norayoung.ca | At the Corner of Technology and Culture

Flying the Squirrel Flag

Another new coffee shop opened up in my area recently, called-ahem-Coffee Shop. It’s so new, I can’t find it online, but it’s right by Clafouti, across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Nothing much unusual about that; every time you walk down that strip of Queen Street there’s something new opening up, or–more and more often, it seems–closing down.

What I noticed about it, though, was the clever sign (sorry, didn’t have my camera) which combined the generic “Coffee Shop” name in a generic white font, with a white silhouette image of a squirrel. Trinity Bellwoods Park is locally famous for its population of white squirrels–I imagine they have a form of albinism. So, the uber-generic name was matched with a kind of hyper-local signifier of local neighbourhood pride.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen the image. Fleurtje had a purse with one on for a while; one of the neighbourhood shops had t-shirts with a white squirrel logo. I’m intrigued by this hyper-localism. Is it just a reflection of the fact that we’re a bigger city now, and so the population base supports it? Is it because so many people in this city were born somewhere else that it’s feeding a desire for place, for settlement? Or perhaps it’s a reaction to a broader sense of rootlessness. I talked about it on the podcast with Cathi a while ago. Any thoughts?

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There are 3 Comments to "Flying the Squirrel Flag"

  • Bill Kennedy, CA says:

    You know, so much of what I wear or use has someone else’s logo, a symbol that is, at the end of the day, meaningless for me. On the other hand, I’d be happy to own or wear something that is a bit of an in-joke, a logo that only a select few (i.e. the members of my community) would recognize.

  • alainsaffel says:

    Maybe someone just thought it would be cool to put a squirrel on there as a logo.

    Not everything has a meaning behind it, unless you’re a relentless Freudian.

  • Nora says:

    @ Bill Kennedy
    I hadn’t thought about that…it’s kind of like a secret handshake!

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