Friday, February 25, 2022

Inca Hoots

Studying anthropology was the best part about early adulthood. Everything I learned was an exotic one-eighty from my daily ration of Bambi bread. But initially, I jumped into it with the same cray-cray-chutzpah that my younger self reserved for piracy. Just as my seamstress mom enabled my swashbuckling wardrobe, Windsor’s Casa Chavela transformed my tiny bedroom into a Rider Haggard-Indiana Jones-Nabob Coffee Commercial pastiche of serapes, wind chimes, carved figurines and not-safe-for-food decorative ceramics. Thankfully, my limited disposable income and nagging sense of cultural appropriation put a stop to it, as I was one El Condor Pasa away from loco.
Inspired by Transit Life List. Photo, All that's Left, by L. Leclair.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Transit Life List

The subway brims with exoticathough you must be vigilant as a birder in a wetland to find it. Once, at rush hour, I spotted George Chuvalo on my car. He stood swaying, clutching a thin strap in a fist like a ham. He’d gone the distance with Ali, and nobody recognized him. Another time, early evening, few around, former PM John Turner sat down across from me at King, nodded agreeably, and opened his paper. No security, nada. Then there was the famous theatre actress who looked up, met my eye, and smiled. Fan-boy that I was, I blushed.

Inspired by The escalators at Henri-Bourassa. Image by Graeme Roy, The Canadian Press.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The escalators at Henri-Bourassa

Early ’70s, two little girls, Lianne and I, gleefully take the Metro downtown to La Ronde. Mom has no car. Heart skips a beat when I jump the gap to land on the first step of the long escalator at Henri-Bourassa station, taking us down and down and down. At the bottom, we press the button on the machine too many times, watch the paper transfers spew out, collect them, stuff them in our pockets, wait for Mom still riding the escalator, look up and see her—cat’s eye glasses, dark curls around her shoulders. How young she was.
Inspired by Dundas. Image of the Henri-Bourassa Station escalators by André Querry.

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