On a beautiful late afternoon a week and a half ago, when Nick and I were trying to decide what to have for dinner I suggested that we grab a blanket, the nice bottle of white wine we had chilling in the fridge, some delicious take-away from one of several choices on Queen Street, and bring it all over for a lounge in our local park, Trinity Bellwoods.
He laughed … not because he thought the idea was a bad one but rather because I had completely forgotten that we’re not allowed to drink alcohol in the park.
Of course, what was I thinking?!
Where we live there is no drinking of anything alcoholic in public places, unless there is a license in place like there would be at bars with patios and outdoor concerts (where you can only drink the alcohol they sell and not bring your own, and often you have to drink it within a designated drinking area).
So the romantic notion of a nice glass of wine with a picnic meal, or a cold beer cracked open after a sweaty baseball game is a no-no, and subject to confiscation and a hefty fine.
Clearly I was not the only one thinking a bit of imbibing would be nice in the park because last week I saw a newscast about the drinking problem that has been identified right in that very place. Apparently some people who live around the park have lodged a complaint against people drinking there illegally, and as a result the security has been increased and the threat of being fined has become almost a certainty now.
As a result someone has started a petition asking for the allowance of alcohol in this park. Of course, it would be totally unfair to all the other parks if the law was changed only there, and when I come to think of it, I would rather not drink there at all, as opposed to having a spot that I love so much turn into a place where anyone could go and get wasted as they pleased.
I think that this is a case of some people ruining it for everyone else. I imagine that those who have probably been quietly and responsibly having a drink there for a long time have recently been joined by some indiscreet over-drinkers who have brought attention to something that was not previously seen as a problem and therefore was not policed as forcefully. Now the party is over for everyone.
These shots were taken a week ago Sunday and have nothing to do with alcohol consumption, but you can see how a secret-sip in the park could be an enjoyable thing.
The red tent was an installation for an art show (MIA – Prototype for the Luminato Festival). Too bad I was there on the last day and it was sold out. Looks intriguing though, doesn’t it?
In writing this post I am reminded of an incident that occurred the other day when I was on the subway train. A fellow who looked like he could have been a tourist, popped open a Heineken right there in the train and began drinking it. The lady beside him looked on in horror and actually got up and moved to another seat.
And, along with that same chain of thought but not about alcohol … Just before the train had arrived I noticed a woman smoking a cigarette on the platform. (Smoking is not permitted on public transportation here although it is still in most outdoor public places.) Anyway, I saw the plume of smoke coming from her mouth as we waited for the train. But I didn’t smell the smoke. Lo and behold, she was smoking one of those e-cigarettes. I’d actually never seen one in action before and was surprised to see how much it looked like the real thing.