Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Toronto: City of Silent Second T's

Aug. 2011

I was in Detroit to attend the Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA) convention, and at the time I booked my ticket, I wasn't fully employed and quasi-occasionally freelancing for ESPN.com's Page 2, but as luck would have it, by conference time, I had landed a full-time freelance gig in San Diego. Because the economy was in the pooper at the time, I was awarded a fellowship to attend the conference for free, so I immediately put the money I was saving into more travel! Enter Toronto, a city I'd never visited and heard great things about, and less than four hours away from Detroit.

Fun fact: Canadians don't pronounce the second "T" in Toronto. Wheee! You wacky Canadians!

The border. This is not how it was presented in "The Untouchables." 
What is this, Times Square?! Actually, almost everybody from the state would describe Toronto as a clean New York.
Quick detour to Dublin apparently. 

The famous St. Lawrence Market, Toronto's first and largest marketplace. I find it interesting to note that according to toronto.com - the market is open every day except Sunday and Monday. That's almost 30% of the frickin' week! Can you get away with that? You're better than that, Canada.

The Distillery historic district. Some say it's a tourist area. Whatever, it's f'n rad! It's a short walk away from downtown Toronto. The area, established in 1832, was formerly known as the Gooderham & Worts Whiskey Distillery. They revamped the whole place in 2003, but it totally has an old-time feel. Cobblestones! 

Architects gone wild. That's actually a boob. #ItsNot

It's been way too long since I've been here, but I took a picture of it because it had some awesome food. Again, don't know what it is anymore. Cool story, bro.

The Hockey Hall of Fame.

I can confirm the sign says "Hockey" and not a zoomed-in pic of "Shockey" - a tribute to the former Saints and Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey.

The guy who inspired me to get '93 Hockey on my computer. My hockey knowledge was never so great. Tomas Sandstrom and Kelly Hrudey all-day long! 

My boy Ojima has zero slap shot skills.
I, on the other hand, have clearly embarrassed that virtual goalie. Who is that, John Vanbiesbrouck?
I was concerned this would be difficult, but they shoot the pucks out of this thing at like 5 mph (and that's like the superstar setting). I made me feel like Goldberg the goalie from the Mighty Ducks.

There are plenty of interactive things to do at the Hockey Hall, which is way better than the basketball HOF. Maybe I'll post those pics in a future blog. It would be filled with pics of me taking disappointed selfies.

Ahhhh yes. The finest trophy in all of sports, Lord Stanley's Cup.
So we went to the CN Tower to do the edge-walk, shown below, but it cost almost $200 and decided against it. The CN Tower is 147 floors. Now most of you know this is exactly the type of adrenaline-type attraction that I normally pony up for, but at this time I was unemployed (aside from random freelance gigs) for nearly 7 months! Brother had no cash left! 

This is a sample of what the CN Tower walk was like. I guarantee if I were up there, I would walk off the edge or try to jump off, because I'm so securely harnessed. That's the type of thrill I love - when I can pull some crazy shit and not worry about dying! Dying sucks.

Lot of Gretzky in Toronto.

The legendary improv club, the Second City - which helped launch careers of Bill Murray, John Candy, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, etc, etc, etc.
We ate and drank here with a local pal. It was good. That's all I got.

The CN Tower at night.
Pravda, vodka house. This place was sick. Had this crazy old school Russian decor. It's where I stereotypically imagine KGB agents and spies cavorted when discussing how to foil James Bond.
We opted to do a little tasting. We may or may not have ordered from a Russian tasting menu, as well. I don't remember. That's the problem with these TBT blogs!

We didn't taste all of these.

Post-tasting vision. Out.

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