I spend a three days at a friend’s cottage a few hours north of Toronto. There were seven of us (six nursing students, one nurse) and it was wonderfully restorative. I think I understand Toronto cottage culture now. It was so great to leave this enormous city, to breath in fresh air, see wildlife and beautiful bare birch trees, to walk on a frozen lake, to sleep in complete darkness and silence.
These blossoms are long gone now. It seems like spring came and went in a blink and now it’s full on summer. This morning we were awoken by the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard in my life. It must’ve been right above our roof. Now the sun is shining and the ground is already dry and the humidity is rising. Summer is my favourite of all the seasons.
Yesterday, Silas and I had coffee with Samantha & Jason, followed by a walk around Trinity Bellwoods, and then an afternoon beer at a divey bar on Queen West I can’t remember the name of. The weather was perfect and the park was full of people, babies, and dogs. We met a very friendly Labradoodle who you can see in this photo by Samantha. I’d really like to have a dog and likely will once I’m finished school. In the meantime, I’ll live vicariously through friends and strangers.
I took lots of photos yesterday with my Pentax K1000 and I haven’t yet finished the roll so I likely won’t post them for at least another week. There’s something satisfying about having to wait until I get my photos developed. As much as I enjoy modern conveniences, I can appreciate the mystery of having to wait to see what my photos look like. Now that the weather is so much more pleasant, I’m feeling much more inspired to take a camera with me everywhere I go.
Today I’m heading to the library to get some work done on an assignment due on Tuesday. I was going through my things this morning and transferring clipboards and notes to a different bag for the week. And because I was procrastinating, I decided to take a “what’s in your bag” photo before getting to work.
The last four days have been so full. I returned from a trip to British Columbia on Wednesday last week and every day after that involved meeting up with various lovely people, some of whom are pictured above. Lunch dates, beers on a patio, park picnics, critical mass, cornfields & dirtroads, summer wedding BBQ, tea & croissants. It has been a nice reminder of all the wonderful friends I’m lucky to have in my life. For a little while when we first moved to this city, I was a bit mopey and stayed inside sitting in front of a fan watching bad daytime television. While it’s nice to do that once in a while, I’m glad I got myself out of the house. I’ve had some good solid hugs in the last week, here and in BC.
School starts in a week and a half.
We went to Seattle three weeks ago taking advantage of a winter special on the Clipper ferry. We planned the trip around seeing one of our favourite bands at a venue called Neumos. I visited Seattle with my family several times as a kid and a few times with friends as a teenager, but it was always in a car and usually just for a day. Exploring a new(ish) city is best done by foot and we had amazing weather.
We had Indian food at a place called Pabla the first night after wandering around the same streets for about an hour. It was delicious, incredibly spicy, and reasonably priced. The next morning we got up early and left the hotel by 7:50am and had coffee at a cute little bakery (and the name is escaping me now) in the Belltown district. We planned to have breakfast at Cyclops which was recommended to us by Mary but because it didn’t open until 9am, we had around an hour to be tourists and went up to the top of the Space Needle (see above). We headed back to Cyclops and I had a black bean omelet. Silas had salmon eggs benny. We also treated ourselves to American junkfood, including Tim’s Cascade chips which are seriously the Best Chips Ever. I remember eating them all the time when we would visit Bellingham when I was a kid and I am so bummed that we didn’t bring some back with us.
That night we went exploring around the Capitol Hill area looking for a place to eat and settled on the Broadway Grill, which we discovered later is known as “Gay Denny’s”. I had an awesome greek turkey burger and I think Silas had some sort of cajun burger. Then we went to the show.
Music: To be honest, at the beginning of the night I was feeling really tired. We had spent the whole day walking, at times carrying several shopping bags (more on that later), and my feet were sore. I began to feel like I was too old for shows and the crowd was annoying. Luckily there was a couch on the second level. The second level was also the all ages section of the show and it was nice to see people so excited and giddy about music and less pretentious and aloof like the crowd below. Jeffrey Lewis opened and his lyrics are brilliant and witty and my energy level was slowly rising. The Mountain Goats set was fantastic and I sang along like everyone else. But then it was getting late, and I was ready to leave after the first encore. BUT. Then on the second encore, John Darnielle says “my friend Ben is going to join us on this one” and Ben f-ing Gibbard came on stage and they sang Palmcorder Yajna. It made me feel all young, giddy, and excited about music again. So in the end I had a great time.
Shopping: Collectively Silas and I bought: a pair of shoes, a hat, a scarf, a dress, a pair of jeans, a book, socks, and some yarn. I only got to one yarn shop So Much Yarn, recommended by Elisabeth and bought some fiberlicious Dream in Color.
Favourite: Best part of Seattle? My favourite part was visiting the Seattle Public Library. It is an amazing building and exactly what a library should be: functional, attractive, welcoming, and beautiful. Why don’t more city planners get that pleasing aesthetics, cool architecture, interesting art, and bright vibrant colours in buildings make people want to be there. What an amazing building. I can’t even describe how much I loved it and how I could have spent hours there. It is definitely a must see.
Note: the Clipper ferry is very fast and sometimes the water is very rough. Walgreen’s store brand Gravol (or as Americans know it, Dramamine) is VERY effective.