and the day continues.


It was kind of a dreary day in Toronto today. No sun to speak of... and cool, cool weather. But it is autumn and I had been spoiled over the past week with gorgeous hot days (almost too hot) back in etown. After the white bear woke from his slumber, we took to the streets to find some food and then pick up my lens rental. It was a bit too late for breakfast, so instead we went to a Vietnamese restaurant that we first visited last year. It used to be called Ginger, but they changed the name since then. Yes, we could have gone someplace different, but when I'm hungry I'm usually not in much mood for trying something new unless I have some sort of recommendation to go on. The food was cheap, filling, and best of all was prepared extremely quickly. Points all around. We then wandered down Yonge Street until we reached Queen, and we hopped on the streetcar to take us to the camera shop. I don't know what it is about streetcars, but Aryn and I both commented on how much friendlier they seem to be than either buses or lrt/subway cars. The streetcar is always a fun way to travel and get a glimpse of the city. The rails run closer to the centre of the road than a bus would normally travel, so it is easier to look at the shops and houses that line the streets. Of course it helps to be traveling down an interesting street like Queen, which has a delightful mix of commercial frontage and charming residential units. Sure some of them are a little raggedy or looking a bit worn, but that's all part of the appeal I think.

The camera shop took over four floors of an old brick building. When you entered the store there was a spiral staircase that curved upwards towards a large skylight. It was lit at various spots on the way up with photo umbrellas (nice touch). Despite the cool location the customer service was completely lacking. I stood around for nearly ten minutes while the girl behind the counter had a conversation with some customer (except he wasn't buying anything) about what they both thought about the new 5D and other various camera talk. I wouldn't have minded waiting so much, except they were clearly done whatever business needed to be done and had moved on to a more casual conversation. Anyhow, very lame. But I did get to rent the 16-35mm f2.8L for the evening (fast and wide, just what I want... Wade, I won't forget that you are buying the 17-40 from me when I upgrade) and I got a replacement eyecup for my viewfinder. After we left the store (after I paused to photograph the spiral staircase), we saw a sign for an open house for a property across the street and we decided to check it out. As we were crossing the street we heard some frantic honking and turned to see our friends Carina and Peter stopped at the intersection we were crossing. It was pretty funny to run into them, especially considering the size of Toronto. We stopped and chatted for a few minutes, made some plans to meet up later tonight. Aryn and I decided to skip the open house (the house ended up looking a little disappointing from the outside) and instead hopped back on the streetcar to High Park. One of my favourite things about visiting new cities is to go stroll through different residential neighbourhoods and imagine what it would be like to live there. I've always wanted to visit the High Park area, both the homes and the park itself, but I must admit what I saw this afternoon was a little disappointing. Although, turns out we didn't actually walk through High Park, but instead had walked through Parkside. We figured this out once we stopped for some hot chocolate at a random coffee shop, but by then it was getting late and we needed to head back to Hotel Xarina so that A.boy could get some naptime in. So, once again my visit to High Park is postponed. I have a feeling though that I won't like it as much as the more urban neighbourhoods that we visited during our last trip to Toronto, or as much as the houses in the Beaches. But, I won't know until I actually get to see the houses with my own two damaged eyes.

Now I'm just sitting here listening to the traffic on the street below. The apartment is a little chilly, but that's because we don't have the heat on. Our friends will be meeting us soon, as well as my cousin. We're going to find someplace interesting for dinner and then figure out what exhibits we are going to see tonight. I'm really excited. I've been looking forward to this for months and although I am not feeling that great it's only one night and I can rest once I get back home. I didn't bring my card reader or usb cable for my camera with me so I can't upload any of the photos I took today. I'll have to process everything when I get back.