Saturday, June 9, 2007

Where we're reading now...

Sometimes we get so caught up in exploring new places that we forget to appreciate what's in our own backyard. For the last two months I've been so busy being on the road, I decided this sunny Saturday to leisurely walk around my own vibrant city - book in hand of course - and visit some new sites. First stop was down by the lake to check out Toronto's newest "beach". Okay, so it' s more like an adult sandbox, but there are these huge yellow umbrellas at regular intervals offering ample shade and since there's always a nice breeze off of the water, it's the perfect place to plunk down in the sand (or in one of the many deck chairs on hand) and read. The view is lovely and while it's hardly the French Riveria, at least one can momentarily forget about the wall of high-rise condominiums behind this beach, hiding the lake view from practically any other spot in Toronto.
I'm currently finishing up Mary McCarthy's Charmed Life about a group of pretentious, irresponsible, melodramatic, would-be artists in a small rural New England community and a woman who has just returned with her latest husband and is thrown into the company of her former husband. These characters are thoroughly detestable and I'm loving this novel as I do most of McCarthy's work. Not only is it extremely funny, but McCarthy never shies away from intellectual discussions in her work, completely at ease with having her characters sit around and discuss the differences between Racine and Corneille or the story of Berenice versus Dido with a little bit of Hamlet thrown in. Just marvellously entertaining stuff.

Next it was off to check out the new flagship store of Umbra, a Canadian design company known primarily for its distinctive trash cans and innovative picture frames. Their products have been available in houseware stores across the country, but now they've opened their own two story emporium to showcase their full line of items - they have everything from sheets to furniture to interactive clothing (one t-shirt comes complete with a needle and thread attached, to connect the various dots on the shirt). It's also partly an art gallery as well. Located on John St. just north of Queen. You can hardly miss it.

Perfect store decor for a Dewey Diva isn't it? God, I love this city!

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