I was at a local grocery store the other day. Just a normal, low-key in and out to grab some steaks. I was planning on making dinner for my brother and his partner. I had a couple of bags with me already as I had stopped in at my favorite pot shop and a plant shop, so my hands were a bit full. However, I really needed to grab my ingredients for my dinner night. I usually always have my phone with me and this trip was no exception. I always have to be really careful because it seems so easy for me to get side tracked and lose my phone, but since I was already aware of this problem, I kept my phone close by me. When I got up to the cash, I recognized the teller. A wonderful friend of mine I hadn’t seen in years. We got chatting it up and sharing quick updates and it was a bit overwhelming, in a good way of course. I paid for my goods and we said our goodbyes. As I left the store, I realized I didn’t have one of my bags. The one with the pot and my phone. My sacred phone….
I quickly looked through my grocery bags to see if I had somehow put it in there. I saw nothing. The panic began setting in! I went back to my friends till and asked if she say my bag. Nope, no bag. Shit! I can’t believe I had just lost my phone, not to mention some fabulous green. I was so pissed. I went through the store frantically. I was in full panic mode and I was attracting the attention of other shoppers. They actually started helping me look for my phone. My friend got security for me and we were going through baskets and looking under shelves. Actually, security was a little weird with me as I was carrying a bag of bread that didn’t fit into my grocery bag and I think he thought I was trying to make a distraction with my story to steal the bread.
One lady made a great suggestion to call my phone so she lent me hers and I dialed. Ring! Ring! Ring! Oh, damn I could hear it faintly. It was definitly in the store. I called it back. I was moving around hunting as it rang away. People were hearing it! We were looking up and down. Where was it! It was somewhere near the cash.
I slowed myself down long enough to really focus on where the ring was coming from. It felt like it was below me. Maybe under the shelf. Maybe in someone’s handbag. It was right on top of me! Oh my god! I can hear it. As a half dozen or more people stood around watching me look for my phone, I realized it was coming from inside one of my own grocery bags. I reached in and pulled out my phone. I was so relieved and then I was so embarrassed. Everyone’s eyes were on me and my eyes were on my phone that I had the whole time.
A woman asks me where my phone was and as on lookers stared at me like I was insane I quietly said it was in my bag. My friend from long days past must have thought I was out of my mind. I was fifty shades of red. I took my phone and I left as quickly as possible. But not before thanking everyone, I mean everyone for helping me. I laughed all the way home.
That’s when I decided I needed to turn this crazy day around after my fabulous dinner. My bro and I went to a local karaoke bar “Tonic.” Such a great place and we sang our faces of till the wee hours! The staff and customers were amazing. So amazing I had an after party at my house where the festivities continued on past 5am.
Happy Labour Day weekend!
Author: Bruce Christopher
Editor: Martin Rye
Hair by: Polo Blendz
Check out my One on One with Miss Conception!!!
Bruce: What inspired you to perform in drag?
Miss Conception: When I was a young boy at age 12, I dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast and danced around my living room. My mom said “ Kev why couldn’t your sister be the girl” and my gay uncle said “ he makes a better one “ lol
When I was 19, I went to a gay bar and saw my first queens, JJ Murrey and Felicia. They we’re incredible, and people loved them, and I thought omg I could do this. So I met my drag mother Ricky Raunch and she put me in drag May 15 2000 and Miss Conception was born.
Bruce: How many years have you been performing?
Miss Conception: I will be going on 23 years of performing as Miss Conception
Bruce: Share with us some of your favorite highlights in your career.
Miss Conception: Some of the highlights are having the longest running Broadway show in Toronto at Woody’s. Being the opening act for Leslie Jordan from Will and Grace, Tony Award winner Jennifer Holiday, and Lorna Luft, Judy Garland’s daughter. Being able to perform on cruises around the world, and work in Provincetown Massachusetts and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has been the most incredible experience.
Bruce: You are a very busy Drag Queen? Is it right to call you that?
Miss Conception: Yes, I am a Drag Queen but you can call me a live singing drag entertainer. I’m extremely busy and blessed and grateful. It’s important to always write new shows so that you’re always staying fresh.
