1 - August 11, 2003
PART 2 OF THE TORONTO TRIP
( Click here
for PART 1 )
time again for my world famous weekly thought.
The place where I tell you everything that is going on in my head
and stuff thats happening with me.
Caribana Weekend Begins
arrives and I'm chilling at my with my friend, Sondra
as she's making burgers for me. I helped her walk her two little
dogs and then came back to her house to watch the second season
of the Sopranos on DVD. I get a phone call from n8 telling me
that him, Selena and Samir are
going to meet me at Yonge/Dundas Square where they are having
a free Caribana party. So I arrange to meet them outside of Broadview
station. Once they pick me up, we go for a drive up Yonge Street
where the place is filled with out of state plates and people
just coming to mingle with out of towners. We then drove to 360
Adelaide where the Sound
Emporium nightclub is. After, having a little MACH 7 in the
parking lot, we journey into the club. I apparently wasn't financially
prepared that night to go clubbing, and Samir told me that n8
would buy my ticket for me. So as we were there in the ticket
lineup, this really nice guy standing behind of us asks,"Do
you guys need a ticket?" He apparently had an extra and gave
it to us. He didn't even ask us to buy it from him. So I get in
for FREE! I didn't see him again in the club that night, but I
am very grateful, whoever you are.
night was a DR.JAY
and Flow 93.5FM live broadcast. The music in the downstairs (in
the KLINIK) where we went was all calypso and soca. Lots of people
were there and jumping around and waving their towels to the beat.
N8 and I were there dancing around while some cute ladies danced
beside us. I even handed my camera to some girls and asked them
to take our pics a few times. As the night progressed, we journeyed
upstairs (the PENTHOUSE) where they played calypso and a mix of
music too. The air was better there and it was much more spacious.
The VIP bar area is where Selena and Samir lounged and had the
best bartender (according to n8). It was a lot of dancing and
grooving to old reggae songs they played as well. I great time
and my kick off to the Caribana Weekend.
Its the biggest cultural parade in North America. It has also
generates the most beer and alcohol sales in one day than any
other event in North America. Approximately 1.5 million people
come to take part or spectate the parade. This year:
wasn't like I never went to a Caribana that rained before. I have
been to those, but this year, the day started out gloomy. Usually,
the day will be bright and sunny... and by the time you get there
and have been in the parade for a little, then the rain starts
coming down. You can't avoid it, your clothes are already wet
from spraying water on yourself to cool down from the heat. On
this particular Saturday, n8 and I felt a little lazy. Maybe it
was the partying from the previous night at Sound Emporium. Maybe
we just didn't feel like going this year. Are we getting OLD now
where we think the parade is just for the younger generation?
Nah, I wouldn't say that. We just didn't go because we felt lazy.
That's about that. We did plan however to go out in the evening
to the CNE Grounds where there was a Beenie Man concert. By the
time us lazy fools got ready and arrived to the venue, it was
12:45am, and the party closed at 1am. We just drove back home
and made sure we got sleep for the Flow Caribana Boat Cruise the
Boat - On the Northern Spirit I
On the Wa-Tah
Sunday, the day of the anticipated FLOW 93.5 Caribana Boat Cruise.
Many friends of ours told us that we missed the good Caribana
Boat Cruises, and that this one that we were going on would be
a waste. Well, there was no turning back on the $45 ticket I spent.
I never did a Caribana boat cruise before, and nothing was stopping
me this time. Even n8 and I arrived there quite early to make
sure we didn't "miss the boat". As we waited in line,
we noticed that the crowd got bigger and bigger. There was so
much people who were dressed up. This was a change for me. Everyone
in the crowd appeared to be in their late 20's to early 30's.
No tasteless clothing, just nice and clasy attire. I previously
never saw all those words in the same sentence as Caribana. But,
oh well. We get on the boat. Upon entering we receive 2 free cans
of Lipton BRISK Iced Tea (the sponser for the Boat Cruise) and
a ticket that allows us one buffet dinner. As we walk further
into the boat, we see on our left side a table with two girls
giving out free little cups of Guinness Stout and making people
fill out ballots for a free trip to the Source Awards in Miami.
