Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the better way.

the best way to get around toronto is by bicycle.

this is a concept of which i have been advocate, proponent, and die hard idiot since it dawned on me a decade ago. i started my time in toronto in a shared residence room at U of T's whitney hall. a beautiful old building full of beautiful young people with high graduating averages and low alcohol tolerances. alas, what a difference an academic year can make...

but that's beside the [point].

the point: my consciousness of toronto was nucleic from the beginning, and only spread outward in atomic, then molecular, and finally viral awareness with the passage of time, the gaining of maturity, and the biannual event of moving. i hated moving. the two good things about moving: i got to discover a new part of the city and thereby come into a new perspective, and, i was forced to do away with a whole lot of unnecessary crap (figuratively and very literally). in four years, i moved from 'center of town' to 'way out in the east end'. i couldn't have done better. i got out of my shared room down the hall from gorgeous and previously-engaged women with whom i had to share the floor bathroom. i started to like my former roommate. i switched out of the ridiculousness of life sci./pre-med and got into things that really matter: visual arts and english. i stopped living on a victor ng lease (woah.). i built my own room, installed my own kitchen, lived under 11 1/2' ceilings, and rode my bike to and from school, a whopping 15 minute commute. it changed everything. school was just one part of a much bigger picture, and my bike was my means to all parts of that big picture.

riding was faster, more direct, more dependable, more efficient, cooler, cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and it made me happier. there is nothing that defragments my mind better than a good, solid ride home. 

the ride home today was only after two whole trips to the heart of downtown in what was (thankfully) not at all rush hour. i rode the subway. twice. i walked up and down steps and escalators and stood and sweated in my down jacket, hanging on for dear life to greasy rails and wondering just what that man put in his hair to give it that texture and aroma and how much of it will come off on the window against which he's sleeping before he slides far enough to wake up. the subway, apparently, is the better way. and it cost me more than my lunch to ride it today.


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