I was listening to CBC this morning and a rapper was singing this, uh, rap (damn I am just too white) about Toronto. The lyrics were full of little things you’d only know about Toronto if you’d lived there for a while, like how the Christie Factory on Lakeshore makes the highway smell like cookies.
I felt myself getting just a tad nostalgic.
Today, I allowed myself to admit there are a few things I miss about Toronto:
– Indian Food. The Everest restaurant in particular.
– Fresh Restaurant, when it’s not horribly loud (vegan, with awesome smoothies).
– The Big Carrot, when it’s not horribly crowded
– The 24-7 movie rental on Church St., possibly the largest collection of videos & DVDs on the planet.
– The Ben & Jerry’s on Church St. In particular, the owner who describes ice cream as “Very Delicious!”
– The modest, unassuming Carlton movie theatre (closed since we moved).
– The lake shore bike paths.
– The magic of radio without static.
– Curry’s, the art supply store at Yonge & College.
– The Toronto Women’s Book Store (which has also shut down since we moved).
– The Free Times Cafe & The Cameron House, bars where our friends performed so many wonderful songs & skits.
Most of the little things we know about Toronto are pain-in-the-ass avoidance strategies, like which subway routes to avoid during rush hour, where to wait on the subway platform so that you’re closest to the street exit when you arrive at your stop, which street cars will make you wish you were dead instead of entombed within it, which steets to avoid parking on and which bus stops you don’t want to wait at alone at night.
But even so, these are the little things that make a city familiar, part of why they’re home. And despite all the things that drove us out of the city, there were still some things that made us feel happy while we were there, that make us nostalgic now that we’re gone.
Oh Toronto, you weren’t all bad.