Something New - Arina
I really enjoyed the adventure to Church and Wellesley. Everything was very colorful than most places. There were sparkly decorations and every thing was very sexual, like a them party, but I guess when you go into such area people in the area want t show that they are different. The streets were pretty clean. I was really shocked by the niceness and friendliness of every one there. Everywhere I went, it looked like people are try way to hard to be nice, but after a while i realized that every one is just really nice there. Nicer then any where else i've ever been. The owener of the book store was very polite and friendly he kept on asking me if i need help and if this was my first time looking for a lesbian fiction. At the beginning i was very uncomfortable with the whole thing but after a while i got the hang of their life style and i was okey with every thing. I went into the clothing store and almost everything in it was neon. The man working there was telling me how it's the new fashion and how very exciting it is. At the sex shop the man was very knowledgeable, he walked around with me and told me everything about everything in the store. I have noticed that there are much more men in the area than women. I saw some women in the restaurant (I'm still not sure if they were actually all women) but mostly every when you look, you would see men. In the restaurant they were playing dance and disco music. I guess the music make people happy. It certainly worked on me. The only time i felt alittle bit uncomfortable was when I was in the restaurant and cross dressers were sitting next to me. I am judging and I really don't think much about it, it's just makes me uncomfortably.
Hindsight thoughts on our adventure -Jess
I really enjoyed our day visiting Church and Wellesley. I think what I found the most enjoyable of the whole experience was how increadibly friendly and helpful everyone was. More so then most places I've been. Everywhere we went people went out of their way to be nice and chatty. The man working in the bookstore took me around and showed me his favorite writers as well as the most popular lesbian fiction on the market. He had the cutest little "Frasier" dog that was always tearing at the carpet and chewing on a penis shaped dog bone. The men working at the Second Cup were very friendly and recommended their favorite treats to my friend who came with us. We went into a clothing store and chatted with the man working there about the fashion renewal of neon and how exciting it was. The man at the sex shop was very insightful and open to talking about the many toys they had displayed on the walls of the shop. One thing that I noticed was that it was an area mainly populated by men. But, as we were commenting on this while sitting at Zelda's, a whole troop of women passed the window to prove us wrong. There was overtly sexual content everywhere in the gay district, but that makes sense because the gay community is defined by it's sexuality. I found that we were opened up in our conversations and I felt more comfortable discussing sex than I usually do. I found that there was an effort made to make the area look clean and slighlty upscale and artsy. Everyhing was more colorful than most places. There were lots of sparkly decorations in the restaurant.
I didnt find there to be many distinct smells except maybe of coffee, beer and thai food.
We went during the day so the place wasnt very busy and the nighttime fun hadn't yet begun but everywhere we went (except for the bookstore) they were playing disco. It created a certain energy that made me kind of hyper.
The food was mostly traditional pubfare with nachos and shepards pie, and the coffee shops on the street are Second Cup and Starbucks and look and serve the same things as anywhere else except the Starbucks had plants and leather couches.
I felt very comfortable on Church St. I have gone into this area of the city on several occasions and have always had a great time. I enjoy the fact that it's an area that allows people of the same sex to be in love and show affection without concern. The only thing that made me feel a bit uncomfortable was the sex shop but I generally feel uncomfortable in those places wether gay or straight. I was also a bit taken aback by the transexuals. I've never really seen transexuals before and wasnt sure what to make of them. I kept thinking how hard it must be to feel you've been born the wrong sex. But maybe they dont feel that way, I dont know. I definately will go back to visit again and again in this district of Toronto. I have gone to the Pride parade on Church St. for 2 years now and it's a lot of fun.
Yesterday was great. I was surprised though. EVERYTHING was so sexualized, but I guess when you go to an area where people define themselves through their sexuality, that is going to be the outcome. It was such a freeing feeling. For example, while we were sitting in Zelda's we all were really open when talking about our sexuality and previous sexual experience. Nothing seemed forced or awkward.
In every store we went into, people were so chatty and friendly, another thing I wasn't used to. Around where I live, I am used to walking into stores with my head down and no one giving a damn about you. The people we met were so genuine and wonderful.
The only time I felt myself being, not necessarily judgemental but I felt myself begin to stare, was when a crossdresser came in and sat at the bar. It wasn't that I was uncomfortable with their choice of lifestyle, but it was more like the person was something I didn't see in everyday life so that lifestyle interested me.
I loved it. I mean where else can a person bring in his pet dog to work and no one cares?
PS. The dog was chewing a toy shaped like a penis... ;)
Before adventure thoughts
We are planning our visit to Church st. and are writing a little piece on what we expect to see and experience during our visit. A friend of mine is gay and when I visit him in the city, generally we will go for a walk and a coffee on Church St. It's a place for gay people to feel comfortable being gay without being descriminated against. They can be comfortable walking holding hands and showing public affection like straight couples do without being stared at or whispered about, or feeling like they are making a statement. What I expect to see when we go to Church St. is fairly similar to what we would see in other areas of Toronto (shops, cafes, bars) but with more gay men in them. I love the bookstore they have on Church st. It's filled with books on Art, Mythology, Religion and books on Gay Culture. Generally I think that people will be fairly friendly. The restaurants and the cafes have a slightly upscale classy feeling to them. The Starbucks has all leather couches and nice table lamps and the restaurants are named after great gay writers ("Oscar's" after Oscar Wilde) with the "Bosie" room named after his lover. I find this to be a very culturally rich area of town. At night it becomes a party (last time I was there I saw someone dancing on a table on the patio of one of the nightclubs) but that was during a festival. I havent really experienced Church St. at night. There is an air of sexuality that lingers over Church st. and a sort of vibrance with color and rainbow flags hanging everywhere. It's a fun place.
First Blog Entry
I am starting to get really excited about the trip. I have been googling alot and looking over all the things we can do, and I can't see us doing it all in one trip. I have never been to Church so I don't know. Most of my experience in Toronto are in really specific areas and I am always really antsy about getting exposed to new area. Put me on Queen Street I will strut, put me on St. Clair and I can show you the works but I have no idea about Church-Wellesley. I feel really out of my comfort zone, and I am not even there yet. I think it will go well though. I hope.