14 September 2009
'Big Gay Breakfast' 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.