Thursday, February 23, 2006

Body Worlds 2

CSI: Toronto
Originally uploaded by 416style.
There's a bit of a warm up before entering the main space that is the Body Worlds 2 exhibit, in its last weekend here at the Ontario Science Centre. Bones and other bits and pieces in display cases line the corridor before you see what this exhibition really is all about: real flesh and blood. Using a method called Plastecine, the creator, Gunther von Hagen, has somehow managed to restore and reveal athlete's and ordinary humans' anatomy like it's never been seen before. What you'll view is truly incredible, if you can handle the weirdness of staring at dead bodies with all its bits entact: eyes (that strangely shine when hit by overhead lights), hair, finger nails, lips, nipples and more, shown sliced, diced, pulled apart and even exploding. The smell too can be a bit much, only when viewed up close, but it was this glimmer in the eye that really disturbed me, and the after-math of visiting. As I sit here typing away I'm keenly aware of how the muscles fibers, bones and joints in my hands must look in movement, underneath the skin. It really is extrordinary, and for all its strangeness is something we must all see and come to terms with.

Get your tickets online a day in advance.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Memories of Japan

Traveling to Japan over a year ago I was amazed by the realization that Toronto appears to have about 10 times the number of sushi joints per capita than Tokyo, and I've tried many of them. I'll give my props to Toshi Sushi on King Street West and Osaka Sushi on Bloor near Keele but know that there are many other great places in this city, Sushi on Bloor being a cheap fav among many in the Annex.
However, even though the quality of sushi is surprisingly great in this metropolis, stranded between coasts, there were a few things I could not find, and it's made me very sad. One of these things is the Korean drink Shochu, like Sake, a clear booze but many times stronger. Our poor little LCBO has yet to pick it up. So for now I stick to my draft sake. The other thing is ramen noodles. In Japan, ramen is the perfect food for 5am, after drinking and dancing all night. Ramen helps the hang over, fills and warms your tummy as well as replacing needed electrolytes. It's good for almost any meal of the day. Japanese will eat it with an egg on top for breakfast and often with meat slices for dinner.
I grew to depend on it, though I eat the veggie version, and loved visiting the little boites that served only ramen on the menu and had seats for 5 or 6 people at most. Typical in Japan.
I've thought, for over a year now, that I should open up a little place like this, 10 seats tops, limited menu and make sure it's some of the best ramen you can get, but I finally found my place and it's less than a block from my work. Sonya's is a tiny Korean lunchbox that has several tasty things on the menu but it's their "Spicy Noodle Soup" I can't get enough of. If you're down at King and Portland in "the Fashion District", and think you can handle a litlle spice, check it out, though it only seats three so you'll have to take it to go. You won't be disappointed. In the meantime, I'll keep dreaming up a name for my own little ramen boite, since we'll still need one in the Roncesvalles hood.