Bitter Sweet Summer

What was that anyway? Was that really summer. My ass it was! I can’t believe that it pretty much rained every God forsaken day in this bloody city. One trip to the beach this year. It couldn’t have happened however at the right time. My good buds came from New Hampshire for a little get away. Or what we Canadians refer to as The Great Escape from The Trumps! I keep asking them to move here but I guess they enjoy the torture. The summer was weird at best but as you may recall from a few blogs back I said don’t rule out summer yet! Well in one week sweep I ended up crushing months of summer fun into 120 hours. It was Summerathon!

My buds arrived last weekend on Air Canada. They upgraded to business class and said the trip was excellent. Apparently there were only two crazy Asians that refused to sit down. How fun is that. Eventually they did and the flight was zipping through the sky.

Since I am “Bruce in the City” they left it in my capable hands to show them the city. Which was actually a little stressful but I had my plans in motion. It was decided that we would surprise a predominant Music Director and Organist in the city up near St Clair York Minister Park Baptist church. Some of the very influential attend that church. It would be very indiscrete of me to name names but anyone hear of Loblaws? Needless to say they weren’t in the house but you could feel their high end aura’s none the less. William Maddox has been ministering through music for many years. I won’t say how many, that would be indiscrete also. Let’s just say it is possible The Beatles hadn’t even gotten together yet. Of course I joke but he’s definitely a sample to an already well known church ministry.

But I’m not in the business to promote local churches. I’ve been burned by too many. But as churches go that’s a pretty good one. William, or to us better known as Bill, was surprised at our arrival and that was very cool indeed. And I never combusted into a ball of flames which was a nice surprise for me too! There were so many gays in attendance I was certain there was going to be a revival. But alas God was gentlemanly to us gaggle of Gays. No wrath. At least not this evening.

Now the real church began shortly after the service was over. I took everyone to one of my favourite watering holes. Drinks all around! I can’t resist nachos with extra everything and they were fabulous! Look it up! Midtown Gastro Pub!!! It’s up St Clair and Yonge. I’m certain I’ve talked about them before. Sadly the server moved at a glacier pace so that was annoying. Especially because the night was getting on and we had other troubles to get ourselves into. Alas is was Sunday night and even in Toronto there isn’t much trouble boys can get into so it ended up being a pretty early eve.

Monday and it was all about Centerville! I hadn’t been there in years and sometimes you’ve just got to give your inner child a much needed therapy session!
It’s a bitter sweet year for Centerville. Toronto had a very strange winter and spring leaving the island flooded for most of the summer season. The island lost millions in revenue so more than just being big silly boys this was really a farewell to one of the oldest carousels. It’s leaving us for the states to help pay for the loss Centerville experienced due to the floods. We all got on and my guests and I took our last trip around the merry go round. The memories of my youth came flooding back to me and I couldn’t help but get choked up at the thought of the loss. It was still just as fun as I remembered!

There was a first for me. I went on the sky ride! Heights and a glacier pace, my two favourite things… Not! But one of my buds talked me into it and off we went. I was doing great until we started going over a river. No one told me there was going to be a river! I just looked at my buddy. He knew he was on my hit list. That little smirk came with a calm “Oh, you’ll be fine.” Fine my ass! But I was and I quickly got over the fear and felt a little sense of achievement. Who knew I’d find that at a kids theme park! You just never know when you are going to get that light bulb moment.

Then I went on this zip around dark room spinning thing and got punched in the face! Life has got that way of keeping pride in check. I went to put my arm around my partner to hold tight and then he went to return the gesture but the speed of the ride pulled his elbow into my nose. All I could say was, “Oh my, you broke my nose”. Was it broken? No, but I got my revenge on the bumper cars! Damn that ride is fun! We all targeted this really cute guy and just rammed him from every direction.

Tuesday was Kensington Market! A wonderfully bohemian part of the city where time has stood still after 1960’s. It’s rich in Hipster culture, great places to eat and close on the cheap. Tie dye is still in fashion and the scent of pot and patchouli fill the air. We decided on Amadeus, a quaint Portuguese restaurant. We had a fabulous wine called Gazella that our server Cassandra suggested. It was divine. The boys found the brand later at the LCBO and brought it over for dinner on the Friday. We had Seafood linguine, Chicken Fettuccini and Chicken Caesar. It was all really tasty. Of course a little bread to start us off is always a welcome addition. And well I got hammered on Portuguese wine! Not a bad afternoon.

I took the next day away from site seeing for self recovery while the boys went off with my partner to Casa Loma. I was beat. I just couldn’t pull myself together. They had a great time though. It’s always a place I recommend. Apparently the organ is getting taken out of there for some political reason. Not getting used? I got the down low on it but I didn’t really listen so I missed the bottom line but it’s sad it is going up the road. Two out of the three fellows are organists so that was of interest to them. I was nursing a hangover.

What better way to celebrate friends but to bring your other friends together. We met up with our city buddies on Thursday and made our way to Bumpkin’s! An incredible restaurant on Gloucester just off the village. I’ve been there a couple of times before and have never been let down. Oysters! Seafood Linguine! Chicken Parmesan! Caesar Salad! All just delicious! I again enjoyed some fabulous wine! As did the others. Then it was off to watch Sausage Party! Our first of a few sausage parties that week! Wink!

I of course put on a wonderful roast dinner Friday evening and enjoyed the company of Maddox along with our guests from across the boarder. A very nice dinner if I do say so myself.

Saturday. Our last night together. Well just say what happens in Toronto stays in Toronto but we all had a marvelous time!

We will miss you guys! Until next year!


Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

Photos by Bruce in the City

About Bruce in the City

I have been writing my blog since 2010. I was inspired to do so after enjoying an amazing meal with some friends of mine here in Toronto. I decided to tell everyone about my great night and the fabulous restaurant I went to and shazam my blog was born!
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