Daniel Kligerman

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Archive for Places

Cold and Dark

The ice storm that hit Toronto on Friday and Saturday has left our house without power since Saturday night. It is now Monday night—the second we have not been able to sleep in our own beds. Of course, relative to the adversity that many people in the world face on a continual basis, our situation should be classified as an inconvenience, and nothing more. That said, being displaced from your home is an unsettling experience.

Speaking of unsettling, walking through the cold and dark house tonight, flashlight in hand, was eerie. It reminded me of the scene in Breaking Bad where Walt breaks in to his fenced-off, deserted house, finding it run down and vandalized. While our house is neither, it felt much less welcoming than usual; deep chills and shadows engulfing the spaces that are normally bustling with the commotion of everyday life.

On the bright side, our displacement has given us the opportunity to spend some wonderful time with friends and family, who have graciously taken us in. And the kids are having a blast; they are hoping the power stays out as long as possible, so the adventure can continue.

Ted Cole

Ted Cole, founder and director of Camp Walden for 35 years, passed away earlier this week, after losing a battle with leukaemia.  I spent many summers at Walden, and have many memories of that time.  What I associate most with Ted is the music of camp; nobody could lead a sing-along like Ted could.  To this day, those song are ingrained in my head–the words come to me easily, and the melodies evoke images of those long summers past.

One of my favourites, and one that Ted described as “One of the most beautiful and meaningful songs about growing up ever written”, is The Circle Game, by Joni Mitchell.  Good stuff.

How terrible to lose someone who was such a positive influence over so many generations of children.  His voice, though, sings on.

Cottage Life

With no set schedule, no commitments other than the lake and the paper, cottage life is the ultimate in unwinding and relaxation.  The natural beauty of the water, trees and horizon soothe the soul, and are in such stark contrast to the usual sights of the city that their effect never diminishes.

The cottage is truly a world unto itself, and it’s easy to understand why all of the prime cottage real estate close to the city has been snapped up, and resale prices are soaring.  In the ongoing balance between time and money, time of this quality rightly demands top dollar.

An environment as peaceful as this has the satisfying side-effect of allowing for more easily attained, more effective and longer-lasting focus.  The slower pace at which your eyes digest words on a page give your mind that extra moment it needs to add new depths of thought.  The end result is that just about anything seems within grasp, and it becomes impossible to understand how, or why, things might begin to speed up again, despite knowing that inevitably, you must return.

St. Lawrence Market

Toronto is home to one of the best 25 markets in the world (according to <a href=”http://foodandwine.com”>Food & Wine</a> magazine), the <a href=”http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/index.html”>St. Lawrence Market</a>.  On Saturdays, starting at 5am, there is a farmers’ market with a myriad of fresh food–and when I say fresh I mean minutes from the vine, recently been swimming, just finished its last swallow of hay fresh. And yes, if you’re a real food aficionado you will arrive soon after opening, to have your choice of the very best of the best.

The rest of the week, the south market is home to a slew of more permanent merchants, who also offer nothing but fresh, top quality goods.

<img src=”images/marketfood.jpg” height=200 width=250>

This morning we stopped by and picked up some wonderful recently-caught marlin steaks, home made sweet and smokey mustard, fresh kosher salt and black peppercorns, fresh dill, aromatic freshly roasted coffee, still-warm bagels and juicy peaches and strawberries.

Aside from the outstanding quality and significanly improved flavour of the market’s foods compared to those in your average supermarket, what I find most amazing is that in general the cost is no more than usual.  In some cases, because you’re buying in bulk and not in wasteful packaging, the cost is actually less.

Are you hungry yet?

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!

As I sit sipping my Tim Horton’s coffee, with the Hip and the Ladies in the background, reading the Globe and cooling a two-four of Alexander Keith’s for this afternoon, I am filled with a sense of appreciation for our great country.  Beyond the usual comparisons of how Canada is not the USA, Canada Day makes that intangible specialness of this country just a little more apparent.

Stratford

We spent the afternoon and evening on Saturday in Stratford. The town is small but quite nice, with lots of little shops and restaurants. After eating a tasty caramel apple and some very tasty chocolate, we shopped around and bought a few pieces of art for our house, all at reasonable prices. Four small pictures for the kitchen are of fat French chefs, and one for the living room is a print of the hebrew blessing said when you are called up to the Torah. All add a nice touch of personality to the house.

In the evening we saw Macbeth, which was excellent.  Fittingly, it was stormy and pouring rain, and the theatre even lost power until just before the performance started.  Luckily it came back on, or they would have only performed the first act.  The performance was very well done; acting, music, lighting and the interpretation were all top notch.  Especially good was the actress who played Lady Macbeth, who apparently also played Regan in King Lear on broadway with Christopher Plummer.

During the intermission, a number of big American ladies sitting behind us started commenting loudly about how they couldn’t understand what was going on, and how much they were not enjoying the performance.  I can imagine how if you havn’t been exposed to Shakespeare before, it would be difficult to comprehend the play, but they showed no sense of embarrassment and found it just fine to let everyone know how little they could comprehend, as if the rest of the audience would for some reason agree with them.  Quite amusing.

City Life

Going about our business yesterday, we happened to drive through China Town and Kensington Market, on the way to a downtown park where we met some friends while the dog had a good run. I think it’s wonderful to have such distinct, diverse environments available to us; in a small way, you can experience far-off countries minus the cost in time and money of travel. Need to make a point of getting out to these areas more often.