A Brush With Royalty

After climbing a hilly sidewalk to get to Casa Loma, we stumbled upon soldiers in uniform.

They were lined up facing the mansion, and a small crowd had begun to gather. I saw a woman in black walk solemnly into the house. Was it a funeral? An arrest? We later learned they were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, Canada’s oldest infantry regiment. Another gawker told us a princess was about to exit.

Twenty-five minutes of much of the same, and 30 pictures with different angles of much of the same, the colonel-inchief finally appeared.

Princess Alexandra, the cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and 33rd in line of succession to the British throne, emerged from the mansion in a white suit and blue scarf. The men welcomed her. She approached them, briefly speaking with each and apologizing for keeping them waiting. She addressed them casually, at least as casual as royalty could be, as if no one was watching.

I’d gotten a great spot away from the crowd and just a few feet from the guards. As soon as the princess approached the men, however, the official photographers blocked my view. My height impediment (and the fact that I’d run out of memory) restricted me from taking too many photos, so I just watched and absorbed the moment.

After addressing the men, she spoke to a spectator. She talked to the girl as if she’d seen her before, though I’m sure she was just a stranger in the crowd.

Then, with a wave, the princess was whisked away.

Minutes before the princess’s grand exit.

Cameras galore.

In height order.

Perfectly still.

Switching places.

Falling in line.

“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”

Fancy photographer in the distance.

Everyone but the princess.

Princess Alexandra.

Final salute.

Update: This post made it to WordPress’s “Freshly Pressed” list today, which the site describes as “The best of 300,828 bloggers, 278,358 new posts, 336,321 comments, & 63,502,639 words today on WordPress.com.”

So awesome. Thanks, WordPress editors!

Toronto, eh?

This pretty much sums up Toronto nightlife (at least how we experienced it this week), which explains why I had time to blog this the night before my flight. I don’t really know how to describe the city. It has its charming, interesting parts, but there isn’t anything about it that makes me want to go back. I’m sure it has much to do with how little opportunity I had to do my usual exploring. I was actually disappointed in my pictures early in the trip, which made me think about different types of travel and the art of UN-documenting.

And I’m sorry to say this will be the only picture from the trip.

I’m kidding. There will definitely be a barrage of Toronto visuals heading your way. For now, to bed I go. My flight home is in a few hours.

Central Park, un-blossomed


I leave for Toronto in a day and a half.

I haven’t packed. I don’t know where I’m staying (Well, my friends do, but I’ve neglected to ask. We’re also flying in on different days). Don’t ask me why I’m leaving New York’s somewhat chilly weather for Toronto’s somewhat chilly weather. But here and there, warm weather creeps in (At times it oddly feels like summer).

It never lasts.

Good news is, the warmth has dragged people out from their caves. Weekends are filling up. Work is picking up. Things are happening. Everyone is nicer, in a way New Yorkers are not supposed to be (For the record, I haven’t encountered a particularly mean New Yorker, born and bred or otherwise). They hold doors, let you sit on the train and even sing a jingle or two while skipping to the subway. Or maybe that’s just me.

I haven’t laid out an itinerary for Toronto, but I’ll be sure to document it here. For now, here’s Central Park, un-blossomed.

I did manage to take pictures of non-cherry blossom things that day.

I focused on color.

And people.

There was something funny about a Zamboni on an extremely warm day.

And a guy smirking while a strange girl took his picture.

Crowds gathered around the mystery bagpiper under the bridge.

There were buckets on heads.

Some peace and quiet, too.

People openly loved.

Finally, notice the sign. Notice the legs behind the sign.