Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Reports from the largest apartment in the world

Because I'm apparently a big fan of living in neighborhoods where I can't afford anything nearby, I'm now a resident of Toronto's Yorkville. It's Toronto's Upper East Side. Its 16e arrondissement. Its Gold Coast. Super duper posh. 

Despite this - or maybe because stodgy is less desirable than trendy - the rent in this apartment is lower than in the one from two years ago, in Toronto's hipsterfied garment district, as well as (apparently?) lower than the citywide average. The plusses of the area are grocery-shopping and a short walk as a commute. The minuses: restaurants are too posh for even special occasions, and this persistent sense that I've somehow returned to my childhood neighborhood, except in a (slightly) different country. 

The plusses of this apartment are, I mean, where to begin? It's huge! (OK, it's a large, well-laid-out one-bedroom.) It has new, working appliances! It doesn't have odd building rules like the last Toronto place. Fine, the downside is that laundry's down the hall, rather than in the unit, but... if you grow up in a NYC building where laundry's in the basement, and spend much of adulthood needing to go to another building to do laundry, down the hall is just fine. Did I mention I live in a palace? I live in a palace. 


The main thing that strikes me about Yorkville specifically, on a day-to-day basis, is the sheer number of establishments dedicated to beautification of one form or another. Cosmetic surgery in so many varieties, including something called fat-freezing. Or of not cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dermatology. (Which, as 34 looms, I'm sure I'd benefit from, but I have neither the money nor the inclination.) If not that, then various forms of hair, teeth, and quasi-surgical facial refurbishment, at an above-and-beyond level. Everything, that is, but nail salons - those exist in Toronto, for sure, but seemingly not at the level they do in New York. 

What I can't figure out is whether there's especially a lot of cosmetic enhancement happening here, or whether it's just more out in the open. That is, big signs, big photos of the taut and line-free promised results. Is Toronto - where everyone's in a parka for much of the year, and where it never seems to go above 80 degrees - the butt lift capital of North America? Or do the US cities I'm familiar with (and to be fair, I've barely seen Miami or L.A.) take more of the Parisian discretion-but-it's-totally-still-happening approach? 

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