Cityslikr was a quintessential diplo-brat, leading a peripatetic childhood venturing everywhere and settling nowhere. Riding into town on the tempestuous train of a passionate relationship first stoked in Istanbul, the new environs of Toronto, Canada took on the baleful pall of a love turned sour when, well, love turned sour. Cityslikr and Toronto did not immediately click.

But as the hurt and pain and sense of betrayal faded, Cityslikr looked up and around from the dingy, barred window of a basement apartment and began to like the view. No, Toronto did not possess the cultural/social excitement of Paris or New York. It lacked the natural beauty of San Francisco or Sydney, Australia. There was none of the zazzy je ne said quoi of Bar-the-lona. Yet there was an agreeable liveability to the place. Enough big city amenities to keep a person plenty occupied with a safe, secure vibe that made it easy to explore every nook and cranny.

Cityslikr and Toronto have been going steady since 2003 just as the inept reign of His Lowness, Lord Mel-A-Propism of North York came to a merciful close and a new, brighter era dawned. Their bliss, however, is now under threat as the forces of darkness gather once more to lay waste to the city’s future. Only this time around, Cityslikr is here to defend the only place that has truly felt like home.

Urban Sophisticat represents everything about Toronto that those who don’t really know the city hate. Born, raised and schooled south of Eglinton, north of the lake, west of the valley and east of Roncie, the city’s in this — a-hem — `cat’s blood. Yes, Toronto is the centre of the universe but ponder this, y’all. Who out there doesn’t think that the place they live is the centre of the universe? That’s been man’s POV since the get-go. The Great Unwashed’s ill-informed vitriol of Toronto only makes the ‘cat’s love for it that much greater.

Apolitical by nature, Urban Sophisticat believes a city develops from the ground up, organically. Politicians are perpetually behind the wave and invariably serve to only get in the way. Yet, some are worse than others; some much, much worse.

This is the reason Urban Sophisticat deigned to sign on to All Fired Up’s contributor list: to push back when politicians (regardless of their stripe or best intentions) threaten the forward motion of the city’s progress. The `cat is also here to defend Toronto from the excessive micro-managing of a certain co-contributor who shall remain nameless (but whose name almost rhymes with a popular internet photo sharing site). A yin to that yang. Reason to passion. Sound(ness) to fury.

Acaphlegmic brings facts and figures to the debate at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke. Unafraid to deliver the “dry” goods in order to cut through what will no doubt be a sea of purple prose, these will be the entries readers will need to truly understand the Machiavellian machinations that city politics and its dealers and players exist on. (Yes, the irony of the structure of that last sentence was absolutely intended.) Acaphlemgic proudly embraces the “Smarty Pants-in-Residence” moniker that the other contributors have bestowed.

As a confirmed dweller high up in the Ivory Tower (where fortunately there is internet access), there seems to be little need in divulging any personal information re: Acaphlegmic. Suffice to say, Acaphlegmic lives alone with a mountain of books and two cats, Point and Dexter, who were named in a very deliberate and self-aware manner.

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