Archive for September, 2009

A pleasant preview of the summer to come

Posted on September 30th, 2009 4 Comments

Okay, whoever’s responsible for the weather needs to just stop and look at what they’re doing, because this isn’t right. To begin with, you’ve got the evening rolling in earlier and earlier.

and yet, they chose to walk

Actually, that part’s normal. But the cold … where did that come from? Suddenly everyone’s got a coat on and the inappropriately tiny-clothed are dashing for their lives down the street, frantically clutching at their frigid bodies, screaming as they scramble for the nearest entrance. And now they’re stuck in a coffee shop for the night.

and they'll be there until spring

Despite my multifaceted enjoyment of underdressed ladies, however, I must profess that they probably had a good reason for being so today. I had on an undershirt, button-down shirt, and fall jacket, and still my armpit hair stood on end from the cold. I simply don’t think anyone expected the wind and the temperature drop. I’m sure that come spring, this kind of weather will be a pleasant preview of the summer to come, but right now it has a pretty mean looking winter breathing down its neck.

I don’t consider myself slight. Slender, I am not. But I didn’t think that the scarves, parkas, mitts, and toques I experienced tonight were too much.

turn that frown upsideblur

There it is, harsh reality disguised as a smiling silhouette: we’ve totally skipped autumn and gone right to winter! The weather people claim it’s normal and that past years have been freakishly warm. I would beg to differ. But I can’t because my fingers are starting to go numb. The landlord hasn’t turned on the heat yet so I’m warming myself by the glow of the computer. Too bad light doesn’t keep you warm. Damn eco-friendly bastard!

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

The spiral’s just begun!

Posted on September 29th, 2009 6 Comments

Someone recently noted that TCL seemed to be written by a “young man just a bit on the frustrated side” and that I needed to find “something that excites you, something you can be passionate about and, write about it.”


You’d be frustrated too if you had a day job like mine. But what keeps me going is the thought that maybe, one day, Toronto City Life could be more than just a little blog. *sniff*


What’s not to love? The walking dissolves the fiery disappointment of the day into a manageable lump of smouldering coal for the evening. So that’s good. And I like what the pictures do. They let me look at the places I’ve been in their moment, seeing everything I couldn’t possibly see at the instant I was there.

i didn't see THAT before!

So that’s good. And you know, there are so many people downtown that inevitably you always bump into someone interesting. Sometimes they’re people you’ve seen before and feel you’ve kinda glimpsed a bit of who they are. Take this lady, for example:

lazy good fer nuthin'!

Note, she’s not panhandling. In fact, I don’t remember ever seeing her panhandle. She’s always been stone-cold sober and more alert than me most of the times I’ve seen her. She’s strong, lugging around all sorts of stuff all day. Lucid and entirely there. And although I’m sure she lives on the streets, she takes care of herself. Now she’s got a story! Always something interesting. So that’s good.

And you know, when you need a breather, it’s nice to get closer to the lake and just enjoy the breeze and the views.

hey, that's the guy that scraped my sky!

Ahhh, the blissful Gardiner. The only problem with all of this is that it sometimes leads to late nights. Late nights with full bladders require entrance to some strange places. But so far even these have proven to be gold:

ahh, that explains the urine smell

Note the garbage bags on the dock belonged to a gentleman who, I believe, would be residing there that evening. He also appeared quite sober and built himself a cardboard shelter behind the cage. Unfortunately, he didn’t understand the requirements of long exposures, and so he’s not pictured. But again, interesting. So that’s good.

As one final piece of evidence, I give you … Chinatown:

going for the luckiest apple

I dunno. It sounded poignant, but I’m not sure where I was going with it. Maybe that I’m no artist, so pictures like this simply couldn’t exist in any other medium. Except maybe as stick figures. I can draw that guy with the fingers and teeth biting the horizontal line pretty well. I even add a little hair twirl for effect, sometimes eyebrows! However, I can’t get much more complex than that; the oranges would lead to tears and broken pencils.

But photos just need me to stand there and annoy Chinese people with my camera. I mean, I could try to draw something but my intention is to express enthusiasm, nor horror.

So you see, TCL is both an attempt to share some of my interest in this town, and a fairly thorough lack of skill to present it. And it’s written by a bitter, disappointed guy. I’m not an alcoholic yet, but I’m willing to try. The spiral’s just begun!

So that’s a good thing.

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

PATH to glory

Posted on September 26th, 2009 Be the first to comment

Ah, fall. A time when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of … wait, I’ve done that already. I guess I’m still in shock at how quickly the temperature’s fallen. I’m walking around with pointy nipples for God’s sake!

It’s also been an unusually traumatic week, what with Bill Carroll switching time slots and all. You can smell change in the air. And musty autumn leaves. And urine. Why’s it always urine?

But no matter. The proper urban rat knows all the warmest holes in the ground. In Toronto it happens to be a long-ish path known as, umm, PATH. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be an acronym or what; not that it would jazz it up any.

Today, instead of writing a long post describing what’s there and blah blah blah, I thought I’d just invite you along for the walk. I am so thoughtful!

… Continue Reading

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures