Thursday was a pretty quiet day. I went for a walk down Eglinton West to see what's down there. I found our local park which is only about a block away. There are lots of organic shops, a produce shop, an organic butcher, as well as a few bakeries in that area. Besides the park, my best find that that day was a place that offers sewing lessons. They're a little expensive so it will have to wait until after I find a job, but they teach everything from intro to clothes design. I think that would be an excellent skill to have.
In the evening, we had dinner and John helped me figure out some of my transit questions and gave me some suggestions for starting points for my job search. I'm not looking for a career job, just something that can do for the rest of the summer and then (*crosses fingers*) switch to part time if I get into school for September. We found a few postings online, but I think that I'm going to need to make a concerted effort to figure out what businesses are actually in all of the office buildings around here and go from there.
On Friday, I decided that it was time to venture out into the city on my own while John was at work. I'll be honest, I was pretty nervous about it. I didn't trust in my ability to not get lost and to find my way home again.
One thing that I hadn't seen in all of my walks around the area was a fabric store, so I decided to hunt one down. After a few Google searches, it seemed like every fabric store I could find a listing for was on Queen Street West, so that's where I decided to go.
I got on the subway. No problem. I got off at my stop. No problem. I emerged onto the street and my heart started pounding a little. I consulted my little map and headed out into the city. I walked for about 10 minutes, not seeing any of the landmarks and street signs I was expecting, before I figured out that I was going the wrong way. The bad news was that I was lost but the good news is that I found the Eaton Centre. So now I know where that is.
I eventually found my way back to the subway station and set off again, this time in the right direction. I walked for a few blocks and and found myself in a trendier, hipper part of town. It was a little run down, shabby-chic style, and the streets were lined with little boutique clothing shops and trendy looking restaurants. Suddenly I started to hear screams off in the distance and for a second I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. As I got closer to the noise, I realized it was just the MuchMusic office. The sidewalks were absolutely packed with noisy teenagers, so I guess there must have been someone worth getting excited about there that day.
I kept on my way, and about two blocks down I came to a block that must have had at least ten fabric stores, five bead stores and some other miscellaneous craft stores. There was so much to see, I was completely overwhelmed. Some of the stores were absolutely crammed with fabric, a maze of narrow passages with walls of stacked bolts of fabric going all the way up to the ceiling. Only one store was spacious and roomy, and they had the most amazing assortment of oriental brocades I have ever seen in my life. Stunning colour combinations and delicately embroidered patterns. And that was just the beginning. Some of the stores carried fabrics I don't think I could even imagine without seeing them first.
Despite the selection, I wasn't able to find any cute cotton cupcake fabrics. The focus was more on the designer fabrics rather than quilting cottons I think. I did pick up a few different fabrics for a bag I'm planning to make though, so it was worth the trip.
I found my way back to the subway station with no problem, although in retrospect it would have been easier to catch a streetcar rather than walking, but I'm sure I'll have all of that figured out eventually. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and made a supper of teriyaki chicken, parmesan risotto and steamed asparagus just in time for when John came home.
We rested for an hour or two and he told me about his day, and then we headed to the liquor store on the way to the first party we've been invited to since we've been in the city. The cashier strongly tried to dissuade us from buying the Smirnoff pomegranate martini, but we went ahead and bought it anyway.
That actually reminds me of something I've noticed since we got here. The people here seem much friendlier to strangers than Haligonians are. More often than not, strangers in the apartment building will say hello, merchants in stores are chattier and strangers seem more willing to help each other out. John's theory on this is that Toronto is a city of non-natives so everyone wants to connect to everyone else in the city or can at least appreciate how all of the people new to the city feel. And because the city is so big, everyone's had to ask for directions now and again, so that opens the dialogue between strangers a little further.
But the cashier was right about the Smirnoff. It tasted like grenadine and vodka, not like pomegranate at all. But we drank it anyway.
The party was at Wanda and Bryan's new apartment. They are friends of one of John's dive buddies from Halifax and they had been visiting Halifax a couple of weeks ago and came to our going away beer tour which is where we met them. We took the subway all of the way to the end of the line to get there (takes about 40 minutes) and ran into another guest on the walk up to their building, so we found the place together. We ended up having a really nice time even though we didn't really know anyone. Like Cinderella though, we had to leave at midnight in order to get home before the transit stopped running.
We stumbled in and fell into our post drinking routine of water and bagels on the couch and then off to sleep.