Bruce: Tell us where we can see you perform.
Miss Conception: I’m at the pilgrim house in Provincetown Massachusetts from end of May to End of Septeptember every year, and January to April in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. You can also check missconception.com for my tour schedule.
Bruce: Thanks again for stopping by Bruce in the City. It’s always a pleasure!
Author Bruce Christopher
Editor Martin Rye
Hair by @PoloBlendz
Join the fun on my Instagram @bruceinthecity
Ever have one of those Sundays where your friends are busy and you’re doing way too much thinking for one person? I was so beside myself I actually thought for a split second I was going to give up on this blog. Thanks to my editor, I changed my mind.
Did I mention “single as he gets”? It’s when I realized I have had a relationship for many years, food. I love food. I just want to try everything at least on this side of the planet. Even better, there is a really great restaurant I decided to go to so spend some quality time with myself.
It’s called Capra Toro, in the heart of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The décor is really charming and the food is told to be exceptional, so I thought “why not give it a shot?” I was seated on the back patio. Following a lovely lit side road next to the restaurant, I made my way to my seat.
I ordered a Caesar, which is made with their very own spicy mix. I have to be honest I didn’t love it. However, it wasn’t because it was bad, just not to my liking. I’ll be sure to order my Caesar differently next time. My server was lovely. I wish I got her name. I thought the patio lighting was well done and actually quite romantic. Awe romance! Sighs the single guy!
I decided on the chicken parmesan with spaghetti. Now, I gotta say I do have a favourite chicken parmesan dish at a restaurant in Oshawa. I wanted to see how this one held up. The spaghetti, which is served in a tangy pomodoro sauce, was refreshing. I was really impressed with the pasta that had been prepared al dante. So many places overcook the pasta and it’s so disappointing.
My chicken parmesan was served crisply, breaded with another red sauce, and covered in cheese and parmesan. The breading was light and the chicken perfectly cooked; tender and moist. The tomato mix also garnishing the chicken parm was fresh and lifted the dish perfectly. It reminded me of a bruschetta mix, but made with lighter flavours. As I enjoyed my dinner, the music was fabulous. Soul music from the 50’s played in the background. An older couple next to me enjoyed some wine and fettuccini alfredo. They were cute. The patrons were a mixed group of young couples and lovers. I was the only guy going solo. Story of my life lol.
I would definitely recommend checking this place out. I feel it’s a highlight for the city and the downtown which really needs people to support local business. Fuck the shopping malls and big chain restaurants!! Get some real local culture and walk the beat in downtown Peterborough.
Bruce in the City
Author Bruce Christopher
Editor Martin Rye
Hair by Polo Blendz Instagram @PoloBlendz
I’m going to get right to the point on this one. I have experienced over the summer some weird business practices by Beck taxi. I went to a couple of concerts in Toronto and when leaving the venue (Budweiser forum) I noticed people going up to cabs that had their light on but seemed they were not taking passengers. I first assumed these cabs were already picking up a called in trip. I quickly learned this wasn’t the case. The drivers were yelling out fees they wanted to take people to their destinations. $50!! $100!! The drivers were yelling out the window.
Hundreds of people standing along the street hoping to get the next cab in line but the drivers refused most customers unless the driver and the customer agreed on a flat rate. Of course, people were not interested in the high fee the cabby wanted to charge.
I was with my best buddy when it happened to us the first time. We ended up not being accepted as a customer when I said I wanted the meter running. The drivers refused. At least half a dozen taxis left us standing to hail cabs that refused to take us to our hotel. We ended up walking from Budweiser Stadium to the Royal York which, if you aren’t familiar, is right across from Toronto Union Station.
Now I’m on my second concert with my Dad and the same thing happened again. Drivers were refusing hundreds of people while being rude, dismissive, and money hungry, refusing again to turn on the meter. I witnessed men and women surely pushing 80 years old people left on the curb. Walkers and all!! They were not welcome.
