I don’t know how we got to August so soon. I feel like I haven’t played enough, haven’t tanned dark enough (put me next to my mom and we look like night and day), haven’t gone on any road trips, nor have I enjoyed summer to its full potential. I’m not complaining though, I relished each heat wave as if it were my last, sitting motionless on the patio, inducing a minor heat stroke when I arrived at work, woozy with an angry migraine pounding the top of my head.
Other memorable parts of my summer include hanging out at Centre Island (we didn’t go to the nude beach, but it’s marked high on my bucket list), sipping ridiculously strong mojitos surrounded by calm water at Ennismore, watching the sun go down at 8pm, splashing the sky with a beautiful purple glow, eating fresh, local peaches so sweet, I could feel the glucose bubbling in my blood.
But the proudest thing that I fumbled upon in the past few months, was discovering my love for beer. As I was a child, my dad would occasionally order a tall glass when we dined out, I eyed the golden, foamy drink with curiosity. Silent, I looked to him for approval, with a nod, he pushed the glass closer to me, leaving streaks of moisture across the table. I looked down at the creaminess and took a whiff, I already didn’t like it and I wasn't sure if this was a good idea. Still, like a true food warrior, I took a sip, instantly regretted it and gulped it down making a face. Never again I vowed.
And yet, a spark went off when I went to the Bier Markt for the first time. I tried Achel 8, then Muskoka Brewery’s Mad Tom IPA (I only drink it because of its awesome name), and I tried Belgium’s Leffe and loved them all. They were flavourful, complex and delicious. My 11 year old self wouldn’t believe it, but it’s true.
I went to the Brewer’s Backyard at the gorgeous Evergreen Brickworks and tried Mill St’s blueberry beer (!!) and raspberry beer, my favourite being the former for its refreshing tartness. There were also hot pressed sandwiches to accompany them, like my meltingly tender beef brisket with baked beans and cheddar cheese or my friend’s pulled pork with guacamole and tortilla chips (thank you Fidel Gastro’s!). Both sandwiches sealed the deal that lovely Sunday.
The other day I went for a walk through Kensington market, bringing back flashbacks and then made new memories with the help of a brilliant pint-sized lady named Stella Artois. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn’t have the guts to ask this friendly stranger for a portrait with his handsome Mamiya camera (I promise to dedicate a whole blog post to beer soon). I've been to Kensington several times already and each time, I get lost in the colourful buildings and eclectic crowd that mill around the streets.