Whenever Mikaius and I take walks downtown, we always go by the philosophy that since we’re already here, we might as well get lost; getting lost with him and stumbling onto random alleys with beautiful graffiti on the wall is always the best part of our adventures. Meandering through the downtown streets is a favourite date activity, possibly because it’s a way we get to see all the things that we don’t usually see (he lives in the suburbs and I live in the GTA). It also means we get to add more food places to our ever-expanding must-eat-there list as we discover various restaurants, holes-in-the-walls, and game board cafes.
Last week, Mikaius took me on a celebratory date the day after my final examination. He had seen firsthand how stressful the entire month of April was for me, so he promised a trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario. The day’s itinerary was breakfast at Max’s of Manila, the AGO, a long walk downtown, and dinner at Ajisen Ramen to cap the day off.
Oh, man, breakfast at Max’s. T’was a very tasty experience. He had the tapsilog (tapa, sinangag, and two sunny side up eggs), I had the bangsilog (bangus, sinangag, and two eggs), and we split the ube creme decadence for dessert. While the entrees were filling, it was the dessert that had us raving all day. If you can get to Max’s, that ube creme really is amazing. Dinner at Ajisen Ramen was also good, but the spur of the moment decision of getting a grape slush and a donut at ChaTime as we were on our way back to the Finch Terminal was what made the final hours of that date really good. I still dream of that wonderful, wonderful, white-chocolate coated donut.
After stuffing ourselves silly at Max’s, Mikaius and I trekked through the gloomy rainy day down to St. Patrick’s Station for my long-awaited trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario. The AGO wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it would be, probably because I’d been there before and I’d already seen many of the pieces. Also, the Waterhouse painting that I wanted to see wasn’t there anymore, likely returned to wherever it was on loan from. Plus, Lanius isn’t such a fan of the “arts” – he calls himself heathen and uncultured, but I disagree. He has strong opinions on the arts, he just feels differently about it than I do.
In any case, after the rather disappointing walkthrough, we decided to look over the available trinkets at the gift shop (Mikaius: *in an incredulous voice* What are COOKING UTENSILS doing in an art gallery gift shop?!). One particularly hilarious moment was when we were looking at hand-stamped necklaces with the picture of the maker on the tag, and he said that they do that as a subtle nudge to the potential buyer that what they’re getting is unique and special, but the piece was more than likely mass-produced. Upon closer inspection, we saw that there were indeed three or four identical necklaces in a display of about nine.
We then braved the drizzle and held hands while making our way downtown. That walk was hands down the best part of the day. Toronto is a beautiful city, but I am particularly in love with the little side streets and the old townhouses, the abandoned and the crumbling buildings. They tell a story of this city that can be seen in the cityscape; as my professor in Urban Globalisation, David Roberts, told the class: “The story of a city can be read in its architecture. Here in Toronto, you can see cobblestones and railings for streetcars coexisting, in addition to shiny condominiums right beside townhouses converted to art galleries. What it tells is a story of a city that grew around its people, one that we can decipher if we care enough to look.” Of course, I might be paraphrasing there, but that is how I remember the sentiment.
In other news, today I had an interview at the Kapisanan Centre for their Marketing and Communications Internship. I think the fact that my father is an artist helped, because it meant I was invested in the arts. I was open with the fact that my skills as a writer would be better geared towards the social media part of the job – I don’t know very much about the Marketing aspect of it, unfortunately – but I also said that I was very willing to learn the Marketing side of the internship. Ate Kat was very helpful, and she said that teaching me would not be a problem at all. I got the position, and I am beyond excited to start next week – plus the walks to and from the subway aren’t bad. It takes me through the heart of Chinatown, and ALL THE FOOD PLACES OMG. When the weather is better, I shall take more photos.
All in all, this summer is shaping up to be a beautiful one.
Where I was and what was playing: Starbucks at University and Dundas, and Jason Mraz’s Four Letter Word