Monday, August 28, 2006

No, I Wasn't Dead. I Was Just in Canada.

Which is maybe close to the same thing. Except, I really loved Toronto. So now I feel bad for all the Canada bashing, eh?

Toronto is cool like this.




Which is a trio of guys walking down the street wearing old school Vans, old school Adidas, some kind of cool velcro-instead-of-laces shoe (which you can't really see well, but they are the red and white ones in the front), cuffed jeans, skinny jeans, and a bracelet. So to recap, we have a) a trio of guys, b) walking, c) in three pairs of cool shoes, d) wearing two instances of cool jeans, and e) a bracelet. That's too much coolness for me to handle and I nearly died there on the sidewalk.

Toronto is also cool like this and this and this.








Other things I liked about Toronto: all the bikers (as in cyclists, not motors), all the dogs, all the little boutique shops. The kind of hippy dippy liberal vibe. Lots of yummy little restaurants. Going to see Second City. The Asian guys with Canadian accents. The Hard Rock Cafe overlooking the Skydome. Hockey! And the guy whose fingers are pictured below.




This guy sitting on a bike, obviously homeless, stopped me and asked me if I could spare a smile. Right, exactly - I was expecting him to ask for money, and he asked for a smile. So I did a double-take and laughed, but then...ah, ye gods, I was caught in a half hour conversation with him and now way to escape. He showed me this little picture he drew and was very proud of it and asked me to take a picture of it. But it was really very sweet and hard to resist, all, "You can take a picture of it if you want; I don't mind!" He also asked me to take a picture of this.




He had a long story to go with this (he had a long story to go with everything), but mostly he was awed by the two tiny die floating in the handle. He made sure to position it for the picture with the die adding up to seven because that's lucky.

I really, really hate to say this...it goes against everything I know and every grain of my body....but I wouldn't mind living in Toronto. Oh, shit. I totally forgot. The place has NO pop selection at all. I could not find anything but Coke or Pepsi or some knock off of Mountain Dew. And I had a minor catastrophe when we were trying to take a taxi somewhere and were out of Canadian dollars, and BOTH freaking ATM machines within walking distance took Interac and Mastercard only. NOT VISA. I was in Montecatini Treme, a tiny non-touristy town in freaking Italy a gazillion miles away, and their ATMs took Visa. But Toronto - a hop, skip, and a jump away from New York - doesn't. So maybe I won't move there. Bastards. (Okay, that's kind of not fair because we later found about fifty that did...but the two that were there when we needed them most didn't. So they're still bastards.)

19 comments:

Jennifer said...

Speaking from just outside Toronto, I'm not so sure you'd make it as a Canadian. Gotta chill out to live up here. But, you are welcome to visit us again whenever you like.

LocuTus of Borg said...

Toronto is really not a bad place to live - I have enjoyed each trip I have gone up there. It is a slower pace of life up there though - so not sure if you would "fit" in haha. I have colleagues that live up there and they could not think of any other place to live. But did you go up in the CN tower and walk out on the clear glass? ;)

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Homosexuals, head shops, and homeless? We have all that and MORE right here in the U.S. of A. Health Care? Not as much, but we do have all the soda you can drink!

AlRo said...

Ottawa's a way nicer city! -- but it's a quieter city!

I've lived in Ottawa all my life but i've been to Toronto ALOT... great party town... Young and Egglington is a fun place to be on a friday night...

Melinda said...

Most Canadians (especially people in Ontario) will tell you Toronto is a great place to visit, but not so much to live.

Unless you're talking to somebody from Toronto, that is. They love the T. just like New Yorkers love NYC.

Don't know where you were looking for pop, but I'm from a much smaller town than Toronto (London) and we always had any kind you could ever want. including normal Dew. Glad you had fun there though ;)

psquared said...

There is a famous Canadian cartoonist who won the Academy award for short animation in the early 70’s that lives on the street asking for smiles. It is part of his "art." After he won the Oscar, his drinking got worse.

If this guy you met was in his 50’s that drew the picture, it may have been him.

mysterygirl! said...

I love Dr. Kenneth Noisewater.

It sounds like you had a fun trip. Love all the coolness you found there :)

Chixulub said...

I think of Toronto as Amsterdam for people who can't get over their airplane phobias...

DIAMONDKT said...

The cool Velcro "laces" are probably Diesel shoes. I have a pair of those. Ridiculously comfy!

Julie_Gong said...

I'm glad you're not dead. I was getting worried.

I love Canada. I used to go there for spring break for some reason and I have very fond memories of those syrup loving jerks.

Gadfly said...

HA!!!

You said "pop"

The chick I married was from Indianapolis. I had to damn near beat her over the head to get her to quit saying that.

In Texas, it's either "soda" or "coke" with coke being generic for all carbonated soft drinks. "Pop" is just disturbing.

;-)

PS: And try finding a Dr Pepper anywhere north of Nebraska. Damned unwashed heathens of the north don't even know what to drink!

Brianne said...

Now, I'm not a huge fan of Canada (I much prefer England), I will grudgingly say that Vancouver is...pretty. Okay, beautiful, but I'd never live there. I'd probably live in Colorado before Vancouver...but still pretty.

Internal Expert said...

If I HAD to pick a liberal vibe place ... I'd rather visit Canada than California. But living there? That's a different story.

I love the trio of dudes and their cool shoes though! good pick.

Nathan said...

Sign my ass up for dual citizenship. Canada is the shit...

jess said...

love the pics

Sarah said...

I visted Toronto once, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Casa Loma, saw Phantom of the Opera there too. It's THE only place to see it!!! It was a nice place to visit although I was w/ a big group and they didn't care for us American's too much. Still, great place to visit.

Chad Laughing said...

did u go 2 the cameron house ... or just snap the pic?

I LOVE the cameron. I hope you went in.

and I hope you come back. ;)

C

A. May Sing said...

Here's the thing:

I was born and raised in the US and lived there for like a TON of years...

I now live in Canada as a citizen - WAYYYYYY out west - and I have to say that it's not for narrow minded people, that's for sure! You have to be more laid back and willing to "live and let live" to really function well in most areas of Canadian society.

Now one thing of note on your first picture: Those black hi-top tennis shoes are Converse - old school Chuck Taylors that have really never been out of style - they just sort of went underground for a bit!

Glad to see that you had fun! Please feel free to come out to the Pacific coast some time. We have every different type of soft drink that you can think of - and our homeless people will ask for a smile AND money for a 40 pounder!

Anonymous said...

those aren't old school Vans. they are Chuck Taylor high tops.