This week started with a better foot forward: we didn’t sleep in late, which meant we left earlier in the day, were more clear-headed, and we caught a Cherry streetcar, which meant no lurching as the driver rode the breaks. Hooray!
We made it to St. Andrew Station without incident or spilling our coffees. On the subway platform all the route-announcement boards were black, which was a slight inconvenience but often encountered on the TTC. Hopped on the northbound subway.
Really, everything was going so well.
Only when we passed Museum Station was there an announcement that the subway was closed for maintenance from St. George Station all the way to Downsview. (Namely, our entire remaining journey.) It’s only the first long-weekend of the summer, so of course a big chunk of subway would be closed. The announcement went on to say that there are shuttle-buses available.
So we disembark at St. George and ask where the shuttle-buses are.
There are no shuttle-buses from St. George, only from Lawrence West (quite a bit farther north, and nearly at our destination of Wilson anyway).
The attendant was quite helpful when we explained we were trying to get to Wilson, and pointed out that we could either take a bus north from Bathurst Station or the 29 Dufferin, namely the bus that stops outside our front door. And here we had decided the subway would be more efficient and scenic. Har har.
So we spent almost an hour from our house only to have to backtrack. We choose Bathurst over Dufferin for the excellent reason that Bathurst Station has a bakery inside it. We got three samosas ($5) and a pecan butter tart ($1.75) to eat on the bus.
Of course, since the subway was closed, we couldn’t get into Wilson Station anyway, so we disembarked at Bathurst and Wilson Ave. From there we walked west. When I was in college many years ago, the neighbourhood was almost entirely Jewish bakeries and delis; many of the restaurants now are Filipino, which was intriguing, but I don’t know anything about Filipino food and also Bagel World is still there in all its bagelly glory.
Bagel World was stuffed, being a Saturday, so we got take-out to make a picnic. For $16 we got two glorious sesame bagels, apple strudel, and a tub of dill and garlic cream cheese.
Oh, that cream cheese. OH MY GOD, that cream cheese. (But I am getting ahead of myself.)
Around the corner from Bagel World was the intriguingly-named Amazing Doughnuts but they were sadly closed for the long weekend. We had a good peer in the window but it was hard to see what looked amazing; mind you, Bagel World won’t be winning any beauty contests either and OMG that cream cheese, you guys.
We walked through pretty little side-streets to a park and spread out a picnic on a bench under a tree. The lilacs were blooming and the leaves on the trees already out, where last week they’d only been buds. In the space of a week it was summer.
I don’t know if I can really describe the bagels-and-cream cheese adequately after all the build-up but I will tell you this: at one point Ean tried to ask me a question and I honestly couldn’t hear over the rapturous sounds I made as I ate. It’s the best bagel I’ve ever had in my life, and yes, before anyone leaps in to yell MONTREALBAGELS4EVA!!!1! I am indeed including all the Montreal bagels I’ve ever eaten in that statement. It was big and dense and chewy and delicious and covered top-to-bottom in sesame seeds: everything I’ve ever wanted in a bagel. And the cream cheese… well, I licked the knives clean after we were done. I would have been happy just to eat it with a spoon.
After admiring the park and sighing over our picnic we walked through more side-streets to Dufferin. The sun was quite hot by this point and there wasn’t much shade, so we stopped for iced coffees with the last of our budget, before catching a bus for home.
That evening I made burgers for dinner with a big salad. I spread the left-over cream cheese (we did buy a tub, after all) on top of burgers. How was it?
Well. I bet you can guess.
My life now has a new before-and-after point: that cream cheese.
I’m writing this blog post well after our tootle, and it’s 10am and I have things to do, it’s going to be a busy day, and yet part of my brain is trying to work out how I can get to Wilson and Bathurst and back before lunch because I want bagels and cream cheese from Bagel World, dammit.
I suspect this may become a lingering desire. Sadly Wilson and Bathurst is too far to make regular trips by transit, but if you’re ever in the neighbourhood, it’s worth the stop. Eat it under some trees. Enjoy the moment. Save some for me.