Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Joys of Storytelling

The crickets in the bushes have started their chirping, though the last red glow of the setting sun is still lingering in the western sky. Dinner is already over, and the womenfolk are in a hurry cleaning up. The children, impatient as ever, have already ran off towards the village center, not waiting for mother or grandmother. Groups emerge from the houses along the street and move off, excited voices filling the air. The torches lighting their path in the swiftly darkening night all appear to be converging on one point… the village center. This is one night nobody wants to be away from there… yes, the story teller is visiting the village!

This is a scene repeated a million times over in a million villages around the world. The languages will be different, the stories will be different, the people listening will be different… but the enchantment of stories is universal. Every one of the ancient cultures has a story telling tradition, where good fairies and bad witches and folk heroes and sweet damsels all make appearances to charm an enthralled audience for hours together. Many of the classical dance and song forms actually follow the storytelling traditions.
As stories and storytelling largely moved over to printed books and later, to celluloid, the human interaction of the community storytelling is one of the sacrifices we made to the modern life. However, have you noticed the interesting new efforts to revive the storytelling traditions in the modern context?
Foremost among these is The Moth. Anyone listening to NPR even infrequently, will be familiar with The Moth Story Hour, where the stories from Moth stages are repeated on the radio. The Moth is a not-profit organisation dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Events are held at various parts of the country and abroad. Anyone can pitch a tale and selected stories are narrated in front of a live audience. People from various walks and stages of life participate in the event. The stories are as varied as the people who tell them, and of course they are very interesting.
Interesting in the sense that they will make you laugh, think, sympathise… even teach you something new, often all at the same time. I listen to them on the radio and have been thinking of attending one of The Moth StorySlams, an open-mic storytelling competition held in New York every week. One of these days… maybe even participate. 🙂
Another storytelling effort is StoryCorps, an oral history project, run by an independent non-profit organisation. Participants – there has to be two, as it is recorded as interviews – go to the StoryCorps booths and record the conversation. These conversations are preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Since 2003, StoryCorps has recorded and archived 45,000 conversations. You can listen to a sampling of these conversations here.
Did you know that a National Storytelling Festival takes place in Jonesborough, Tennessee every year, during the first full weekend of October? It is conducted by the National Storytelling Network, dedicated to advancing the art of storytelling. It is a three day outdoor festival, with storytellers from all over the world participating and an estimated audience of over 10,000.
The National Storytelling Network conducts events all over the country, showcasing storytelling. Here is a calendar of events, in case you want to check them out.
Happy storytelling/ listening!


29 Jul 2014

Gettysburg – A Journey into History

When we set out on a visit to Gettysburg National Battlefield, on a sunny day in early spring, I was counting on a glimpse into an eventful chapter of history… but the extent of it was an eye opener and way beyond my expectations.

The battle of Gettysburg was one of the biggest battles in the Civil War, fought between the Confederate and Union armies – the Army of Northern Virginia led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the Army of the Potomac led by Union Major General George Meade.

This battle accounts for the highest number causalities in terms of people killed and wounded, and is considered the turning point when the tide started turning against the confederates. It was fought in and around the town of Gettysburg (obviously!) over July 1 to 3, 1863. Over the three days, wins in the battle shifted between the sides, but by the end of the third day, a decisive blow had been struck and General Lee’s Confederate Army was forced to retreat, abandoning all hopes of a victory in the north. Intermingled among the stories of valour and heroism and utmost sacrifice in the course of the battle, are the stories of brother fighting against brother, and friend turning against friend. Just imagine the emotional upheavals that rent the hearts of so many people!


I was very very impressed with the way the battlefield is maintained and managed. All the sites and monuments are clearly marked and the auto tour is the most helpful facility. You stop your car at the clearly marked auto tour stops and put the CD in the car’s player. The commentary provides you all the information to understand what happened at that site and its relevance to the battle and the war overall.


Markers along the way tell the stories of the events and memorials pay homage to individuals as well as fighting units. Most of the states that participated in the battle on either side have also dedicated memorials.


Among the state memorials, the earliest established was the Virginia Memorial dedicated on 6 June, 1917. It portrays General Lee riding his horse, Traveller. At the base of the are shown various men who left their civil occupations to join the war… a professional man, a mechanic, an artist, a boy, a businessman, a farmer and a youth.


