InterroLoop: Day 36 – Toronto

Adam and I arrived in Toronto at 11 AM and walked to an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue  place that didn’t open until 11:30 AM.  Toronto has about the same population as Philadelphia but has the air of an administrative capital as well as one of business.  It’s probably a cultural center of some renown but there was none of the detritus that normally comes with being a cultural hub like posted bills, street performers, or the patina of wear that a city soaks up when its lifespan is measured in centuries.  Toronto’s over 200 but there’s little to indicate this is the case.  Even the brick buildings of the Old City looked like they’d be reconstructed for historical purposes and every other window was dotted with a window-mount air conditioner hiding the fact that the structure looked like antiquarian Potemkin village.


Toronto Graffito

We met up with Lori/Howitzer, a higher up on my photographic hit list, and dickered about to kill time until the restaurant opened.



There, each table was fitted with a gas-powered burner with a replaceable cook surface.  The servers presented trays of meats soaked in a tenderizing soy brine making this the highest sodium meat meal I think I’ve had.


There's no way this could fly through an American health department

I’m amazed that the model hasn’t been sued out of existence by sufferers of food poisoning.  The tongs used to place the meat are the same used to remove them, under cooking is trivial and cross contamination can easily occur if one orders vegetables as well.  There was some impromptu pyrology as the color of the flame changed over the course of the preparation starting as a propane blue and moving to a deep yellow as salty drips started hitting the basal flame source.  Otherwise the food was fine but slow, like having a meal where every 3 minutes one received 1/3 of a chicken finger.

We walked around Toronto a bit more and after crossing the main square where an anemic Filipino-pride celebration was being held found a clutch of Falun Gong practitioners in front of a statue of Winston Churchill that looked like it was fashioned from wax bits placed via slingshot.


Save it for the Huns!

Near this area the bird population was dense.  The fountains attracted a healthy supply of seagulls and any city worth a darn has pigeons.  Most of the light posts in the area had spikes on the top but these were poorly placed and in no way stopped birds from landing.  The bird below was on a concrete abutment and I took a sequence of pictures each a step closer than the previous.  I got about a foot away with the picture below before I decided not to press my luck any more.



I left Toronto around 3 and had to make a slow trip to Montreal which is a bit less than six hours away.  My Montreal host was indisposed until 10:30 PM so I drove at the speed limit and stopped at rest stations if I had even a hint of bladder pressure.  When I crossed into Quebec all the signs switched to French including stop signs, an oddity as my host informed me that even in France the stop signs simply say “Stop”.  Also, every previous Canadian host warned me about Quebec’s drivers.  I quickly learned what this meant as I repeatedly found drivers pass me on the left, return to my lane, and then slowing down.  I’m a heavy user of cruise control so I’m confident my speed wasn’t changing and my GPS unit confirmed this.  I arrived a bit short of 10 and my host was home.  We chatted for a bit and then I turned in to prepare for a day of poutine and Anglophobia.