May 06, 2003
I'm Not Dead Yet

Apologies for my long silence. I spent Thursday, Friday, and part of Saturday on an expedition to darkest New Jersey for a job interview, and most of Sunday on an operatic excursion to Toronto.

Highlights of the latter:

  • I have a general impression that the number of Canadian flags flown between Toronto and the border has increased over the last year or two.
  • The Voortman's Cookies factory near Exit 107 on the QEW was flying three flags. In order as I passed them on the way to Toronto: Old Glory, the Maple Leaf, and the Voortman's Cookie flag. Is Voortman's an American-owned company, or just feeling friendly? Most likely the latter, to judge from their website.
  • More than half the seats at the Opera Atélier were empty. At the end of The Marriage of Figaro, one of the minor characters came out to express his heartfelt thanks to those of us who had showed up. As he said (quoting from memory), "You'll notice that I was the only one in the cast wearing a mask, and I didn't buy it at a pharmaceutical supply store." He urged us to encourage all our friends to go to the opera, the theater, restaurants, and so on. Toronto's tourist trade must really be hurting. Perhaps they should market concert-going as a test of manhood. Just as many Japanese eat blowfish sushi because it can be deadly, so tourists can demonstrate their courage by visiting Toronto and attending crowded performances, then eating dinner in Chinatown.
  • One advantage to the almost-empty house was that I was able to move to a much better seat than the one I had paid for. I started out in what should have been the best seat in the balcony: it had an aisle on one side and a pillar on the other, with plenty of legroom. Unfortunately, it also had a very tall guy right in front. At intermission, I moved to the frontmost box on the left, which I had all to myself. I wish I had had the nerve to move before Act I. For the second half, I was no more than 15 feet from much of the action. It was amazing how much more intelligible the words and action were. An excellent performance, too, and there are shows through the weekend. If you are in Toronto this week and want to demonstrate your courage without eating sushi, this would be one way to do it. Balcony seats are only $25 Canadian, and you can probably move to much better ones without paying for them, as I did.
  • The Opera Atélier does 'original instruments' performances of 17th and 18th century operas. I was surprised that Figaro was sung in English. Surely one kind of authenticity demands the other?
Posted by Dr. Weevil at May 06, 2003 11:56 PM

Voortmans cookies....only try if you're desperate for a cookie. Far better to stop at one of the 389474 Tim Hortons for a delicious donut that kicks Krispy Kreme around the block.

Toronto is really the agent of its own SARS misfortune, and unfortunately everything is suffering there as a result. Vancouver, with a similar Asian population base and ties to the Pacific rim, contained things quite effectively.

Posted by: Jane on May 7, 2003 09:10 AM

Can you tell me where Voortmans Cookies Co. is located? I really liked their cookies when I was visiting someone in another state, but I can't find them in my city.


Posted by: Terry Macy on November 5, 2003 11:14 AM

So you like Voortman Cookies eh?

They can be found in any major grocery chain throughout North America. Because they do not spend all their money on valuable shelf space (mid level or eyesight) and put it back into their cookies instead, they are often near or on the bottom shelves in the cookie section.

They can often be found in any one of the following stores
Canada: Zehrs, Safeway, Sobeys, Provigo (Quebec), No Frills, Food Basics, and some WalMarts
US: Meijers, Target, Wal-Greens, WalMart, Kroger, Safeway, and K-Mart

Posted by: Flappy on December 8, 2003 10:35 AM

please tell me how i can be a route driver for the best cookies in the atlanta-marrieta area

Posted by: mike matera on December 17, 2003 04:28 PM

we love voortman's cookies .
but especialy in the SPRITS cookies there is something missing It is just as if mother forgot to put the butter in the batter.
Have a nice summer of what there is left and take care you all,
Greetings Margaret.

Posted by: Margaret on July 28, 2004 10:06 AM