Monday, June 23, 2008

escape route

Let me state at the outset: I support the idea of a gay pride weekend. I used to participate. But I think it has become way too large.

Nearly 10 years ago, I moved to Church/Wellesley, thinking it would be great to be in the middle of it all &mdash including pride weekend.

The novelty wore off. I live at Pride Ground Zero; I'll own that. I have choices: I can participate, I can leave the city for the weekend, or I can move.

However, the letter sent to me by Pride Toronto made me chuckle. It's well-intentioned, and it's great to provide street closure information to the community. But there is some language that, to me, conjures up images of stress, combat, and violence.

It talks about traveling "the gauntlet of Church Street". Like running the gauntlet. Funny... that's exactly what a crushing crowd seems like to me if I'm not under the influence of intoxicants!

And there's a reference to passing "through the crosshairs of Church & Wellesley". Crosshairs! As in the telescopic sights of a gun!

Finally, it outlines plans for an "escape route" in case local residents need to arrive or depart by car.

This does not sound enjoyable. Not in the least.

Monday, June 09, 2008


I've come to the conclusion that people who enjoy hot, humid weather are part reptile. Please allow me to explain...

If you were on the southbound 6 Bay bus at 8:40 this morning, I was the guy in the aviators (wearing a shirt & tie) with rivulets of perspiration flowing down his forehead, nose, earlobes, and neck. I'm sorry. I was clean, and I was wearing anti-perspirant... but it was stuffy as Hell in the back of that bus, and for some reason, most of the windows were closed. The relative humidity this morning was well into the 60% range, and it was already near 30°C with the humidex.

(The bus was one of the old GM "fishbowls"... no air conditioning.)

I had grabbed the only available seat, next to a non-opening rear window.

I stared at a girl sitting in the back corner of the bus &mdash next to one of the closed windows &mdash and I couldn't figure out how she was surviving. Other people were starting to open windows, but the bus was stuck in traffic and there was no air flow. This girl just sat in the baking sun and stifling air, completely unaffected. In other words, like a lizard sunning herself on a rock.

(Making the ride even more torturous was the person next to me with an iPod, listening to some sort of caterwauling that I can only presume was Jordin Sparks.)

Luckily, I caught an air-conditioned 97 Yonge bus home. I saw more lizards at Yonge-Dundas Square, where a cosmetics company was touching up people's makeup for the Luminato festival. I laughed out loud: where would you start? The frizzy hair, or the makeup sliding down people's faces in the muggy late afternoon heat?

These people should be studied.