Friends ask me all the time if I miss living in Toronto. Like most things in life, my answers are somewhat ambiguous.
I don’t miss paying as much for a one bedroom apartment with no yard or parking as I now pay for a 4 bedroom house with a pool on six acres. I don’t miss having to drive 15 minutes just to get to a park where I can let the dogs run safely off leash. I so don’t miss the traffic, or the parking tickets. I don’t miss the endless block looping you do when trying to find a parking spot in the Beaches on a Saturday morning. I don’t miss the Gardiner Expressway. I don’t miss aggressive panhandlers.
But the restaurants… oh, how I miss the restaurants. Not necessarily the fancier, upscale restaurants either – we have our share of those within driving distance of me now, including the world famous Eigensinn Farm, and the less famous but still fun Ted’s Diner . No, what I miss are the ethnic foods.
Chinese (real Chinese, mind you – not that sugary crap that passes as Chinese food in the rest of the world). Thai. Middle Eastern. Vegetarian East Indian. Halal East Indian. West Indian. Caribbean. Ethiopian.
I just spend three days back in Toronto, and within four blocks of my hotel I was able to eat Dim Sum, middle eastern, superb Thai, mouth meltingly hot Jerk Chicken, Korean subs, Japanese and Chinese BBQ. Never once did I spend more than $15 on a meal. Usually, I spend less than $10.
French Bulldogs are sort of like these restaurants (even if this might initially seem like the world’s most labored analogy).
Not for us the subtle nuances of Golden Retriever coat colors – shades and shadings of Gold, hotly contested by breeders and aficionados, to be sure, but still virtually indistinguishable to the casual observer. Not for us the slight choice between Chocolate and Black of the Labrador.
No, Frenchies come in a feast of spicy flavors. Brick red fawns, with sharply marked masks that make their expressions seem fierce. Sweet creams, with limpid eyes and appearances of softness. Deep brindles, from jet black to vividly striped layers of orange and black. Silvery fawns with pale masks. Pieds, in all colors and with markings from heavy to barely freckled. Even the forbidden or disqualifying colors have their charms – the steely blues and striking black and tans.
All of this variety, and right at our fingertips – sort of like living in a neighborhood with dozens of great restaurants all within walking distance.
See? I told you I’d tie this all together eventually.
Go here to see my page on color in French Bulldogs.