One of a Kind

December 6th, 2010

I spent this past weekend visiting a friend in Toronto.  It was my first visit to the city, so I was quite reliant on my friend for getting around and seeing the sites.  Most of what we ended up doing lay, if I was paying attention properly, along one street, which I understand wasn’t even that major of a street.  That’s the way these things work when you get used to your neighborhood.  I didn’t climb the CN Tower, or take a dip in Lake Ontario, or go to the Hockey Hall of Fame.  We did, however, visit the One of a Kind Show

Billed as a Christmas show, which at first put me off, it had little in the way of tinsel or red and green trimmings.  What it did have was booth after booth of mostly artisan crafts.  I guess the idea is to buy your Christmas gifts there.  My lack of funds and general poor gift giving habits kept me from making too many impulse purchases, but I did enjoy browsing.  Especially in the food section. (small but sweet)

One of the motifs that came up a couple of times was found art, or recycled things.   There was a lot of sculpture from driftwood, and at least two booths that had furniture including full dining room tables from driftwood or naturally felled trees.  One booth had tables which aside from their glass tops were entirely made of bicycle parts.

My favorite, however, was U.S.E.D. Their thing is making bags entirely out of old seat belts from cars that were recycled.  While I liked their name, they forced words of this supposed ‘acronym’ are lacking.  In any case, a cool idea, and a very cool product.

As a side note, I found myself at the airport in Toronto on my way out of town needing to get online.  To my pleasure, the Toronto airport is fully hooked up with wireless internet.  As in other places, like the airport in Tel Aviv, there were some sites, particularly video sharing sites like YouTube, that were blocked.  I think this is the direction internet connections are going in, or at least I hope so.  If not free, then at least some sort of reasonably priced system that is standardized across the board.

In Zurich and Chicago, the wireless was locked.  I didn’t want to pay in Zurich.  In Chicago, where I thought for a while that I couldn’t get in touch any other way, I was considering paying but i couldn’t find any place to pay.  The browser kept sending me to the homepage of the wireless setup in Toronto, but that wasn’t going to work in Chicago.  When I went looking for a pay phone, I was surprised by how hard it was to find one.  there was only one bank still there, and of the six or seven cubbyholes, only two phones remained.  Times have changed.

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