Early summer in the city and I start my days in the paradise of our back yard. There is a soft coo of turtle doves in the air, the high chirps of sparrows and robins. The mornings are cool and fresh, pungent with lilacs – May has given us a series of purple and white blooms.
Heading down to work on my bike, the sun has risen a little higher into bright towering blue sky days.
Passing through the cool of Allan Gardens park, the homeless guys are still on their benches, emerging from sleeping bags and newspaper blankets, starting their daily routines.
Out onto Sherbourne St, the summer emerges in full force – the streets are starting to exude that heat, the concrete gathering up the suns rays and radiating back a thick smelly weight of warmth.
Taxis cruise by, lazily looking for fares, windows down, music wafting with nostalgia for Pakistan or Jamaica or Senegal or Colombia – mini-worlds on wheels.
A woman – a face perhaps from Yemen, shy and distrustful – holds her head scarf at her throat as she crosses the street.
Groups of men sit outside the soup kitchen, arguing loudly, passing the time, waiting for the next meal to be served.
If it is this warm in May, people say, what will it be like in July and August?
17 thoughts on “Early summer in the city”
The city is sure not my world. I look out and see green, green, green of different shades, grey clouds above, red of the flowering crabapple tree and a few white blossoms remaining on the apple tree right in front of the house.. Also the rich brown of the garden soil in the small bit of it I can see out this window, around the garlic, and the plastic greenhouse, waiting for seeds. I can see no other house.
Can’t decide if I’m jealous or not – I get a fair amount of green in the morning, and I do find the urban scene pretty interesting…
I enjoyed your ride to work. I was having the same thought about the heat today- I’m thinking august might be a record-breaker.
Thanks mountainmae – they say it’s gonna be a scorcher :0
Summers in the City are stifling heat! But I love visiting 🙂
Thanks for linking up!
Great shots and wonderful insights. 😉
I used to bike down Sherbrooke street in Montreal during the jammed rush hour traffic slowly with no hands and whistling, taking up as much place as a car…with a big smile!
So easy to picture you like that ! 🙂
Dude, this is an absolutely stellar post, and it is a perfect account of what Toronto cyclists experience each day. I fully and completely love this post and the handlebar cell phone images that go along with it. My favorite image is the first of the “people shots”, with the dude and his tooth pic standing at the corner. I biked through that intersection this morning and always wonder what it’s like inside that grey building behind him.
If you don’t mind, I’d love to share this post on my blog one day next week… it’s just so stellar.
Awww, sweetie-pie! You share whatever you like! ❤ ❤
I've never been in the grey building at the corner, but I did work for a while in the red brick building in the second image – it's just a couple of doors down, I think.
Sherbourne is never dull…
I know Sherbourne very well. I used to play in a band, and our practice space was at Sherbourne and Front, so I’d bike up and down Sherbourne at all times of the day and night. Funnily enough, after a short period I never felt threatened or unsafe, despite the reputation of the area.
Reblogged this on and commented:
There’s no doubt that I love to cycle, and I love Toronto. So, after reading this post by my blogger friend Kat, I simply had to share it. She writes a perfect descroption of the sights, sounds, and smells of the morning Toronto bike commuter, and adds a selection of perfect images, all shot from her handlebars with her cell phone, that you can actually feel and smell the commute through her post.
Please take a few moments to read this and click over to her blog to see more of Kat’s amazing work.
Thanks so much for this reblog and your kind words, Shane!
I dropped my phone twice with that handlebar technique, and the back of the phone is still a maze of cracked glass, but you just made it all worthwhile… 🙂
No problem Kat, it was too good not to share. And the sacrifice was well worth it. I’m just impressed that you still have the same phone after three years.
Contract’s up in August… Shucks, an upgrade might be an idea!
What a delightful post, Kat! It’s possible to imagine and feel each single detail you described. Love it!
Thanks so much 🙂
I can’t wait for it to be warm like that again…