(I know I don't want to go there after what happened the last
time, but I would like the chance to win anyways) On the ballot
card itself, was a scratch and win game where we could instantly
win a prize. I scratched mine and it said: PLEASE TRY AGAIN. Then
n8 scratched his and it said: WINNER! We couldn't
believe it! So he goes and tells the girl at the Guinness Table
and they give him a Guinness CD Case. N8 actually needed one.
So already 10 minutes onto the boat cruise, and we have scored
FREE Lipton Brisk, FREE Guinness Stout, a FREE CD Case and the
boat hasn't even left the port yet! What else could transpire
for the night?
boat eventually set out on its voyage. N8 and I were out on the
open deck getting some breeze. We met this guy from Montreal who
bought a bottle of champagne and was quite an attraction with
some of the ladies on the boat. He took my business card and told
me that anytime I'm in Montreal, he'll show me and n8 a great
time, even though he didn't give us his contact information. Later
on the buffet was ready, so I was a little hungry and hoped the
food would be good. We went down to the lower level where the
food was. There was a long line up, but it was moving at a good
pace. Salad with 3 a few choices of dressings, dinner rolls, rice
and peas followed by baked chicken. We took our food to the top
open deck since all the tables and seats were already occupied
on the lower deck. As we ate our dinner, the cool ocean breeze
kept us cool on the hot summer night. After eating the food, (which
was good) n8 went to the lower deck to the bar to get some beers.
While I leaned on the railing overlooking the beautiful Toronto
skyline, this girl came beside me to take in the same view. I
started a conversation with her and found out that she was visiting
from Chicago. Her name was Jeniffer, a beautiful
girl with long black hair, dark chocolatey skin and a sweet smile.
N8 returned with the beers and we started interviewing her with
our digital video camera. She was fun to bother, but for some
odd reason still felt bored on this boat.
was the complete opposite for n8 and I. We were having a blast.
After bugging Jeniffer with the camera, we captured the group
of girls beside us. They seemed like they were just wild and really
high on alcohol. A definite must tape for my camera. We later
interviewed them too and discovered they came from all assorted
locations. The main two girls that talked to us was this girl
from Oakville named, Lynda and her very scandelous
friend, Aandrea. Lynda was this cute girl who
appeared to be the innocent type, but later claimed that Aandrea
was her *special* friend. Aandrea first introduced herself to
our camera by giving us a demonstration of her "vibrating
tongue". (wow) Then followed that up by dancing up a storm,
attracting a bigger crowd and giving us more stuff to talk about
when viewing the tape. There was a moment where Aandrea and her
friends made a circle and put me in the middle chanting, "GO
KELVIN! GO KELVIN!!" as I danced away. The boat pulled back
into the port around 11:30pm. N8 and I had a blast, it was my
first Caribana boat cruise and already the best one. I will no
longer complain about the $45 ticket price, I actually think its
Island - Toronto Caribana
at the Toronto Islands
Monday, also is the national holiday of Lord Simcoe Day. A tradition
of n8 and mine is to head down to the Toronto Centre Islands where
the last finale jams on Olympic Island take place. We had to leave
the house early so we didn't miss out like we did on Caribana
Saturday. So we left the PHATCAVE just after 1pm and made it downtown
just after 2pm. We were meeting up with our friends, Dru
and James. Last year, n8 and I were at the islands
partying with Dru and our friend Christina (aka
SOCALOCO). But this year, Christina was away in Europe teaching
dance lessons. So we had to party without her. N8 and I toasted
the day with a bottle of HPNOTIQ that I brought up from New York.
As we were drinking, Dru and James found us in the parking lot
where we were. We then journeyed to the Islands from that point.
