Neighbourly Love, Part 1

It’s things like this that make me love this city.

Walking to work this morning, I came face to face with a cardboard box filled with free books. It was just sitting there in the planter outside the door. Presumably the box is from our neighbours, a design firm, I think.

After a quick flip through some not-bad titles, I opted for “One Pot Italian Cooking: More than 100 Easy Authentic Recipes” by Massimo Capra. The author’s name alone made it a quick sell. And the moustache.

one pot italian cooking capra

I also love watching the passers-by as they come across the well-advertised free-book-box. Some spent several minutes sorting through it, just looking over the titles, even if they came out empty handed. Everyone from the King East graphic design gods, to the corner car mechanics, to homeless people stopped to give it a go. And watching their respective reactions to free sidewalk stuff was marvelous. I hope it happens again.

Thanks, neighbours!

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It’s hard out there for a hooker

In tough economic times, everyone suffers. Including workers in the sex trade.

According to a recent Toronto Star article, the recession is driving prices for prostitutes into the ground. Or sidewalk. The price for oral sex was $60 last fall, while now it’s wavering at $20, and going down. “Full service” has gone down from $150 to $80.

hard out there for a hooker

While some prostitutes were once able to make $600 a night, these days, they can barely scrape up $150. So what’s in store in the future of Toronto’s sex trade? How will sex workers manage to live on plummetting prices and increasing competition?

It’s a serious problem, with dire implications for the economic state of our city. According to York University professor of economics Perry Sadorsky, when the “vices” of smoking, drinking and sex are affected by an economic downturn, you know things are getting bad. “We are in the most serious depression since the 1930s. This shows the magnitude of the decline. It is deep and it is problematic.”

All I can say is… I smell a bailout!