There's the right way, the wrong way and the Gananoque

     When Odysseus sailed  past the Sirens he had his men plug their ears with wax and tie him to the mast so he could hear their song without succumbing. After four nights in Toronto I finally tied Matty's hands to Emma Peel's steering wheel and we headed east. After leaving Duluth the week before we camped two nights in a row. I do not much like camping. One night I got so uneasy I panted like it was the Fourth of July. We arrived in the Toronto area Sunday night and landed in the northern suburb of Newmarket, a charming town with a charming downtown surrounded on four sides by the malls from hell. If you go to Toronto stay either in town or out of town. Traveling from one to the other is a nightmare. The daughter of my host leaves for work downtown at 6:30 and works late to avoid gridlock. She often fails.
    The best part of travel is the unexpected. Last night our host took us to visit her ex, an artist who achieved impressive fame and a bit of fortune at an early age in the realm of public art. He then became the whipping boy of people who objected to public expenditure for art. I suspect support from the art world was lukewarm. In any case he withdrew from the art world and has been producing art that he insists is not art ever since. He produces everything at home. He is currently making room-filling wooden train track trestles and bridges that go up and down and rotate while trying to improve upon their weight to strength ratio.  He is running out of room, but seems to be looking forward to knocking out a couple of walls. He creates it all, furniture, furnishings, etc. Give him some cheap, fragile paper made for packing and he will draw fantastic shapes with a pencil and a homemade compass. Since he does not believe in art I think he relishes the fact that such works may not long survive. The house was crammed with cool stuff. Unfortunately, the stairs were steep and slippery. Why people design houses without considering the legs of shih tzus I'll never know.
     There is a social phenomenon that now has a name. When you eat family style there are often communal plates with a bit of food that everyone is too polite to finish. A waitress recently called that bit of food the Minnesota Bite. Matty told her that in Minnesota it is called the Oregon Bite, which like so many of his bons mots, I find half witty. Having spent a week in Canada, I now declare that bit of food the Canadian Bite.
     Tonight we are in Gananoque, Ontario, on the shore of the St. Lawrence River near Lake Ontario. Tomorrow we head to Quebec City, then on to the Maritimes for, I'm guessing, four or five days before turning south for New York and DC. Seeing new places is interesting, but so far the high points of the trip have been imposing on our friends for a roof over our heads. We hope we're giving as good as we're getting.



  1. We've twice seen the same teeny-tiny bit of Toronto. So from our perspective, Toronto is old buildings made new again, lots of tourists and harried business people, and a glass floor people dare you to walk on in the CN Tower. Maybe we've had the blind person's equivalent of the elephant's ear.

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