When it’s officially a heat wave, you have two choices – stash yourself in front of the air conditioner, or melt outside. Obviously the best option is to get yourself a turquoise MINI convertible. That way, you can bomb around with your MINI-mad buddies and lose yourself under the sweltering sky. When the open road beckons and the wind is whipping your cares away, isn’t that what summer is all about?
And lord knows, there is nothing more adorable than a Caribbean Aqua Metallic MINI Cooper convertible. Design cues from the legacy MINI abound, from the bright-eyed stance and cheerfully rounded headlights outside to the overlapping circles of the tach/speedometer inside. Complemented by a rounded 8.8 inch touchscreen which lights up like a mood ring depending on your driving mode, toggle switches abound, all finished in dazzling brightwork. Flipping back the convertible roof was as easy as holding down one of the toggles, and in a jiffy, the sky rolled into view. We could have opted for a partial-roof (mini-roof?), which is sort of like having a sun roof, but half-milers we’re not!
Straight away, our first stop was our lanky MINI fan, who unfurled her gams and artfully arranged herself against the dove grey leather seat, pulling out the handy thigh extension. (Oh, that there were thigh extensions on my denim miniskirt) Buttons, knobs and switches were all examined and fussed over, and then it was off to Centre Street Deli for some sustenance. This deli is the kind of place where the demographic swings between mishpocha, mensch and meshugenah. The zaide next to us stole our napkins, and then, in a moment of contrition, gave one back. Like we wanted it back? And the waitresses shower you with toasted rye, even though you specifically said, no bread. And the lox is simply to die.
Did I mention the MINI Connect app? Combined with the Wired Package, this app completely changes the MINI game for music lovers like moi. I could download Deezer, where, much to my delight, I discovered a playlist of bootleg Streisand songs, recorded at the Bon Soir in 1962. YES! With the Streisand concert a scant two weeks away, I could gleefully immerse myself in BabsLand. My rapture was off the charts.
Then, it was off to the suburbs to hang with a MINI-mad musician buddy. She was completely enamoured with the dishy MINI. To her finely tuned ears, even the roar of the engine was dishy. We motored off to the aptly named Snake Road for some shits and giggles (musician-speak for, um, shits and giggles), where the MINI proceeded to grandstand its hardass rally roots. Peeling around corners at a notch or two over the speed limit, my buddy squealed with joy. Or was it fear? My job is only done when I can get a yelp or two out of a passenger, and the MINI was an able-bodied accomplice. Beneath that charming façade lurks a high torquing spirit that bursts forward at the slightest command and smokes around curves. We tried in vain to find Magnetic Hill, which would have pulled the MINI up a grade on an almost paranormal magnetic force. You can bet we had plenty of kicks – and wild turns – on our spirited search.
But the truth of any car lies in its ability to navigate the hard-scrabble urban landscape, and I challenged the MINI to rough’n’ready Parkdale. We handily outraced the Queen 501 streetcar, finessing around miscreant cyclists, scooters and pedestrians. Parking the compact MINI was a breeze, even in this cramped neighbourhood, and I pulled into a tight spot right in front of my favourite vintage clothing store, Stella Luna. Naturally I found a green and blue dress that matched the MINI perfectly, but not my budget. Oh, well.
I had something better. Peeling away under a luminous sky, my heart fluttered as the MINI surged forward.
Leaving a trail of urban grime in our wake, the throaty murmur of the MINI was more than enough. For now.