Today I went to the Vegetarian Food Festival at Harbourfront. I’ve gone pretty much every year since I’ve lived in Toronto, and it’s such a treat every time! The hippy music, the kind-hearted, compassionate people, the great food. My favourite place to eat is Zen Gardens – they serve ‘meat’ skewers, drumsticks, dumplings, and other delicious meat-like items. Didn’t get a chance to attend any of the talks, but it looks like they had some great speakers (including my friend Tushar who gave a talk on nutrition).

While I was at Harbourfront, I picked up brochures for the upcoming International Festival of Authors and The Word on the Street Festival. I was excited to see that one of my favourite authors/journalists, Asne Seierstad, will be attending. She wrote The Bookseller of Kabul which I read not too long ago. It’s about a well-known bookseller in Afghanistan, Sultan Khan, who sells books underground during the time of the Taliban. Asne stays with his family for three months (post-Taliban), and documents their way of life, feelings, hopes and dreams. I couldn’t believe what I was reading most of the time (my jaw literally dropped at some parts). Far from an unbiased account, Asne is honest about her fury and judgment while witnessing how women are treated. She says that never in her life has she been as angry as she was during those three months.

In the afternoon I went to City Hall for the 50th anniversary celebrations. I was excited to see Jordan John play – I’d first seen him years ago when he opened for Aretha Franklin. He’s not even 30 and already an amazing blues musician. His father is Prakash John (legendary Canadian bassist). It was nice to see people out celebrating and enjoying live music on this cold, rainy day. He ended his set with “We want the funk” and we all sang along and danced.

You’ve got a real type of thing going down, gettin’ down
There’s a whole lot of rhythm going round.

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