Shoppers Drug Mart, Parliament and Carlton, 7:40pm
Sharkboy: (Depositing our purchase down on the checkout counter) “Hello there!”
Clerk: (Dead eyed, zombie-like) “Good evening.”
Sharkboy: “All ready for Halloween?”
Longish pause. No more response.
Sharkboy: “I’ll take that grunt as a ‘Yes’.”
On Saturday, SharkBoy and I had a dinner for my brother, The Professor, who was returning to England on Sunday. We made veggie chili with chocolate, in consideration of Emma, who I just learned last week has become meatless. Dumping a fist full of semi-sweet chips into chili may sound odd, but it brought out a “depth” to the taste as well as a dirty, naughty feeling. SharkBoy made a blazingly tasty salad and a somewhat mushy cheesecake pie, which we all decided was delish, but needed a few more hours in the fridge.
After dinner, we all retired to the media room for a rousing game of Guitar Hero, which the Professor sucked at (love him dearly, but you’d think of all those years at discos would give him more rhythm), and then on to Mario Cart, which he did exceedingly better at. See you again soon, Professor!
Sunday was the Zombie Walk 2008. After some scouring of dollar stores for props and cheap makeup, we came up with (cue theremin) Zombie Mechanics!! oooo! We didn’t want to rip up our original Halloween costumes so we chose this last minute switch. I think we did quite well, considering it was 90% improv on the day of makeup application. The Mailman joined us and found the day …interesting. When we got there there was the added surprise of a Cardboard Battle – two teams made of elaborate costumes made of only cardboard and duct tape battled each other for …supremacy? Bragging rights? Either way, some of them were pretty cool. One of the best costumes was a Tonka truck yellow, digger handed teddy bear, who fought like a trooper. With that going on, it was easy to see that the event had grown exponentially since last year. I think the Toronto Zombie Walk people need to consider they have a monster on their hands. A cheap $5 megaphone doesn’t convey much information to 1500 people. I bet there will be more organization next year because the cops were getting a pit pissed at the size of the crowd spilling out onto Queen Street.
Gallery of some zombies here… my camera’s batteries died half way through the day.
My first NB was interesting. With all the crowds and revelry it actually felt like Toronto did something cohesive and collective as a city. And it was fun discovering a shop window showing a video or a sculpture instead of the usual goods and services. People were exposed to challenging pieces that, yes did make you scratch your head and wonder WFT? But the fact that the art got so many people out of their house and into the streets was a clear sign of it’s success. So what if you laughed at a big blue swirly turd hanging over your head in the middle of the Eaton Centre? You’re there, you’re experiencing it and it got you thinking, even if it was to laugh or get angry or wonder where your ScotiaBank savings are going. Art wins. Suck that, Stephen “I hate the arts” Harper.
One thing that really got me down though, was seeing Cabbagetown’s contribution. Sad. The section of street that was blocked off was utterly empty. I think amount of artists (I counted 6 “artists”) were dwarfed by the space that they had available. And considering how “funky” C-town is suppose to be, with it’s great diversity of neighbourhoods to the north and south. It really could have been a lot more. When we returned after being in the downtown core, there was one woman reading quietly from her literature (two people on bikes paying any sort of attention), a big screen video showing Breathless (original French version), a log tee pee and a bunch of drunk yuppies joking how they should burn the tee pee down. The local Liberal campaign office was busy, of course. But that’s hardly art these days.
One milestone: I’ve never stepped foot inside Maple Leaf Gardens before in my life and I broke my sports history hymen by visiting the dueling rambling milk blobs. It’s a shame that building isnt being used for anything these days. Damn you Lowblaws!
Next year, I’ll treat it like Pride: have a nice pre-Blance dinner party, plan an attack (avoid anything “Zombie” or “fame”) and wander around loosely after that.
UPDATE: I guess all the good stuff was in Zone B. Goes to show you where all the creative types live.