Tuesday 31 July 2018

The Hub, Stratford, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at The Hub on Market Street ... we'd been there before just after they'd opened two years ago.

River Boat Tour, Stratford, ON

After Gord and I saw The Rocky Horror Show at the Avon Theatre, we walked down to the Thames River.

We noticed there is a boat tour.  We've been to Stratford many times but have never done it.  It was $8.50 each for a half hour.   Hayden was our captain and we were on the Juliet III.  Hayden didn't give us a tour per se but did answer any questions we all had.

Juliet III
Gord and I

"The Rocky Horror Show", Avon Theatre, Stratford Festival, Stratford, ON

The Rocky Horror Show is one of my favourite musicals.

The musical tells the story of a newly engaged couple getting caught in a storm and coming to the home of a mad transvestite scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, unveiling his new creation, a sort of Frankenstein-style monster in the form of an artificially made, fully grown, physically perfect muscle man named Rocky Horror, complete "with blond hair and a tan".

I've seen the play a few times plus I've watched the movie more times than I can count.  It's playing at the Avon Theatre as part of the Stratford Festival.

There is a photo op in the lobby so, of course, I jumped in.

I think this was a fun production and the actors did an excellent job ... it was lively and funny.  It is not for children or the easily offended as the language was expressive and there was touching and grabbing of female and male parts.  In addition to some people in the audience yelling out, there were a couple plants yelling to the actors, which was funny and at times raunchy.  The actors paused and responded back in kind.

What I found was missing, though, was the sexual power of Frank-N-Furter.  That's probably the problem of seeing as many times as I have.  Though amusing, I thought the actor playing him came off more like a pouting drag queen.  If you watch the Tim Curry in the movie version, you'll see what I mean re what was missing in this character.  A couple of the musicals I've seen have been able to capture it also.

The audience loved this musical and I'd recommend it.

Gilly’s Pubhouse, Stratford, ON

Gord and I had lunch today at Gilly’s Pubhouse.  It is across the street from the Avon Theatre.  We have been going to the Stratford Festival for years and this is the third restaurant we've been to that has been in this space since we've been going (Sid's and the Pourhouse).  Gilly's opened in November.

Monday 30 July 2018

Book ~ "Summer Rental" (2011) Mary Kay Andrews

From Goodreads ~ Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she's made over the past decade of her life. Julia, whose caustic wit covers up her wounds, has a man who loves her and is offering her the world but she can't hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world ... though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina's Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs.

Ty Bazemore is their landlord, though he's hanging on to the rambling old beach house by a thin thread. After an inauspicious first meeting with Ellis, the two find themselves disturbingly attracted to one another, even as Ty is about to lose everything he's ever cared about.

Maryn Shackleford is a stranger and a woman on the run. Maryn needs just a few things in life: no questions, a good hiding place and a new identity. Ellis, Julia and Dorie can provide what Maryn wants; can they also provide what she needs?

Mary Kay Andrews' novel is the story of five people questioning everything they ever thought they knew about life. Five people on a journey that will uncover their secrets and point them on the path to forgiveness. Five people who each need a sea change and one month in a summer rental that might just give it to them.

Ellis, Julia and Dorie are in their mid-thirties and have been friends since they were children in school together.  They rent a beach house in Nags Head for the month of August to spend some time together.  Ellis has just been downsized from her job at the bank and has no employment prospects or love life.  She's very structured and likes to live by a schedule so is concerned about her future.  Julia is a model who has been living in London with her long-time boyfriend, Booker.  He wants to get married but she keeps resisting.  Dorie's husband, Stephen, was supposed to join them but he backed out at the last minute and Dorie doesn't reveal why right away.

The girls are renting the house from Ty.  He is behind in his bills and if he doesn't catch up soon, he is going to lose the house.  There is an attraction between him and Ellis.  Maryn is married to an abusive husband.  When she realizes the depth of his brutality, she runs away and ends up driving aimlessly.  She ends up in Nags Head and rents a room from the girls but keeps to herself.

I've read a few books by this author and I liked this one.  I liked the writing style and found the storyline entertaining (it's a fun summer book).  It is written in third person perspective focusing on wherever the action is.  The editing could have been tighter as there were some typos.   As a head's up, there is swearing, adult activity and violence.

I liked the characters.  I found Ellis a bit annoying in the beginning because she was so anal (her good friends found her a bit annoying too).  I started liking her more as she chilled out. 

I look forward to reading other books by this author.

Sunday 29 July 2018

The Bentway, Toronto, ON

The Bentway is a public trail and corridor space underneath the Gardiner Expressway that opened less than a year ago.  Gord and I had checked it out during the winter and there was a figure-eight skating rink.

From July 8 to August 13 on Sunday afternoons they have a beer garden.  I checked it out after I did the Heritage Toronto - Liberty Reclaimed: History of the Village walk.