The biggest of the memorials belong to Pennsylvania, dedicated in 1910. On top of the dome of the monument is depicted the Goddess of Peace and Victory. Above the huge arches are carved battle scenes honouring the four branches of the army, infantry, cavalry, artillery and signal corps. At the base, bronze tablets list the names of the 34,500 Pennsylvania soldiers who participated in the battle of Gettysburg.


New York Memorial very impressive. Topped with an eagle and showing the state emblem, it displays the names of all commanding officers and their units, not memorialised individually.


The North Carolina Memorial was one of the early ones, being dedicated in 1929. A wounded officer is shown urging his men forward, while he points to the enemy.


The Mississippi Memorial showing two infantrymen, one mortally wounded and fallen down holding the unit colours, while the other is in the act of defending the colours using his musket as a club, was dedicated in 1973.


The Louisiana Memorial depicts the Spirit of Confederacy holding aloft a flaming cannonball, rising over a fallen soldier – an artilleryman – who grasps a battle flag to his chest. This memorial was dedicated in 1971.


I like the Maryland Memorial very much for its conceptual inclusiveness. It shows two soldiers from Maryland, belonging to the two sides, helping each other. Also, a bronze tablet at the base lists the Maryland commands in both armies. This memorial was dedicated on 13 November, 1994.


You will also find a memorial to the soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy, dedicated in 1965, to honour all the men who fought in Confederate armies and navies. It shows a colour bearer urging his fellow soldiers to come forward. On the base are inscribed the names of the states that formed the Confederacy.


The 75th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg was celebrated with around 2,000 veterans of the Civil War from either side attending. All veterans were invited to attend the function with expenses paid. At the gathering, on 3 July 1938, the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, a monument to peace and national unity, was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt. Made of Maine granite and Alabama limestone, the memorial is topped by an eternal light symbolizing the United States.


Markers like these are present all over the place and provide you the most valuable information to understand what passed here, so many years ago.


The different types of cannons used at the battle are on display at various locations at the site.


A view of the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

When you start talking about the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg in particular, there is so much to talk about… so many interesting snippets. How did General Lee’s estate and home in Arlington turn into the Arlington Cemeteries? What happened with the Schwartz brothers at the McLean House? Why did General Sickles often visit the National Museum of Health and Medicine? So much to talk about. Maybe another post, another day.



25 Jul 2014

A Weekend in Stamford

Stamford, Connecticut… where the rich and famous live… so you must surely be one of them… that is how I used to tease my friend Archana (of The Perfect Zest), who lives there. Though I have visited her many times, never really found the time to explore the town. So when she invited me to spend a weekend at her place, with a promise to show me around, I jumped at the chance.
The town of Stamford was founded in the year 1641. Originally called Rippowam, after the local river, by the natives as well as the settlers, the name was later changed to Stamford – meaning stony ford – after a town in Lincolnshire, England. At that time, the settlement measured 128 square miles, though the area of Stamford at present has come down to 40 square miles.
In the early years, the town’s economy was based on agriculture, facilitated primarily by the New York City markets. After two centuries, the agri-economy slowly gave way as manufacturing picked up in the 1840s and Stamford became an industrial center. Today, Stamford is home to major corporations, financial institutions and capital market players.

Downtown Stamford is quite impressive, in a charming and bit quaint way. And colourful… especially with all those benches, part of an outdoor sculpture exhibition consisting of 40 originally designed and painted wooden benches. These benches are placed throughout Stamford downtown and at the Stamford Town Center.

Also, on Bedford Street in downtown, you will see a replica of the famous Wall Street Bull, created by the same artist.


The afternoon saw us heading to the Cove Island Park for a well deserved relaxing time, tired after a long lunch downtown. The park is right on the shore, with extensive walks and sandy beaches.

Sitting under the trees on a bluff overlooking the Long Island Sound, with the breeze wafting softly over the water, New York city and its salt mines where I toil every day seemed far away!

Cove Island Park offers several facilities like walking trails and cycling paths, we were too lazy to even consider any of those. Except walk a bit along the rocky shoreline, watching the avid fishers – human as well as birds – in action.

If anything could get up out of the lethargy, it was the thought of the beer and burger picnic we had planned. What a wonderful evening indeed!

