Friday, May 06, 2016

Urban micro-adventures

I could (and often, in my own head, do) compose tremendous lists of the superiorities of Toronto or New York (and, as much as I remember of it, Chicago) in various areas. But one place where Toronto always wins, and it's entirely subjective, is in the sheer fact that it's new. Walking-around season here only starts in May, both because of the weather and (again, subjective) because the grades are in, the semester finished. In Toronto, I can walk down a street for the first time. Not discovering it, not Columbusing it - I'm well aware that Toronto existed before I arrived, and all this new stuff is what makes it so exciting.

Re: "stuff," I mean... streets, coffee shops, and enormous, spontaneous Korean meals. I just look at Google Maps to see if there's likely to be anything on a particular block (often it's just residential or, more problematically, some kind of quasi-industrial park you have to exit via highway), and then see what's there.

This week alone, I've seen two whole new-to-me bits of the city. The first was Leslieville, which I'd been in part of and passed through by tram, but I had headshots done on one of the bigger side-streets (Carlaw), and then wandered around a bit afterwards. Got coffee at Te Aro, then regretted not leaving room for a further pastry at Bobette & Belle, which smelled amazing as I passed. There were also tacos that looked interesting, as well as a North Vietnamese restaurant that would have been my introduction to region-specific Vietnamese cuisine, if I hadn't already that day spent $90 on a professional necessity that nevertheless felt like vanity.

Today, after eating all the Korean food on Bloor, I decided to see what there is if you go north on Bathurst. And there's a bit, not a ton, but all new-to-me. Then I turned east on Dupont, the next big street. This is driving country (I'm in an incredibly posh coffee shop with ample parking and no listed prices, so I had to ask before ordering...), as well as the Ashkenazi restaurant strip - my people have a neighborhood, who knew? I don't know what this area is called, but would try some of that lox if (there's a pattern here) I hadn't just eaten.

It was between this coffee shop and another down the street. The flaw with that one was that it seemed as if it wouldn't have ice. This is where Toronto scores poorly: ice is a rare commodity, seasonally understandable, but my inner, not-so-hidden entitled American finds this incomprehensible.

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