What's with the change?

Cherry blossoms are da bomb! [too soon?]

May 12, 2013

What’s the most innocent activity to get you caught up in a controlled detonation by the bomb squad? 

Checking out cherry blossoms would have to be up there.

I was a latecomer to the cherry blossom party, i.e. I didn’t know they were big outside of Asia. Judging by the dreamy instagram pics on BlogTO, I was the only one in Toronto who didn’t spend last weekend picnicking under the trees. So out we went, mistakenly thinking the grey, drizzly weather ten degrees cooler than last week would keep High Park relatively empty.

The cherry blossoms were pretty nice. The people dressed as samurais were a little strange. I took the mandatory wanky manual focus photos.
No, I don’t have a smartphone and therefore no fashionable app to over-saturate my photos to what photographers spent years trying improve on. 
And anyway, all you smug instragrammers don’t know the thrill of lugging a SLR around all day, getting it from the case that’s inside the backpack, untangling the strap, remembering to take off the lens cap, missing a photo op because you can’t be bothered getting it out. But I digress.

There were a couple of news vans in the park. Were they just time-filling with a cherry-blossom-fever story, or did they have something to do with that police car blocking the road? 
Public curiosity is contagious. 
We went to investigate. The solo police officer was making a vague attempt to stop people
from walking down the road. He didn’t seem too insistent. Perhaps he knew how futile his attempt was in a 400 acre park. In fact, we went the other way and somehow ended up walking back along the cordoned-off road. “What’s going on? Did something happen down there?” a woman asked us excitedly. We didn't know. She was almost as disappointed as the cameraman who paced back to his news van, blocked from his story by the police car.

It was in the bleachers at a junior baseball game we stumbled across that we heard the first explosion; a distant canon-like boom. I stared wide-eyed at my partner. We discussed the possibility of a gunshot. “No, they make more of a ‘crack’ sound,” I concluded somewhat expertly, drawing on unfounded knowledge. I don’t know how long it was before the second explosion, but we were still in the bleachers, watching another kid strike out.

At the subway station, we read on the scrolling news screen that two suspicious objects had been found in High Park. At home we had to search online for the story (there was an amazing lack of news coverage on TV). Online we learnt that police had detonated two suspicious packages. Detonated?!  In the park packed with people? While kids played baseball? What is most surprising still, is the lack of news coverage. 
Where are the sensationalised live crosses? Where are the blow-by-blow breakdowns of how the scene unfolded? 
I seem to recall watching live as the pandas from China landed on a special FedEx plane.
It makes you wonder what constitutes a news story. Maybe the police asked for a media blackout while the investigation continues. Or is a story only newsworthy if you have vision?