Where there is music uptown, you will find Mike. Where there is anything rich in culture, you will find Mike. Actually, you may bump into Mike anywhere, as he is a true uptown boy. An artist in so many respects, Mike breathes something unique and wonderful into the uptown. Let's have a chat…
Where were you born?
Dont tell anybody this but I was actually born in Edmonton, Alberta. But we moved to Saint John when I was 7 years old. That counts, right?
Where do you work?
Im a freelance writer so the entire uptown is my office. Ill write at Java Moose or Starbucks. Shoot video at Backstreet Records on Germain Street. Snap pics in Kings Square. But I love the reference centre at the library so you can find me there most afternoons.
What was your favourite/most interesting project?
Right now, I would have to say Serf City. Its a website that Mark Leger and I run and it is so much fun. There! Shameless plug! But Im also doing some work for the Saint John 225 project and have found it fascinating to pour over the lives of the people who built this city. Ive also worked as a technical writer for Innovatia and I helped Danny Jardine with his campaign, during the last municipal election. Politics is the ultimate game and I would drop everything to help him again.
What do you like best about uptown Saint John?
Thats easy. The aesthetic. Take some time and walk down one of our streets. Look at the lines, the shapes, the textures and you will know what I mean. I often just stare at a building, completely fascinated by the way it was designed and what it was meant to signify.
Who is your favourite musician?
Ive always been a sucker for Jessica Rhaye. I think shes going to be very big very soon. For sheer muddy rock, theres nothing better than the Wooden Wives. And Ive always admired Brent Mason for the contribution he has made to the citys music scene. Hes opened so many doors for so many people and he deserves our applause. Oh, and I just heard the coolest band ever! Theyre called the Elephant Kids. You have to check them out. Seriously.
If I told you then it wouldnt be a secret.
Do you have any pets?
Oh, God, no. I can barely look after myself so pets are definitely not a good idea. I babysat a friends cat once and I almost electrocuted it with a phone cord.
What do you like to eat for breakfast?
I hate breakfast, unless Im eating it at midnight. So I usually just gulp down three or four cups of coffee as Im listening to CBCs Q.
What is your favourite drink?
Ill have a rye and ginger, please.
Spring? Summer? Winter? Fall?
The fall. Im definitely all about the fall. Summer and winter just require too much commitment. Spring is just too, I dont know, feminine. But the fall? Theres a concept I can behind. Even the name sounds intriguing. The fall
Do you have a nickname?
When I worked at the Telegraph Journal in the 90s, the sports department gave me the coolest nickname ever Mick! So for the next two years, I introduced myself as Mick Parker. But its way too cool for me so it never stuck, despite my best efforts. Its probably a good thing; it sounds like a hamburger at McDonalds.
An honest man is always in trouble. Its from the film Henry Fool by Hal Hartley and that quote explains every relationship I have ever had with a woman.
What is your favourite hangout uptown?
Happinez wine bar on Princess Street. Hands down the coolest spot in the city. The owner gives me a free drink every time I mention his establishment. Happinez! Happinez! Happinez!
What book are you reading right now?
Im constantly flipping through Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander by Thomas Merton. And I just picked up a used copy of The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson. And my book club pick was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I swear Im going to start it as soon as we finish chatting.
What is your favourite thing to wear?
Black turtleneck sweater. It has to be wool and it has to be a true turtleneck, not a mock turtleneck. Its a classic.
Describe yourself in three words.
Stubborn. Quirky. Nimble. Curious. Thats four but Ive always been insatiable, I guess.
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