We got in line for the ferry to the islands. Previous years, you
have to wait really long before you even get on the ferry. This
time we walked up and the line was moving very well. Definitely
a very big difference compared to before. I had to pass through
a police search for any weapons or alcohol. After getting through,
we lined up to board the next ferry. As I am videotaping nonsense
with my camera, I feel a little tap on my shoulder. Hoping it
wasn't n8 setting me up for a "stone cold stunner" I
turned around to see my longtime friend, Warren!
I haven't seen him since I moved away to the US. He was with his
girl, Jeniffer. We all got on the ferry together and took lots
of pics. When we got off of the boat, we walked around Centre
Island a little and took in the nice scenery. We even walked through
the mini-amusement park, Centreville just for kicks. We took some
photos by a big fountain and then headed to the Caribana festivities.
Warren and Jeniffer departed from us at that time and we paid
$20 and got into the big party.
we get in the island party. It wasn't as crowded as previous times
we've been there, but there was a big crowd nonetheless. We walked
right into the crowd as JMC Treveni was on stage performing. After
they finished their set, n8 and I walked over to the beer garden
where he went to get special "Caribana Brew" as it was
labelled. But he told me it tastes just like Miller Genuine Draft.
I met up with my cousin, Jazmine and my other cousins from Florida.
They were all having a good time. N8, Dru and James were at the
picnic tables having some jerk chicken and rice. I went over to
them and chilled a little. As I was rolling my camera, I caught
n8 talking to this gentleman about the history of Caribana. He
was bringing knowledge to the younger generation as he put it.
Another one of his partners came by and was inviting us all to
get a beer with him. We were just about to take that offer when
all of a sudden, the music on the stage began to pick up and it
was making us jump right there. We quickly exchanged business
cards and our group dashed to the stage area.
Dru, James and I danced up a storm. We were waving our flags/rags/hands
in the hair under the dusky red skies as the night was drawing
near. It was so much fun. The music was great, the weather was
perfect, and the people around us were minding my crazy dancing!
Apparently as our wild group was all jumping around together,
it began to draw a crowd of spectators. Including this one girl
who looked like a tourist. She was totally into watching n8 and
I jump around and make fools of ourselves, but it seemed kinda
fun for her. N8 pulled her in to dance with us and she started
slowly going to the music. I noticed she had trouble moving her
hips to the music so I personally took it upon myself to help
her. I showed her how it was done and before we all knew it, she
was right in the flow of it!! She was virtually a natural! We
all danced as other people brought their video cameras and videotaped
our little group. All the way up until 8pm when the show closed.
We then had the decision to either go to the other island party
which was $10 with all DJs or journey back to the mainland and
go to the Bambu to see Roy Cape. We decided to head for the mainland.
As we were in line for the ferry, I talked more to the girl that
joined our group. Her name was Helen and she
was a tourist visiting Toronto from Moscow. She had a great time
and would definitely come back. On the ferry boat, she was teaching
me some Russian words, I can't remember what she taught me now..
I wish I wrote them down. After we got back on shore, she had
to meet some other friends for dinner and departed from us. This
year's island experience was one of the best ones yet!
After the Olympic Islands at the Bambu
The time was approaching 9pm, n8 and I were thinking about going
home and changing before going to the Bambu. But, we wanted to
make sure that it was going to be actually a happening place tonight.
So we walked over to where the place was on Queens Quay and went
in the front. As we looked in, the place looked empty. I asked
the hostess at the front if there was anything going on tonight.
She told me that later tonight, around 10pm it will Roy Cape and
the Kaiso All Stars performing following that will be a Flow 93.5
FM live to air broadcast. She told us that we should go though
the rear patio entrance. So I figured that I could go over to
the back and work my charm on the bouncers at the door into letting
n8 and I in for a very reduced price. (They were charging $20
a person) Well, as I was there sweet talking the bouncers, I noticed
that in the actual patio of the Bambu were my friends, Selena
and Samir! I told the bouncer I was with them. The bouncers let
me and n8 in. We go in and sit down with the group of friends.
Shortly later, Roy Cape comes out on stage to perform. We relocated
to the upper level where we had more room to dance and lounge.
