Toronto with my BFF

The day started with a visit to Amra’s niece and her brand new daughter, who is absolutely gorgeous mashallah. Had a lovely brunch at Figo Toronto (baked eggs and ricotta pancakes), then off to Kensington Market where we spent most of the day. Kensington is an amazing old Toronto neighborhood full of small Victorian houses built in the 1880s for Irish and Scottish laborers. Immigrants from all over the world have passed thru or continue to live here, from Eastern European Jews, to immigrants from the Caribbean, East Asia, Central America, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Iran, Vietnam, and Chile. Not only is Kensington Market famous for its vibrant diversity, mix of foods, and art scene but it’s also home to Trotskyites and radical politics. We walked around the neighborhood, visited old book stores and a silver jewelry shop, had some strawberry rhubarb pie at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, and then sat around waiting for live music at Poetry Jazz Cafe. Although the decor is cool, their website was dramatically off (it said the cafe would open at 430pm when it actually opened at 7pm and the music started at 10). One would have thought that they’d be rather chill for being so badly organized, but we found the establishment to be aggressively money-grubbing. Music was ok, but at the end of the day, Miles Davis posters are not enough. Jazz comes with a certain history and culture. There’s nothing free-spirited or ground-breaking about shoving customers from place to place in order to squeeze in more people (a bouncer-type loud character from London was assigned that job), whilst collecting a cover charge and hard selling drinks. Oy vey. Had some vegetarian empanadas for dinner and then back to the hotel.

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