define cool

So Vogue Magazine has named a section of Queen Street West in Toronto the second coolest neighbourhood in the world.

Yessirree, bob. You heard that right. The world.

First place is somewhere in Japan.

This blows my tiny mind. Not because the ‘hood isn’t a cool one, but because, well, you know, it’s Queen Street. I mean is there nothing ‘cooler’ (and by the way, ‘cool’  is Vogue’s word, not mine. I don’t use ‘cool’, even when I mean ‘cool’, in which case I will tend to use the less cool ‘groovy’) in New York or Paris or Montreal or Sydney or Milan or Vancouver or Reykjavik… than the stretch between Gladstone Avenue and Bathurst Street…??

But I’m not one to judge these things. I like sand.

Still, there I am the other day, strolling these recently hallowed blocks in my beach-loving Birks (which, it turns out, are currently trending with hipsters and I do hope the trend stops soon because these are my shoes and the hipsters have so many of their own)…

And what I find is that there is indeed much happening of a cool/groovy nature on this bit of pavement.
No lack of cool/groovy temptations…DSC01007
in these hipsterville blocks…DSC01012
not to mention roads less travelled within them.DSC00988
There is free, exquisite reading material,DSC01003
and free fashion counselling.DSC00989DSC01010
A stretch of road where economics are no small thing…DSC01009DSC00999
and creative minds are rampant.DSC01006
Where the insults are relatively mild,DSC00997
and the love is coffee scented.DSC00990
A stretch of coolness where there’s never not a place to sit,DSC00995DSC00996DSC01005

or stock up on dry goods.DSC00998
Where, really, there’s something for almost everyone…DSC01000DSC01008

And yet.

For me, from where I stand, toes exposed to the air… there remain some glaring omissions.

There is no sand.

No cackling gulls.

No tide.

My Birks and me, we love us a tide. We would give up all manner of cigars and quiche and onesie alerts, for cackling gulls.

And that, dear Queen Street West between Gladstone and Bathurst—despite your charms—is very possibly what kept you from making #1.
IMG_0056 - Copy


And you’re welcome.



7 thoughts on “define cool

  1. Thanks for this tour of an interesting part of a city I’ve pledged to never return to. I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I would the real thing. I love the way you jazzed up your photos with colour – groovy!

  2. This is so cool that, if I were cool, I’d add it to my bio–how I used to work as a bartender just a few blocks west of the second coolest place on earth.
    Being who I am, I’d rather just go for a walk on the sand.

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