Tuesday, December 30, 2008


- the different neighbourhoods
- Chinatown, baby (supermarkets, fruit stores with hawkers, being able to hear Cantonese and Mandarin, the atmosphere)
- the Dundas/Spadina old women who sell their homegrown produce on the streets, on top of milk crates
- Kensington
- small independently-owned grocery stores
- Asian Freedom School
- so many creative people from different backgrounds and experiences. so inspiring.
- cheap phone cards from Chinese women who sell from holes in the wall
- there is something to do everyday, if you so wish to do them
- $2.25 to get the airport
- ummm...food, obviously.
- streetcars, but mainly in the summer. it's nice to go down a street slowly in a tin box, absorbing the surroundings
- the parks. ahhhh i miss summer!
- the parkettes. same deal.


- it's fucking expensive to live in this city
- so many Torontonians don't dance! wtf, man.
- the subway. 
- streetcars. especially in the winter. being packed inside a stuffy metal box with other cranky people is not my idea of a good time
- winter in this city can sometimes be cold in every sense possible
- the queer world is still small as ever. or at least it seems so...
- this place makes me want to run away sometimes
- there are so many cyclists in this city, yet drivers are still fucking douches and don't watch out for them

Oh, Toronto. I love you, but I want to leave you for a little while. Just a week and a half. That's all. I am going to leave you for Mexico or Cuba. Just a week and a half.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maracatu and Aline Morales Band at Lula Lounge - 12/26/08

I went to the Maracatu Nunca Antes show last night at Lula Lounge. The Aline Morales Band opened.

It was an amazing night. I danced so hard. My neck was dripping with sweat. I was right up at the front of the stage, holding the dancing down. It was so good to have gone. Exhilarating!

There were so, so many alfaias on stage. The sound was brilliant. It was great to see Alejandra, Ana Maria, Hanae, Angelica and Mari play. They are so obviously in love with the music and play with everything they have, which makes for a great performance, great music and awesome times. The stage was small, but they managed to fit so many players on there.

I payed homage to Maracatu and wore my "where's waldo" cardigan. Representin' the red.

If anyone reading this has the chance to see Maracatu live...please do it. The youtube video clips do not do them justice whatsoever.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We're so over, AA

I am proud to say that I no longer crave shopping at American Apparel. There, I said it. It has been so difficult, this summer, to resist the bold colours and soft t-shirts, not to mention moving to the big city and feeling like I needed to be up to par with all the fashionable and stylish.

I'm not exactly sure how my secret AA obsession plateaued. It probably actually has to do with the fact that 1) I dropped a big load on the incredibly beautiful laptop I am currently typing on and 2) therefore, cannot be spending $35 on a t-shirt. On top of that, all the relationship drama I have had in my life in the past month has kept my mind off of what purchase to make next. Oh...and I've met too many irritating AA-clad queers in the past seven months to put me off of their merchandise for a while.

This isn't to say I will never purchase anything from the store again. I do still find myself wanting to snag a few items. I can make AA my "own," right?....Right? I would like to think so. My wardrobe isn't made up entirely of their clothing. My outfits are usually made up of a mix of an expensive, durable piece (which usually means my lezzie Blundstones), some sort of reconstructed piece I made myself, buttons made by someone I know, shitty jeans I've been wearing for years and something from a popular retail store (H&M...American Apparel...god, even Suzy Shier sometimes).

My desire to buy hasn't died though. And I don't know if it ever will. I have been craving Salvation Army, Value Village and 69 By the Pound for the past two weeks. Someone come with me! Please!?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dundas, between Gladstone and Sheridan

My neighbourhood is evolving. In the span of seven months, which is how long I have lived here for, I have seen new businesses pop up that I don't think serves the majority of those who actually live in the area. I live on Dufferin, just south of Dundas, bordering Parkdale, in the Portuguese neighbourhood.

The Dundas strip, between Gladstone and Sheridan, is, in my opinion, rapidly transforming. The strip I'm talking about is a mere two blocks. 

When I moved to my place, West Side Stories, the lezzies-run video rental store, was already in business and had been for a while. Within the last seven months, the following businesses opened up on the strip:
1. Multiple Organics - organic grocer
2. Henhouse - restaurant and bar (owned by Katie Sketch and Jenny Smyth, band members of now defunct band, The Organ)
3. Zoot's Cafe - ...cafe

Now, all of these businesses are small and independent (and run by some pretty awesome people!), but I can't help but wonder who these businesses are serving. From my highly reliable and empirical study of my neighbourhood, I can say that the majority of the people who live here are elderly people and families with three generations under one roof, many of whom are immigrants. I highly doubt my Christmas decoration-loving neighbours are likely to visit the Henhouse for a Thursday night drink. 

And then there's "us," the alcohol-guzzling, art-making hooligans in their twenties and early thirties. This definitely includes me. I rent videos at West Side Stories. I drink cappucinos and use wireless at Zoot's. I've had several rounds at Henhouse. I've purchased organic avocados at Multiple Organics. It's an age-old conundrum of being critical and aware of a certain issue but, at the same time, participating in the exact problem. I obviously don't have any answers. 

Oh and it's really quite something to see these nicely packaged businesses next to run-down storefronts with "for rent" signs in their shit 'n spit-covered windows. I haven't immersed myself long enough in this neighbourhood to know what used to occupy those spaces (or I'm just too busy visiting the exact places I'm writing about to learn). What a sight.

Basically, it's just astonishing how quickly the small two blocks have changed in such a short period of time. What it comes down to is me feeling weird about all of these hip places opening up, yet being a regular at all of them. But that weird feeling dissolves quickly after a few round at the Henhouse. Ha.

Friday, December 12, 2008

T & B take on Toronto

Bryn and I have started a project.

We started a blog called T & B Toronto Firsts.

The idea is that we go to a new restaurant or bar once every few weeks and write seperate reviews of the place. We post our own reviews at the same time so that neither of us reads the other person's post before it goes live. It's a contrasting food review blog.

I'm having lots of fun with it. Bryn and I are determined to get Toronto-famous with this thing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Go me!

I'm on a roll:

Saturday, Nov. 29 - Lot 16 with Kate, Jen McHugh and Jackie
Sunday, Nov. 30 - Watched Rice Rhapsody
Monday, Dec. 1 - Bubble tea and foosball (sp?) with Freedom School people
Tuesday, Dec. 2 - Nothing
Wednesday, Dec. 3 - Drinks with Morgan and later, Hump Day Bump. Mason sleeps over!
Thursday, Dec. 4 - Pre-drinks at my place with Bryn. Sweaty Betty's with Bryn and Morgan. LAL show at Wrongbar with Morgan and a million other people. Alejandra sleeps over!
Friday, Dec. 5 - Tafelmusik concert with Alejandra, Victor, Francesca, Eliza and Roxanne. The Green Room. Henhouse. Sleep over at Francesca's and Victors.
Saturday, Dec. 6 - Rest
Sunday, Dec. 7 - Leah's surprise birthday party