January 17th, 2010

forums, me, non blog

[FORUM] What would you like to be, even though it might not be good for you?

Right now, I'm in the cafe area on the first floor of Toronto's Gladstone Hotel, located at the corner of Queen Street West and Gladstone (just east of Dufferin), enjoying my coffee ($1.99, free refills) alongside the two halves of my toasted baguette which come along with what tastes like candied peach preserves.

Queen Street West has been an axis for hipster Toronto for at least the past three decades, and the Parkdale district where I'm sitting is the current hotspot, praised by artists and condo developers and new urbanists all. The Gladstone, obviously, has free WiFi; it also sells "local food" and "sustainable food" and "fair trade food," with talk of supporting "local microeconomies," all of it very good but still. The people sitting around me tend towards the hipster look, wearing berets unirionically or Toronto Maple Leafs baseball caps ironically (I presume), wearing plain T-shirts or T-shirts emblazoned with tings like Joy Division album covers, wearing hoodies and layering sweaters on top of collared shirts. The room where I'm sitting is walled with exposed brick, some of it covered by tapestries made of squares sewn together, white threads out, with a well-polished bar accompanied by black leather-topped stools and somewhat more rickety chairs and tables made of the same substance. The music played somewhat loudly isn't much different from what the Thievery Corporation might come up with. I am in a cool room filled with cool people in a cool neighbourhood in a cool city, and oh, I'd love to get inside these networks.

This is Toronto hipsterdom's Ground Zero. All of this is pretentious, I know, expensive, maybe not the kind of environment I'd tired of quickly if I was somehow able to join it. But still, I'd love to become a Toronto hipster. Penetrating the mysteries of this distinctive community would be fun, besides.

What identity would you like to take on that might not be very good for you but would be fun anyway?

Discuss.
forums, me, non blog

[FORUM] What have you become, much to your surprise?

A decade ago, I didn't imagine that I'd live in Toronto, or anywhere outside the old parental bungalow. Three years ago, I wouldn't have imagined that I'd become as interested in photography as I am now. A year ago, I wouldn't have imagined that, when I was cooking at home, I'd cook only fish, not read meat.

What do you do now that would have surprised an earlier iteration of you?

Discuss.