Art & Design

Nightmare on North Street

At first glance it looks like the exterior of a typical daycare, but if you happen to be stopped at the traffic lights on the corner of North Street and Hanover (directly across from The Gleaner building in Downtown Kingston); take a closer look at the cartoon renderings on the white wall of a government building where something called the Early Stimulation Programme takes place.

Spooky.

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Reportage

Our Darkest Hours

Every city changes when darkness falls. At night, Kingston is as beautiful as it is foreboding. Flickering lights, empty buildings and hollow, distant voices create an atmosphere that is difficult to capture when the imagination adds so much more.

Things appear and disappear. Old souls mingle with the living, and sometimes, if you look hard enough, you can almost see them walking.

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Music, Video & Entertainment

Thursday Night at the Fights!

Photography by Peter Dean Rickards

On a Thursday Night in the middle of the concrete jungle, the Lions come out to play. Already notorious for its garrison politics, this particular downtown community cements its reputation by adding brute sport to its list of attributes. Unyielding to outside authority, its proud residents are often misunderstood by outsiders who fear what they don’t understand. As a population detached and growing larger each week the anticipation is thick in the air as we witness an incredibly entertaining release.

The crowd that surrounds is jovial, boisterous and dense and since we’re late it takes great effort to penetrate this barrier. It’s a privilege to stand close; everybody wants to see what’s going on. It’s ‘Thursday Night at the Fights’- street brawling in its most organized form; a makeshift ring constructed of two ropes held in place by feeble pieces of wood, lodged not too securely in the ground and a couple of nearby lampposts.

There’s no pretense here. No one bothers about things as trivial as mouthguards or doctors or even a bell. Many are dressed in rags and bear a slight resemblance to guttersnipes. To others, these are the dregs of society. Anyone brave enough (or drunk enough) to step inside must be prepared to take a beating; the crowd doesn’t react well to boring fights. So when two boys calling themselves ‘Tall Man’ and ‘Tupac’, (neither looking a day over twelve) knock fists to start their fight, little Tupac stares up at the other with a lust for blood in his eyes.

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