Saturday, July 31, 2010

First thoughts on Toronto

My first text to Alex, upon arriving: "So many hipsters on bicycles. And bricks."

Today I spent my first day in Toronto walking around alone. (I live here now. This is brand new.) I bought a perfect two dollar latte at JetFuel. I walked to the closest library branch to find out what I will need to get a library card. I went to the big chain bookstore and bought myself a little map book thing.

Downtown smelled at first like a mix of chocolate and people, and then a few blocks later it was a very warm nutmeg smell.

I passed a sign in a window that said: Be motivated in life by desire, not fear.

It made me feel good.

Halfway through writing this post, I happened upon this video, a poem (a collaboration between lovelies Tanya Davis and Andrea Dorfman):

I am a little bit in love with it.

I am not someone who is averse to alone, or who associates alone with loneliness. But lately I've been around people a lot. So today, being all by myself from the time I woke up felt slightly strange, especially being in a place that I don't know. That poem is a lovely reminder that I can cherish these moments. I get the chance to explore my new city, to be with my impressions, to notice things and stop and enjoy them and have them be mine for a while.

Maybe I will take myself to a movie soon. Going to the movies alone is one of my favourite things. Maybe I will wait until a day gets so hot that I can't bear to be outside. Or maybe I will go when the sun is shining but there is still a cool breeze, and I won't even feel guilty, because a dark movie theatre is an amazing place to be, no matter what is going on outside.

It is very exciting to move to a new city, sight unseen. I keep forgetting this is the second time I've done it, although it feels completely different, because when I moved to Halifax everything was in place before I got there. I had a job, a place to live, and a school to go to. This time everything is free and possible and nothing is certain, but things keep falling into place and I just keep going, trusting. It makes me feel alive and young and possible and a bit timid but also brave and hopeful and glad. 

This city is prettier than I expected. Greener.

It is different. 

I was craving a place to explore, and now I have a whole city full of tastes I've never tasted, sounds I've never heard, people I've never met, and on. I am welcoming Toronto recommendations (indeed, I am soliciting them). Tell me about your favourite Toronto place, if you have one. 

Before I got here I listened to this song over and over, mostly because there is a line that mentions Toronto: 

I really love that video - it feels like summer. And I am a sucker for lone trumpets.


A. said...

Great post! Good luck in Toronto darlin'. Everything is going to work out and be wonderful. I'm excited for you to start eating your way through the city! Keep us posted!

Ange Friesen said...

A.: thanks lovely. I am also excited to start eating my way through the city. And yesterday I met people! Yay.

Lara said...

Great how to be alone video, I like it a lot. Thinking of you.


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I think I might be addicted to books. And noodles. I need the ocean. I want to know everything. Almost. I love love. And loving things. Like love. And like.