Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tourist in T.O.

I'm finally getting to my little photo essay on being a tourist in Toronto. I've been there twice now, and I have to say I still have the same opinion. Coming from the upper midwest, it's a lot like home, but nicer. Toronto is awfully similar to Chicago, but more diverse, more European, and cleaner. When I was there 5 years ago, I saw a father and teenage son walking arm & arm - you'd never see that in the U.S. This trip I observed a lot of young people in shit jobs - waitresses, bar tenders, Starbucks barista - who were having a grand old time, razzing each other, putting on funny voices, general goofing, like the Starbucks employee who came dashing into the store clutching a square cardboard box of some supply or other that they needed, dah-dah-dahing a fanfare for himself.

The trip there was just like many others, through Detroit on Northwest airlines, but without getting stuck, Starbucks for breakfast.
In Canada, they have a more British idea of luxury - like of course, when you sit by the pool, you are going to want to order a drink, so they are staffed with cocktail waitresses and all shapes of plastic barware - my wineglass here is plastic - they give you a towel, a bottle of water, and an armband (if you're of age) when you head out to the pool.
In my parents bedroom, there was a photo of two highballs on a terrace wall, that I think was taken during their honeymoon in Bermuda, probably by my dad - it was his style of romanticism - the drinks, the beach, two drinks for the two of them. I was going for that feeling with this one.

On Monday we ferried over to Toronto Island. I thought, from the list of amenities that I read on the web site, that the bicycle rentals were at Hanlan's Point, even though the map showed it closer to Centre Island. We walked a 4 K from the ferry over to Centre Island, and decided just to keep wandering on foot, rather than renting bikes. There was an art center, a (kiddie) amusement park, and a school. And several beaches, one a clothing optional beach. We probably should have gone on a ride in the Swan Boats, or I should have taken a picture of them anyhow. This guy did, and got a real swan in the shot - classy - I did not see any real swans.
I did take some de rigueur shots of the CN tower - I should have taken some from the window of my hotel, where you could see that the base is actually kind of shabby.
And, in more recreating of my family's picture taking interests, while on the island I also took pictures of the lake water line and white caps and birds for John, and a funny sign, another for my Dad.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I just loved Toronto Island when I was there for ALA -- actually, I just loved Toronto as a whole!

And you've really captured the feeling of the place with your descriptions of the people. I stayed in a waterfront condo that belonged to a co-worker of my dad's when I was there. And it felt like I lived in a little neighborhood; by the end of my second day there, people were saying hi and chatting with me.