Apparently, all roads lead to Kasa Moto. Just a few days after running into the brilliant publisher/writer Marnie Kay outside the Four Season’s d/bar, I ran into this very same gorgeous person at Kasa Moto. This glamourous and simply fabulous woman seems to be everywhere. For some unfathomable reason I always seem to be drawn to these types of otherworldly women, like Ulysses to the Sirens’ call. They are hypnotic, captivating, and totally irresistible. (Pictured above, Marnie Kay on the left.)
In the middle sits the raven-haired Jennifer Goulart, a member of the famous podcasting sister team of Jennifer and Ashley Goulart. Their show, Lovegistics: The Science of Love, is an addictive listen. Their most recent dialogue on the pros and cons of Bumble vs Tinder, and thoughts on love, sex, and all that jazz was very stimulating. These women know how to deliver great audio!
I suppose that in the Lovegistics vernacular, I am “old school.” Though like most dudes, I like “cake by the ocean” or “pie under the sky.”
The second floor patio of Kasa Moto, a high-end Japanese restaurant in Yorkville, is one of the most beautiful and popular patios in all of Toronto. It overlooks the chichi shops of Yorkville and provides an amazing view of the Toronto skyline to the south.
But many of us Kasa Moto regulars do not just come to the patio for the view or even the so-called beautiful people all fapitzed (Yiddish for dolled-up) in their four-inch Stuart Weitzman’s and tight, clingy white jeans. And those are just the guys.
We come because the Kasa Moto servers and bartenders are some of the best in Toronto’s booming hospitality industry.
The Queen B of bartenders is my friend, Courts Shanahan. She is experienced (having been in the business for nearly ten years), professional, quick, responsive, smart, warm, and gracious. Prior to her current Kasa Moto gig, Courts ruled the bar at the Toronto Four Seasons’ d/bar, one of my other favorite haunts. Her knowledge of wine and spirits is encyclopedic and very impressive. With such a wide array of drinks up her sleeve her two favorite libations are: the Apple Martini (3 oz. apple sours, ½ oz. vodka, 2 oz. lemon juice), and the Kasa Moto Caesar (2 oz. Shishito pepper-infused vodka, Sirracha, Yuzu ponzu, Walter’s Caesar mix, Wasabi, rimmed with salt and a garnished with a house-made pickle).
Courts has to wear many hats, acting as both a mixologist and psychologist to her clients. She is also a friend, a confidante, and, on occasion, a discrete and trusted adviser relating to matters of the heart.
And not only does she remember the names of regular habitués of Kasa, but also their liquid pleasure. In my case, it’s pretty easy: Diet Coke on the rocks with a twist of lemon. Neither shaken nor stirred. But gently poured.
By day, Courts is a kick-ass software app developer. Who knew?
Though her nightly bartending job is highly intense and stressful (especially on the warm summer nights of Thursday to Saturday), Courts always greets me and treats my fellow Kasa Moto types with a warm smile and easy manner.
And frankly, after a tough day in Toronto’s ultra-competitive rat race, that makes all the difference.
Oy Vey Zmir! You should have seen the blonde(ish), botoxed beauties in five-inch Jimmy Choo’s doing a double take as they wiggled their way the to the chichi second floor patio of Kasa Moto.
Zane Caplansky, Toronto’s King of Smoked Meat, has made the move from the mean streets of College Street to the rarefied environs of Yorkville. He is literally muscling into territory currently owned by such upscale eateries as Café Boulud, Buca, and McEwan’s Hazelton One. It is a real gutsy, chutzpah move, and I hope he is a big success. Caplansky’s will certainly add some sizzle, hustle, and schmaltz to Cumberland, whose restaurants have become somewhat tired and dated.
I, for one, am with the Zane Man. Note the new entrance to Caplansky’s Deli: it looks like a chic murder scene with the yellow construction taping in front. I betting Zane will kill at this location.
I am normally a Greek yogurt, blueberries for breakfast, and a light kale salad for lunch kind of guy. But for Caplansky’s? I will happily fall off the vegan lite wagon and go back to my Montreal-based Snowdon Deli roots.
I highly recommend Caplansky’s classic Chicken-Matzo Ball soup and Cabbage Borscht. (See photos, below.) The Matzo ball, swimming confidently in a flavourful chicken broth, is surprisingly light. The Cabbage Borscht recalls that made by my Toronto grandmother from a recipe from the old country (Russian/Lithuanian). There is real love cooked into that Cabbage Borscht, a great comfort food in both cold and hot weather.
The smoked meat sandwich is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest in Toronto: meaty, fatty, a bit spicy, and moist. I could inhale these suckers for hours. (Of course, this would quite literally be my Last Supper.) Note Caplansky’s also has a terrific pickle and mustard bar, from which you can choose a variety of sweet and sour pickles and both hot and regular mustards. I also recommend their Meat Knish, which is a very light, delicious, and meat-filled thin pastry. And the meat gravy? Yummy.