I was armed with my whistle and rag, just waving it in the air,
jumping around to the vibrant calypso the band was playing. The
people on the dancefloor seemed to reserved and I think the band
took notice. N8 and I were having way too much fun up on the top
level. There was a point where the band noticed us and pointed
up to us, invited us to come down to the dance floor and spice
up the crowd. We hesitated. I was comfortable up where I was.
Until..... they started playing "Til-lil-lay". I just
went nuts. I ran down to the dancefloor and really let loose.
The band was in the flow...and actually STOPPED the music just
to let the rest of the crowd know they weren't dancing right and
should follow me!!! Anyways, the night progressed and we just
had a lot of fun dancing. The crowd was good and the music fitted
Last Days In Toronto
My last few days in Toronto were spent catching up with my old
friend, Vijai who I haven't seen in like 5 years.
We went to the Pickle Barrell at Yonge/Eglinton and tried to catch
up on what we've been doing the past few years. Its so funny how
much changes, and how much stays the same. Vijai still has the
same smile and same cute personality... I really missed that.
We didn't really eat or drink much there, we spent most of the
time just talking. That was good.
last day was all a whirlwind. I had a job interview at Yonge/Hwy
7 that went well. Upon leaving that job, I took a GO Transit bus
into Toronto and met up with n8 at the Manulife Centre. We were
both really hungry, and wanted to drink at an open patio. So we
walked down Yonge Street and headed to Queen Street ...then King
Street. N8 was getting tired walking, so we stopped at the Peel
Pub. The World Famous Peel Pub.... this was my first time coming
in here and seeing the legend itself. I was there during the early
daytime, so I wouldn't see it in its busiest form. That's okay,
I was just there to drink and eat. They had 25 cent wings so we
ordered 30 of them. We also wanted some beer on tap, but they
said they weren't working. WHAT?!?!? So we ordered two bottles
of Moosehead Beer. When I ordered my food to eat, I asked for
the Filet Mignon Brochette, or something like that. I specifically
asked for a baked potato rather than rice. When I got my food,
(which was fast) they gave me rice. I could send it back, but
that leaves me to that "sour customer" area and the
chef could give me a new potato but then do something else to
my food. I don't even want to risk that. So, after eating the
meal (and not the rice) I tell the manager the problem. We came
in here for beer on tap, and couldn't get that. I ordered a potato
and I got rice, they should at least help us out on the bill.
He apparently didn't think it wasn't that big of a deal. Well,
if its my first time here, they probably don't mind loosing a
leaving the Peel Pub, we walk down King Street and see the Indian
Motorcycle Cafe / Lounge. This is one of the snazziest places
in Toronto to be seen. I just went in there to look at some new
clothes, since I like their Indian Motorcycle wear. After trying
on different shirts and purchasing a nice black longsleeved one,
we were exiting when we saw an entrance to the restaurant/bar
section. So I thought I'd treat n8 to another drink. We went up
there and entered the dimly lit bar area. Surrounded by plush
leather couches and pristine hardwood floors, this was more of
a lounge than a bar. I ordered a pint of Guinness while n8 got
a round of Killkenny's. I have never had that before, but tried
it on my second round. Kilkenny's is not available in the United
States, so I never had the priviledge of trying it. Well, after
tasting it for the first time, I really enjoyed it. It was great,
and unfortunately available only in Canada.
left the Indian Motorcycle Cafe and walked up towards Richmond
Street. We went into the Famous Players Paramount and teased at
the idea of seeing a movie. We just ended up chilling at VIVID
Bar that is located within the theatre. I think I ordered another
pint of Guinness there too. We met some cool people and used my
video camera to interview the bartenders about crazy things. The
atmosphere was very chill, but not really a busy night. N8 and
I were supposed to meet up with Dru and Natalia at a club called
"Easy On The Fifth". They were dancers there that night.
So we left the VIVID Bar and headed for that club a block over.
