Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy 2012!

My goodness where has the time gone? 

It is a new year already and winter has finally arrived! A dusting of snow fell on Christmas Day in the late afternoon and a couple of days later this was the scene outside my front door at bedtime. It made me think of one of those Christmas cards with the crystal sprinkles. The next morning the snow had just about doubled in depth but was soon melting away again.

Just before New Years we attended a matinee with the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I wasn't sure what to expect as someone told they were a 'heavy metal band' not my normal taste in music. 
I just knew that I loved their version of the "Carol of the Bells". The performance was at the Air Canada Centre (home of the Maple Leafs hockey team) in downtown Toronto  and our seats were on floor level, just to the right of centre ice if we were attending a Leafs' hockey game, row 21 - pretty close to the stage! 

This photo is our pre-show view of the stage and some of the stage set that was suspended from the ceiling. The blue 'gear' which looked like jaws of an alien ship (at the bottom of the photo) rose to the ceiling to fit into the big 'V's'. At a couple of points in the show the big "Y" was lowered and the tail angled down to the stage so the band or singers could hop on board to sing and dance above us!

As with all bands today there were lasers and pyrotechnics and lots of loud, great music. What I loved was that their string section while performing in Toronto was from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra! The TSO performing with the TSO. Can  you tell I loved the whole show?  

We decided to make a night of it and stayed at "Victoria's Mansion", a guest house at 68 Gloucester St. I lived in a house right across the street when I first went to Toronto to go to Ryerson. How the neighbourhood has changed! I didn't recognize my old street - everything has been fixed up and it has become quite a desirable area. And good old Maple Leaf Gardens that I walked past every day to go to class is now a grocery store and sports facility owned by Ryerson!! 

We found a really trendy looking restaurant just a block from the Mansion called The Brown Stone Bistro & Bar, another reclaimed older building with exposed brick walls and huge windows looking out onto the street. It was packed with people so it looked like a good bet for dinner and we were definitely not disappointed.

This was our room - the brick arch had been taken into the room from what would have been an upper level balcony. There was even a tiny frig, kettle, microwave and dishes for a quick breakfast or late night snack. The room rates were really good for downtown TO and we parked in their lot overnight for $10.00!! We were just two blocks north of Wellesley subway station and about 15 minutes walk from Yorkville and all the wonderful shops and restaurants.

I want to go back for my birthday to walk the old neigbourhood, Bloor Street, the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Textile Museum, The Bata Shoe Museum  and and The ROM - if my feet will take it.....

So until next time keep stitching!!!