Tag Archives: Toronto

Where to eat in Toronto this weekend (or any time), high or low

According to blogTO, these are the best new cheap eats in Toronto (for 2013, at least) and these are the 10 most expensive restaurants in Toronto
to dine in Hogtown.

Whether you want to go in style or go casually, all these spots should deliver a good meal (and in some cases, much more).

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Freedom 48 – how to retire early

My former colleague and all around great person, Annie English, has a book and a blog on how to retire young. The Toronto Star has reviewed it here: Here’s how this couple retired at 48 in expensive Toronto: Roseman | Toronto Star. Annie and her husband, Rich, were disciplined before retirement, and that discipline has paid off. If you want to learn how they did it, check out the Star article, or their blog, Retired At 48. If this is something you want to achieve, buy the book, too.

If you are puzzled as to how Rob Ford became mayor or could become mayor again, then you need a quick guide

It is mind boggling to many that Rob Ford was elected Mayor of Toronto, never mind that he has a shot at being reelected Mayor. If that is you, I recommend this piece by Ivor Tossell here. It quickly and clearly spells it all out. Tossell has been covering Ford for some time and he nails it in this piece. Highly recommended.

After reading it, you may still be shaking your head, but your mind should be less boggled.

Some thoughts on books as social objects

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This week I was carrying this book around with me and managed to have two people initiate conversations regarding it in the same day. First a younger waiter in a restaurant told me the author’s name was similar to a favourite children’s book she had many years ago. Then on the subway, a man who appeared to be a gamer engaged me in a long discussion about war games, the US Civil War, and the Napoleonic wars.

Neither conversation would have happened if the book were an ebook or even an abstract cover, I suspect. The cover itself caught their eye, and that led to further conversation.

Books are great social objects. They tell something about you, and they give a topic for others to start talking to you about.

Both conversations were not really about the book directly, but ways for people to share something about themselves. This is a benefit of social objects: you can learn much more by taking the object out in public. With private objects, you have to do all the work: with social objects, people help you learn more.

It likely helped that the book was not controversial. Plus it was odd enough to catch people’s eye. The potential barriers to starting conversations were low.

It is difficult to say what makes an object more social than others. Much of that is random. I had been reading the book all week: that day was the first one that people talked to me about it. Certainly something people are passionate about helps. Even that is random, though.

Other objects can be social, too, but books can be both personal and impersonal at the same time. That dual quality makes them a good social object. Strangers asking about highly personal objects may seem prying and put people on the defensive. Objects like food are too impersonal and not easy to make an interesting topic to start talking about. Books are nicely in the middle.

In short, get down your quirky looking books from your bookshelf and take them out for a walk. Your social life may improve. Even in a big city like Toronto.

An additional note: I was walking down Yonge Street yesterday, and I stopped to admire a mosaic on a wall. While I was doing that, another man walked next to me and told me about the construction of it and his thoughts on it. It too was a social object, thought I created the context for socialization by stopping to admire it.

Who are the most polite people in the world?

New Yorkers, of course!

Having been to New York a number of times, I would say that while New Yorkers can be gruff, I have found them to be some of the most well mannered citizens that I have met. I wasn’t surprised to see that they came out on top.

As someone who lives in Toronto, I was also happy to see us come in third.

The article appeared in the Canadian edition of Reader’s Digest, which may be why there is more of a Canadian angle to the story. But it is global, and it is worth reading.

See How Polite Are We?

(Pointer from andrewSullivan.com)