The Billy Bulletin appears every Thursday with news about travel and the cities we cover, to help our readers and passengers navigate the week ahead.
The talk of our towns this week …
The video games of previous decades may have been crude by today’s standards, but you could argue it was just way more fun eating those mushrooms and hopping over those barrels. As a result, retro video gaming is definitely a phenomenon, and Montreal is hosting a convention this Sunday, June 25 for enthusiasts of the old school. High Score Con takes place at the Delta Hotel near Place-Des-Arts Metro station downtown, and includes tournaments, memorabilia and of course cartloads of cartridges.
Heads up for travellers: The subway system is an utter mess this summer. The MTC, the transit authority, is blaming “signal problems.” As the New York Post reports, New Yorkers are fed up – even the MTC’s own workers.
Nova Scotia is one foot closer to having a professional soccer team: City council has approved a temporary stadium to be built near Halifax Common for the city’s still-unnamed, potential team in the FIFA-affiliated Canadian Premier League. Apparently the league may launch as soon as next year (but only includes two announced teams so far, in Winnipeg and Hamilton, Ont.).
Naturally, the proposed location of the soccer stadium is not without controversy
Local busking hero Keytar Bear has been beaten up by terrible people yet again; in what is at least the third incident in recent years, the otherwise beloved man in a bear costume (who plays a keytar) was the victim of what is looking like a hate attack: “Boston is stepping up to help one of its most iconic characters this week after Keytar Bear was, once again, targeted in an assault this weekend … Three teenagers from New Hampshire have been arrested and charged with assault after they allegedly tackled and punched the performer while berating him with racial slurs.”
Keytar Bear keeps his real identity a mystery, so it’s uncertain what exactly his background is; he told Boston magazine in an earlier interview that he donned his ursine disguise precisely because he wants us to treat other people (and bears) the same regardless of colour. If you would like to donate to Keytar Bear, see this Indiegogo campaign and help him replace his smashed amplifier so that he can keep on keytaring in the name of social harmony.
You leave Keytar Bear alone!
With four locations for six million residents, Greater Toronto rivals Paris and Berlin as one of the most Ikea-loving cities in the world (see this nifty interactive map!). Toronto was also the location for the most notorious thing to ever happen at an Ikea store. The Swedish furniture and housewares mega-retailer is saying thank you (we suppose?) with a small, urban pop-up “Ikea Play Café,” open until Tuesday, June 27. Visitors are given wooden spoons to use as shopping wands, there are interactive games for grown-ups and, for fans of Ikea food (don’t laugh, that’s a thing), the café serves froyo sundaes and meatballs served with sauces in a cup – so in other words, meatballs served in the general style of a sundae. Yüm?
The Ikea Play CafÃ© serves meatballs in a cup and froyo in a cup, and has games you can play
For airplane enthusiasts there’s a certain thrill to being passed overhead by a really big, four-engine jet – a Boeing 747, or an Airbus A340 or (better yet) A380. But as reported by Bloomberg (via Skift), airlines aren’t finding huge planes as economically sound as they used to, and that’s leading to declining sales of the hugest of the huge models, which will become even rarer in the decades ahead.