Notes: Chapter 7

I searched high and low for photos of old Birdy’s Pub, to no avail. I can’t believe someone didn’t photograph it — especially the inside with those wonderful tables. Of course, back then we didn’t have cameras in our phones — nor did we carry phones around with us. Well, except for Maxwell Smart, maybe. When Fielding mentions the carvings on the tables you have to understand that in many cases, that’s just what they were: bas relief carvings that were sometimes a quarter inch deep . One in particular I remember was of a group of people standing around an old upright piano and singing.

The closest I could get is this photo. It’s obviously taken after Birdy’s was closed, but before it was torn down.


In the hotel itself was the Prince Arthur Piano Lounge, ruled over by the magnificent Suleman, and once again all searches for any image of it turned up empty. I spent many nights there with Samantha and our friends, sitting around the piano while Suleman played. He was completely blind, but except for his cane you’d never have know it.

I wonder where he is now. Damn — the people you think you’re always going to know and yet somehow lose touch with. You could fill a world with them.

Okay, let’s move on before I start getting depressed.

The Boer War monument is real, and still in existence, as is the fountain, although the fountain has been out of commission for some time.


Taking long walks through Toronto at night was a favourite past time for Paula and me. We even sat by some fountain or other dangling our feet in the water. No soaked dresses, though.


How it looks in the story.


More like it was in real life.

And for those of you unlucky enough not to be Browncoats (fans of Firefly), both the chapter title and Fielding’s final quote references this memorable scene from the first show (video is 40 seconds long).

6 thoughts on “Notes: Chapter 7

    • Do. Catch it, I mean. Whedon (the creator and main writer) doesn’t let a line of dialogue be wasted. It’s a brilliant, and highly realistic science fiction show. No aliens. No faster than light travel. It’s — it’s just bloody brilliant, is all.

  1. I’m really loving that you’re taking the time and making the effort to show us the places you’re writing about. It makes it all the more real, even though you didn’t happen to find any photos of this particular place.. 🙂 Now, the woman in the fountain, her I’m enjoying even more.

    That’s a very funny clip. I’ve heard a lot about Firefly, but so far, I’ve been avoiding it because when I find a show I like, I tend to download the entire thing and forget about the rest of my life until I’ve seen all the episodes. Although, an escape from reality doesn’t sound too bad right now, so maybe I’ll just do it.

    • Glad you’re enjoying the notes. No idea why I started them, but I’m kind of enjoying doing them — even though it means more writing and sometimes some frustrating research.

      Firefly — Watch it. Seriously. The dialogue is nothing short of brilliant. Every line is better than it needs to be. And there are only 11 episodes, so it’s not like you have to make a major life commitment. It’s funny, sexy, real, and damned smart. When you finish the series, watch the movie, Serenity. That completes the major story line that he never got to do on TV because they cancelled the frickin’ show! And if you don’t fall in love with Inara — well, what can I say? (Actually — with Firefly you fall in love with all of them.)

      That woman in the fountain was just for you. Well, me too. (Oddly enough, it was really difficult finding a good picture of a woman in a fountain. I expected to have to choose between hundreds.)

      • I’m going to have some very pleasant dreams about that woman in the fountain…

        Okay, I downloaded Firefly, because anything that manages to be funny, sexy, real, and damned smart all in one is worth a watch. I don’t really know when I’m going to have time to watch it, but when I do, I’ll let you know what I thought of it.

        • She’s a peach, isn’t she?

          Make sure you watch the series in the right order (unlike the way they showed it on TV). Things happen in one episode that turn out to be important plot points. (Oh, and the episode called “The Train Heist” was written over one weekend. Whedon is a genius.)

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