A few weeks ago I went up and visited our friendly neighbors to the north (the Canadians) in their city called Toronto. I got up real early, flew there, walked through an airport, rode a train, walked through a train station, and then I was very much in Toronto.
Now I was up there because our friend Collin had a short playing in the famous Toronto Children's Film Festival. It was a joy to see his short play in its showcase and listen to him take questions from the young audience (and even watch him sign a few autographs).
Then it was right to walking around the city.
Note to self: Come back and get a photo with these angel wings when there isn't such a big crowd.
Had my first meal at Porchetta & Co. on King Street. Collin had already been in Toronto for a number of days and had several meals here. On his first couple days in Toronto Collin had a grad school buddy visiting him named Jason...or Jeff? But he took off that afternoon.
Some walking and the view from our Air BnB.
For dinner that night we ate at the Momofuku Noodle Bar inside the Shangri-La Hotel. I liked that the menu was nearly totally different from the New York Noodle Bar (where I swear not a single dish has changed in years). Collin got a very nice Tsukemen and I had their Extremely Spicy Noodles, which weren't that spicy but came with an emergency glass of milk on the side. Funny touch. We also got korean bbq buns and a rice cake dish and made a visit to their self-service walk-in refrigerator Milk Bar.
The walk home, starting with the Shangri-La lobby.
The next morning I met Collin for lunch after he had done some film festival stuff. We ate at a big shiny taco shop called Wilbur. Toronto seemed to be jam packed full of basically pretty good shiny taco shops.
Then, after another film thing, we met again for another lunch. We went to an A&W. There are lots of A&W's in Toronto. We went because we were on a buddy trip and they have a burger called the buddy burger. And we also went to clink root beer mugs.
Then I walked around looking at statues but was done in time to see Collin do another Q&A
Then we took a walk by some good looking stuff to go have dinner at Tortas San Cosme, another shiny Mexican restaurant where the Mexican food, as usual, was fine and the restaurant was good looking.
Next we had a nice walk through the Kensington Market area and then made our way back to the apartment.
A vacuum-sealed roast chicken. My dream.
Can you believe we're already to Day Three? Collin's first day without major film festival duties, we walked east of our apartment to see what we could see. We walked over to the Rogers Centre, which is where the Blue Jays play, and discovered quite the view of the field from the gift shop.
From there we found ourselves standing at the base of the CN Tower and were like "Well, should we?" and we did. The views were good from the observation deck of this once tallest structure in the world, and even better from the observation pod, even higher up the tower.
From the CN Tower we walked to the Lawrence Market to try the famous peameal bacon sandwiches (thin cut pork loin with cornmeal around the edges). Our first sandwich, from Carousel, was very tasty. Then the one we got at Paddington's seemed to be a bit of a waste of great branding—what do I mean? I mean it just didn't hit the spot like the Carousel sandwich did. That's all I can say about it.
From there, eastward we continued to the Brewery District, where a bunch of old breweries have been turned into shops and galleries and stuff.
Then, more walking. This time we wound up at the Toronto City Halls, old and new.
Then we walked down Queen Street a nice while to get to Gandhi Cuisine to try their famous Roti, which in the case of Candhi Cuisine, is a tray-filling Indian burrito.
Short version of what we did next: Walked until it was time to call it a night, grabbed a nice Shake Shacky burger from a place called Burger Priest.
This first photo, ask me to tell you the story sometime...
Ok, last day! We woke up and tidied up and then said goodbye to our nice little skyhigh Air B n B and walked along the nearby water. Lake Ontario, I think it was.
Then we turned landward and had lunch at another shiny taco spot called "La Carnita"--quite oddly, they had no carnitas on the menu. It was fine, like everywhere else.
From there we decided to walk to the famous Casa Lomo, the castle home of a Canadian industrialist.
Casa Lomo: Part tourist trap, part actually a good place to visit. I'm not mad that we went! It's quite different from the Huntington Library, the only other giant mansion of an industrialist I've been to.
From there we caught an Uber to the airport and said our goodbyes. Fun fact: We shared the Uber with a flight attendant who turned out to be working the very flight that I was on back to New York. After take off she tapped my shoulder and brought me up to first class...but it was the kind of first class where basically the only difference is your drink comes in a glass. Still, nice to be in front and to be able to get right off the plane when it landed.