Canada, week 4


Hello again!  It’s so weird that this is the fourth Canada post already.  Where is the time going?

Anyway, here are the highlights from this week!

More Toronto adventures:  I just can’t get enough of this city, clearly.  Here are some of the particular high points from Friday’s day trip.

  • Kensington Market.  Even though it was misting a little when I first walked through here, there were plenty of people milling about.  The streets were lined with shops that either had their doors thrown wide open or didn’t have doors at all.  I saw cafes, coffee shops, a farmer’s market, and more vintage clothing stores operating out of repurposed houses than I could shake a stick at.  I heard probably six different languages, if not more.  It was so colorful and vibrant.
  • College Street in general.  I wandered from Kensington Avenue all the way down to Grace Street and back, through Little Italy, past record stores and coffee shops and some gorgeous little churches.
  • Balfour Books, on College Street.  Y’all, this place is literally perfect.  Look at it.

    I don’t know how I managed to restrain myself.  I came away with three books–Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a teensy edition of Mrs. Dalloway and an equally teensy book of short stories by New Zealand authors.
  • The University of Toronto campus.  It’s unreal.
  • Prince Arthur Avenue, slightly north of U of T.  Honestly, I was so entranced that I completely forgot to take pictures.  Whoops.
  • That moment when you accidentally find the Royal Ontario Museum and the Royal Conservatory.
  • Remenyi, AKA the sleekest music store I have ever been in.

    I’ve seen diagrams of how piano keys work before, but it never really hit me till I saw the one above just how intricate everything was.  I pressed the key and watched the pieces tip and tilt over and over.  The setup reminded me first of a particular jumping-jack Santa Claus ornament that’s somehow made it into our motley menagerie of Christmas decorations, and then of marionettes, of the people-shaped contraptions my grandmother on my dad’s side makes.  It’s a beautiful thought–the pianist as puppetmaster, every piece a delicate, elaborate dance.

Theatah:  I auditioned for the fall major production through the School of the Arts, and on Tuesday night we had a physical theater workshop as part of callbacks.  It was a fantastic two hours, honestly.  I’d been feeling kind of sluggish the whole day, kind of half-checked-in, not really paying much attention to anything, but that workshop flipped a switch in me.  I can’t remember the last time I felt that alive.

What I’m watching:  Because I totally need another TV show in my life right now, I started watching Luther.  Ruth Wilson is absolutely terrifying as Alice, and dear lord, Idris Elba.  I’m hooked.  Need I say more?

Coffee:  FIKA, in the middle of Kensington Market in Toronto.


The vibe is a lot like that of Cafe Augusta–similar color schemes, a lot of white and light turquoise and gray in the interior–but it’s a little more rustic, more artfully rough-hewn.  I got a cardamom spiced latte, and side note, why haven’t I been talking more about the coffee I’ve gotten at each coffee shop?  Travel writing fail.  At any rate, the cardamom spiced latte is like no latte I’ve ever had.  It tastes like autumn, like crunching burnt-orange leaves under boots and the faint chatter of squirrels.  Pumpkin spice, move aside.

Also, I have to give a shoutout to Cafe Augusta again, because I’m writing a lot of this post from a table there while drinking coconut almond tea.  It’s a rare kind of tea that tastes just as good after it gets cold, in my opinion, and this stuff is still perfect.

Food:  You get two spotlights this week!

One: I grabbed dinner at Pinks, a burger and gyro place right across from campus, on Tuesday night.  The gyro I got was basically the size of my forearm.



Two:  When I was in Toronto, on a complete whim I stopped for lunch at Art Square Gallery and Cafe, across from the Art Gallery of Ontario.  I’d never heard of this place, but it’s my new fave thing ever.  I don’t know how on earth they managed to give me just enough cream to perfectly balance out my coffee, but they did and it was wonderful.

For my lunch itself, I had a fantastic omelette, served with a side of some sort of multigrain toast and homemade jam.


(“Oh, right, I should probably take a picture of this for the blog before I inhale it.”)

This thing came piping-hot and chock full of veggies.  There must have been half a tomato in it.  I also asked for green peppers and mushrooms, and they topped it with a few sprinkles of paprika (I think).  Normally I like my omelettes with cheese, but this didn’t need cheese to be delicious.

The gallery itself was also beautimous.  I sat right by several gorgeously textured little landscape paintings, by a guy named Art Rosbottom, and let me tell you, my writer brain was going wild.  All the other paintings in the gallery were gorgeous as well.


That’s it for this week!  Till next time!


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