Yesterday, I drove Erin into Toronto. She was among four writers and a visual artist to give readings at Another Story bookstore. The reading celebrated the launch of the 15th year of Other Voices, an Albertan literary journal.
Another Story is located on Danforth Avenue just east of Broadview. The Broadview/Danforth corner has fallen on hard-times, but the neighbourhood picks up noticeably as you go east into Greektown. Erin was impressed enough that she wants to pay another visit. I myself really liked the bookstore. It's one of those small independent bookstores that manage to gather together a great collection. Picture books rub shoulders with young adult novels and books about left-leaning politics and history; although there was no place to sit and drink coffee, it felt good to just browse and absorb the good book karma.
The readings were great, and I especially enjoyed the talk the visual artist gave. I forgot her name, unfortunately, but the story of one of her works intrigued me. The "River of Books" community art project got area students to paint 2000 trashed and donated books blue and then line them along the Cedervale Ravine in Toronto, charting the course of the river that lies buried there. This intrigued me, of course, because The Young City deals with the burial of Toronto's Taddle Creek.
At some pressing from Erin, I introduced myself and was introduced in turn to Terry, who was assisting in the Lost Rivers Project commemmorating the many creeks and rivers Toronto has built over since settlement began. We talked, and he gave me a few more names. I now have a resource to turn to when I get seriously into the research for The Young City
I'm not much of a mingler and a smoozer, but I am trying to learn. I'm throwing away too many references, job contacts and flat-out opportunities by my discomfort over talking with total strangers while holding plastic glasses of punch.