It was mayhem. It took my Dad and I over an hour to get a cab. Not because they weren’t there but because the cabby’s refused service to dozens of patrons including my Dad and I. When I finally argued my way into a cab. The driver was eager to tell me as I complained about what I had just gone through. The driver didn’t hesitate to explain the drivers wait for the highest bid and then take the customer.
After I finally arrived at my destination, I decided to call Beck to speak to a supervisor. I wasn’t able to speak to one due to it being too busy so I left word and hoped for a return call that never came. The next day I called again and got the same result.
Is this just a “me” problem, or is there something definitely shady how the drivers are treating their jobs and clients? I gave the mayor’s office a call but never got a response from them either. So, what’s the deal with these drivers price gouging paying customers, and going so far as to be rude and at times downright insulting? I’ll tell you one thing, people were being finally taken because there was no other way to get around. Not counting the TTC which wasn’t an option for us.
I’ll continue to investigate this serious problem. It’s a matter of safety, trust, and good business practice. It’s no wonder Y Ride’s are becoming the better way to travel in the city but what do I know I’m just another sucker trying to get around in Toronto.
(Since writing this blog I have come to understand that there are many drivers who are not driving for Beck but use the logos on their cars.)
Author Bruce Christopher
Editor Martan Rye
Hair by Polo Blends.
Enjoy my one on one with Barber and Stylist Polo Blendz!!! My official hair Guru!
Bruce: What began your interest in hair?
Polo: I always liked getting a fresh cut. My dad would cut my hair and I always wanted a Barbershop haircut (clean fade and lineup). I’d watch barber tutorials all the time and I thought it was such a fun thing!
Bruce: When was you first experience cutting hair?
Polo: March 2020 was when I gave my younger brother his first actual haircut, but I had lined myself up before (being unhappy with some barber’s work). I also tried cutting my brother’s hair prior to that but my dad ended up finishing it (was terrible regardless 😂)
Bruce: When did your journey with becoming a barber begin?
Polo: In March 2020, as I was preparing to buy equipment and get the business starting.
Bruce: Where did you study to become such an accomplished barber?
Polo: I started off just watching barber tutorials on YouTube and I studied every barber that I thought was successful. I’ve invested in multiple barber and business courses, academies and programs such as: the Tomb45 Academy, Josh OP Academy, AndyFadePro Academy, ItsMarvyMarv Interactive Social Media Course, Dlucs Elevated Mentorship Program (New Era of Barbering) among others.
Bruce: From what I experienced having had my hair styled and cut by you, you have your very own style on how this is done. Are you aware of that? Is it intentional?
Polo: I’m not completely aware that I have my very own style but I do focus on details and I intend to perfect every cut with my spice to it. I’m particular on making sure every haircut fits the head shape and silhouette for each client.
Bruce: You have a wonderfully informative Instagram. Do you have any other social media platforms planned?
Polo: I do have a YouTube channel which I’ve recently privatized all my videos because I plan to eventually bring some content there. I also have a Facebook and Twitter account that I have but don’t use much. I’m fairly active on TikTok but took a break posting and will be back once I have my content at optimal level (since I’m currently re-working it). I also plan to get on Linked In eventually.
Bruce: Where do you see your journey headed over the next five years?
Polo: I see myself retired and moved on to the next business in five years. I see myself to have scaled my business up to $150-$200 per cut, doing 15-30 haircuts per week and locking in on the next business.
Bruce: Do you experience any push back from other barbers because of your age and talent?
Polo: I’m aware that some barbers in the city might not like what I do but I ignore all the hate because it’s very trivial to me. The business will never push forward if I’m just talking down on haters, let alone get affected by them.
Bruce: You have any advice to other young barbers?
Polo: Yup! Invest in your education, never stop learning and keep your foot on the gas. Work smart and hard. Work SMART though!
Bruce: What’s your ultimate dream?
Polo: To use my talents at the maximum potential to be able to help people. My dream is to travel the world, fill gaps in the barber industry as well as the business world, and be able to help people on the daily while building my net worth.
Bruce: Thank you so much for spending time with me here on Bruce in the City. I look forward to watching your career and getting the best cut in the city.
Author Bruce Christopher
Editor Martin Rye
Hair by Polo Blendz