Archive for April, 2005

Exploring Underground Toronto

Ever wonder what lies under our streets? How the subways are connected? What mysteries those manholes cover up? What is in those abandoned buildings that have been there for years as landmarks? Where are those drains coming from? Welcome to the world of Urban Exploration.

Toronto is a haven for urban explorers. There are hundreds of nooks and crannies that are an unknown. The website links mentioned above link to people exploring all those nooks and crannies that you were told you can never go down? These are just areas not designed for public usage. Infiltration is a Toronto based Urban Exploration website which has tons of information about the city. One of my favourites is of the abandoned Lower Bay Subway station that is now primarily used for film shoots.

Smile!

“Why don’t the postal workers at this post office smile?” was the not-so-rhetorical question I overheard the man standing behind me in line ask the woman he was with. Funny – I was just thinking the same thing. I go to the same post office several times a week and the same two workers never smile – not to each other, not to their customers and not to themselves.

As the man approached the counter, the postal worker asked “Can I help you?” And the man replied, “…only if you smile!” That was enough to coax the corners of her lips to turn up into a beautiful smile. And everyone else standing in line, myself included, couldn’t help but smile along too.

C’mon Toronto – we gotta smile more…a big smile…a real smile, not a half-ass smirk, but a real show ’em those pearly whites kind of smile. Got ya – you’re smiling!

HotDocs

I attended one of the HotDocs events last night and saw the viewing of “Death in the Garden of Paradise” and “Vendetta Song”. Two very powerful and extremely personal documentaries.

International film by Canadians is taking a large step in the right direction and being the diverse community that Toronto is, we should be out there supporting it. HotDocs is the largest documentary festival in North America and they are showing 100 Canadian and International documentaries until May 1st.

Best part is, you can have a Q&A session with the directors at the end of the Documentary as well.

Also to motivate people to go out and watch these documentaries, HotDocs is also providing free screenings before 6 pm to students or seniors, and for everyone after 11 pm.

More details are available at the HotDocs website at http://www.hotdocs.ca and tickets aside from the free screenings are available online as well.

South Scarborough Adventure

My husband and I am on a quest for find a local pub to mark our territory. We decided to an old pub we heard of as a place for older, Scottish/British crowds.

Obviously, we went on the wrong night (turns out that Saturday is more optional for what we’re looking for).

There we were, sitting in an almost empty pub on a Tuesday night. There were one other couple there who kept on leaving their table for a smoke. And while the smoking area was outside only, the doors and windows upfront were kept open.

Smoke. All over my cloths, my hair and in my eyes.

On top of that, the other crowd was a group of young boys. They were definitely old enough to drink, but I call them boys because of the way they were behaving… loud, obnoxious and just really, really aggravating.

What IS it with these type of guys? What makes them think it’s cool to be walking across any eating establishment, belowing a very loud and frightfull, “YEAH!” or “HHEEEH!” or whatever neanderthal-like sound effect they could think of?

I asked my husband, “Did you do that when you were their age?”

He replied, “No. And those who did were the losers of the bunch.”

“God… they are never going to get laid!”

To top it off, the waitress, as sweet as she was, was extremely slow. She spent more time socializing at the bar then taking care of her customers.

Upon leaving, this young lady came storming up to the patio from around the back. We learned later that she lived in the townhouses behind the pub.

It began as soon as she hoisted herself up to the patio area… “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? CAN’T YOU KEEP IT DOWN… YOUR OWN KIDS ARE SLEEPING AND YOU’RE MAKING A RACKET! GROW UP!!!”

The noisey one has kids, eh? Well… I guess he was able to get laid.

ART SQUARE – Be there or be square!

With Agora being closed for renovations until 2008, I started looking around for a new place to have my brunch. Who knew that right across the road from the Art Gallery of Ontario would be a new creperie and cafe called Art Square.

It has only opened for about 3 weeks and the place is small and quaint. In the front part of the cafe, they have a small collection of beautiful paintings. The back portion, is the cafe. How’s the food? MAGNIFICENT! They have an excellent selection of savoury crepes as well as Sweet crepes, and they can be made white or brown (how healthy is that!!!). Their savoury crepes look delish with a wide range of fillings like veal parmagiana, and salmon. They are in the process of expanding their selection of sweet crepes but I am quite confident that their upcoming selections will not disappoint! The prices are very reasonable and affordable (The most expensive crepe costs $11.50 and they have daily specials for a crepe and coffee for $6.00 too!). Their list of hot drinks are amazing as they cater Illy coffee and the Tea Emporium tea. Lela (the owner) makes her own truffles and they are absolutely decadent! Made from 100% organic cocoa and fine liquer, she has a wide selection for you to choose from. Another thing I must recommend from their menu is their Tartufo! SCRUMPTIOUS! This handmade dessert is made from organic ingredients and has just the right amount of sugar. YUM!

