Sunday, September 20, 2009

Margin Notes: Informant, U2, Avocado, Innocence

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The Toronto Film Festival has wrapped up for the year, and one of the films that had been looking for a bump from the festival was The Informant!. What didn't occur to me until it was pointed out on the radio show was that the source material for the film was the same book that also spawned a memorable episode of This American Life that aired in 2000. That episode aired once again this weekend and is worth checking out.

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A sky banner advertised the U2 concert in Toronto, Ontario on 16-September-2009

Besides the film festival, another major event in Toronto this week that I did not participate in was a U2 concert at the Rogers Centre. That brought out a number of BlackBerry ads related to the concert, including a relative rarity here, a sky banner that circled above the city for most of the day on Wednesday.

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A line of Peter Pan buses lined up on Bremner Drive near the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario on the day of the U2 concert, 16-September-2009

Besides the unusual sight in the sky, there was an unusual sight on the ground near the Rogers Centre. A line of Peter Pan buses from Massachusetts apparently brought in a large group from western Massachusetts for a visit including the U2 concert. For someone accustomed to Peter Pan buses from my time around Boston, it took a moment to realize that they didn't belong in Canada.

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A few steps away from the Rogers Centre, there was another of the free giveaways at Union Station that I have mentioned in the past. This time, it was avocados. That's right, free avocados in Canada. The giveaway was especially clever since it used avocados that were not ripe. Thus, I've been looking at the bag with advertising for the avocado industry for several days now, waiting for the fruit (yes, technically it is a fruit) to ripen.

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I didn't get any free stuff at the Roncesvalles Polish Festival today (more on that event in a future post). While watching a musical act there, I did notice one of the street vendors walk away from his table, leaving his cash box in plain view and unattended, for at least a minute to greet a friend. Perhaps someone was watching that I didn't notice, but it sure seemed like the kind of super-safety and innocence for which Toronto had once been known.

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A lost stuffed lamb sign was noted along Jane Street in Toronto, Ontario on 14-September-2009

Toronto is well-known as a safe city, but the level of innocence in my Bloor West Village neighbourhood is so extreme that not only do we have "lost pet" signs, but even "lost stuffed animals" signs. The above sign looking for a lost stuffed lamb was noted still remaining on Jane Street, a week after the loss.

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