Well, I’m back from my whirlwind tour of the east coast and it looks like things are going to get very busy, very quickly. But more on that in a second. First, here are the highlights of my Toronto and Montreal visits:
We got in for a little after 5:00 p.m. Since we only had carry-on luggage, I figured the two hour window would afford us plenty of time to get to our downtown hotel, decompress, and then walk the five blocks over to Buca. Of course what I failed to account for was the ridiculous Toronto traffic. In the end, we made it – but it was close. As always, a great meal…
The crispy pig ears. Don’t knock ’em ’til you’ve tried ’em! My writing partner, Paul, was insistent I NOT order these – but I did anyway figuring “more for me”. Except that, when they arrived, guess who couldn’t keep his dubious hands off MY order?
I turned in at a reasonable hour and, despite being on PST time, managed to ALMOST fall asleep at around midnight. I was just about to drift when – I was startled by a knock at my hotel room door. Confused and more than slightly annoyed, I went to the door and peered out the peephole. “Yes?”I asked, making no attempt to conceal my irritation. “Delivery!”said the guy in the hall. Delivery?! WTF?! Had the production office sent out some last minute information packet in advance of tomorrow’s meeting? I sighed, loudly, threw on my jeans and opened the door to…no one. I stepped into the hallway and there was the same guy, delivering take-out next door. “Sorry,”he offered. Unsurprisingly, his apology did little to soothe my by then wired nerves. I didn’t fall asleep until well after 2:00 a.m. – and it was a fitful sleep at that.
We were picked up from the hotel at 10:00 a.m. and driven over to the production offices where we met the gang and toured the sets of the other series. After lunch, we visited some post-facilities, then had a sit-down with other prospective personnel. All very nice, very smart people. Yes, when the show goes, it will go in Toronto. Vancouver was my first choice (of course), but a host of variables make Toronto the better candidate.
A relaxed dinner with our producing partner, Jay, and a reasonably early night – but, again, very little sleep. As I lay awake, I became acutely aware of how much I like my own bed…and how much I’m going to miss it.
I flew out of Toronto early morning and flew into Montreal in time for lunch. Sis picked me up at the airport and took me to mom’s place for sushi and –
For dinner, Sis managed to score reservations at a restaurant I’ve been meaning to visit for, oh, going on five years now: Joe Beef, a favorite of Anthony Bourdain. Yeah, that guy from The Taste.
A fantastic meal. The portions were enormous. How enormous? At one point, a heavy-set man at a neighbouring table had his chair collapse and splinter beneath him partway through his meal!
I really have to do a show in Montreal some day. Brutal winters aside, it’s got a great restaurant scene – and a nice little dog community.
For lunch, we had barbecued steaks and sausages compliments of…the girl master:
And desserts from Patrice. We had a nice assortment including chocolate and caramelized banana cream puffs and chocolate-coffee pastries, but my surprise favorites were the kouign-amann (sitting in the back).
I left Montreal on a 6:20 p.m. flight – but not before taking a photo of these flowers that mom insisted would be blog-worthy.
I returned home in Vancouver at around 9:00 p.m. As expected, the dogs were thrilled to have me back! Oh, and Akemi too.
Catching up on a few things. I read three books while I was away, bringing my June total to 19 (not including a whopping 3 I gave up on!), my overall goal on the year to 90 books read. My upcoming schedule may put a crimp in my rapid pace.
This week, Paul and I will discuss the 13-episode first season game plan I’ve put together which includes episode synopses, production demands, and all the major twists, turns, and character arcs.
The week following, we start the writers room. The plan is to break all 13 episodes of the show’s first season over the course of July.
In late August, I head to L.A. for some meet and greets.
Since things will start heating up at the end of this year, we’ll have to pull our annual Japan trip up a few months – I’m thinking late September.
We move to Toronto in November – just in time for winter! We’re going to have to pick up some winter garb – and fly the dogs over (which is always a frustrating and incredibly distressing experience).
I’m thinking we’ll probably go to camera in early January. By that point, of course, the sets will have been built, the cast decided upon, and most of the scripts written.
It’ll be great to return to the world of scifi television. Very exciting.