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Taxi Shoes: January Edition

January 17, 2011

This is the state of affairs on my balcony, the same place that during summertime offers a sensational view of fruit and willow trees. Bamboo wind chimes with a carved bird dangling in the centre are entombed in the bulky icicle closest to my door.

And this is the state of affairs in my yard. If the drift gets much higher, I won’t be able to shoot pictures through my window. My gut (and fingers and icy, icy toes) shouts “hibernate!” But instead, I call up a girlfriend and head out into January.

A top-storey hotel room in our own city, complete with a view of Lake Ontario, which has frozen in a fractured floe, ice busted into chunks by the ferry to and from the harbour islands. An elevator descent  that makes my ears pop, and a stroll through the lobby which is packed with prairie hockey fans in town for the game that night. I can’t imagine traveling that far to attend a winter sports event, but then again, it’s ten times colder where these people come from.

Cocktails in the sky-bar for courage, and then we challenge the snowdrifts and slush and the blasting, windy night. The taxi speakerphone chants garbled directions from dispatch, while the radio crackles jazz and a news report…”tonight, it will dip to twenty below…” I bundled beneath three layers and rationalise this counts as “dressing sexy” since one is thermal silk, another is cashmere. But, my partner in crime throws caution, and pantyhose, out the window, opting for pink suede pumps, the smoothness of which is matched only by her absolutely naked legs.

This is what it looks like when taxi shoes go out on a winter night. I debate whether she is awesome or foolish, then call it a draw and grip her arm firmly to traverse a particularly dicey patch. We safely make our entrance to dinner at my favourite all-purpose spot. I’m in love with this restaurant because you can arrive in taxi shoes or jeans, primped and preened or still sweaty from a downtown bicycle commute mid-summer, and you will absolutely fit in, and absolutely look fantastic seated behind a plate of steak-frites. Saturday, we started with sensible green salads, before moving swiftly into bread, beef and butter, the letter-B cornerstone of why French cuisine is so great. A bottle of cahors, a sweet dessert, and espressos to bring us around from the food coma and prime us for, what else, more taxis and more cocktails, of course.

I remember the after-supper bar seeming a bit classier than this…

…and I remember scrubbing our eye make-up clean so we wouldn’t wake up with sharp eyelashes to go with our headaches. And, I remember abandoning mini-bar beers in favour of toothbrushes and a dollop of common sense. And, I remember exchanging late-night text messages with a mutual friend, till A. and I confessed we would probably fail the Spell Your Own Name (Correctly) Challenge, and should probably outen the lights and go to bed.

Sunday morning, we snoozed like sleepy kittens till it  was time for late check-out. The cold snap had settled in overnight and the morning was sunny in that way you know is just a mean trick, the air freezing your nostrils together if you breathe into your scarf. Eggs and hollandaise resurrected us somewhat.

A lamb shank at dinner helped combat the taxi shoe fatigue, too.

And, when A. laid this tray of Yorkshire puddings on the table along with a jug of gravy and we toasted another Sunday dinner (our fourth in a row, and one of many more to come…this is our new winter thing, our 2011 Sanity Plan), it no longer mattered that I was over-tired, over-wined and over-ginned from the night before. Along came the perfect ratio of flour, milk and eggs to save the day.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2011 11:33 pm

    Whoa! Your SP2011 is much fancier than mine. The largest element of mine is “wake up earlier.”

  2. January 19, 2011 1:44 pm

    Also, those icicles are scary.
    I’d never make it in Canada!

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