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Canadian Coffee & Cigarettes

Canadian Coffee & Cigarettes

Hit the airport very, very early Saturday morning to make my way to Toronto. As we touched down in TO, I realized that they are no longer asking folks to fill out SARS information cards, as they did during TIFF in September… which is probably just as well. The cards weren’t much of a roadblock. It would ask “Do you have SARS?” and then you check “Yes” or “No.” My question was, “Who with SARS would even bother circling ‘Yes?'”

The weather in Toronto is a nice improvement over Texas, where we’re getting the hot and the humid. It’s rainy in TO and there’s a nice chill. With no time to spare (I am only here for 48 hours or so), my friend and gracious host Natasha went to the Distllery. A great spot (for parties?), we visited some of the shops as well as the annual Jazz Festival, which was underway.

I ventured off to Bay Street for dinner, when I realized that I have never been in TO when it was not time for the Toronto Film Festival. So, everything looks kinda … sparse. Bistro 990? Dead. Sutton Place? Ghost town. Plus, it’s apparently a Canadian long weekend, in celebration of Victoria Day. So, TO is pretty quiet in general.

Dinner was with the folks from the Inside Out Toronto Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. We were joined by (Warhol friend and Lou Reed muse) Holly Woodlawn, who was in town for a screening of the doc Superstar in a Housedress. Holly looks great for her age, and was in great spirits. The rest of the table was comprised of folks from Ron Mann’s Sphinx Productions, Inside Out staff, and other filmmakers with shorts in the festival.

After a great dinner at Sage, we were informed that the restaurant will host a party for the festival feature Sugar later that night. With the rain pouring, we all decided to stick around and drink… at this point I’m on to coffee (I’m running on 4 hours sleep and a day of travel) or coffee-related alcohol, like espresso martinis. The Sugar party was nice, highlighted for me by meeting Canada’s version of Parker Posey, the very cool Sarah Polley. A Canadian indie queen, Sarah and I chatted very briefly about SXSW and her great career as a filmmaker/actress.

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The night was wrapped up by hitting an after-hours warehouse rave party… Canadian kids dance less than American kids, is all I gotta say. But, by 4:00 a.m. and almost 24 straight hours awake, I was on my own last legs. But not before I finish some of my “secret” business here in the windy, cold Toronto.

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