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I reconnected with my friend, Michelle, back in March at a youth retreat and we’ve hung out a few times since then. Considering that we’re both introverts, this is cool and a bit of a big deal for me, because all of the people I used to hang out with were extroverts, and they were a bit over-bearing and smothering.

The best thing to come from this, for me, has been a broadening of my cultural palate. I’ve had a passing interest in reading manga, but it’s never really taken hold for me. I have a couple of Legend of Zelda manga kicking around but I’ve never read them.

Somehow, I tripped over Fruits Basket, and instead of shelling out the money to buy them at Chapters, Michelle’s been lending them to me. This exchange of manga has been the catalyst for most of our get-togethers, as she gives me the next volumes and I return the ones I’ve read.

Our meetings have also brought us to Koreatown in downtown Toronto. The first time we visited, it wasn’t until the trip home again that I realized that I should’ve brought Timmy with me, so the second time we went, last week, I made sure to bring the little dude with me.

Koreatown runs along Bloor St., nestled between Christie and Bathurst Sts.. For our second trip, we were thinking about lunching at Snakes & Lattes, and so I got off at Bathurst subway station, which is closer to the cafe. This meant Timmy and I could pass by the now-closed Honest Ed’s.

Up until the end of last year, Honest Ed’s was the ultimate bargain store, where you could find just about anything, from clothing to food to appliances…it was crazy. I remember going there once when I was a kid, and I regret never going back before the doors were shut for the last time.

West from there, we met up with Michelle at Snakes& Lattes.

After a brief discussion, we realized that maybe we should save an official visit for a time when we had a couple more folks with us, and instead headed back east along Bloor to grab lunch at New Generation Sushi.

We shared green tea.

We admired the artwork on the wall.

Michell had one of their bento boxes, while I had the Chicken Katsu Don. I didn’t grab a snap until after we’d torn into the food.

After lunch we headed to BMV to browse. I bought some D&D resources and the first volume of a new manga series (Cantarella, for the curious; it’s…interesting? I kinda want to see where they go with it). Michelle bought a small fortune in Marvel comics to boost her collection.

After that we headed to Just You – Sarah and Tom, because I needed more origami star paper. I bought a pack the first time we were down in the area, and my silly self wanted to make sure there were the same number of each type of star in the jar, and I didn’t have enough from the first batch to do more than ten each of five colours.

My fave thing about this store, besides all the adorable nick-nacks, are the ginormous plushies.

No trip to Koreatown would be complete without visiting Kevin’s Taiyaki stand.

All in all, it was a pleasant day; the rain that we were supposed to have held off, and we got to enjoy downtown Toronto while everyone was at work.