(blogging from my room at the Gladstone Hotel)
I arrived in Toronto on Friday afternoon, and have spent the weekend before the Red Bull Music Academy kicks off (re-)discovering the city. It's been nearly a year since my last visit, and three-and-a-half had passed before that. I suppose it's technically "home," but it doesn't feel like it. I left when I was sixteen, and therefore always underage, so I never went out on Queen West or in Kensington Market when I lived here. My downtown experience was more around the Royal Conservatory, University of Toronto, the Bloor/Avenue area, with the occasional foray into Steve's. This is a side of Toronto I haven't really experienced in-depth before, and I have to say my feelings on the city are starting to change. I still despise the suburban sprawl of the GTA, but Queen West, College St. and the Market aren't so bad. There's still something about Montreal that serves as an inspiration and muse for me, but I can't really put my finger on it at the moment.
I'm quite excited for the Academy to begin this afternoon; the weekend has been spent meeting and hanging out with my colleagues from all over the world, enjoying the selections of Jake One at Supermarket on Friday night and the organic soul blowout last night courtesy of Georgia Anne Muldrow, Dudley Perkins, and DJs Jason Palma and Sean Sax. I've listened to Palma's show on CIUT for years, and it was a treat to finally see him spin.
I'll attempt to do a fairly thorough live-blog here for the next two weeks, but surf on over to the RBMA website for constant updates on the whole thing. Tonight: the first workshop/meeting and DJ Premier's party at Revival.