The classic Breast of Turkey sandwich, complete with crisp greens, is also an appetizing and healthy alternative—definitely worth a shot. Follow that with a heaping basket of addictive, thinly cut fries. By this time, I am afraid that I had completely gone off the reservation. But it was all worth it at Caplansky’s.
Recently, I attended with the Silver Fox (resplendent once again in her off-the-shoulder, long red number) a wonderful evening in support of brain health and rehabilitation at the Toronto Sinai Health system.
The location: the new Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store in the Toronto Eaton Centre on Queen Street. Note the “Lady in Red” seemed to warm up to one of the Saks’ models in particular. She confessed to me that she preferred the strong, silent, discreet, and very buff type.
The above title is more aspirational than real. And anyway, who wants to become a multi-billionaire overnight?
And lose my “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” status. Not me. Not in this lifetime, cowboy!
Note the photo of me with the hot black Lamborghini, is not mine. It belongs to a friend of mine. Though this Lambo perfectly matches my dark hair+dark brown eyes. But this Lambo got me thinking. What if very successful, independent women, wanted to retain hot Uber guys to drive them around in Lambos, Maseratis, Porsches and take these lovely women out to dinner, dancing, shows, luxury hotels and resorts. And basically drive them and take them wherever they want to go. No Questions asked. No Judgment.
Hence I came up with the brilliant idea of merging Uber with the hot dating app Tinder to create: Voila- UberXrated-Tinder. Genius, I know.
My friend from Goldman, Sachs just cut me a cheque for $100 mill for 10% of the action. You know to lease a fleet of fancy sports cars and the services of hot, educated and eligible men for the very discerning and high-powered female clientele. Now, if I could only learn to drive “standard”, I would be golden. Ciao, babe.
The d/bar, comfortably nestled in the new Four Seasons Hotel at Bay/Yorkville, is the “go-to-place” for Toronto’s growing population of male and female Boomers – to engage in casual encounters.
But if you relied solely upon the Toronto liberal media, you would never be aware that such a vibrant and dynamic subculture does actually exist in Toronto, “No Longer The Good”.
Awhile back, Toronto Life magazine was all agog at its discovery of Toronto’s downtown sex-crazed Tinder generation – sex texting, drinking, partying and literally getting it on from nooners to last call at such hotspots as Earls Kitchen & Bar and Drake One Fifty.
Both establishments, located on York Street amid phallically-inspired bank buildings, cater to the downtown 20-early 30-somethings who populate the nearby towers as male and female junior bank/securities analysts, lawyers, accountants and consultants.
Of course in this breathless Toronto Life article, there was no mention of 50 something Boomers (aged 51-67).
As if they do not exist.
What are they? Chopped liver?
Contrary to popular opinion, Toronto’s aging Boomers have not all retired to die in some sleepy suburban Amica Retirement Home called Aspen Woods or Celestial Gardens. Nor do they spend their nights in their condos or apartments chugging back Metamucil as they stare dimly at CBC’s follically challenged Mansbridge of The National, as he tries to lull them to sleep with liberal platitudes and empty bromides.
Though many of these Boomers are no longer Bay Street or Wall Street masters of the universe, they are still more than masters of their domain.
Many of these Boomers, unencumbered by spouses, children and mortgages, are still working hard and playing hard.
As in the classic film “Casablanca”, where all roads led to Bogart’s “Rick’s Café”, in Toronto – for Toronto Boomers and their friends – all roads still lead to the Four Seasons’ d/bar.
I have been dropping in at the d/bar on a semi-regular basis. For research, of course. It is a Dirty Martini job, but someone has to do it. As a result, I have become familiar with the regular denizens of d/bar.
Just around the corner from the hotel’s lobby on the main floor, the d/bar displays a certain casual elegance- from the gracious hostess, to the friendly bar tenders manning the long marble bar to the taupe comfy chairs and couches located strategically around the room.
The place, particularly on Thursday evenings, is packed with a good and even natural mix of male and female lawyers, dentists, doctors, real estate agents, business people, publicists, consultants and wheelers/dealers and guests of the hotel. As expected, the men are roughly older (50-65) than the women, who are generally a little younger, 38-50, but not that age inappropriate.
Fred, the “Closer”, and Jerry, the “Dentist”, (actual names withheld to protect the innocent and not so innocent) are your typical d/bar habitués.
Both men in the late 50s, are fit, single, divorced and apparently quite content with the cards life has dealt them.
Fred is a friendly real estate guy, happily unmarried. His three children, all finished university, are independent and working. Woo-hoo! Off the family payroll.
Jerry is a semi-retired dentist, also with grown and independent children.
These two are not your typical Tinder demographic.
Their approach to women at d/bar is more old school. Easy banter and buying of drinks all around.
The only swiping they do, is with their credit or debit cards.
(FYI: Tinder is a dating app, in which men and women, living in close proximity, post photos and brief profiles online, and when two strangers on their smart phones swipe to the right on each other’s profile, an oral contract to Tinder date each other is consummated.)
