Looking Eating #CapeBreton Part 1

Travel often means eating in diners, cafes, restaurants & airports. Even staying, as I did, with my sister here in Sydney, I dined out more than usual. Usually for lunch.  With more Tim Ho’s per capita than doctors Cape Breton is right on the money for coffee and donuts. What I like about the Tim’s here is that the coffee is stronger than in Toronto and they offer a regional snack – oak cakes – that I love.

My airport dining experience was in Toronto – things done to chicken at a Swiss Chalet – their summer special Greek meal – the tzatziki make a good replacement for the sauce plus the veggies were not over cooked but a bit of feta would have completed the meal.

the lunch room
the lunch room

When we went to the Miners’ Museum we ate at the Miners’ Village Restaurant after we went through the exhibits. The menu was limited but hearty. I would have like to see a few more nods of what the miners would have eaten – I’m sure they didn’t have California veggie wraps. I went for the hot hamburger with gravy sandwich. the burger was excellent – the fries okay. The Museum itself is excellent for an introduction into the mines but merely hints at the daily life of the miners. A trip into the mine is the best way to get a feel for the conditions the miners worked in.

After the Miners I hit the Whitney Pier Museum – which I love – not much new has been donated since I was last there 5 years ago but I enjoyed going through the old high school year books and seeing the exhibits on the extensive and various ethnic communities that were isolated in the Pier. Many groups sought to stick together and never strayed far from their ‘stomping grounds.’ Even in Toronto is Little Italy, Little India etc. But there is an awareness of each other – when I grew up in Sydney I didn’t know there was black community till I was in my late teens.east

On Monday I had lunch with an old friend at Centre 200 where I had forgettable bacon & eggs to the sound of clicking slot machines. An ideal place to get caught up with each other without the distraction of tasty food.

Tuesday was another lunch with another old friend – this time at an old haunt – The New Moon was the first Chinese restaurant to open in Sydney. I can sort of remember my first jumbo shrimp, definitely remember my first Singapore Sling. The menu remains pretty much unchanged, prices haven’t gone up that much either and the food was good.

It was a short walk from the New Moon to hit Wentworth Perk again, had time to sit on the patio and enjoy the rather steady stream patrons. More attractive men who needed a shave that I would have expected. Coffee as good as on my first visit, great date square & my old friend gave me a section of her turtles cheese cake which was perfect. I did hear from one of the owners after my pervious post and they hoping to start a spoken-word night in the fall.

Perk view of Park

Travel also mean a change in routine for me. Not big changes but enough to make me appreciate getting back to those routines. Less reading, less writing too – this time – but I have been making notes & picking up books to fill in the context for my next novel. I’ve had a few chats about it with people I’ve met on my search for info & the reaction is positive. The time era – mid 1920’s – is one that hasn’t been look at too closely and certainly not in fiction.

……….

here’s an old piece about growing up on the east coast –

Sonship

it’s hard to tell

when he became the son

his dad didn’t expect

was it when he hit

that dangerous hormone rush

and couldn’t concentrate in school

didn’t know where to look

where his eyes were supposed to focus

what was the target –

long division or

longing to doodle scribbles

that might form words

but even spelling

was beyond his grasp

couldn’t slip into some easy identity

all he wanted was to be left alone

why bother asking him questions

he wasn’t one of those bright kids

who could memorize the times tables

a boy adrift in the hazy life

where roles were cut out for you

from the start he felt himself drift

through those holes

didn’t feel so easy at the time

the puzzlement

he knew those tight formations

weren’t for him

not that he was mr rebellious

merely mr a little off centre

moving in his own way

caught up in a culture that said

you can be what you want

as long as you keep it to yourself

the secret secret

that made it all right

and above all

don’t fail to appear apologetic

shame makes all the difference

to the different

it’s hard to tell

when I became the son

my dad didn’t expect

probably before I was born

 

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