Mississucka”, “Miserysauga”, “My 27-year prison stint”), I will fiercely defend it against any outsiders looking to speak ill of it. Yeah, its transit system sucks, but I spent 15 years on it and earned my stripes to know how badly it sucks. The club scene was less than ideal, but I danced on those floors and got rebuffed by more Mississaugan women than I care to remember. (Note: I also did rather well with some Mississaugan women, but that’s not the point of this post.) Square one was my mall. Hazel McCallion was my mayor. You can take the boy out of Sauga, but you can’t take Sauga out of the boy.
Which is why I support SaugaTweetup as strongly as I do.
The Skinny on SaugaTweetup
On Wednesday, August 7th, we socialized like we were out of control, making new friends and reacquainting with old ones around the wooden tables that made up the atmosphere at the newly re-christened SCADDABUSH, which was the Alice Fazooli’s just north of Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga.
One thing that makes SaugaTweetup a little different from the events you’d attend in downtown Toronto is the crowd. People were representing various parts of town that night, from Scarborough all the way across the lake to Hamilton; Oakville, Kitchener-Waterloo, Brampton, Barrie, Keswick — SaugaTweetup has cultivated its own culture, far removed from the one you find in The Big Smoke with its gridlocked traffic and sullen faces. Dozens upon dozens make the journey out to SaugaTweetup, and I haven’t heard anyone leave disappointed yet!
SCADDABUSH made sure to offer a sampling of their menu, ranging from pizzas to stuffed meatballs and fresh mozzarella. I’ll leave someone far more qualified and who was far less preoccupied with stuffing their face while trying to drink a beer, take photos and keep up conversation — but I enjoyed what I had. I found the pizza especially tasty!
So why go to SaugaTweetup?
More than the food, the atmosphere or the low price tag that comes with free parking and a casual dress code, you go to SaugaTweetup to belong to a community. Before I moved out East, for a long time I was steadfast that the West was the best. The East is nothing to overlook, but until a PickeringTweetup gets to the same level as this… well, let’s just say that the choice is obvious.
See you in the fall!
HYFR and YOLO,
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands: