much has happened. of course. hence the long absence. actually i've stopping looking at these as long absences and started admitting that I'm just not going to be an everyday kind of journaller. s'ok.
anyway, i went to toronto! for labor day weekend. it was very last minute which was actually pretty cool. i've never gone to another country on 2 days notice. it gave the whole trip a rather surreal (in the best way) air. like, i kept turning to marni and laughing and saying "we're in CANADA?!" but i generally do that in every new country i visit. except for the marni part, as this is the first time i've ever travelled with her.
so yes we got an excellent last minute fare on Air Canada and then kinda floundered around looking for a place to stay. We had been thinking B&B but every single place we called was booked. So we decided to give Priceline a try. I know tons of people who've used it for airfares with no problems but I was worried about the hotel concept because hotels generally vary much more in service and stuff than major airlines. But Jumpin Jesus on a Pogostick, did we get a kickass deal. We put in $50 per night as our price and chose 2 star or higher. Priceline of course suggested that we were crazy and should try a higher price. We boldly ignored their advice and lo and behold in less than an hour our boldness was rewarded. We got a room at the Westin Harbour Castle for $50/night. Whoohoo!
so we got there on saturday at about 3pm. after checking in (check out our lovely views, click images for a larger version), we immediately set out for some shopping on queen st. i liked. marni said it was reminiscent of South St in Philly and indeed it somewhat was. i was trying to put my finger on what differentiated it from NY - i mean, obviously NY is much bigger and well, new yorkier and it's not really fair to compare it to most other places. but there was something else, something that made toronto feel less citified. and i don't mean that in a bad way, it's a nice thing to acheive in a city - the feeling that everything you want or need is there, but there's still this tint of residentialness that makes you feel more, i dunno, comfortable, than a cold, hard city. like they don't have streets, they have roads. y'know?
i think the thing that always throws me off in other cities is the "residentialness" that exists nearly in the midst of the citiness. like there are actual houses tucked away steps from bustling boulevards. boston's like that, and philadelphia, SF, DC. I've never been to chicago (quelle horreur!) but maps and ex-patriots of the area have given me the impression that it's the same too.
in my old age i find myself increasingly drawn to places like that. my beloved SF is a lovely example. I can live in beautiful Sausalito and not have to care about being not in the middle of the city because I'll have a car and so I'll have the best of both worlds - a nice house and backyard and car AND a glowing metropolis at my fingertips. don't worry, I also plan to be rich so my high-falutin tastes will be within reach. (the rich part is why i keep extending my stay here in NY).
well, that sure got off track. back to saturday. we went to the Gypsy Co-op such and such for dinner. it was really good. the gypsy platter appetizer alone was worth the trip to toronto. yum. but what on earth is up with the candy? this restaurant (which was also a bar) also had a candy store in the front. like, you walk in and the front is like a mini penny candy store type place, with gumdrops and chuckles and candybars and candy necklaces. now that was all fine and good, very nice, but it was the tip of the toronto candy iceberg. every. single. place that we went was dripping with candy. every store, every bar, every restaurant, every canadian we saw was laden with sweets. no, really. it was everywhere. is toronto known for its candy and i just didn't know?
argh, there be more, but i will have to continue tomorrow... stay tuned for: