Sunday, March 6, 2011

214 Adelaide Street West Toronto

Oh well, I was in the Toronto's "Entertainment District" last night. For all these years that I have been living here ( since 1992 ), I was there maybe a couple of times. Only once it was for an evening out. Other times just passing by. Last night was different. I was chaperoning ( not really, I sat in the car basically for almost three hours ) my 16 year old son who attended the party at "Vola" club at 214 Adelaide Street West. You may ask why did I even bother to give him ride, since there is good TTC access to the area? Or maybe why did I decide to wait in the car for almost three hours so that I can take him home? Stop wondering now. Entertainment District is notorious for violence, even murders. Bystanders died there from gun shots not intended to kill them. So I chose my sanity over possible embarrassment that my action could be for my son.

I dropped him of there around 9 pm, and was lucky to find parking spot on the next street ( I believe it was John Street ). I put 1 dollar in parking meter, since my son was not sure if he wanted to stay, so I promised to him that I would wait for about an hour to see if he wants to go home, and if not, I would leave and he would come home on TTC ( pressured by him and "embarrassment" thing that is I guess huge at his age ). So, I happily parked the car, put the money for about 20 minutes, enough to go around the corner and check out the place. I should mention I guess that it was raining and it was cold ( not very cold, but cold enough to be better dressed than I was). I walked across Adelaide Street and noticed the lineup of young girls in super mini skirts, with no jackets, no umbrellas, no socks, high heal shoes, something you see in strip clubs. I was, I have to say this, shocked. This was high school party, organized by one, I guess, entrepreneurial  student ( tickets at the door 25.00!!!).  Did the parents of these girls see them before they left? Did they know where they were going? When I saw this I was determined that I will not leave that place until I see my son coming out that door. It is not that I was worried that these girls will get cold, since it is their parent's job. I was more worried about male behaviour around these scarcely clad young females, whose only defence from showing their underwear was barely covering it skirt. Say I am old, but I really do not care. This place was reeking of "not safe" scents.

Not being able to stand anymore in the rain, and possibly raise suspicion about what I was doing there, I went back to the car. I sat in the car for about an hour, witnessed parking control towing a nice white car, and two huge big ( should I say overweight ) parking enforcement officers walking with the flesh lights, checking the cars, and giving tickets. I was safe. I paid parking and I was sitting in my car. They could not harm me. But, it is winter, and it became cold in the car, so I turned the engine on, only to discover that I was low on gasoline, and plus I was not supposed to idle. What to do to pass the time and not freeze? I decided to put some more money in the parking meter ( I hate when I pay for more time than I use ), and I walked back to Adelaide Street ( meanwhile my son called me to let me know that he liked it and he wanted to stay longer ). Right next door to Vola, there is cute little Mexican restaurant - Tequila Sunrise (Cantina and Grill). Of course it was nice and cozy inside. I ordered the cheapest item on the menu - Tortilla Chips and Homemade Salsa ( $ 4.50 ) and read Eye Weekly - free newspaper, in which I read about candid look at health care system in Canada and native women rights. I was probably an odd one there, with my glasses, reading newspaper at 11 pm, but what other choice I had? There was some nice Spanish (or was it Mexican?) music ( not sure ) playing for some time, until few young people came in, and that changed it to some hip hop. I left the restaurant and headed to my car, to check if everything was alright. It was still there. Enforcement parking officers were just leaving the scene ( I counted three towed away cars ). I sat in the car a little bit longer, called my son on the cell phone - no answer, called again, and again, and again. Finally he called me and said that he would be leaving "close to midnight". 

I decided to re park the car closer to "the place". I was able to find a spot on Adelaide close to the entrance to the club, when one young man started shouting something. In minutes the police officer showed up, and dealt with the situation. I was hoping that he would stay for a bit longer. Honestly, I wanted to approach him and ask him to go and get my son outside, because all what I could hear was loud music and yelling. But I refrained from that. It would really be too much, but I am telling you what goes through mother's head.

The night ended this way: they could not find my son's jacket at the coat check. He called me from inside to tell me that he would have to wait until everyone leaves ( which is like 3 am ). I begged the security guard who was looking after line up ( yep there was still line up at close to midnight ), and he said that he could not let me in. I told him something like: "I am 50 years old, why would I want to go in ?", and he gave in a bit and let me on the stairs. My son came out without jacket, it was snowing, and they were adamant that he cannot have his jacket because he can "pick any jacket he wants". I offered my credit card, I asked to speak to the manager, but to no avail. I wanted to ask them is it that they believe that I came there to help my son steal someones jacket??? But I did not and we left without jacket, it was heavily snowing, and I can tell you that I was really happy that I made it home without an accident.

I hope that next party in Entertainment District will be never again.

Oh, by the way, my son said that he had good time, he danced, talked to some people and all in all he thought the evening was a success ( minus the jacket ).