toronto impressions

07/22/15 11:15

We spent a day and a half traversing the city before we ran across a bookstore. Before the trip a Toronto friend, whom I had asked about bookstores, had warned me that the situation for bibliophiles had deteriorated in recent years, and, indeed, we found the same domination of restaurants and food stores that always depresses me in New York (with the exception of when I'm hungry). The store we stumbled upon, on a rainy Friday, was Balfour Books, a lovely refuge from the drizzle except for the rumble of empty garbage cans that the proprietor rolled very ploddingly from the front door to the back. The shelves held very little junk, and a wonderful mix of Canadian, English and American authors. I bought a collection of travel essays by Norman Lewis, The Happy Ant Heap, published by Jonathan Cape in London, and reflected that the same influences - English and American - that make Canadian bookstores interesting also make their comedians funny.

Balfour Books was on College Street which, of course, should have been lined with bookstores. Queen Street West, with its vintage shops and ethnic restaurants (food again), could have benefited from a musty secondhand bookshop. (It did have an excellent store selling musical instruments.)

Giving up on books, we went for art, and found, in the Art Gallery of Ontario, more paintings of snow than I had ever seen. They turned interesting when we entered a room of William Kurelek's whimsical works.

But the real show was in the streets. (Kurelek probably would have agreed, even though the weekend temperatures were in the high 80s.) The city's already international flavor was heightened because of the Pan Am games, and we occasionally passed packs of athletes parading their national colors. At various places stages had been set up: the Distillery District, Nathan Phillips Square in front of City Hall, and Dundas Square, which was hosting a Francophone music festival. We walked and admired the rich variety of faces (some of them veiled, others topped by Blue Jays caps) and, eventually, forgot about books. Then, on the way back to our friend's apartment, we'd pass the perennial line waiting outside Uncle Tetsu's for Japanese cheesecake.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Travel

5 comments

santorini island greece google map

It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic,
however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
Thanks

09/10/15 @ 19:27
santorini island pictures greece

Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.
You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good
asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
Please shoot me an email if interested. Many thanks!

09/10/15 @ 20:37
Comment from: guru ke rumah [Visitor]
guru ke rumah

For hottest information you have to pay a quick visit world
wide web and on world-wide-web I found this web site as a most excellent web site for
latest updates.

09/29/15 @ 10:05
Comment from: Terry [Visitor]
Terry

Its early diagnosis remain a problem because of other pathological conditions that mimic acute appenditis.
But, an appendix surgery and the stress or risk involved in it is much lower than that of the pain a patient suffers from.
Also known as abdominal cramps, is mostly associated with the digestive parts of the body.

11/20/15 @ 12:25
Comment from: Nick [Visitor]
Nick

Majority of people who delay tummy tuck do so because of the cost factor.
The term: ‘body contouring’ gives the impression of the human body as a
lump of clay that the ‘artistic’ plastic surgeon sculpts it into a work of fine art - like
Michelangelo’s David, perhaps. However, recent technological breakthroughs promise successful removal of fat along with skin tightening results.

11/21/15 @ 03:20