Wrapped Up In Books


My friends’ wedding at Balmedie Beach last weekend [July 4 2009]
July 12, 2009, 7:28 pm
Filed under: A, Paying homage, photography | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Balmedie Beach

The North Sea, view from Balmedie Beach

A & C

A & C

J sledding down the dune

J sledding down the dune

Sparklers

Sparklers

View from the peak of the dune

View from the peak of the dune

Gigantic bonfire

Gigantic bonfire

Taken at 1.30am, and the sun was still just below the horizon.

Taken at 1.30am, and the sun was still just below the horizon.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good photo of what was going on inside the tent (gorgeous set-up) or the fireworks that were set off, but I give A & C major kudos for pulling this off all on their own. It was the most beautiful day (23C, sunny) for a beautiful couple. So heart-warming.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.



A blog whilst waiting for my flight to Heathrow

My visit home was a whirlwind. Two and a bit weeks flew by so much faster than I anticipated or wanted it to.

My sweetheart of a mother took two weeks vacation to hang out with me, and I spent the majority of my time with her (and not on my thesis).

Major highlights were meeting my new dog, Ella, getting to see R and my grandma a lot, seeing S after we both took our respective exoduses from Toronto, playing our baby grand again, and seeing The Weakerthans. Of course, I was so glad to see the people (Torontonians and Ancastrians alike) whose schedules converged with mine, too.

Ancaster is a bit of a soulsuck to live in. The diversity is minimal and I fear that the people who haven’t yet moved away may be prone to live their entire lives in that monotony (n.b.: it’s what I perceive as monotony; I’m sure it’s just fine for other people and I don’t mean to come across as being offensive). People pontificate about ‘losers on welfare’ at the main gym (Phoenix Fitness – there really isn’t anything more Ancaster than that) and offend apparently nobody. There is just one pub that doesn’t bore me to tears (The Coach and Lantern) and another that I avoid at all costs (The Brassie) because it’s a perpetual high school reunion there, and it’s too much of a mixed bag for me. It still has its upsides; the beautiful Bruce Trail has terrific hiking, and the absence of homelessness and prolificness of in-ground pools should earn the town a moniker of ‘a Shangri-La for Surburbia’.

Going back to Toronto opened the floodgates of emotion for me. It felt as if I’d never left. Sushi for dinner, brunch at Grapefruit Moon, strolling through Kensington for my weird vegan ingredients (nutritional yeast flakes), drinking on a back patio in near-freezing temperatures, going to a random art gallery opening and meeting a childhood acquaintance who I last saw at our mutual friend’s bat mitzvah nearly 12 years ago. This is just an average weekend though it stretched to extraordinary lengths when so many of my friends from undergrad were able to reunite for (a veg(etari)an) dinner at Fresh and we dined by candlelight for Earth Hour.

I can’t wait to move back.

Ella and Sam, aka, Salmonella

Ella and Sam, aka, Salmonella

Of course, a visit to nearly-springtime southern Ontario wouldn’t be complete without one last snowfall, as seen from my front door.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.



Toronto: I’m sure I’ll miss you soon.

As per a dear friend’s request, I’m following up E’s post on Winnipeg with a post on Toronto. Although I’ve never even visited Winnipeg (and I’m sorry, E, but I never plan on going either), both E and I have lived in Toronto, and indeed, it’s where our story began. E moved out of the city in December, but I left just last Friday, so while her experience has scabbed over, my Torontonian wound is still open and ready for salting.

I was in complete denial about leaving Toronto. I made goodbye efforts nearly everyday of my last two weeks there. Lunch, dinner, and cake dates, and drinks as well. I have never gone out for lunch or dinner as often as those few weeks. Thursday night I went out with my university friends and it felt as if I were playing pretend at leaving. It seemed like only the next night we’d find ourselves at some other pub in Mirvish Village or on someone’s patio draining a few cold ones. However, we’re not, and I’m somewhere else now.

I had wanted to do the things I always dismissed as touristy before I left the city. Go to the Distillery District and take in the brewery tours (I had meant to suggest this as a house event as I was living with three guys who definitely like their beer), finally go up the CN Tower, embrace a Taste of the Danforth without getting pissed off about the f-ing large crowds, or (gasp!) even go clubbing if only to realize exactly what I hate about it in the first place.

Other things I meant to do but didn’t were the things I knew would be the last time I’d have done them. Buy a loaf of marbled rye at Silverstein’s on McCaul (best rye in Toronto),

Silversteins bakery
Silverstein’s bakery

get an order of pad thai at either Red Room or Flip Toss ‘n’ Thai (or both – they’re very different), relax on the patio at Hemingway’s with sangria in hand, get a coffee at Futures,

Futures Bakery

Futures Bakery

sushi at Sushi on Bloor (New Gen is no longer my preference), walk through Kensington Market (daytime only!) to buy nuts and dried fruit from the Mexican lady, a final trip to Centre Island, go on a leisurely bike ride, or even just party hard with my friends (I missed the last rager – I knew I’d get too out of control anyway).

I think part of the reason I feel so unfazed about leaving Toronto is the fact that the Toronto I experienced this past year is so different from the Toronto of my undergrad. Autumn of last year had a strange vibe to it – the kick off was the mass exodus of my closest friends (a few stayed behind, but it still really rocked my world). Being thrust into the workforce opened up a new realm of stress I hadn’t encountered before and exposure to the shittiest landlords anyone could possibly ever have really blew away any conception I had of Toronto as being flawless. Two more friends left by Christmas, but in the New Year a lot came back which really revitalized my sentiment for the city.

I’ve spent my entire adult life here and it’s where the majority of my memories have been born and fostered. A lot of who I am today I owe to the privilege of having lived in this city for so long. Granted, it’s no NYC, but to me it was a big city with a neighbourhoody feel and nothing else will ever compare. I’m not sad about it yet, but I’m the first person to wax nostalgic for anything so I know it’s around the corner, waiting to pounce on me sometime soon. But until that hits me, Toronto will remain my jump off for the next cliched chapter of my life. I pray that I’ll love Aberdeen just the same.

Copyright © 2008 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.