Art Square is opened during the weekdays and Saturday from 8am to 8pm, and on the Sunday from 9am to 6pm. With such elegant decor and delicious food, this is a cafe you won’t want to miss out!

Cheers!

An Open Letter

Dear Idiot Driver in the Green Chevy Truck:

School zones are marked as school zones for a reason! It is deplorable that you barrel down the street, turn into a residential driveway barely slowing down in order to make your u-turn to drop your kids in front of the school. This is not an isolated incident, because I

Celeb Hotspot

I don’t blame others for not seeing Toronto as a hot spot for bumping into T.V. and Movie stars. But it’s evident that our city is becoming pretty well known for shooting locations.

Course, if you’re like me, you’ll have a horrible time trying to get their autographs. Not to say that I haven’t ran into my fair share of movie stars. I have. But I NEVER realize it’s them until they are far, far away…

One incident was at a ceramic painting place called Colour Me Yours (which I think has either closed down or has been bought out). I was there for my best friend’s stagette. The entire place was empty that day, except for one table next to us where a pretty blond lady was there with her two young children.

Her and I exchanged some pleasantries and shared a blow drier which was used to dry the layer of paint before a second coating was applied.

I did think to myself that she looked awfully familiar… and it wasn’t until after she had left and I was paying my fee when the girl behind the cash said, “That was Rebecca Demornay!”

Hello? Rebecca? Demornay? Hot sex goddess from Risky Business? Evil temptress from The Hand That Rocks The Cradle? Sex bombshell starring in And God Created Woman?

Second time in my life in which I wished I was able to kick my own ass was when a bunch of my friends were invited over to my friend’s parent’s place for dinner. This occured in the same year in which I ran into Demornay.

We were signing in down at the concierge desk. I stood there, leaning against the counter as a gentleman signed in at the same time. I then noticed my friend motioning to me.

He did that head-jerk thing over towards the gentleman beside me.

For the life of me, I couldn’t understand what was wrong with my friend and why on earth he was making such a big deal over a normal looking man, wearing a trench coat and looking very much like…

SEAN CONNERY!

This… I noticed. As he was walking away. Leaving us with our mouths gaping wide open.

I looked at the concierge desperately and was greeted with a… “Yes… that was Sean Connery. He’s renting out an appartment while on location for a movie…”

My stars are definitely not aligned properly with other… well… stars, so to speak.

Sunday Patio Coffee

This past weekend was bliss. This past weekend, we only needed our spring jackets. I was in heaven.

Sunday morning, I took my daughter out to our back patio. I sat in our old patio chair, sipping coffee while watching her stand there in amazement.

She pointed at everything around her… in complete awe. In fact, she didn’t move one inch from the spot I placed her down on (she’s just learning to walk so isn’t very confident on unfamiliar grounds).

It didn’t matter that she wasn’t in the mood to move and explore. I think she had her exploration fill just by using her two eyes.

Sitting there on our little patio, I’m reminded of all the patio places we have downtown… I’m completely ready for them. I want to soak in the sun and chat with my friends…

Until the sun starts to set.

CIUT fundraiser

Okay, I realize I’m going to sound ‘fundraiser’ happy, but a good cause is worth supporting. Tonight the CIUT radio show Equalizing the Distort, is organizing an all ages punk/hardcore show, for the station’s funding drive. As a fifteen year vet of campus/community radio I have to tell you that a funding drive is possibly the most important time of year for stations like CIUT, CKLN and CHRY. As a U of T student I can pretty much guarantee you that the amount of levy money they get from my tuition can’t keep a station running and that’s why funding drives happen.

Tonight’s show is all ages, it features such bands as: CAREER SUICIDE, ENDLESS BLOCKADE, TERMINAL STATE, THE BAYONETTES and SAIGON DISTRESS SIGNAL.
It’s happening at Adrift Skate park 288 Augusta Ave. and it’s going to be good.

My friend Stephe is one of the hosts of Equalizing the Distort. When I was in high school and first started doing radio, Stephe was like a hero to me (he’ll hate me for saying that, but it’s true, so tough), and I credit people like him for teaching me the value of campus/community stations. If you’ve never listened before they’re worth checking out, if you have then you know they are worth supporting. While it was a sad day when Stephe defected from CHRY to CIUT, he’s still doing a great radio show, CIUT’s a great radio station and it’ll be nice to share the love.
Oh yeah, if the TTC strike goes ahead as planned, you might want to get out of the house and enjoy the public transit.

Get Outside

Everything you have been waiting for is just outside. Play in the sun, enjoy the extra hours of daylight. Grab your bike, skateboard, walking stick, or whatever and enjoy. You have suffered too long.

Unfortunately for me HALF of my weekend will be spent in the office but I will definitely taking two scoops of my own advice… Yes the TTC strike sux…But Springtime is finally here!!!

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