Pictures and observations from Monday’s visit to the Center of the Universe:
1. On this occasion, rather than take the usual #12 bus to Burlington and transfer to a Lakeshore West train, I took advantage of the special holiday express train running between Niagara Falls and Union Station. Unfortunately, had I not been fortunate enough to get a ride to the train station, I would not have been able to take this train as St. Catharines Transit buses, as per their normal holiday schedule, don’t start running until after 11:00 am. Since this train comes through St. Catharines so infrequently, couldn’t they have made an exception and run a couple of shuttle buses to the station? After all, what is the point of having this great public transit service if you can’t get to the station by public transit?
This is exactly why I’m not one of those people eagerly anticipating the promised arrival of regular GO train service to St. Catharines. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’s some planning going on behind the scenes for new and/or improved service to the station, but as things currently stand with St. Catharines Transit, when the buses are actually running, it would take me longer to get to the station than it would for the train to get to Burlington. Not a big win in my books.
2. Parking fail at the train station:
3. Scenes around our humble station:
4. Spotted this sign for a cannabis company at the Exhibition station, an unfriendly reminder that the legalization of weed is only days away.
5. Bums passed out inside Union Station:
6. Also at Union Station, a woman clutches her teddy bear outside the washroom:
7. As a long-lost friend of mine would say, “no visuals please.”
8. We all need our “proten” :
9. Dear Black Guy Pissing in the Alley: I realize many local restaurants only offer washrooms to paying customers, but just a block away was the Dragon City Mall as well as nearby Chinatown Center, both of which were open on the holiday Monday and have public washrooms. Consider using them before grumbling at passers-by who give you a dirty look.
10. Inside Chinatown Center was the familiar and sometimes overpowering odor of recently applied rodent-killing chemicals. It was the same smell, incidentally, that reeked throughout the mall in Brampton I was at with a friend back in April.
11. A nail place for gays?
12. This “Hello Kitty” sign struck this Jets fan, who remembers the “Hey Kitty” game in December 1985 all too well. For those who may have forgotten, trailing the play behind Randy Carlyle, Bernie Nicholls of the Kings called out to Carlyle using his nickname. After hearing “Hey, Kitty,” Carlyle obliged by feeding Nicholls a perfect drop pass. From my vantage point up in section 44, I had a bird’s-eye view as Nicholls then went in alone and potted one past Daniel Bouchard.
13. Someone with boxing gloves on the top of her backpack. Spoiling for a fight perhaps?
14. Walking southbound though along Spadina, a Muslim woman walking alongside her husband grumbled angrily after having to submit to the indignity of getting out of my way. Excuuuuse me for being there.
15. As they say in Texas, El Paso …
16. Did someone just assume the city’s gender? And shouldn’t it be Ms. Toronto instead of Miss Toronto?
17. Stress testing the railings?
18. More political incorrectness on display. What is this world coming to?
19. What is “klezmer” and why do I need to be worried about it?
20. Spotted on Queen’s Quay were a pair of homeless bums who apparently don’t have the means to put a roof over their heads, but do have the means to support a pair of dogs.
Later, I spotted another homeless guy camped out under the Gardiner who again didn’t have the means to put a roof over his head, but did have the money for a bike better than mine and to also support a dog.
21. Across from Union Station on Bay Street was this “starving writer” parked on the street begging for money. I know as well as anyone how tough it is to break in as a writer, but that’s why you need another occupation to pay the bills. For every “star” author that hits it big, there are thousands who don’t make a dime off of it. Bottom line: Do it because you love it, not for fame and fortune.
22. While waiting under a big digital sign at Union Station indicating that it was platform 5, a woman asked the guy standing behind me if this was indeed platform 5.
23. Just put up your feet on the seat.
24. While in line at the washroom in Burlington, I noticed that someone who was in one of the two stalls had left his suitcase unattended by the entrance. How trusting of him.
25. Boarding the #12 bus in front of me at Burlington were a couple of Middle Eastern guys giving the driver a sob story about having gone the wrong way and conveniently having thrown away their receipt. I understand why the driver let them board rather than risk a confrontation and/or be accused of racism, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
25a. The aforementioned freeloaders remind me of a case at our photo club, where one guy keeps showing up and feels very much entitled to enjoy the benefit of club membership without paying for it. Then the executive who say nothing to him complain about declining revenues and membership.
25b. Sometimes people are too polite for their own good.
26. Soon after taking one of the last available seats on the bus, a guy sat down in front of me who had a distinct odor of shit that hung in the air all the way back to St. Catharines. The niceties of public transit.
27. The mother of a young boy seated across the aisle who got on at Nash and Barton was complaining that her phone had been acting up ever since she dropped it in the toilet. I understand that accidents happen, but why was she taking it with her to the toilet in the first place?
28. Free clothing left outside the LCBO at Fairview Mall:
29. Did this mean that regular gas was free?
30. For more pictures on the day, check my album on Facebook.