Tags: Opera

Not Novelty Seeking

I was on a flight home from Frankfurt last week playing with one of the things Air Canada got right: its storehouse of movies you can watch for 8 solid hours. But rather than try to find a new first-run film I’d never seen, which all looked like lighter-than-air objects, fluffy and predictable, I did the opposite.

I went on the hunt for my favourite old movies, like Bonnie & Clyde and Catch Me If You Can and Dog Day Afternoon and Field of Dreams, Gladiator, and A Few Good Men. I didn’t want to see these faves in their entirety; I just wanted to see my favourite parts, the scenes whose action and dialogue will forever be imprinted in my brain.

Like when Bonnie and Clyde die in a hail of bullets.

When FBI agent Tom Hanks catches up to fake-pilot Leonardo di Caprio and says: “Nobody’s chasing you.”

When bank robber Al Pacino says: “Kiss me….When I’m being fucked, I like to get kissed.” 

When dreamer Kevin Costner hears: “If you build it, they will come.”

When gladiator Russell Crowe says: “My name is Maximus.”

And of course when Marine Colonel Jack Nicholson says to Tom Cruise: “You can’t handle the truth.”

I enjoyed my tour of great scenes from memorable movies enormously.

Rummaging around in these old scenes, and who I was when I first watched them, was new for me. It was much much more fun than trying to focus on the thin gruel of bot-like dialogue and stick-man actions in so many new films.

Remember when a night in a decent hotel cost less than a new car?

Two years ago, I got my first whiff that hotels cost staggeringly more than they did before the pandemic.

Some American friends were coming to Toronto for a family event in 2022. I said I’d cover their two nights here and set about booking a mid-price hotel. All I could get was the Delta Chelsea Inn in downtown Toronto, by no means five-star, for $500 a night.

That was nothing. Today, global hotel rates are like Toronto housing prices.

The big issue is supply and demand. Millions more of us are breaking free not just from our homes to travel, but from our home and native lands.

This is especially true with luxury hotels. As this week’s Air Mail points out: “The rich are continuing to get richer, and there are many, many more of them. Today, according to Statista, there are 59 million millionaires on the planet; in 2000, there were only 15 million.”

I remember growing up in Edmonton where my father had a flower shop in the Fairmont Hotel  Macdonald. One night, a wholesaler took a display room at the hotel and invited my dad up to see his wares. All I remember is that the room cost $80 a night. Ever since then, I’ve used $80 a night as my baseline for what a luxury hotel room should cost. I know that makes no sense. It was 65 years ago. But we all carry these childhood markers for value, just as I search in vain today for bacon and eggs and coffee for $5.

Today, the cheapest room at the Royal York in Toronto costs $957 per night, while the Four Seasons is $875. The Chateau Lake Louise is $1,427 and the Fogo Island Inn is $2,875.


Subscribe to my Free Weekly Omnium-Gatherum Blog:

  • Every Saturday the Omnium-Gatherum blog is delivered straight to your InBox
  • Full archive
  • Posting comments and joining the community
  • First to hear about other Ramsay events and activities

Get posts directly to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign Up for Updates!

Get news from Ramsay Inc. in your inbox.

Email Lists
Email Lists(Required)