Toronto Waterfront Marathon

I visited Canada once in my 20s. I went to Niagara Falls with one of my closest friends while visiting her in Buffalo (cold, cold place too). I’m not sure if it was because of how we went that ID requirements were lax or if it was due to the time period. Fast forward a couple of years and I find myself going to Canada again but this time with my family. Destination, Toronto in October, for their Scotiabank waterfront Marathon and 5K race. We drove all the way up from the tristate region, mostly on the highway. You don’t really get to see places this way, just cold concrete and highway signs for amusement (this was a 8+ hour drive). 

We had a limited time to explore (weekend trip) to pack in some sightseeing before my family ran their races (Two ran the marathon and one the 5K, me I was there to show support and provide transportation to the 5K runner). We stayed in downtown Toronto, where there are a lot of College kids, a train (excuse me the Subway) buses and streetcars run (efficiently I might add). It reminded me a little of NYC with this but also with how diverse it seemed with different people, food and culture I was surrounded with. The little bit that I got to explore in this area was amazing, the food, delicious and the energy, nice even with their subway being detoured due to the race. As a New Yorker, I will not complain anymore about the trains being detoured during our race, it was such a pain in the ass trying to figure out what line went where. I could have walked the 5K back to my destination instead of the long trip I took. I did get to see different parts of the city due to my Uber detour but I will go back to explore another year. 

We were able to explore the waterfront (that’s where the Bibs were to be picked up), walk to the CN tower, which is right next to the Ripley’s Aquarium and Bluejay’s stadium. The train museum is in the same vicinity and a few more blocks over the stadium where the Raptors and Maple Leaf’s play. 

Short but fun trip, I recommend visiting Toronto during anytime of the year, if you like the cold weather go visit and if not, spring, summer and early fall work too. I plan on going back to explore more of this City, as I wanted to go to one of their Chinatown’s and definitely visit graffiti alley. 

Medieval Festival at Fort Tyron Park

Every year NYC hosts a Medieval Festival in Fort Tyron Park. This is the 33rd year that this festival was held in NYC and the weather was beautiful for a festival. It really is fun to see all of the people show up in costume from this time period or their version of this time period. Just from the reaction of the crowd, I believe the most anticipated event for this festival was the theatrical jousting event. I missed this event 2 years ago when I went to the festival but was able to witness it this year. It was a lot of fun watching the skilled riders perform carousel tricks and “battle” each other. As always it was a treat to watch the horses (one of my favorite creatures) running and trotting in the field. They are majestic and beautiful. 

It was also amazing to get so close to an eagle owl in person. The bird in the pictures is a baby but their kind are one of the largest owls around. It’s wingspan can reach 5ft to 6ft and they are known for those piercing orange eyes of theirs.  It was an enjoyable day, I got to see costumes, jugglers, horses, birds and take in the sights, sounds and smells of the Medieval Festival. 

Looking for good music? Just walk around Union Sq.

A constant complaint that I hear often and have been guilty of making as well (in the past), is that there are no good artists out there. If all you do is listen to the radio, then you should expect to hear the same music played all day until you turn it off. This is probably the worst way to be introduced to new artists. If you happen to live in NYC, you can seek out new music by going to the venues (that are still open) that have musicians/singers performing almost every night. 

You can also stumble upon one playing in a train station or on a street corner during a random walk through Union Square. I absolutely love guitars and was watching John Streetz perform for a little while before deciding to snap a picture.  So when I got home, I did a little Google search and found his music and that he won Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in March of 2017. I highly recommend checking him out online and if you happen to walk past him and his bass player getting down, stick around and enjoy the music. You will not be disappointed. 

There are new artists out there but you have to seek them out. Don’t let the radio dictate who or what you listen to. Support good artists!

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