Heritage Toronto - Liberty Reclaimed: History of the Village, Toronto, ON

I did the 1.5 hour Liberty Reclaimed: History of the Village walk (which is near my 'hood) with Heritage Toronto this afternoon.  Liberty Village is bordered to the north by King Street W, to the west by Dufferin Street, to the south by the Gardiner Expressway, and to the east by Strachan Avenue.  There were about 60 of us.

Early 1980s

Kadi, a Heritage Toronto board member, welcomed everyone.

Natalie and Shayda were our volunteer tour guides.  They gave us lots of interesting information.

The walk started at Massey Harris Park (King Street W/Crawford Street).  Massey Ferguson was founded in 1847 in Newcastle, Ontario, by Daniel Massey.  Daniel's eldest son, Hart, renamed it the Massey Manufacturing Company of Toronto and moved it to Toronto in 1879, where it soon became one of the city's leading employers.  The massive collection of factories consisted of an 11 acre site with plant and head office at 915 King Street West (built in 1899 by E.J. Lennox) ... it served as head office for Massey Harris (formed in 1891 from the merger of Massey Manufacturing Company and Alanson Harris, Son and Company Limited of Brantford and later Massey Ferguson).  It remained in use by Massey Ferguson until they moved in the 1970s and became vacant when the company ceased operations in the early 1980s.  The structure was converted in 2003 to condos while the other buildings, including the plant, were demolished.  Massey Harris Park is located next to the lofts.

Saturday 28 July 2018

Ossfest 2018, Toronto, ON

Ossfest was today ... Ossington Avenue was closed from Dundas Street W to Queen Street W for this festival.

What the F? OssFest!

This year, OssFest has a fresh new approach. "What the F" is OssFest? It is a celebration of the "fun", "fashion", "food", and "fitness" found throughout the Ossington BIA businesses between Dundas St W and Queen St W. The street will be closed for a pedestrian takeover to discover and rediscover everything we have to offer. Everyone of all ages, including our leashed 4-legged friends, are invited to this FREE event.

New this year, we will be hosting a Fitness and Wellness morning from 8am-11am for the early risers and those that want to take part in some fitness and wellness activity, education and exploration.

OssFest officially kicks off at 12pm and the street will be alive with extended patios, local vendors and exhibitors, music until 11pm.

It was in our 'hood so I went up after the Toronto Wolfpack game.  I'd been last year and had fun.  I got there about 7pm.  Many of the vendors from Ossington Avenue had booths on the street.  There was something for everyone.  The patios were jammed and there were long line-ups for food.

I started at the south end of Ossington (at Queen Street W)

Toronto Wolfpack 12, Featherstone Rovers 30, Lamport Stadium, Toronto, ON

The Toronto Wolfpack RLFC is a Canadian professional rugby league club, based in here Toronto, which competes in the British Rugby Football League system.  In 2018, the club is competing in the Championship, having begun to play in 2017 in League 1 and won a promotion in its inaugural season.  The club is noted as being the first North American team to play in the Rugby Football League system, the first fully professional rugby league team in Canada and the world's first transatlantic rugby league team.  Their home stadium is Lamport Stadium (aka "The Den"), which is just a couple blocks from where Gord and I live.  We are season ticket holders.

Today the Wolfpack were playing the Featherstone Rovers.  This was the last regular game for the Wolfpack.  They have already won a spot in the playoffs and the Rovers were still in the running for one.

The game started earlier than usual at 1:30pm ... they usually start at 4:30pm.  We stopped in at the Wolfpack store before the game and bought a couple shirts. They had clinched Betfred Championship Shield a couple weeks ago and it's on display in the store.

Me and Gord

We ran into Jefferson, the Wolfpack mascot, in the stadium.

Jefferson and Gord

The Wolfpack players huddled during their practice.

Our friends, Liz and Jamie, joined us for today's game.

Friday 27 July 2018

Southern Accent, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Southern Accent (on College Street, west of Ossington Avenue).

For 34 years, Southern Accent has been bringing “Cajun, Creole and Soul” to Toronto as the most authentic New Orleans dining experience in the city.

Thursday 26 July 2018

The Belly Buster Submarines, Toronto, ON

I had a late lunch today at The Belly Buster Submarines on King Street W, just east of Spadina.  There was a lot of hype about it when it opened five years ago.  I can't believe it's been that long ago and amazingly this is the first time I've stopped in.

I was hungry so ordered the large turkey bacon sub with white cheese, tomatoes and pickles and a Coke Zero.  Though it was a hefty sub with a lot of meat, I found the bun to be dry and it didn't feel or taste fresh.  I'd asked for it to be microwaved and it was barely warm.  So I asked for the second half to be microwaved again and it was better.

The two women working there obviously hate their jobs.  Neither were friendly at all and it felt like an imposition to have them make my sub for me.  I won't be back.

The Belly Buster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato