A dear friend of mine welcomed me into his apartment. I've visited him many times before, but this time was different. On the morning of Wednesday, December 1st, Justin Snikkar woke up to chaos. (See the news story here.) The building next door set on fire. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a large marijuana grow-op, with a rottweiler guarding the whole operation. The incident was one of the biggest news stories in Toronto that day, and new Mayor Rob Ford was sworn into office.
Justin mentioned what was happening on his Facebook profile, and within minutes many of his friends were messaging him, wondering what the hell was going on. Some of those people discovered the news on the radio, and were curious about how close he really was. He was right next door, and as surprised as everyone else!
Justin chose his apartment because it was one of the only places he found that would allow him to make noise in the middle of the night. As a musician, being able to practice at night is vital.
Justin's apartment is a treasure trove of musical instruments and computer equipment. After I checked out the crime scene next door, he showed me his newest acquisition, a series of cymbals and gongs he bought during his trip to China last August.
"This is all I need to feel happy," he told me, while whacking the gongs like a master percussionist.
"Let me try it," I said. Bong! It was quite a rush.
Tell me about what happened yesterday.
It was interesting being woken up by firefighters using their radios and megaphones. I went outside to take a look. I was only wearing a t-shirt and shorts. There was a lot of commotion. There were also a lot of cops, and they shut the street down. I was supposed to evacuate, but I was sleeping pretty hard. I tuned into the news reports online. No one said anything until I went out to look. It was interesting seeing all the action around.