Monday 14th September 2009. Chicago. Day off.
By the time we got from Chicago to Toronto last night, driven to the hotel and got our bags, with the time-change it was nearly 5am. I was a shell of a human and annoyingly didn't sleep terribly well (I'd hoped that going out and blowing my brains out on Saturday night would have kicked the jet-lag but apparently I'm still messed up. Or maybe I am over the jet-lag, but I'm just messed up anyway).
I eventually got up about noon feeling not unlike I'd been hit by a truck. It was a blistering day outside, so I thought I'd risk mingling with civilians. I was craving breakfast, but by the time I'd got my shit together it must have been 2pm so I knew options would be limited. Tom called just after I'd left the hotel, so we said we'd find each other. I described where I'd headed but looking at a map realised that I'd headed in the opposite direction to what I'd intended (are we seeing a pattern here?)
Via the wonders of cellphones we found each other and Tom concurred that the search for brekky was on. We walked a while but it seemed that the full egg package was going to be a stretch, so Tom said perhaps he'd settle for quiche, if we could p'raps find a Frenchy sort of place. With every step the bar was lowered til we got to thinking that maybe a club sandwich would be in the frame. To further complicate our task, we're in the middle of the Toronto Film Festival here and so everywhere is packed. The white table-clothed pavement cafes were overflowing with style and ambition, with florid menu offerings almost on a par with David Sedaris' unforgettable 'knuckle of flash-seared crappie served with a collar of chided ginger.'
I put my mind to it, thinking there must be places still doing breakfast at 3pm. Who gets up late and needs breakfast? Artists?... certainly. Clergy?... possibly. Gay people?...for sure!! I remembered from a month of rehearsals with the Rolling Stones that (ironically) the street adjacent to the loading dock of the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens forms the cusp of a gay neighbourhood, so we walked in that direction till we spotted rainbow flags in the distance. Outside the first cafe we came to was a sign saying 'Lunch Specials, Omelettes, Eggs Benedict, Breakfast til 4pm.' God bless stereotyping, that's all I have to say.
Our Big Gay Breakfast turned out to be spectacularly good, with generous portions, home-made hollandaise, freshly baked bread, unrequested sides of fresh fruit and the like. We had a table by the open window, sun streaming in, and talked about life, the universe and everything for an hour or two. On departure we went our separate ways and I ended up taking an extended walk through Toronto. I was still pretty dazed but it was a beautiful day and eventually I found myself in the very lovely Queens Park. Nice city this.
En route back to the hotel I passed the Museum of Ontario which is currently displaying the Dead Seas Scrolls, so I felt that it would be rude not to pop in. Unfortunately the scroll exhibit was closed today due to their being at the dry cleaners or something, but I did catch a film installation that featured Isabella Rossellini talking about vaginas whilst dressed as an anchovy and a large chart illustrating animal penis types. I kid you not. I bet the Dead Seas Scrolls wouldn't have had any of that mullarkey, although having said that, parts of Leviticus do get pretty out there, so you never know.