1 It was Cold Yesterday! But I don't like wasting my days off work, and don't like wasting pretty days. It was pretty. Actually almost any day is nice if the previous one had nonstop rain and a grey demeanour.
2 The buses are on a good schedule here most of the time. The Willowdale 98 buses (plural) meet at Sheppard Station. It is a U shaped route where the leg closest to where I live runs along (surprise!) Willowdale Avenue. The other leg runs parallel along Senlac and Grantbrook. Both the Senlac and Willowdale bus meet at :15 and :45, and on the hour and halfhour at the northern end: Steeles Ave. A reliable service every half hour.
3 The Sheppard 85 bus comes every 20 minutes, except on weekends, where they've made it an unpredictable number, like every 23 minutes or something. So even though the bus has a better frequency, it makes more sense to wait for the 30 minute Willowdale bus.
4 Willowdale is the name of this neighbourhood. Or the old name of it. When I was growing up, that was the official name of it. Our address ended Willowdale 444, Ontario. Since then there have been changes in postal coding, changes in cities and city lines, changes in attitude. I still end my address North York, Ontario, M2N 2A1. Many others around here think I should change it to Toronto. At work, I called their help desk for company benefits; after I gave them my postal code, their computer insisted that I live in Toronto, and wouldn't let them enter anything else. I used to live on Byng Ave. There are two or three of them in the city. But there is only one of them in North York. The same is true of Olive Ave- there are a few here. But only one of them is in North York.
5 I think the area used to be called Lansing. Across the street from me is a lumber yard, and that used to be called "Lansing Build All" or "Lansing Lumber." It's quite small now. It used to be a bigger concern, but has sold the excess property as needed. Even when I was young, I don't recall anyone talking about Lansing, except when mentioning a church, or the lumber store, or the hardware store.
6 Dempsey Brother's hardware store was taken away rather recently. It turns out the building was a hundred years old. So when it was time to demolish the corner, they moved the building a few blocks away, and made it much nicer than I ever remember it. The store was a lot like my dad's old hardware store: everything was everywhere. Oh, there were aisles, but if you wanted something specific, you'd need help. Small bits, adaptors, connectors, right hand screws, left hand screws, metric screws, nails of every possible kind, they were all here, and sold in bulk: you took a bag, took a scoop, and filled your bag. Some things were by the piece, some things were by the pound. Even the scale itself was from a bygone era: It had weights, and a needle which swept across a foot of arc at the widest point. The needle had numbers written along its length, and was used to price things out. The link above talks about things I didn't know until just now. It seems like an obituary for the old store.
7 My train of thought has wandered far from where it started. I wanted to go out, didn't feel like waiting, so I left on the halfhour so I could catch a Willowdale 98 bus. Then I started talking about North York, Willowdale, then Lansing. Let's get back to what I did.
8 Took the 98 to the end of the line: the Steeles Loop a few doors from Yonge St. This is where I start to wander around. Check out the EB Games. Cross the street, find the Dollar Blitz store. Cross again and visit the No Frills. Rest up in the food court, then wander south along Yonge Street. Stopped at the Popeye's Chicken. Went in to see the Khorak Supermarket. LCBO is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the place to buy booze. Then Food Basics. Starbucks at Finch Ave. Shoppers Drug Mart. Metro at Church St. South to Sheppard Ave, then home.
9 At the Starbucks I chatted with the guy working there. There was only two of them! "Do you close with only two people?" "Usually," he answers. It's hard. In a previous f1d0 entry I thought I had a difficult boss. Well, these kids get written up for taking shortcuts with only two people doing the work for three. Today I went to a Starbucks for a while, and again noticed they close with just two people. I guess all of these stores are under pressure to save on labour costs. But it still seems like a bad idea to me.
10 It was a long walk with lots of stops. But it was a good thing to do on a blustery day. I guess I'm getting to want to go for long walks. I've enjoyed doing this before too, where I try to see as much as I can by foot and by transit, combined.
11 Today I got together with my folks, and went hunting for challa that is, Egg Bread. There are lots of places which sell it for too much money, but my parents want to get it at a specific price point. A couple of dollars, not 4 or 5 dollars a loaf. We went first to No Frills in Vaughan. I think that's Dufferin and Centre Street. It was busy to the point of insanity! A store owner's dream. And of course, they didn't have what we were looking for.
12 The next stop was Sobey's at Clark and Hilda, in Thornhill. Another very insane place! They did have the challa my folks wanted to buy. They also had a Jewish hot table (it was also Kosher, but I don't care about that part, one way or the other). I knew we'd be eating out, so I couldn't buy too much. But this was an opportunity to buy a little bit of history. I bought the smallest amount of chopped liver they would sell to me. One spoonful, $2.54 at about $20/kg. Expensive! But mom doesn't make it, and I don't make it either. The stuff they sell at the deli counter is Euro style, and I wanted it to be Jewish style. It was okay actually. Very soft and creamy, tasting of egg and soup and liver pate. Not a complicated taste, but a very homey peasant taste.
13 This taste happened at Burger King. We travelled quite a bit south to the one at Wilson Ave and Keele St. It was a good place to hang out.
14 Another wandering day began at the shopping centre at Dufferin St and Wilson Ave. Best Buy! There were lots of things to gawk at until they closed at 600pm. The bus took me southbound to a Wal-Mart south of Bloor St. Lots of wandering in there, and purchased bike pants, and a case for my netbook. I don't know if $10 is a good price, but it was exactly the right size, and I was inclined to get it.
15 How is it that walking always brings me to College Street? The walk continued eastbound, into the Starbucks for a while, then into the Metro supermarket (mostly to use their bathroom urgently).
16 After a while, describing the same places over and over gets hard, so I'll spare you some of the journey, except to tell you that there is more.
17 Yesterday's essay suggested that there would be snow today. It didn't get very cold, and we didn't get snow here. At least, not yet.
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