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Oh Toronto, how do I love thee?

This evening we had a rooftop barbecue in the building where we’re staying. We sat there while the sun went down and the skyscrapers with their multitude of lights came into sharp focus, while in the far distance there were flashes of lightning in the sky.

Today we sat on the patio of the Cafe Diplomatico in the heart of Little Italy in the sweltering heat, eating superb gelati and drinking cappucino [not together], feeling very Mediterranean indeed.

Last night we had the ‘authentic Chinese’ experience at Taste of China on Spadina Avenue, being served by sullen waitstaff that evidently had little time for intrusive white people. The specials were written up in Chinese, the lighting was fluorescent, the tables big and round, the tablecloths plastic, the bathrooms dirty, the food fair-to-middling. But the experience was ‘authentic’.

Yesterday afternoon AAH and I had a long lazy wander around Cabbagetown while EPI stayed home and watched the World Cup. We visited the animals at Riverdale Farm, checked out where I used to live on Parliament 20 years ago, above a flowershop and with an erotic phone business in the next apartment [the flower shop was still there as was the original carpeting on the stairs – eww – and the same mailboxes, all rusted]. We then ducked into a used clothing store that was having a Canada Day sale. We drew a number that corresponded to a trivia question, which was, ‘What is Canada’s national emblem’? Pretty tough, huh? And because I answered it correctly, we got 15% off.

Yesterday morning EPI and I went for a run, and halfway through it I realized we were smack in the middle of a neighbourhood where a man had been shot and killed two days previously. The police were still out looking for the suspect, wearing bulletproof vests on every other street corner. EPI and I blithely jogged through wearing… shorts.

The night before last, EPI and I had the best Tapas we’ve ever had at a Spanish restaurant on Augusta, in the Kensington Market. I cannot describe the utter rapture of the experience – it was truly awesome. I do believe it’s my favourite restaurant in Toronto, ever. Hyperbole aside, I managed to have an uncontrollable laughing fit at the table because I took a picture of EPI where he looked like Animal from The Muppets. I blame the Sangria.

So, yeah. I’m having a pretty good time.