I hate to admit it, but I do love browsing and window shopping. That’s not to say that I love spending money, I just love going out and enjoying all the beautiful things that people (or manufacturers have made). I appreciate all things made by man or nature. That being said, I was jonesing for some bargain hunting.
So what we did was to take the TTC Bloor-Danforth line, and got off at Bathurst. Right there at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst is the king of all bargain outlets in Toronto, Honest Ed’s. I don’t know how they pay the electricity bills, there are so many lights on the place. I’ve never been inside in all these years, except driving by on my way downtown with some friends. We’d always drive by it at 2am on the way home, and yet again I wondered what it would be like inside. To be humbled by all the stuff they have there is an understatement. We found some great bargains and lingered there for a while. We almost bought more than we could carry, that’s how good the bargains are. Honest Ed Mirvish is a real Toronto icon and he was known for his generosity (he died in July 2007 at the age of ninety-two). He did stuff like buy a thousand turkeys and give them to the poor at Christmas or Thanksgiving, which I find quite honorable. It sure is a place worth visiting.
We walked west to Koreatown and found the place my friend recommended. It is called Buksangdongsoon Tofu, which she found to be a confusing name. “Buksangdongsoon” is Korean and “Tofu” is Japanese, so it seems that that restaurant is having an Asian identity crisis. Nonetheless, I will soon have seen why my friend recommended it in a minute. The first thing I noticed was that the menu was extremely limited, with under ten things to choose from. I supposed that that means that they do a few things well. Better than a lot of things poorly, I thought. However, to make up for the short menu list, everything there is just under 10 bucks. Not bad, eh? Anyway, I had the kimchi beef and it was finger licking, spoon slurping good. I would recommend the place for anyone who wants a meal that is easy on the purse or wallet, and good for a cold day.
After lunch we wandered east on Bloor Street, looking in all the fancy shops, but I’m happy to report that I didn’t pick up more stuff. When we got to St. George Street, we cut south a bit and walked east again, going through the University of Toronto campus. I remember walking through here on one of my other trips and it’s so nice to be able to walk directly through a university campus and enjoy the fact that there are so many intelligent minds gathered in this area. Additionally, there are lots of nice old buildings and you get to walk through Queen’s Park and see all the rugged old trees and playful squirrels. Keep going and you get to the Royal Ontario Museum and the Planetarium, which has great laser shows, so I’ve heard. If you keep going further, across University Avenue, you get to Victoria College, which is featured in the film “Anne of Green Gables”.
Just so you know, the walk through the campus is breathtaking, and was preferable to a parallel walk along Bloor. Anyway, when we got to Bay Street we headed north until we got to Yorkville, which is famous for being the wealthiest shopping area in Toronto. I’ve been in there for many times when I was too bone chilled to walk around anymore. Even if you don’t have much money to spend, it’s well worth walking inside just to warm up. Though, I don’t recommend going during holiday season because you might get run over. Seriously.
We took the subway east, then a taxi north, to get to our next destination, a restaurant called . It had a fancy atmosphere and I felt as though I should have worn a nice cocktail dress or something to that effect. Right away I got into a conversation with the waitress, who told me that the restaurant, which is family-owned, has been there for thirty-eight years. It is allegedly the first Middle Eastern restaurant in Toronto. Not too shabby, eh? These are the places I really love to cherish and support.
Anyway, I started out with the hummus and my friend had the tabbouleh. We sampled each other’s and we agreed that both were fresh and tasty. The main course was also good—I had chicken shishtawoo. But the piece de resistance was about to happen – belly dancing!
Belly dancing is exotic and entertaining. The costumes are always stunning, though heavily beaded with gems, rhinestones and beads. One of the ladies reminded me of Mesmera, a belly dancer instructor I took lessons from in L.A. Though she is in her sixties, she dances like she is in her twenties. In case you are interested, she can be contacted at www.mesmera.com. What a great way to end off the evening it was!