Sunday, August 3, 2014

T.O.R.O.N.T.O.

On the last leg of the Canada trip, we went to Toronto for a few days- a nice little road trip, complete with Tim Hortons coffee and timbits. We stayed at the gorgeous Gladstone Hotel, which is a boutique hotel located in the (half trendy/half seedy) Parkdale area. Each is designed by a local Toronto artist, and it doubles as an art gallery. Toronto is all about the art, there is street art everywhere and well, it's a good place to be.

I've always loved Toronto, but this time I just loved it even more. It's a very stylish city (no offense, Montreal), it's sizable, and there is lots happening with fashion, art and music. I have very good friends in Toronto, all of them whom I've met while living in Korea and Japan. It feels special to share this part of my life with my Canadian friends. I met up with Jaclyn and Kyle, who used to teach at the same school in Seoul and lived in the same building for that whole year- we share so many fun (and weird) memories, like those awful cockroach-infested apartments, religious mornings and lazy afternoons spent doing nothing at the school (in other words, FB stalking people back home).

I also met up with Rita, whom I met in Korea over our mutual love for Sonic Youth, Oprah and Vogue.  Anyone who can understand an obscure Sonic Youth reference is a keeper. And, of course, I met up with Japan Mike, who shared those lonely months with me in rural Japan and parties in Tokyo. Even though I had such limited time with each, it was great to catch up with them, and notice that nothing has changed- it still feels so comfortable and natural.

We ate, walked down Queen and Bloor streets, had drinks in Little Italy, saw the daytime and nighttime views of the CN tower, picnics in Trinity Bellwoods park (A REAL GREEN SPACE!), smoothies and salads at Bolt, drinks with a view, and some stocking up at Lululemon. I wish I had more time in Toronto, and once again, saying goodbye to my friends there was one of the most difficult things. This whole trip was great, to be surrounded with family and friends, after being so lonely in Japan for the past five years. Luckily I'm not as lonely as I used to be in Japan, I feel like I have a family there now and very close friendships, but it took a long time to get there. 

What else can I say- I LOVE TORONTO! I'd move there just for the street cars, huge Holt Renfrew and that smoothie place. Just kidding (not).

The Gladstone Hotel staircase

The Gladstone Hotel- our room


Strolling

Roadtrip stop in Bainsville, Ontario

Getting in T.O.

Pimped up CN Tower

It ain't the Sky Tree

Fig croissants from Clafouti

The most stylish baby I've ever met

Massaged kale salad at Bolt- YES

Trinity Bellwoods Park - the best! A REAL PARK

Seoul, Montreal, Marugame, Osaka, Toronto!!!!

The best tattoo shop in TO!! Owned by my friends!!

3am poutine and nachos at Sneaky Dee's

I love the streetcars! 

Vogue spread for the September issue?

Sushi street art

Have you changed?

Wine and cherries with the boyz

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