Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Don't Just See The Sights

Travel writers often have an interesting time because they have to build their trips around a theme - more memorable than just seeing the sights. Give it a try on your next trip. Even a few days can yield some unusual experiences.

I had a good trip to Canada a few years back on the theme of "Toronto and Film." The city has a surprisingly fantastical side, and my memories are also strangely fascinating. It was winter and everywhere was deep in snow. One night I battled through the dark whiteness to watch silent movies in an echoing bike workshop, where a man in a top hat played on a piano wheeled out from somewhere amongst the cranksets.

I had a strange conversation wtih Reg Hartt, whose Cineforum is a Victorian house with boarded up windows on Bathurst St, with surrealist 16mm movies and free pizza.

I ate in a restaurant to streams of bizarre, ancient television advertisements on screens all round the room - and those 1950s Japanese washing powder ads were accompanied some pretty passable salads.

Of course I talked to everyone I could. Hearing about their lives plugged me into the life of the city, and it would never have happened if I'd only come to see the "sights".

1 comment:

  1. Did you know Reg may have to close down. I think his landlord wants the Bathurst house back.


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