Saturday, October 14, 2006

The stories of Mike's life...

Hello to all,
Yvana has already written a more comprehensive note just a few days ago, so I will write on some fragments of life here in Toronto.
*Went to our neighborhood coffee shop Cafe 2 Day, Bloor Street, on Thursday. I like the place: robust fair-trade coffee, plenty of comfortable seating, and clean but unsexy. It's kind of like Kubata, our other local place, but closer, slicker, and a bit cheaper. I like Kubata as well, and I have a bit more heart for it, because I think the lady is the owner operator (at least she's there every day) and a Starbucks opened right across the street from it last January. How evil. Anyway, I like Kubata's jazz better than the stuff they play at Cafe 2 Day. It's a top 20 mix station that grates on me. Also, the sound system in Kubata is better, with several built in speakers, while Cafe 2 Day is one boombox at the front of the store that irritatingly echoes against the pane class. But I stopped by there on the way back to our apartment last Thursday, and a friendly guy was working there. So I'm hoping to make it a customary Thursday thing to go by for a cup of coffee-maybe become a "regular". There's something about being a regular thats mysterious to me... I heard David Sedaris on This American Life address this issue a few weeks ago. At one point, he had been living in Paris for over a year and a half, and every morning David stopped by this one kiosk to buy a newspaper from the old woman who owned it. For 18 months she said nothing to him; never acknowledged his continued patronage with even so much as a nod of recognition. Then, one day she looked at him quizzically, and asked, "Are you a tourist?" He was at once elated and deflated. She finally acknowledged him as a person, not just someone who gave money in exchange for goods, but refused to acknowledge that he belonged, after a year and a half of seeing him every day. I really liked that story, and I'll pay 1.35 a week until I am recognized as a regular in Cafe 2 Day, or maybe Kubata. ...Sponsors anyone?
*I don't really remember the point of that last story, but here is another. We were riding home along College the other day, and there was a huge traffic backup from Ossington to Dovercourt. As cyclists, we zipped right through to Dovercourt in no time, and saw that the traffic light was out. But the civic mindedness of Canadians knows no bounds, for there, in the middle of the intersection, was a scruffy young man directing traffic: cars, bikes, streetcars, you name it. He was taking his calling serious as a brain surgeon, and people were obeying and expressing their thanks as they passed by him. Pedestrians were hailing him as a hero. I'm sure this scene could have occurred in any city at any time, but to me the image of a unkempt twentysomething neo-Marxist looking guy dutifully directing traffic at rush hour, while people submit to his guidance and thank him in the process, completely embodies the Toronto spirit. I love this place.
*Act Three. Yvana, Ben Austin and I went to a party hosted by some Toronto School of Theology folk last Saturday. Mostly Regis, St. Mike's and U of T people there, but ICS made a good showing when Stu and Chris showed up. Everyone had a wonderful time, and I realized that I was more connected to this community than I thought. Saw a guy I'm taking a class with now- did his MA at Notre Dame on Augustine's malleable conception of the good life. Met someone who's a sessional instructor at St. Mikes, working on some things very similar to my own area of interest and, ironically, his dissertation director is my adviser: crazy things happen here at TST. Met a professional musician who is over at U of T faculty of music and spoke with her at some length about public art, fine art, and John Dewey. When we left, Chris was firmly in control of the liquor table, making White Russians for the whole kitchen crowd. ICS... so much better than the rest...

Miss you and love you all. M


jeffinanutshell said...

Hey, I don't have anything to say about your post because it is late, and I didn't read it. But I noticed on sitemeter that someone had come to my blog from another that I had not heard of, and I was happy to see that you had linked me on yours! Maybe when I am not so tired, I will return the favor. Check out our wedding blog if you get a chance (there is a link to it from mine). Not much there yet, but it is going to be sweet! We are getting engagement pictures tomorrow!

I will see you guys in a little over a week.

Angie and Jeff said...

Hey guys-
This is Angie- today my mom said "Who was that sweet boy on your website that said to giggle in pictures cause it made you look so cute?".
Then I said "Oh- that was Jeffs friend Mike, and he was talking about Jeff." Then an awkward silence.
Then mom- "Oh."

Just thought Id share :)