Monday, 5 November 2012

Toronto, October 2012, Part One

Quotation of the day ~ Jimi Hendrix (upon being asked what it felt like to be the greatest guitarist in the world): "I don't know, ask Rory Gallagher."

Okay, well, in my last post, as you, my regular reader, may recall, i suggested that i would write about the trip to Toronto i took at the beginning of October.  Not sure if it was a suggestion, a promise, or a threat, but, well, whatever.  I love Toronto.  I don't get there often enough.  I don't have enough time off, really, working five and a half days a week, c'est la vie.

Anyway! The primary purpose of my visit was to see Oysterband at Hugh's Room  

It was the third time i'd seen them in four years, and they didn't disappoint.  Such a great band. 

Here's the venue:

Oh, and here's a pic of me with my companions at the show, Barbara & Eric, outside Hugh's Room:

 (i'm the somewhat sozzled-looking one with glasses askew and rapidly-greying hair on the right). (Spatulate fingers out of shot.)

Anyway.  The show was on Tuesday, i arrived via Via Rail an hour after the scheduled arrival time that morning, and headed straight to The Wolf & Firkin pub in Elm Street (stopping only at an ATM en route) to have lunch with Julian & Andrea, my friends with whom i'd be staying that night.  We always meet at The Wolf & Firkin, it's a great pub.  Unfortunately, there was something lacking this lunchtime: Andrea.  She's an actress and she was working or rehearsing or something, and sent her regrets. I was sorry to miss her, but Julian & i made the best of it, had a lovely lunch but then he had to go off to work -- he was busy directing a play and he gave me a card with the title of the play on it but i regret i can't find it just now. Sorry, Julian, i can't give you a plug!

So i just went off to explore the mean streets of Toronto.  I walked. North. I love walking in the first place (my doctor says it's why i'm in the good shape that i am in spite of years of over-indulgence in cigarettes and alcohol) and i especially love walking around in Toronto and it was a great day for it, sunny and mild, and my ultimate destination was my old neighbourhood of Yonge & Eglinton, a distance of three miles or so.

Basically i walked straight up Yonge Street, but there was one diversion: Bloor Street East and a visit to a pub called The Spotted Dick  

Here's the view from their smoking section (i.e., outside):

I've been there before, and i like the place, and this time, to my great delight, their satellite muzak (©) system was tuned in to a blues station! So i had a couple of pints there and listened to Muddy Waters, George Thorogood, Otis Rush et al and could have stayed there for the afternoon.  Maybe next time.

I continued my trek and by the time i reached St. Clair Avenue, i was desperate for a pee.  Fortunately, i found -- who'd have thought it possible? -- a pub.  (I forget its name.)  The pub was all right, the barmaid was cute, and the pee was a blessed relief and no mistake....

I could have relaxed there -- yes, become as relaxed as a newt -- but time was now becoming a factor.  It was only a couple of hours until i was to meet Barbara & Eric at Hugh's Room, so i forged ahead, continued the northward-walking scenario.  And when i passed Yonge & Davisville, i took this picture of my old apartment:

Yep, i lived upstairs from Pizza Pizza for quite a while.  I've written somewhere -- maybe not on this blog, but somewhere -- maybe an email to Vera Farmiga? -- that my lust for pizza (nature's most perfect food IMFFHO) derives from the fact that i would have the aroma wafting into my nostrils starting at ten a.m. every day.....

So, then, nevermind, further north to Yonge & Eglinton, and here's the approach:

Yes, there be potholes!

And i paid my customary visit to my old neighbourhood pub, The Duke Of Kent. Nice to be there, it was indeed, but i saw no one i knew.  Not that i really expected to but you never know....

Anyway, i had one pint there and then it was off to the subway, to Dundas West station and Eric and Barbara and Oysterband! 

More later.... 


Anonymous said...

Man you look like Charlie Watts.

Freg said...

It's the grey hair. Charlie's much better looking