As Jerry the Dentist confided to me, “d/bar sure beats sitting around alone in your place or at a sports bar with a bunch of strange guys, all staring at the female server’s tight t-shirt.”
Jerry, like the Closer, hangs out at d/bar, mainly for the regular social connections and the chance of meeting a new person or reconnecting with a familiar face. If these encounters lead to dinners, film dates, brunches and casual hook-ups, even better.
At this stage of their lives, they are just happy to let nature takes its course and just go with the flow.
Interestingly, the women at d/bar have more aggressive agenda. Sophia (mid 40s) a single mom from Brampton with two teenage children, regularly hangs out at d/bar in the hopes of meeting her Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, for a little roll in the hay.
Lillian, Scottish-born from Burlington, is a married woman of two teenagers. Though happily married, she had confided to me of her desire to three way with another woman and a willing male participant. Apparently, she envisioned the male member more a bit player in this fantasy. Hence her nickname, the “Scottish Sappho”.
This quiet and sweet suburban married Burlington mother also confided to me that she fantasized about having rough sex with strange men in the d/bar unisex washroom. And then proceeded to ask what our safe word would be?
The first word that popped in my head was “Ezra” as in Ezra Levant, a notorious conservative right wing provocateur and pundit.
The Scottish Sappho laughed, nervously, then excused herself from the table, muttering into her Neo-Negroni cocktail, that I was really weird. I never saw Sappho again.
Clearly, she was a left wing Trudeau supporter.
Even here at this Boomer haven d/bar cocktails and politics apparently do not mix.
I was never a big fan of former three term Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien, but I must doff my frayed chapeau to this straight-talking dude. Chretien’s solution to this horribly dysfunctional Cree reserve is to encourage its inhabitants to get the hell out of dodge. Or more appropriately, leave this extremely isolated community on the west coast of James Bay and head for a more metropolitan centre, i.e. the city of Timmins about 500 kilometres south of Attawapiskat.
The implication is that this reserve is done like dinner. No amount of combined federal and provincial support can revive this place. No amount of hard-earned Canadian taxpayers’ money can solve the fundamental problems within this isolated reserve. No amount of bleeding heart provincial and federal liberals beating their breasts can turn this situation around. This reserve is doomed to disease, suicide and death. Period.
As Chretien wisely noted referring to this situation, cutting through the political BS and political correctness, “there is no economic base there for having jobs and so on, and sometimes they have to move, like anybody else”.
Chretien is no “Jean-come-lately” to this file. Back in the day, he was Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development from 1968-1974 in the Pierre Trudeau cabinet. While Prime Minister in the mid nineties, his government was faced with its own Attawapiskat-like disaster. It was called the Davis Inlet Innu reserve in Labrador.
Attawapiskat in 2016 is reminiscent of Davis Inlet in 1993 – the same sad and tragic story.
Prior to the relocation of all the 500 Davis Inlet residents, six Innu youths, aged 11-14 were caught on video, attempting suicide by sniffing gasoline fumes. According to the then CBC report, many children, some as young as six months, were neglected by parents too drunk to care. The majority of these children suffered from tuberculosis and skin infections caused by poor hygiene.
95% of the adult population suffered from alcoholism.
In 1993, 25% of the population tried to commit suicide. Of the then 360 children (about 10%) some as young as five years old, were “problem sniffers” of gasoline.
As in the Davis Inlet situation, in the last six weeks in Attawapiskat there have been 39 suicide attempts in a community of 2,000 – including 11 attempted suicides in the last week. I suspect these figures are just the tip of the tragic iceberg.
I suspect the number of residents of this community, like in Davis Inlet, who have attempted suicide is much higher.
Also like in Davis Inlet, the children suffer from poor hygiene. And alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and despair are rampant among both young and old residents.
Predictably, Indian officials like Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, point their fingers at the federal and provincial government. Of course, these suicides and these multiple problems are a result of that old “go to” scapegoat: “the residential school” system.
Leftist NOW magazine blames this situation on the “usual suspects” of Canadian colonialism and institutional racism.
Of course none of these politically correct native Indian officials or misguided leftists, point their fingers where the fault clearly lay – the Native Indian elders, the chiefs and the adult natives Indians and parents of these children.
All these so-called leaders and adults should be held accountable for their apparent negligence, their carelessness and for their wrong-headed desire to stay attached to a land and to their traditions of hunting and fishing that cannot sustain this isolated community or provide the bare necessities of life to themselves and certainly not to their children, who prefer taking their lives, than living another day in such deplorable conditions.
If this Attawapiskat reserve was instead an extreme Jewish cult in which its children were attempting suicide, the provincial and federal authorities would be all over this place, removing the children to save their lives, and throwing the cult’s leaders in jail.
But because it is 2016, and native Indians appear untouchable, their children are doomed to die early deaths due to our national liberal political correctness. Shame.