Next morning, we went for a walk in the Mianus River Park… yes, I said that with a straight face. 🙂

The park is located between Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut, and has several trails of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. At this season, everything is green, and so many shades of green too!

50 Shades of Green!
The park extends to an area of 220 acres and consists of different terrains like low lying wetlands – with tiny brooks crossing the trails – and stony steep hillsides.

It was pure pleasure walking the trails. One interesting feature of this park is the many rock outcroppings along the trails. Among the old growth trees reaching up to great heights, they really paint a fantastic picture.

Like all weekends do, this one too flew away like in a daze. And to think that summer is on the wane… still there is time, and a heap of things to do!



22 Jul 2014

Memories of Sandy

Today was a lovely day at the beach! A group of us friends spent the perfect weather day with burgers and beer and overall fun. We stayed till after dark, watching the lights coming on across the bay. From nowhere a cool breeze and a chill descended on us. Such a sudden change! Another reminder of the nature’s unpredictable ways… don’t know why, but my mind went back to the memory of another disaster, a couple years back.
I came back from Canada Sunday afternoon, and all the talk (on TV, people at the airport, the newspaper waiting for me) is about Hurricane Sandy, which was supposed to hit us on Monday. Our apartment building is right on the banks of Passaic River, only a road separating the two. And the river was sure to get some storm surge; only question was how much. Estimates went up to 9-11 feet. The lower floor of the building is the parking lot, which was sure to flood. So Sunday night we took our cars to a parking garage at a higher location. I went out and bought non-perishable food like rolls-buns-muffins-cupcakes-pretzels-chips-cookies-chocolates-peanut butter-jams-jellies-fruits etc. And lots of water too. Candles, LED lights, matches all ready.
The wind is going hard whole day; rain too. By around 6.30, the wind quiets down and I’m like ‘Okay, so that’s all. Much ado about nothing.’ Spot on at 7, the lights go off. So I light up some candles and settle down to read my book. My house windows face onto Reynolds Avenue, and in about 30 minutes I see cop cars with their lights on, on that road. They are placing traffic cones to block traffic on Passaic Avenue, the road in front of our building. So I take a light and go to the front corridor with windows facing front. What I see is water creeping in from the river and flowing along the road. Other people come out of their houses and we all go to the front door. Building’s emergency lights are working fine in the corridors and front lobby. By this time, quite a crowd has gathered in the lobby. Water level in the road keeps going higher and water starts to go up on Reynolds Ave. As we watch, water begins to flow into the garage. The emergency lights last one hour (no one expects a power failure to last more than that!) and now they go out. Pitch dark except for the flash lights and candles. And people whose cars were still in the garage get panicky and they start to move the cars out. Just then, the cops come into the building. They look around, go into the garage… and order us to evacuate. I had only one thing to say… ‘Yeah, right!’ And said that to the cop. There were others determined not to go into the raging storm. So we went back to our homes. Later the cops came banging on each door asking people to leave. I didn’t even bother to open the door.
From my window, I could see the cops evacuating people from the houses across the road. By this time it was 8.30. Really felt sorry for those people as surely the water will recede as soon as high tide gets over after 9. Six houses… The saddest was when they had to carry an old lady on a portable stretcher. The funniest was when one family came out with their dog without a leash, and the dog started running around in the water with four cops and the dog owners running after it! The cops had even brought a small boat! They tried using it, but the bottom kept scraping the road surface as there was not enough water. Soon they put it back on the fire engine which was standing by too.
At 10, when I was ready for bed, the river water had started flowing in the opposite direction, back to the river taking all the debris with it. At 12.30, when I got up to take a look, the road was completely dry.
For the rest of the week, we had no electricity. No fridge, no TV. No telephone; no way to charge the cell phone. The weather is very cold, and no heating. Fortunately, we survived all that. For a week, I wasn’t able to fill gas in my car as there was no gas and the lines were so long where it was available. No way to get to work for a week… even if we could get there the office was not open as parts of downtown Manhattan still did not have power.
And my beloved Jersey Shore was in shambles, along with all the beach areas in Queens and Staten Island…
Life goes on…



18 Jul 2014

Yonge-Dundas Square-The Heart and Soul of Toronto City

Quiz a visitor or a new resident in TO, on the first place they have been to in the city and you will invariably find the answer is ‘Yonge-Dundas Square’. (Of course, some crazies go elsewhere! 🙂 ) Following the majority, it was also my first destination downtown. The most happening place in town that sure stands up to its name! I don’t even remember the number of events I have attended there. Most cultural and music events either start or end there; Nuit Blanche and Pride Parade to name a few among the many.


