So it is Friday – Happy Friday to everyone. I am clicking away on my keyboard at Niche Coffee & Tea Company in Queen West. Why? Well I have no heat or electricity in my humble abode. It would seem that many in Toronto’s West End found themselves without any power as of 10pm last night. The fiancé and I trekked out for a movie in celebration of the end of his first law school exams. We were up at Silvercity in Yorkdale watching Bride Wars and were none the wiser. We hopped in a cab at St.George (since shuttle buses were the only thing operating westbound). Driving down college from about Ossington onward – it was like a ghost town. No streetlights, no house lights. Nothing. Black. Out.
I was in Toronto in summer 2003 during the black out – the entire eastern seabord experienced total and utter darkness. Of course, at that time (August 14), it was sticky, stinky hot. Instead of complaining about no heat, we were complaining about no air conditioning. Our food was souring in our unrefrigerated refrigerators. Some people, like myself, didn’t even have water. This morning waking up to an especially chilly house was only overshadowed by having to give myself a sponge bath with the little hot water still in the pipes. My future BIL (brother-in-law), Peter, had to sleep on the couch because his room was too cold. He usually has a space heater plugged in all hours of the day to keep it warm. Without that, I’m betting his room was an ice box.
I spent the morning wandering from heated building to heated building. First, I got on the streetcar (which by the way are running – they operate on their own electrical lines). Warm. That took me to Little Italy where I grabbed a table at Café Diplomatico (one of the few places open at 10:30am) and plugged in the ‘puter. Then I walked to Toronto Western hospital. I had an appointment there and tried to warm up. Four vials of my blood later – and all I got for my trouble was a sore arm. In other words, I really wasn’t any warmer going out than coming in. Since I don’t take pleasure from hanging around hospitals, I set off for Queen Street and now here I am. Looking out the window I can see BakkaPhoenix Bookstore with which I became intimately familiar during the years 2002 to 2005 (my ex who was a real lover of science fiction/fantasy novels dragged me around to every used bookstore in the downtown); Come As You Are which is a shop all about getting intimately familiar with yourself and others; and Tibet Arts which stocks Tibetan crafts, musical instruments, textiles and incense.
Now I am off to window shop – indoors. A couple of stops on my path will likely include The Paper Place, The Devil’s Workshop and The Gladstone Cafe. By the time I get home, I will be ready for a nice hot fire. Keep warm.