New book tells 1,000 places to see in Canada, U.S. before I die ... Delaware?
Yikes. Here I am in the basement, getting ready for work, and I'm looking at the book "1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die."
Hey, I DON"T NEED THE PRESSURE! I like these books fine; nice and bite-sized bits of information and all. But, geez, do I really HAVE to see the Arkansas Folk Festival (no offence to Levon Helm, drummer for The Band, or to Bill Clinton). And do I really NEED to see The Great Texas Birding Trail? No, I do not. I have a backyard and sometimes see (and hear) cardinals and robins and such, and when I go to Muskoka I see ducks and loons and great blue herons, so I'm not going to sweat over some birds in Texas. Not to mention (although I guess I just did) the coastal town of Lewes, Delaware, which looks not bad for Delaware (see photo).
Truly, though, I enjoy these kinds of books. PARTICULARLY WHEN THEY INCLUDE CANADA, which so many lists and such I see from the U.S. do not. It's terribly frustrating to read an American-based survey of, for example, what airline has the best muffins (oh, wait, they don't even give us muffins anymore do they?) and then find out that they didn't think to include Canada, despite all our contributions to American society such as Neil Young, insulin, Mary Pickford, Mike Myers and Celine Dion (sorry about that last one).
I noted with some curiousity that of the 92 places listed in Canada, a sizable 14 are in Ontario, including Algonquin Park, The Toronto International Film Festival and, yes, Niagara Falls. There were 11 in Quebec, including Old Quebec and Old Montreal and also Montreal's Jazz Festival and Summer Festivals. Alberta also has 11.
Ontario's 14 are as many as Saskatchewan (3), Manitoba (also 3), PEI (again, 3), New Brunswick (4) and the Yukon (1) put together. But we get our butts kicked by British Columbia, which has a whopping 28 listed. It's easy to toss in the Okanagan Valley and the lovely Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino and Granville Market in Vancouver, but I don't quite see how the Fairmont Empress in Victoria (see photo) gets noted on its own as a place to see while the Chateau Frontenac or Fairmont Banff Springs don't. Mind you, the Fairmont Banff Springs does get noticed in the Banff part of Alberta's listings, and the Frontenac is in old Quebec, so I guess that's okay. And I do LIKE the Empress just fine.
I also noticed that there appear to be 25 listings for New York City alone, including the Bronx Zoo, the Empire State Building and the museums. But I don't see how Columbus Circle is that big a deal that I need to feel badly about not seeing it before I die. Lucky for me I've been there. What a relief!
California came in with a remarkable 54 listings, but I didn't see the San Francisco cable cars, which is bizarre. I also found some other oddities, such as a separate listing in Ontario for the AGO, but a lumping together of the Royal Ontario Museum and the Hockey Hall of Fame. I don't get that on any level (Bobby Orr and architect Daniel Libeskind are an odd combination) but I'm happy to see both get some ink in the book.
It got me thinking about 1,000 places to see in Toronto before I die. An apology from Doug Ford to the Toronto Star is one I'd LIKE to see. Not to mention a street with traffic lights that are actually timed properly so I don't have to stop 16 times on the way home on the rare occasion that I drive to work.
Anyway, it's fun stuff and the book definitely is worth a look. For more information, see www.1000BeforeYouDie.com.