I was surprised to find that the Yonge-Dundas Square came into being only in 2002. Planned in 1997, it was designed by Brown + Storey Architects, and constructed as part of the Yonge Street Regeneration Project, managed by the Toronto City Council and the city residents, making it a one-of-a-kind public-private partnership. It was developed at the intersection of Yonge Street and Dundas Street East in downtown Toronto.

On the lines of New York’s Time Square, this public square is also decked with colorful LCD and LED screens and panels, digital displays and advertisements and neon signs. The true charm of this eye-catching scene comes alive only at night. The square has granite flooring and a stage made out of stone meant for concerts and adequate seating with overhead canopies.

Surrounded by famous and known buildings, facing east is the Toronto Eaton Centre, a fancy and expensive shopping mall, which is a major attraction for mall tourists (who outnumber the regular tourists these days!)

Facing north of the square is 10 Dundas Street East, a structure that houses a multiplex and many grill restaurants. Of particular note is Jack Astor’s lovely patio restaurant that overlooks Dundas Square. Providing a lovely view and blending tasty food with excellent customer service, it sure offers an awesome ambience. As the most popular restaurant in the area, they are usually busy. I always look forward to going there.

Recently, the world cup euphoria took me to Shark Club, a sports bar in the same building and all I remember is that I left the place happy. Well, blame the match for the single-minded focus!

South of the square is the building that has Hard Rock Café which I wanna visit sometime soon. Mainly to add one more to the collection of Hard Rock tees that I have stashed away from around the world! Then there are other commercial buildings around like a studio, Atrium on Bay, and the City TV building.

Yonge-Dundas Square is the place where the PATH system begins. A long, underground labyrinth of shops, food courts, and restaurants that will lead you to Lakeshore Boulevard in case you did not already lose your way. The PATH sustains offices all across this area, spanning 29 kilometres. Another unique feature at Yonge-Dundas is the pedestrian scramble, an intersection where pedestrians can cross the road in all directions even diagonally. The traffic lights guide you on when to cross.


Now that’s a short preview of what you can expect when you are ambling along this popular landmark next time.

15 Jul 2014

The Cloisters Museum and Gardens

Every person in the city, whether a native New Yorker or a visitor, has heard of the Metropolitan Museum. And a majority would have been there too, at least once. But that is not the case with the Cloisters, located at the top of Manhattan. Though it is a branch of the Met, not many people are familiar with this unique museum.


The Cloisters Museum and Gardens is focused on the art and architecture of medieval Europe, mainly from 12th to 15th centuries.


In fact, the whole place is designed on the architectural principles of a cloister in medieval Europe, though not modelled on any particular one, instead borrowing features from many.


When you see the museum, you will realise the appropriateness of the name as cloisters were living spaces for the monks, attached to cathedrals and churches in medieval European history.


The building with its stained glass windows and column capitals truly exudes an aura of grandeur and you feel like you are stepping into a long gone age of chanting monks leading a secluded life.


Among the decorative and liturgical art collection from various parts of Europe on display are illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, enamels, ivories, and tapestries.


Most renowned among them are a series of seven tapestries, ‘The Hunt for the Unicorn’, commonly known as the Unicorn Tapestries.


These tapestries tell the story of how the unicorn is captured and killed, yet alive again and happily living in captivity. Leaving aside the allegorical allusions aside, these tapestries are full of rich details. Over a hundred plants and flowers are shown in detail, each bearing a significance to the story. A trip to the Cloisters is worth just to look at this set of tapestries; they are so rich and wonderful.


The gardens at the Cloisters are unique in the sense that they are aligned with the culinary arts. There are all kinds of plants, fruit bearing trees and herbs used in the preparation and flavouring of food. Also, there are many medicinal plants as well. These are plants that played a prominent part in the daily lives of the people living then.


