When August rolled around, Dani and I really kicked into gear some particular things we wanted to see before the end of summer. We started that with a picnic on Victoria Day at Downsview Park, where, invited by some of our friends, we spent the evening atop a hill, enjoying cake and drink. (03/08/15)
Part of Dani’s work with the Kapisanan involved working with Carlos Celdran for a play called “Livin’ la Vida Imelda”. I wasn’t actually sure I’d be able to see it, as it was the last day or so of its cycle, and I was deep in the midst of exam season. I’m thankful I got to! I met up with some friends of ours, and we watched the bizarre story of Imelda Marcos. The play was insightful, touching on elements of society, politics and playing through it all with dignity and comedy in just the right portions. Got home late that night, but it was worth it just seeing how happy Dani was being part of it all, and I still killed those exams the next week. (06/08/15)
August 9th was a huge day for Dani, as it was the finale of her efforts for Kultura. I went down with one of our friends, while others had to pull out. The food was fantastic, the music was great, and the atmosphere was friendly. A detour to a Best Buy and then home for me. Not a busy day, but a good day.
Immediately after this came my exams, rolling in like storms: August 12th and 17th. I didn’t feel prepared for either, despite the best studying efforts of my life. I knew one I’d pass, but the other was an execution. Until I got the results back at the end of the month, I was convinced I was doomed. Pulled down B+s, though, and I couldn’t be happier.
With exams and Kultura out of the way, Dani and I had August wide open. Dani has been hard at work trying to find a part-time job now, so being able to take her out into the city for these excursions has been really nice. Having these days out gives me a rest from the oncoming semester, and her a rest from the rigors of job hunting. Our first step was seeing the Bloor Viaduct. Unfortunately, due to bad timing, that didn’t happen as it was supposed to on August 20th. We got to Denny’s, had some mediocre food, and went straight home. Saving the day was our friends, telling us to meet them in the evening, we went back downtown from home, and enjoyed Riverdale Park. Why? Because our friends are dorks like us, and they realized it was used in the movie “What If?”, that we all enjoyed. We ended that night at Kinton on Baldwin Street, and I still love their chicken ramen above all else. That night I realized how much of a lightweight I had become: with a stein and a bit of Sapporo, and nothing but ramen in my stomach, I was flushed and red, and happy as a clam.
Dani loves Al Purdy, he is her favourite Canadian poet. I remember when she first told me about him, and she showed me his poem “Lament for the Dorsets”. I’m not good at appreciating art, I don’t really do interpretation or anything of the sort. Seeing Dani’s love of art and what goes with it, though, is a glimpse into something greater for me. When things Al Purdy comes up, she lights up. On campus we have a small statue of Al Purdy, and she’s seen it, over and over. We discovered after our initial trip to Cabbagetown that it once hosted the famed poet. To that end, there was both a lane named after him and a plaque in his honour.
So we made it our duty to find them on August 23rd, and in the process we visited the Bloor Viaduct. This bridge was important to Dani, as it is featured in one of her favourite books, In The Skin of a Lion by the Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje. We made sure to make Broadview Station our starting point for the day, and luckily came across a McDonald’s before the viaduct, because I was starving. The view was fantastic. Toronto is a great city, and it has done a wonderful job of keeping greenery within its borders. Unfortunately we didn’t know how to get down to the paths underneath it so we could look up at the viaduct, but we got lovely shots from it.
Broadview was good placement, as walking from the viaduct to Cabbagetown meant passing by St. James Cemetery. What a coincidence! That’s number three of our cemetery visits this summer. It’s been a real successful summer for that! St. James wasn’t as old, it seemed, as the other cemeteries, and so was a bit busier, and not as peaceful to go through. None the less, there were stones to see and sad places to find.
From there we went into Cabbagetown and found the lane and plaque. We had no real intentions after this, our day had hit its purpose. That didn’t stop us, though. We decided we didn’t want to go home yet, so Dani picked directions and we walked. We found ourselves at the Eaton Centre! We didn’t realize how close things were, that we were practically on its doorstep, it seemed, walking in that wonderful heat and bright sun.
We went to Bloor and found ourselves once again heading down Church St. for a visit to Eliot’s Bookshop. Before we got there, we found ourselves musing about how small Toronto sometimes feels. Once more, we realized how close we were to Eaton Centre. It was funny how that kept happening, and how homey it makes the city feel. We meandered around until our hearts were full, and we went home. A very successful outing.