Digital Storytelling Final Assignment, Part 2!


Once again, I would like share with you another contribution to the Community Connections Team’s Digital Storytelling program:) Enjoy! -Valerie 

Downtown Cruising –  A ride that should’ve been mine by now.

How often do you get to cruise around downtown really? I remember it being one of our great North American Dreams when we first came here: driving in the night through the streets of a city sprinkled with skyscrapers. (I am sorry Canada, this cruising dream is American borderless).

We did drive around with a rental car, the first week in Toronto, when life was still so unsettled. Yep, this was how we were gonna live. We really thought that.

That tickling stillness you feels inside the moving car, outside the streets all abuzz with the frenzy of youth and money. Ah, the evening smell of food, anticipation and money. Old money, earned money, saved up money, and the cash with that irresistible swagger; the two-weeks-salary-in-your-pocket kind of money. And the two of you alone inside that car, so that you can turn up the volume to music that you, really, are too old for and use phrases such as: aw, them streets abuzzz.*

(*Immigrants of all levels of settlement, learn this word and use it where it doesn’t belong. Talk about them streets abuzz, everywhere you go or plan on going!)


All that night. Sleek and gleaming, they built those skyscrapers just for the weekend cruise. Suburban kids from six corners of Toronto and all of a sudden you feel desperate to know where they are hanging out. Not that you would go. It’s just a dream.

Neon signs and long lines to restaurants you’ve never been. Oh now, you don’t need to dream about Manhattan if you get to do all that downtown cruising.


Penetrating that skyline is the whole reason immigrants get convertibles. The feeling of driving around the North American downtown is such a zen, calming experience.

Full-of-life zen. The best kind. (The other thing I haven’t done much, is the second zen thing: cabin by the lake. I imagined both being part of my Canadian life by now.)

But we just don’t get around to do it. It seems that all I get these days are the neighbourhood evening walks. Ed’s Ice Cream and back. What am I, an east-end dog-walking uncle?

(Disclaimer, I love Ed’s Ice Cream, but as with east-end uncles, they need to be a treat).


So yep, my promise of this, my first Canadian summer, is to spiff up my immigration life, maybe one small downtown ride at a time.


Annika and Çağlar, Guest Bloggers

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