For example, you will see woad, weld and madder plants that were used in the dyeing of material in blue, yellow and red respectively. And remember, these are the colours used to colour the threads in the tapestries that we just spoke about.
Intriguingly, there is a section of the garden devoted to poisonous plants! Of course, these plants too had medicinal qualities in the right hands, but the medieval background reminds one of many a story of intrigue and treason where poison played a main role.
These gardens have been planned and laid out to replicate a cloistered garden in the medieval times, based on horticultural information found in medieval treatises and poetry, and garden documents and herbals. A herbal, by the way, is a book containing descriptions of plants put together for medicinal purposes.


And the view… Did I mention that the Cloisters is located overlooking the Hudson? From the walks around the gardens, the view of the cliffs across the river is awesome!


Included in the view is the George Washington Bridge stretching across to New Jersey.


Opened on May 14, 1938, the museum is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. And what better occasion than this to make a visit to the Cloisters Museum and Gardens? And the summer is the ideal time to pack a picnic lunch and spend a glorious day at this museum.



11 Jul 2014

Technology and I: Past and Future

Technology became an important part of my life the day my mom brought home a computer for her work. This was while I was in high school. Though it was meant for her, I was at the computer most of the time, playing games. Suddenly, the world of gaming took my fancy with the Prince of Persia, Dangerous Dave, and Duke Nukem becoming my heroes in real life. I was thoroughly fascinated by their superpowers and their abilities to sprint and fly. Those were the good old days of DOS games, which I still miss.

Then, came the Windows-based games like Minesweeper and Solitaire, which always kept me pre-occupied in between classes or on boring assignment days. I was comfortable using the computer and was interested in learning to use more programs. So, I worked at becoming proficient in the Microsoft suite and also, dabbled in using the graphic design tools.

Another major encounter with technology took place when I got my car. It was a Maruti Suzuki 800. Driving an automobile made me aware of the mechanics of engineering products. My fascination towards cars grew. I loved driving my car and taking care of it. I used to particularly enjoy taking it to the garage for servicing and listening to the mechanic’s assessment of its condition. ‘Trudy’ was the apple of my eye and received a lot of attention and care.

These days, an iPod and a cell phone are integral parts of my handbag…the way technological gadgets have become indispensable to all of us. The Android mobile phone I carry is a prime example of technological advancement as I can not only make and receive calls and text messages but also surf the Internet, check e-mails, use the GPS functionality, and watch high-definition videos on my phone.

Over the past two decades, telecommunications technology has evolved from standalone voice and data communication to image, video, and multimedia, providing a communication backbone to our society. Wired and wireless communication has converged for this integrated system, leaving transmission cables extraneous and redundant. This gives way to a cheaper, more efficient way for exchange of information and data.

Ex-IBM CEO, Louis Gerstner, had once predicted that computing capabilities will be embedded in everything from clothes and wall paints all the way to big robots and apparatus.

Currently, we have an abundant number of devices and applications directed towards keeping in touch with our fellow human beings. Social media like Facebook and Twitter connect our lives, interminably, with others. We no longer go to bookshops or buy newspapers; the online subscription newsletters and the e-book readers like Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad, present us with the latest dose of news, staying within the comforts of our homes.

I believe the future lies in an all-Internet Protocol (IP) network, a single network on which everything travels as interleaved streams of IP packets, where you can use the same device to control all your electronic equipment within your home and workplace, backed by a smooth flow of IP traffic.

This next generation network technology constitutes an amalgam of Internet technologies and telecom infrastructure, accompanied by Long Term Evolution (LTE), a standard in high-quality wireless communication.

My technological wishlist would definitely contain an Apple home theater system since I am completely gaga about movies and I believe Apple makes the best computer hardware and software.

08 Jul 2014

New England Trip Continued…

Sand Beach… a pretty little beach located in the Newport Cove. The proximity of steep rocky cliffs to perfect white sand, makes this beach so picturesque. And the water… I’ve seen such blue waters only in the Caribbean.


The Park Loop Road runs parallel to the shoreline. As you climb along the rocky pathway going up from Sand Beach, you get an awesome view with cliffs rising right off the churning ocean waters. Lots of comfortable rocks to sit on and enjoy the view.


Further along the coast, off the park Loops Road, is Thunder Hole. It is an extremely narrow cove between high cliffs which makes a sound like thunder when a wave rolls into it. The noise is produced because of a cavern below the surface of the water in the cove. The way the water bursts up in high sprays as tall as 40 feet is striking.


