Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Playing Tourist Again

Crashed downtown Toronto on Sunday night because of stupid-early scheduled start to Monday morning meetings. Took the opportunity to put myself back in the shoes of a tourist and remember all the reasons why I became starstruck and wanted to move to Toronto back in May '06.

Figured I'd kick it off with a visit to one of my Happy Places, the Library Bar in the Royal York. Some things have been weighing heavily on Sheena's mind lately, and a bit of library mystical direction seemed like a good thing.

Alas. It was closed.

So went over to Epic and got a seat on one of the comfy benches on the bar side. Not terribly hungry. So ordered a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and the Tuna Tartare appetizer. Yummy, but the semi-greasy crackers didn't do the delicately spiced tuna much justice. And those big giant blogs of green wasabi shit just looked too gross for words. Like dog turds after too much grass consumption.

Love the Royal York. Love all those fine old former railway era colonial establishments. Sad though to see the lobby and dining rooms stuffed with pudgy name-badged poorly shod plebians on their one getaway opportunity from the rat race. Close your eyes hard enough and you can imagine the ghosts of the elegant and demure, the monied and the cultured. Oh well. Somebody has to keep the lights on I suppose.

Strolled around for a bit longer. Started feeling like I hadn't eaten enough so stopped into the Azure Lounge in the Intercontinental. Weird blue lighting made me feel like I was in Orlando for some reason. Decided on the Canadian artisanal cheese plate. Was quite delish, actually. Only downside was the idiot server. When she presented the plate, Sheena looked up excitedly and asked what the selections were... they were not specifically listed on the menu, and this is normally a good thing because it implies rotation of offerings based on what's good that day.

"There's a blue cheese, umm.. another blue cheese, a camembert and some cheddar".

And then she walked away. Sheena rolled her eyes audibly and then poking at each little lump delicately confirmed her visual suspicions of a Benedictin Blue, a Douanier (duh.. had it at home the night before), some Oka and an aged white cheddar.

My heart bleeds for any culinarily aware tourist who might have actually done some homework in an effort to bring some of this fine local produce home to tell his/her friends.


At 10:07 PM, Anonymous James Bond said...

Elegant and demure ,
monied and cultured .

Wicked, whimsical, and wild .

You Rock , Sheena .

At 8:58 AM, Blogger rgraham666 said...

I do so envy the cool savoir faire with which you embrace life, Sheena.

When I grow up I wanna be like you. ;)

At 11:52 AM, Blogger raymi lauren said...

the caesar salad at epic is the best caesar salad i have ever had in my entire life.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Leatherhands said...

Sheena, you smoking weed these days? That was pure free-forming brilliance.

The trade show industry has caused me to spend an inordinate amount of time in the Royal York over the years. I've seen all the bowels, the loading areas, the freight elevators the weird little dark mouldy hallways that lead to the ass ends of banquet rooms, etc.
Everything smells old and rotten back there, and I'm always hesitant to get in the 1920 chain pulled elevator with my 800+ lbs. of trade show crates.
More than once I've had to have a full 8 man crew carrying 120 pieces by hand through the main kitchen area while being cursed at by head chefs...because the elevator has broken down, and the conference I'm responsible for prepping is two hours away...ahhh, good times.
Harbour Castle is even worse.
In the exhibit biz they are called The Royal Joke and The Harbour Hassle.

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous M/T said...

The trick is , to never

'really' , grow up ...

Midnight Fire

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous M/T said...

For a little slice of thee,

I flick my imagination, into three.

You are the Mistress, of desire

You are a slice

Of Klingon fire .

You are the booze, in Rock 'n' Roll

You are the magic

you behold .


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