What a way to live I thought. Strange enough, there are ways to find serenity in a big, busy city.
Toronto is not New York, but we do have a population of about 5 million in the GTA.
The metro area in the city centre has a concentration of about 2.5 million.
So how I found my serenity in the downtown core of this busy city...
It is rather easier on a Saturday morning when the business folk take the time to reconnect with living outside the office domain.I did what I felt like yesterday and this is how it went.
Got up early and was out for a trot walk by 8am. I took the tree and garden-lined streets with names like Kilbarry and Dunvegan to find my way to Lonsdale Road where I turned towards Spadina and stumbled happily upon Forest Hill Village. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Hill,_Toronto
I stored it away in my mind for breakfast at some future date.
Being near St Clair, I walked down to the streetcar line and waited for the streetcar to take me to the subway station. There I found Ms Recently Divorced and got into a conversation with her. (That's how I know she was recently divorced). I used to think it is unusual for Canadians to strike up conversations with strangers, but more and more I am finding this is not true. Some people are quite willing to talk, if given a chance, though it is evident that the older folk are somewhat more delighted to of share themselves.
Ms R.D. was probably in her 50's and was starting life over after 17 years of marriage in a city she had returned to after spending most of her life away. That's tough and she said as much.
I rather enjoyed listening to her and offered moral support.
Then the streetcar came along and we separated.
I got on the train to take me downtown to the St Lawrence Market where I would normally drive to pick up veggies for the week. But not this morning...I had other things on my mind.
Breakfast in the market, yummmm!
But there was one sour note though. I discovered that a $20 bill had fallen out of my unzipped pocket somewhere on my way. I had stuffed a couple bills there as I could not take anything else during a morning jog. I was truly miffed at my loss. Anyway I had a $10 left and that was more than enough for a market breakfast. So I chose to get something from Mustachio's , the Italian place which had a Saturday special for under $4, excluding coffee.It was really not the best choice. I had the western omelette without the ham and absolutely did not enjoy it!. Eggs were overcooked and there was nothing in it but cheese...Aren't there supposed to be some onions and green peppers in there too?
But nothing was going to spoil my Saturday city jaunt, no sirreeee.
I wandered about the south market which is an inside market on two levels.
Website is here
It was really lovely. So many people to bump into, families, screaming kids...ok, maybe they weren't all screaming , but i did hear a baby...
The shops are sooooo enticing. I spent more than half an hour in the kitchenware shop. They have everything there! There's been so much stuff invented for needs you did not even know you had in the kitchen.
Get this, tiny plastic 'pinch' bowls to elegantly dispense your spices and herbs into your cooking pot. The inventory of gadgets would have driven my dad into ecstasy. Dad so loved to buy useless kitchen stuff which my mom would store in a cupboard somewhere, as dad never did cook. I even saw my briki (at a much higher price than I paid), and the most darling little ceramic kitsch to hold your olives, sugar cubes, berries and heaven knows what else.
There's a bakery, several cheese shops, a mustard shop, olive oil shop and so much more.
Here's an (admittedly bad) pic of the mustard shop with some olive oil over top.
And a group of musicians who were playing classical music at the entrance door.
And I saw the oddest dog outside the market. Let's just call her "Mop the Dog" because that 's exactly what she looks like!:
After the market I went across the street to the gardens on King Street. This little park is even more beautiful now, late in summer.
Here's what the flower garden looks like:
And I saw these pigeons taking a bath in the fountain...lots of pigeons:
Later in the afternoon I went to the hall on Bloor and Spadina and danced salsa to my heart's content.
Maybe not totally though. I can never get enough salsa and this evening I'll be going for more at Dovercourt House.
I so enjoy living in this city!