Well, heavens to Betsy.
I actually managed to follow through with my goal of not over-scheduling myself and leaving plenty of time for R&R this weekend.
In fact, it turned out to be a fairly solitary long weekend in the city, which got me thinking about what advice I would give to someone visiting the city solo, without the benefit of my couch to lie around on:
1.Stuff some Junior mints in your purse and head to The Royal – there’s always something interesting on at this historic movie house. You’ll feel a bit like you’ve travelled back in time thanks to its lovely old-timey decor and if you go alone, you won’t have to share your popcorn. Bonus!
2. Paint Nite – I haven’t done this yet, but a coworker went with her husband and they loved it! They learned how to paint some birds (everyone follows instructions and attempts to paint the same thing – no painting experience required) at the designated bar for the evening they signed up for, and the best part was that all of the materials were supplied, and they didn’t have to clean up! (Dread of clean-up is my main deterrent from becoming an artistic genius, guys)
3. Ceramics class – Pop by the Gardiner museum for one of their drop-in clay classes throughout the week. I would go alone so as not to humiliate myself in front of my friends when I inevitably come away with the world’s ugliest ash tray, but I’m sure there’s at least one couple re-enacting “Ghost” in every class, so, prepare for that.
4. Pick up a book at BMV – I love wandering around this massive used bookstore on Bloor West, choosing books by their covers and peeking at what other people are picking up.
5.Take said book to Trinity Bellwoods Park – If the weather is good, Trinity Bellwoods is fantastic for lounging under a tree and reading, or pretending to read and people (and dog -how many french bulldogs can one city contain!?) watching.
6. Check out a show or exhibit at TIFF – Perfect your Hollywood sexy stranger act at the TIFF Bell Lightbox’ second floor restaurant/bar and then wander through one of their exhibits or catch a flick.
7. Take a salsa class at Lula Lounge – You don’t need a partner to check out their weekend lessons. So if your particular version of solitary involves meeting some new people, check it out!
8. Shop Queen West -much as it’s nice to get a second opinion, I do love being able to puruse awesome shops like Durumi and Chocolate Shoes or Coal Miner’s Daughter without worrying that someone else might be bored and ready to move on without carefully examining everything in the stores.
9. Get pampererd – I’m not huge on manis, pedis or spa treatments, but almost every Torontonian woman I know is obsessed with Body Blitz and their “therapeutic waters.” As the only person on earth who hates hot tubs, I have avoided the place so far, but I can certainly see the appeal of a massage or something called a “body glow” so I may wind up trying it yet.
10. Embrace being a tourist (even if you live here) and hop on one of those double-decker tour buses that drops people off in various neighbourhoods to explore the city. I always thought this seemed really hokey but my travel buddy and I hopped aboard one in Madrid and it was actually a really cheap and easy way to travel around the city and learn a little history we wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
Any Torontonians or former tourists have any good solitary activities to add?