When we got there, we met up with Dru and Natalia right at the
door. The bouncers saw that we were with them, but still refused
us entry because we were not "properly" dressed. I understand
dresscodes and such, but even I wasn't dressed tastelessly. So
n8 and I scrapped that idea of going into there. It was a Thursday
night... where else is there to go on a Thursday night? Well we
realized that we were right in the middle of the club district.
We walked down Richmond Street where we were given two free VIP
passes to the Joker Nightclub. So we figured we'd check that out.
The passes entitled us to free line bypass, so it was right, we
definitely did get ahead of the line and allowed in. We get in
and follow downstairs to the bar on the bottom level. N8 generously
buys Smirnoff Triple Black Ice for the both of us. I notice this
girl just sitting at the bar by herself. So I decide to move on
over to her. I find out that her name is Kristine
and she is checking out the bartender. I wanted to learn a little
more about her before I headed upstairs to the dance floor. Kristine
is a freelance photographer for a graphic design firm. As cute
as she was, I couldn't resist to not pass her one of my business
cards. She actually made me dance with her to "show her what
I got". That was easy, I got moves, we all know that!!!
and I go to the upper level. Again, we just happen to make it
to ANOTHER Flow 93.5FM live-to-air broadcast! Let me just sum
it up how many times we've bumped into this station:
- Sound Emporium - Dr. Jay and Flow 93.5 FM Live-to-Air
Saturday Night - didn't go anywhere
Sunday - Flow 93.5 FM
Monday Night - Bambu - Roy Cape and
the Kaiso All Stars followed by Flow 93.5 FM
Thursday Night - Joker - Flow
are the odds!?!??!
that's okay, they were all good jams regardless. So we maybe stuck
around there for about an hour and then bounced. We had enough
fun in there and just left. We journeyed up John St. to Queen
St. We decided to go onto Speakers Corner. I put in my loonie
(dollar coin) and started talking about how great this years Caribana
was, the Rolling Stones Concert and how amazing Toronto is in
general. N8 contributed his poses in the background and some comments.
After we were finished and coming right out, there was a group
of 5 girls and one guy who where outside watching me and n8 speak.
They told me that one of them was gonna flash the camera and the
another was going to moon it. I pulled out my video camera and
told them that unlike CITY TV, I won't censor them regardless
of they do. For some reason that made them go even more crazy!
They started hugging and kissing eachother right in front of me.
These girls were too much! Below is one of the pictures I took
Biggest Fans: Sarah, Chanelle, Kaleigh, Jenn and Tiffany
getting thier names and talking to them more, they constantly
encouraged me to move back to Toronto. They said that when they
get their airtime on Speakers Corner, they were going to speak
about how they met this "really cool guy from New York"
and how he should come out partying with them. Indeed girls, indeed.
Thanks for making my last day soooo much fun!
that's basically the trip. I had a blast and yes, had many thoughts
about moving back. Would I? Could I? Only the future will see.
I will only go where is best for me. If spending a year in New
York has only brought me more debt, then I don't have to think
too hard for my decision.
like to thank all those who made my trip so memorable. Definitely
n8, for he accomodated me and made me feel at home. Also the Budhu
family who make the best bhaigan choka. All of the cool friends
I've met along the way and the old ones who I have reconnected
with. Thanks for everything.
to FLOW 93.5FM for their amazing boat cruise and being at all
the great clubs I was at putting on great sets of music. The same
goes to LIPTON BRISK Iced Tea for giving me and n8 so much for
free! It was definitely our official drink for this year's Caribana!
dearest apologies to those friends I didn't get to see this time
around. I can't see everyone in the time that I get. If I had
my car up here, it would be more easier. Especially when I'm staying
all the way in York Region! I'm transiting everywhere on my own.
I'll see you all next time. Thanks again!
A very special congradulations to my dear friends Veda
and Kenny in Mississauga, Ontario who
just welcomed their new born son, Kamran into
their family! I wish your son all the blessings in the world,
and that he may grow up to be a positive influence on others.
have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at: