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 http://www.oysterband.co.uk/ at Hugh's Room http://hughsroom.com/
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 http://spotteddickpub.com/
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!