Every once in awhile I stumble across a spot I haven’t been to in ages. Today is one of those days. In the Bloor Bathurst area and waiting on someone so I was killing time. I wandered up the road to visit a place I used to hit a couple times a month – a small shop that sells Korean walnut cakes. I used to live in this area and moved about 10 years ago. It isn’t that far away from where I live now, but you know what it’s like – a place isn’t on your radar because you don’t pass by it. I swear walnut cakes are the single greatest snack ever invented. I’m sitting here with a box of 30 (ok .. 28, I ate two before I got a block away). It used to be a Saturday morning ritual. I’d get there just as the a fresh batch was rolling off the line and wander around snarfing them as I walked. Yup, they are as good as I remember.
The second spot is a cafe that opened after I moved so I only came sporadically. Snakes & Lattes – board games, quiet music, the sounds of dice bouncing on a table, and excellent latte. It’s one of those places you go to because you can hold a conversation without screaming over the music. It’s also a great place to just sit and listen to the conversations swimming around. It’s a zen like sense of calm. Oh and did I say excellent lattes? My favourite part is feeling the subway rumbling along under my feet. I used to live in an apartment that was directly over the University subway line and you could feel the floor shake when it ran through during the early hours. When traffic picked up later in the morning, it was noticeable, but I could tell what time it was by that low grumble before the sun rose. I’d often get up after the first train ran and make a latte and sit by the window and listen. Toronto can be amazingly quiet in the mornings. Never fails to surprise me that such a large city can be so still.
I hadn’t realised how much I missed that early morning ritual until just now. I often stay up late, now mostly because I don’t sleep well at night. It isn’t uncommmon to find me pottering around at 3am. I live right off Yonge Street now and during the day it feels like half the drivers in town think it’s a race way. But at 3am it’s a different world. About all you see is the odd car and not much more. It’s like living in two different cities.
Have to go, the person I was waiting on is ready, so … later.