Even as you approach it from far, you will see trekkers on Cadillac Mountain. There are many hiking trails going up the mountain, of differing lengths and difficulties. And some of our group wanted to climb up one of the trails, but the rest wanted to drive up. Of course, the lazy majority won and we drove up. 🙂


Cadillac Mountain is named after French explorer and adventurer, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. Mount Desert Island, the territory where Cadillac Mountain is located, was part of New France, the area colonized by France in North America, between 1534 and 1763. De Cadillac received the land grant for Mount Desert Island from the Governor of New France in 1688.

Before being renamed in 1918, the mountain was called Green Mountain. Topping at 1,530 feet, Cadillac Mountain is the tallest mountain along the eastern coast of the United States.


The views from the summit of Cadillac Mountain is awesome to say the least. You see far off mountains and islands shrouded in mist, giving them a aura of mystery. Really worth spending some time at the top.
During the fall and winter, many tourists go to the mountain summit to see the nation’s first sunrise.


There used to be a cog railway running up the mountain, from 1883 until 1893. Guess where it was moved in 1895? To Mount Washington in New Hampshire, which we had visited the previous day!

We had decided to spend Independence Day in Bar Harbor. In addition to being a tourist center, in the late 19th century Bar Harbor was home to the rich and famous, who maintained luxurious estates with landscaped gardens. Among the town’s claim to fame is the fact that it is the birthplace of vice-president Nelson Rockefeller on July 8, 1908.


The view on a walk along the Shore Path gives meaning to the native American name to the area, Pemetic – ‘range of mountains’ or ‘mountains seen at a distance’. The current name of the town comes from the sand and gravel bar, visible at low tide, at the rear of the harbour. The numerous ships – from large sailing ships to tiny boats – seemingly floating in the mist of the harbour render the view an ethereal quality.


The coastline of Maine in this area is extremely rocky. You will see very many interesting rock formations around here.

We had dinner at a lovely place in downtown Bar Harbor. Though the waterside walk was crowded with people out to watch the fireworks, the weather was great and the walk very pleasant.


Another encounter with the lobsters for a July 4th dinner… watching fireworks over the bay. A perfect end to a perfect trip!




04 Jul 2014

Worldpride Toronto…I’m Impressed!

June 29, 2014. Never expected the day to turn into such a big party. It was an experience of a lifetime. A celebration of life, love, and liberty as I have never seen before. Yes, I am talking of the final pride march, the concluding event at the ten-day Worldpride festival that took place in the last week of June in Toronto. As an ally and supporter, standing by the railings, cheering on, I felt truly proud. It was a spectacle of openness, doing what you like, and not caring a damn. Strong emphasis on the last point.


This was the event I have been waiting for since I heard of its popularity from my friends who had attended the pride parade the previous years. But the parade this year exceeded even their expectations. Way grander and bigger with a huge audience. And not just the marchers but the spectators were also an interesting crowd. I was walking around in open-mouthed wonder most of the time.


It was sheer excitement to see people, most exotically dressed in all imaginable costumes, performing for us. The drag queens looked drop-dead gorgeous. There was representation from human rights groups, affiliated with the Worldpride ideologies, as well as major Canadian for-profit organizations. I must admit though, the corporates do not make good entertainment material. It was slightly boring to watch them. Not so much the other groups who put in some thought into their costumes and exhibits in order to provide the most appealing display of their group’s mission and values.


The LGBT communities from different universities and sports clubs also put up a great show. It was interesting to note the firm statement put forth by communities originating in restrictive cultures like the (gaysi) The Gayi Desi and the Ismaili Queers. It was the spirit of solidarity that bound us all. Our cultural backgrounds, faiths, opinions, and orientation mattered no more. What mattered was that we were all there personifying unity in diversity and most importantly, having fun.


The authorities including the politicians and the police were there in tow providing their support. An estimated 12,000 people marched in the parade while more than a million supporters (I think!) grooved to the music played on the vans and vehicles carrying the floats and the people. The parade spanned across downtown Toronto, culminating at Yonge-Dundas Square, the most popular entertainment spot, for a musical evening of some great rock and pop music. This has been the best event I have attended in Toronto till date.

01 Jul 2014