Zeitgeist Moments

I'm sitting in a hotel room in TO watching the Flames versus the Ducks
in Game One of the Stanley Cup playoffs after another whirlwind trip –
this time visiting relatives in Georgetown and Grand Valley north of
Toronto yesterday and this morning with my parents.  The three of
us came into Toronto Friday at noon and met up with Shea at our hotel
since she couldn't come with us on Thursday (she finally
got her nursing registration papers approved after a two month wait so
had to work Wednesday and Thursday. Luckily she still had Friday
off.) 

We wandered a few areas this afternoon – Yonge St, Queen St, Spadina, U of T, back to
hotel.  Had an awesome supper at a Thai place next door then we
took the subway to Union Station and went up the CN Tower.  We got
there at dusk so didn't get as much daylight as we wanted but it was
still cool to see the city lights come on as the sun went down. 
Back to hotel for a swim then back to room to watch the hockey game
(it's tied 1-1 with eight minutes left in the third period.  Might
be another OT like the Detroit-Edmonton game earlier.) 

I've been party to two (what I call) zeitgeist moments
in my life – when I lived in England in 1995 for four months during the
height of the Cool Britannia/Britpop phenomenon and to a lesser extent,
in 2004 when Shea and I were in Calgary during the Flames' improbable
march to the Stanley Cup Finals that spring.  So many great
memories from both of those times but here's a few random ones from the
Flames one…

– I managed to get exactly one ticket to attend an actual playoff game
even though I tried to get tickets to every game.  It was a good
one to go to though – Game 3 in Round One which was the first Flames'
home playoff game in seven years.  They lost but it was still
incredibly exciting – not just the game and the introductions before
the game but the whole day leading up to it.

– we had the Alberta Book Awards the same night as a playoff game so I
ended up running the score into our MC on a regular basis so he could
announce it to the crowd.  This was the game that Vancouver went
up 4-0 by the second period and everyone thought it was over (I think I
even stopped running for updates) then after the event, we went to the
Hotel lounge to find that the Flames had tied it up 4-4 and they were
in OT which lasted three  extra periods before Vancouver
scored.  What a rollercoast ride!  One of Calgary's fanciest
hotels, The Palliser, became a sports bar for the night and I got
smashed on $7 pints sitting two tables from John McDermott who probably
couldn't figure out why the people who did show up to his concert seemed so distracted that night.  Hilarious.

– before Game Six of the final series against Tampa Bay, where the
Flames had the potential to win the Cup at home on a Saturday, Shea and
I went down 17th Ave at 1pm for a game with a 6pm start.  All the
bars were already packed and we thought we might end up watching this
huge game at home after all.  But we went into a pub (the Drum & Monkey) a few blocks
off 17th Ave close to the Writers Guild office and every table was reserved but the owner saw us and said he'd just
had a cancellation.  The reserved table was at the back but since
very few were there, we quickly swapped the reservation sign with a
table up front and had another great view of the big screen TV for this
game.  I mentioned earlier that I tried to get tickets for every
game – usually sitting at work (on a coffee break of course) or at home
– on the days tickets were released by Ticketmaster.  No luck
ever.  But this day, because we were so close to my office and
because we had so much time to kill, I went to my office and tried one
final time to get last minute tickets.  I don't know what would've
happened if a single ticket had come through but I think Tammy Wynette sings a
song about it! 

– just seeing how the people would stream out of their apartments and
houses towards 17th Ave (aka The Red Mile) after every Flames victory
(we lived only six blocks from the action ourselves) and then the
traffic (people and vehicular) on 17th Ave (they blocked the whole
street to vehicles after the Flames won their second series I think)
was pretty cool. 

– the crush of standing in a crowd of anywhere from 20 000 to 50 000
(during the final series) yet the way that it was always so peaceful
and calm. 

– and yes, there were a lot of girls flashing
(most people put a NSFW – “not safe for work” disclaimer on links like
this but a) I don't know where you work so how do I know if pictures of
boobs aren't allowed there and b) if a link called “girls flashing”
doesn't tell you enough about what you might see, you deserve whatever
punishment may come if you click on the link!  Er, I just clicked
on it myself and though most of the pics are pretty tame, some of the
ads on the site are pretty hardcore so be forewarned.)  Anyhow I
barely saw any booblies whether I was down there but I do admit that I
looked at the pictures on the page
linked above – mainly to see if there was anyone I knew!  There
was one urban legend-type story circulating about a middle-aged man who
visited the site linked above and was shocked to see pictures of his
daughter flashing.  Yikes! 

This is a horrible thought but there's a small part of me that hopes
the Flames won't do as well this year because I'd hate for them to make
the finals again and not to be there.  One of the ways that I
justified leaving Calgary when we did was that the NHL was having its
lockout and I wouldn't be able to get to any games for the next year
anyhow – unlike the odd game I was able to get at during the time we
did live in Calgary. 

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From Head Tale - The 10 Most Unique Experiences In My Life on 24 Jan 2016 at 9:56 pm

    […] wasn’t something unique to me but I’ve often talked about being part of two unique moments in history – being in the UK in 1995 during the height of […]

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