Opening Statement



Friday, 8 July 2011

A Yonge Street Walk In Toronto + So On

Another fine morning out here on my balcony. I have my coffee, juice, cereal, and I am picking at some grapes thinking about what else I have to do to get ready for our Mexico trip. Yesterday I went downtown to Yorkville to get my hair cut real short for the summer, plus I figure it will be extra hot down there and I will be in the water a lot. I've gone to Wayne, the same hair stylist for years.

We got talking about Iphones. We're both recent converts. Next thing you know we've got them out, and are trying to show each other how to do this and that on them, the hair cut all but forgotten. I never noticed before but they have four tiny speakers on them, and one is louder than the others, which are very low. We  tried to figure out why as Wayne got back to cutting my hair. It creates a stereo effect, is that what Apple is after? It reminded Wayne of those pocket transistors we used to listen to in the sixties, with the fake stereo sound. Is one speaker louder than the others to create a slight sense of depth? Then why would Apple, being so high tech and all, not just put in four good speakers with right and left channels? It remains a mystery!

Hair cut finished I took a walk down Yonge Street, all the way from Bloor to Dundas Square. It was busy  but not so busy as last time, lots of tourists, predominantly Asian it would seem, clicking pictures of everything I see every time I've gone downtown Yonge Street all my life. I got a chuckle out of that, thinking I will be doing the same in Mexico. "Oh look at that! And That!" etc. Click. Click. Click. I suppose the interest is all relative to being from somewhere else so it's looks quite different and unique. Not that it isn't, but let's face it, if you see something all the time it becomes pretty routine, and after awhile you might not even notice anymore.

I've always enjoyed my walks shuffling down Yonge Street Toronto. The hustle and bustle, the cheesy looking shops and the big box brand name stores. All the way down to the Eaton Centre, where the pedestrian traffic is four way now, on the green light, kind of neat. Dundas Square was quite busy, and the fountains were on. All the seats were taken, folks were even stretched out relaxing in the sun on the concert stage and street barriers, which was okay, I was into walking.

Funny how huge crowds, like last Saturday are a complete turn off for me. If it's for a parade, at an amusement park, a shopping mall and so on, I get anxiety attacks for sure. But I can belly upfront stage at any huge rock concert and have become quite adept at doing so over the years. I've been in protests, demonstrations and riots and no problem. I've often spoken to large crowds at political rallies, both here in Canada and in Cuba, at TSU union meets, and in classrooms full of students over the course of my teaching career. It's never been a problem. I even enjoy it.

I was the radio program director during my student years at Erindale College, University of Toronto. I use to be a disc jockey at dances and so on. Never bothered me. I worked the Canadian National Exhibition every year as a student, thrived on the mobs, but wouldn't go there now as a visitor, no way. Doesn't even interest me; the carnival rides, the pavilions. I'll go if Janet drags me in, or there is a concert, but it's just straight in and out.

When my son was little, I even had to wait outside Santa Claus Village in Huntsville. All those frigging Santas, elves, kids, baby carriages. The stinky reindeer pooping everywhere. Wall to wall people. Nope. Not for me. Canada's Wonderland along Highway 400? The huge blue smurf guys, the screaming kids, the long line-ups for the rides. Nope. If there is a traffic jam I will drive way around it, even if it would be quicker just to bide my time and ride through, bumper to bumper. Highway 401? Rarely if ever! I've been stuck in traffic jams for hours, snaking along, then at a standstill, then moving a few feet again. Only to eventually arrive at the scene of the carnage to see smashed cars and glass. An ambulance, maybe a mangled body or two. Everybody slowing down again to rubber neck. Total horror show. Nope! It's not for me!

Give me something to do in a crowd and I'm in fine form, can even get really into it. Otherwise no.

Anyways, I walked about the Eaton Centre a bit killing time before I met Janet who went to get her nails done after work. There was a huge window display of a mannequin in a Canada shirt and tourist shorts, with matching Canada suitcases and all. White and bright red. I don't see the appeal. It looked so loud and gaudy! Might frighten little children or draw the attention of the Taliban or what not, I don't know. I do remember at one time when we travelled abroad I would wear a small Canada flag or pin attached to my jacket or backpack or whatever. Folks did seem nicer. Getting dressed up as Mr. Canada in a Canadian flag with matching Canadian flag accessories is all totally beyond me. Still, there it was in a window display, screaming out, "Come in! Buy this!"

I took a picture with my iPhone. Also a picture of the mannequins in the "Old Navy" store. All decked up in these cheapo cheapo clothes with these dumb, absent grins on their face, surrounding a happy little terrier dog statue with it's tail stuck up in the air. Maybe I should post the photos here? I do have foreign readers . Maybe I should do a Welcome to Toronto Canada's Kitsch slide show, eh? Ha.

I do love Toronto. Truly it is the city the rest of Canada loves to hate. Of course it probably helps that I was born here. If I explain places and things in our city in greater detail with full names and the like, that's because everybody who reads these posts isn't from here like most readers. They don't necessarily know what I am talking about. This week there's been readers from the US, Russia, Australia, Germany,the UK, Bulgaria, Argentina, India and so on. If you aren't from there, a special hello! But I digress...

I met Janet outside the "World's Biggest Bookstore". That's the name of the place anyway. We went to Chinatown, the outer edge, along Dundas between Bay and Yonge to the Spadina Garden restaurant. One of my favourites. Heaping sloppy plates of spicy chicken with peanut sauce, succulent beef with black bean sauce. They seem to specialize in their sauces. Maybe not gourmet fare, but you see a lot of Asian and movie people there, so I'd suspect they are onto something.

Afterwards we caught the subway to our cars and drove home. I listened to a live Robert Fripp concert disc I bought for a bit in my man cave, then went to bed at a decent hour with Janet. She finishes work today for a few weeks, and I think it ticks her off to no end that I get to just slop around pretty much doing as I please. That and a whole lot of nothing.

Sorry if these postings drag a bit, meander here and there, digress, as does my whole life and state of mind these days. I feel great, but the postings should be a lot more interesting when we head out on our trips. Soon enough. I've got our in-laws to house sit, they can just enjoy staying here and being in Toronto, a holiday for them, while we are away

The airplane can be packed tight, that's fine, but the crowded airport gives me a big anxiety attack, the whole time, until I feel the jet wheels lift up off the runway, then I am okay. Can hardly wait. But enough for now.....

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