June 2022


Toronto, Mike, and Me

Reds better than blue, right?

Red's better than blue, right?

So while I could have spent the weekend with Mits, instead I spent it with Mike.

I probably can’t get away without explaining that comment—but suffice it to say that a cute guy introduced himself and because of my mindset about something I was more than obtuse for a few moments while my brain reordered information to reflect reality instead of expectations.

Mike arrived Friday night about an hour late, and so after dropping his stuff in his room, he and I wandered down Church Street and had a fast food Indian dinner—which both of us found somewhat disappointing. Indian food is something, apparently, that one cannot turn into fast food—at least not in Canada and not in a way that remains reasonably true to what makes Indian food good food.

Im in stock!

I'm in stock!

After examining a high-class sex shop (in which I listened to a patient store clerk explain to a newbie what a compilation DVD was: Just the best bits from a number of different movies), then wandering down to Toronto’s Time Square, home to a concert, we regrouped and headed to Fly. For some reason my $5 off coupons were rejected at the Fly door (despite it being the second Tuesday and having been downloaded directly from the Grapefruit website), which left us paying $10 to enter the holy grounds that were Babylon from Queer As Folk (North America).

I’d managed to do something to my knee which was making it hurt, and, as usual, it took me a couple beers to get into the spirit of things—and onto the dance floor. However once we were on the dance floor I was able to (mostly) forget the pain in my knee and enjoy the crowded dance floor—the DJs were decent, the VJs creative, and Drag Queen glorious. Eventually I’d sweated enough that I needed more water—and I discovered that Fly was home to expensive generic bottled water: $4CAD (2,64€–in Euros it doesn’t seem that bad, but at 1, it was shockingly expensive. After a return visit to the dance floor, we eventually left. Mike wanted to leave by 2, and although I could have lasted longer, I’d woken up 20 hours earlier.

Saturday we’d agreed to meet at 10:30—and from there we wandered across downtown Toronto to Queen Street West. Along the way we encountered a protest demanding an independent Tamil country. Once we were on the street, we found breakfast at Java House, a nice little café on a street corner. From there we wandered down the street until we reached a garage sale in Trinity-Bellwoods Park, and then we turned around and wandered back.

Mostly Men.

Mostly Men.

The character of the street changed in that time—it was busier, more dynamic, and vibrant. We stopped in a number of shops—Mike buying a few things and I buying a few things. Queen Street West is an eclectic mix of chain stores and local shops. We stopped in multiple bookshops, including Pages. Whilst in Pages, the Toronto edition of the World Naked Bicycle Ride came past—complete with police escort.

Canada is truly a great place, eh?

We’d spent 7 hours wandering down the street and back—including lunch at the excellent Queen Mother Café and passing through the Toronto Filipino Festival. At the end of this, back at the hotel, we faced two stark options: Take a nap and chill-out for a bit, or go for a run. I chose the former option.

Meeting up about 9, we had a light dinner and then hung out at Woodys for a spell—Woody’s, which was Woody’s in Queer As Folk (North America), and, in one occasion, Moosie’s). Neither one of us are really into the Bar scene—I’m much more comfortable on a dance floor (if you’d told me ten years ago that I’d say that today, I would have laughed). After enough of that we wandered across the street and into Play, another bar that was having a Latin night—and either the DJ was uncreative and crap or I’m just not into Latin music. Eventually I wandered on and fell asleep.

The Left is Taller.

The Left is Taller.

Sunday we had breakfast at Fran’s, and then wandered through Queen’s Park—arriving at the Ontario Parliament about 10 minutes before a guided tour. The tour was about 30 minutes and included going onto the floor of the unicameral chamber—seeing the Mace, and getting an explanation of the current province parliamentary make-up: Overwhelmingly liberal.

Eventually we separated—Mike heading back to Michigan, and I for a brief nap before going what appears to be a den.

Decaf soy latte time…

3 comments to Toronto, Mike, and Me

  • Ed

    I just saw the U.S. version of the naked bicycle race and they made the riders cover up or get arrested. We sre such prudes here. The christian right needs to read genesis again God intended us all to be naked. It was Adam and Eve that became embarrassed and sewed fig leaves together.

  • Reko

    After all that, and you STILL didn’t visit Casa Loma?

  • @Ed: Amen. 🙂

    @Rex: We didn’t have unlimited time. If you had come you could have suggested it… we liked Queen Street West though.