By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater September 7, 2007 at 2:35AM
A 4:15 AM alarm in early September or mid-January usually means one thing and one thing only--it's festival time again and I'm heading north to Canada or west to Utah. North it is, and it appears I brought the heat with me. With temperatures ranging from the low 50s to the high 70s for the past few days, it was`a bit surprising (and sweaty) to suddenly be faced with 90 degrees and muggy. How fitting that Jimmy Buffet played here last night at the Molson Ampitheater--maybe it's his fault. I heard the climate should be like this for just a couple of days, and then the pleasant weather will return. I can live with that.
Kudos to the Toronto airport for making some much-needed cosmetic improvements. It definitely looks more modern and is easier to navigate. I must say it was`a bit unusual for it to be so empty and to get out of there so effortlessly.
Exchanged any US currency for Canadian money lately? For the first time since I've been coming up to the festival (we're talking 11 years), the Canadian dollar is worth more than one of ours. The exchange rate is 99 cents on the dollar--now that's a sad state of affairs.
Something else sad I noticed on the drive in from the airport was the shuttered storefront of Sam the Record Man way down on Yonge Street. I went in there one time a few festivals back. It reminded me of one of those giant stores with absolutely everything, like on Broadway in NYC or on Collins Ave. on Miami Beach. The ones where only the record jackets are in the bins, and the clerk has to climb a ladder to find the actual LP on a wooden shelf somewhere. Those types of places are a dying breed unfortunately.
In silent tribute to Shan, I had to maintain the tradition of having the first meal (always lunch after registering) at Biscotti on Bay Street--they may have been 86 on the spinach/ricotta ravioli, but it didn't disappoint. Time to hit some movies...