The reason that Honest Ed’s is kid-safe is because of all the nooks and crannies that the little hellions can occupy themselves in. The place is chock-a-block with weird props from all the retired Mirvish shows, plus a bunch of other stuff that Ed collected over the years. Most of it just lying around. At one moment you’re staring into a fun-house mirror, the next you’re enjoying the thrilling rape of Persephone by Hades (bringing us joyous winter every year). Right next to the dirt-cheap sweat pants.
The valuable stuff is all cordoned off with lazily hung caution tape; basically a wishful suggestion. And if you wander around long enough, you get into parts of the store where even the yellow tape is absent. Maybe the stuff is for sale, but he price seems a bit steep for most of Honest Ed’s regulars.
I don’t want to give anyone any ideas but … c’mon! Isn’t this just asking to be robbed?! What kind of an effort would you have to make? Even if you wanted to play Mission Impossible, that ceiling wouldn’t really pose much of a challenge, would it? It would be a really uneventful mission, totally possible. You’d be sorry you bought all that fancy equipment; probably coulda just waltzed in off the street and strolled back out with a 19th century Thai shrine and a few reasonably-priced stainless steel pots.
Some of the stuff, yeah, I understand … owner’s name all over, so that wouldn’t pawn well:
But that’s all beside the point. I believe I was originally on about epiphanies, and why I think Ed’s set them into motion. I think it started when I started to notice some of the really big names that Ed and his wife had shaken hands with (that’s the Queen of England in that little black-and-white), had dinner with, or had perform for them. Sometimes all three. Perhaps even took it a bit farther. Hey! Just speculating! No facts here! No facts!
It occurred to me that Ed achieved all of this through a whole bunch of little steps (plus hard work and yadda yadda). But the fact that Ed managed to keep up that cheesy showmanship throughout these years, that makes the place something special, if you ask me. (The lighting even changes from room to room — exciting!)
It’s kind of an extension of who Ed was. The fact that he bought up theatres and liked to put on shows, that seems perfectly natural to me. His choice of shows, also 100% true to Honest Ed’s heart, don’t you think? Currently, Mirvish Productions is putting on Rock of Ages (maybe stick “’n Roll” in there as a qualifier and the title is no more complicated than that), and Little House on the Prairie, The Musical (featuring Melissa Gilbert in typecast hell). Total Mirvish.
But that was Ed; he put it out there, he put it out there hard, and in the end he exploded all over. He wasn’t ashamed of his limitations – all he knew was that he was pretty good at getting people’s attention, so he rode that talent into history. I don’t know what else he tried to do with his life, but I’m glad he didn’t succeed.
And in the same way, I’m glad that Toronto, for one reason or another, hasn’t become a cookie-cutter copy of other major cities. Well, some sections try to be, but they feel artificial. Spots like Yonge-Dundas Square were manufactured, which makes them feel like they’re trying too hard, and judging by the tough economic times some of the surrounding businesses have had (before last year’s ongoing economic crisis began), that seems to be a shared sentiment. Not that the place won’t get some character in a decade or two, but it needs to see some history first.
But I don’t want to seem like I’m ignorant of the many problems that the city has. It’s just … I see them all in a completely different light after visiting Ed’s. Like, either they’re something to lament, to bemoan, or something to view as an opportunity, an advantage. I imagine Ed opted for the latter.