The home base for “Erin’s Pub” has relocated to a very colourful neighbourhood.

I find myself far from my parent’s 1890s farmhouse in gentle, pastoral Stanhope, PEI. I have gone from having very few neighbours to having about 600 just in the one apartment building. I am now sitting in my new home on the 17th floor of this building in North York, on the very edge of Toronto . . . they call this neighbourhood “Little Russia” and, indeed, I mostly hear Russian and Yiddish on the streets.

There is too much to get into much detail about the past few days of moving and relocating, so I’ll keep it simple with a few point-form first impressions:

** I got my life crammed into four suitcases and three carry-on bags. More or less. I never thought I had much in the way of material possessions until lately! Alas, the books are mostly still in my old bedroom until the next time I am in the area.

** When we arrived at Pearson, I had a small map on hand in case I had to explain the exact location of the apartment building to a cab driver (in case there was a language issue, as well). Instead, our driver knew the area well — in fact, he had lived in the very same apartment building. So the map became redundant.

** I am so happy to be here — especially with my new roomie đŸ˜‰

** Our first culinary adventure, with my parents the night we arrived, was at a small Vietnamese restaurant in a strip mall near their motel (Good Friday is a difficult time to find much open). I think they only had one cook, because they brought each of our entrees out one at a time with lots of staggering delay — by the time my poor mother got hers, I was done. I definitely want to try a good restaurant for Vitenamese food soon! The service sucked.

** Saturday was a brilliant day — the weather was very warm without suffocating, and it was lovely to see many flowers out. It was a day to explore parts of Downtown Toronto. We went to the ROM, and then we strolled down Spadina, past U of T spots like Trinity College, browsed Kensington Market (fun area — we got bamboo windchimes for our porch, my parents got us a set of painted and ornate chopsticks, and I found two light and funky skirts for when the weather gets warmer), and went past Chinatown until we hit Queen Street. Later, looking at a map, it was stunning to see how what we had explored was but a fraction of the city.

** we did go to Moonbeam Coffee Company and Cafe in Kensignton Market, and I had the strongest coffee that I have ever enjoyed. I loved it! The back deck and yard has a couple of porch swings. I will be returning.

** One of the breakfast/bagel bakery places in our neighbourhood is closed for all of Passover, and the other one (“Bagel World”) is not serving bagels — either Matzah or Matzah-bagels. I really liked the matzah-bagels though for the lightness of them. Matzah itself reminds me of unsalted saltine crackers.

** Yesterday, Mike and I waited an hour for a bus back home after seeing my parents off. It was Easter, but we saw other buses working other routes and even the opposite one.

I think that covers the unusual or interesting bits. Oh, we saw an older woman the other evening wearing a Zellers grocery bag over her head — I want to know how common that is, as only we seemed to notice! The people watching is excellent here!

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