The Pride Parade and Kit
Trip Start Jun 27, 2008
6Trip End Jul 02, 2008
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I figured my host, Laura was probably still sleeping, so I waited for a while before calling. I wanted to know if I could park my motorcycle for free at her place. Turns out yes, they have a little front lawn I could park on. Sweet. So I tell Laura and her roommate I will be there in about 30 minutes. This quickly turns into an hour and a half as I get lost in the busy downtown one-way-dead-end streets of Toronto. If I never knew how to shift gears before, I certainly know how to do it now! I believe that the best motorcycle driving practice in Canada you can get is to drive in this city...probably
So I finally get to Laura's place, park and give her a box of Girl Guide cookies I had from yesterday. They were giving them out for free. Laura and Claire want to sleep some more so that's cool. I decide to wanter down College St. to Kensington Market for an hour or so. It starts raining so I walk back for my jacket, only to find that the door had been locked behind me. Then, I sit on their porch waiting for the rain to stop, writing, not wanting to wake them up. The rain stops quickly and I make my way back to Kensington for a bit.
I look at some weird things that they have for sale and generally wander around. I'm not really in the market for new clothes or ironic knicknacks, so I don't buy anything, as usual...
There is a pretty good acoustic singer songwriter type guy playing underneath the awning of a fish market. 1:30 comes and I have to head back to Laura's place. They neglected to tell me that they would be taking their bicycles to the parade, so in all honesty, there was no point in telling me to come back and meet them before the parade. I promise to meet them at Church and Bloor, knowing full well I will not
So anyway, the parade gets started at about 2:30, there is the requisite half naked men prancing around on top of large trucks...there are drag queens and more topless lesbians and lots and lots of people wearing fairy wings, thigh high platform boots, fishnet stockings etc. etc. etc. I took some videos, feel free to peruse them at your leisure.
I quickly got bored with this form of entertainment. It's not that I was uncomfortable with the prospect of half naked homosexuals exposing themselves to me, it's just that it all seems a little pointless, and also degrading for the parties involved. I'm referring to the women yelling "hey beautiful" at the "Trojan" men as well as the Trojan men themselves. I just don't get it.
So, I was a little less than impressed with the Pride Parade. I found that walking in the opposite direction of the parade, I could see everything twice as fast as normal. So that made it go by quicker.
I went back to the poetry stage, since I thought this was the best part of the whole festival yesterday. So I watched some really great poets and folk singer types reciting their work. Evelyn Parry did a great song on the politics of bottled water, and some novelist read a selection from her book, Big Big Sky. It was about teenaged girls who are assassin warriors on another planet. Kay.
After that, it was about time to meet Kit at the Grand Hotel, further south on Jarvis St. I got there 30 minutes early, so I sat down at the internet cafe for five minutes when Kit showed up behind me. Yay! She had just arrived from the airport and needed to get settled before going out. Which was fine by me, of course. She came back and we waited for her kids and husband to come down for dinner. They came quickly, and we left to go find some interesting food. We thought the doorman might know of a place, but he recommended (in this order) Casey's, The Old Spaghetti Factory and a really mainstream looking restaurant called Hot House Cafe *blech*.
We didn't take his advice. We found a French bistro type place called Papillon, so we had some crepes and called it a day. Robert ordered a banana chocolate crepe for dessert, so it was crepe overload. After that, we went for a walk down Yonge St. (a very slow walk).
Mike had been telling me that Toronto is just like a bland New York, and I disagreed, until last night. Kit and Robert both remarked on the resemblance Yonge and Dundas has to Times Square. It's really remarkable how much it has changed in the last few years, for sure. So yes, I concede, Toronto has no vibe of its own I guess. It's just a clean New York.
I walked back to Kit's hotel and we went up to the secret 19th floor rooftop terrace where I saw what's probably a once in a lifetime view (I think). We pondered putting our feet in the jacuzzi up there, but it was too wet to sit down. We chatted some more, and Kit was sleepy so we said goodbye
I had called Laura earlier, and she said she left the keys for me under the mat. She also invited me to come out for some more Pride Week fun. Um, no, that's OK, I'll just go back and sleep. I had borrowed some flip flops from Laura, but they had literally just rubbed the skin on my big toe raw. It hurt SO BAD.
On my way home, I tried to tune out the drunken singing of straight people looking for an excuse to party. So slowly, I walked back, and as I was halfway there, a man with a flipper arm chatted me up, and we talked and walked the rest of the way to Laura's house....strange....
I went straight to bed, enjoying the luxury of a WHOLE double bed, complete with fluffy duvet.