2011.06.16

Follow Up Notes from Yesterday

Following yesterday’s post about my first walking day through Toronto… There are a few points I missed, forgot or misunderstood. Incidentally, for those interested, I have limited internet access and cell phone usage (roaming international fees apply) so I’m only publicly available at limited times…

People in Toronto are extremely friendly. It’s almost a stereotype that Canadians are friendlier than Americans, and my experience here bears that out. For example, yesterday morning our Second Cup server, Rosita, gave us a free muffin. Maybe because she and Rosa had the same name. Last night before bed Rosa and I had something to drink in the Library Bar downstairs in the hotel and our server gave us a box of biscotti after Rosa said she loved them. People are also just friendlier, saying hello and bothering to give you the time of day. It’s nice. I kind of wonder if it’s because this area is also part of the North American MidWest as my memories of being in Ohio and Michigan are similar (though possibly not as accurate since it’s been a long, long time since I spent time there).

I think what bothered me about the University area yesterday was simply the lack of people. It is summer so most of the students would be away on break. I’m going to assume that’s what it was.

Rosa and I had dinner at the Elephant and Castle and sat outside at 9PM and it was still warm and daylight. It’s something we don’t get to experience much in San Francisco and of all things this is one that helps it feel like we’re in another place entirely.

There were a ton of people on the street asking me to sign petitions. In San Francisco I avoid them by putting on a Scottish/Irish accent and telling them I can’t vote or am simply not from the area. I did the same yesterday and realized when I finally saw Rosa at 6:30PM that I’d spoken more “Scottish” than “American” all day long. Kind of scary since the longer I hold an accent the harder it is for me to drop it. I don’t think Rosa minds, though. Also of note was the number of people handing out samples of various product. Clearly Toronto is considered a prime market for testing new products. As they say in New York City: if I can make it here I’ll make it anywhere… I find it an interesting sign and indicator of success in a local economy.

Finally, I realized I was a few streets off of the main “drag” strip of the gay district, so there’s probably actually an area still much more like the Castro than I suspected. I’m not sure if we’ll be heading back up that way, though, so I’m not too worried about missing it.

I’m about to leave for the St. Lawrence and Distillery Districts after some quick errands. I’ll write more later today or tomorrow!

3 Comments Categorized: life  thoughts  travel

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3 Responses to “Follow Up Notes from Yesterday”

  1. Rosa says  (June 16th, 2011 at 19:35:36 )

    …. Baby…. You are NOT “publicly available” at anytime, that I can think of! ;-p

  2. Nob Hill Ken says  (June 16th, 2011 at 22:14:20 )

    The friendliness and civility isn’t midwestern, that’s 100% Canadian (say I). Vancouver’s similar in that respect.

    Then again, you may be on to something when you dregde up recollections from college days. The laid-back folks in BC remind me a lot of SF pre-dot-com-boom/bust.

  3. douglas says  (June 17th, 2011 at 06:03:59 )

    Unfortunately all I knew was the dotcom bust, and people were pretty grumpy at that point…