June 15th, 2009

Nice places to read

It’s Toronto-only, plus there’s a definite centre-North skew here, but I thought I’d get it started and hope that others would chip in…anyone?

–Third floor library, window seat (feet on radiator), Hart House, University of Toronto.

–Tiny parkette (three benches plus tree; possibly owned by apartment building), Shepherd just east of Yonge, north side; on benches only (no grass).

Tequila Bookroom rooftop patio (or anywhere else in that restaurant, really).

Swiss Chalet, any. Bustling enough that one conversation doesn’t take over, friendly yet impersonal, and you can stay for hours without a murmur from staff. Especially good if you *have* to read something for work or school.

–Front Street median, just in front of Union Station. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, but probably not good for serious Proustian reads, either.

Queen’s Park, northern edge (above Parliament), lying on grass under trees. Benches available but pointless; grass is best.

Starbucks on Yonge just south of Lawrence, west side. Some people hate Starbucks, I know, but if you don’t, this is the best one, in my opinion. Leather chair by the fireplace (!) is big enough for me plus laptop, notes, several books, plus (sealed) cup.

–Departures lounge, Pearson Airport. Again, bustle drowns out individual conversations, plus Zen feeling of adventure-about-to-begin makes for good reading headspace. Chairs reasonably confortable, floor not bad.

–Desks near children’s area, Northern District Library. Window seats are better for heavy reading, couchs near entry good also (but if you put your feet anywhere near the [vinyl!] upholstry, you risk humiliating reprimand).

–As far from computers as possible, Sanderson Library. Outside the library works too, in a pinch (this is the noisiest library ever; I find that inspiring).

Futures Bakery patio. Indoors is a bit dark and, I find, slightly damp, but certainly congenial enough on rainy/winter days.

–Grass or benches by Philosopher’s Walk. Benches: any; grass: especially on the east side.

–The 34 bus. Any window seat behind the back doors, particularly the second row on the right.

–The blue chair under my living room window, curled up in a ball. Special permission needed for this one.

Then the bridge disappears / and I’m standing on air

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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