Every morning I drive down Jameson to go to work, then back up on the way home. According to the piles of discarded stained mattresses and vomit splashes everywhere, the street has clearly seen better days.
However, there is still remnants of its transitional era in the 60′s and 70′s after the Gardiner was built and a slew of apartments were built to accommodate the influx of residents into the city – and it is actually pretty cool-looking. The main thing I notice every morning is the F-ING COOL typography everywhere. So on Sunday I did a quick walk up and down the street and snapped some pics.
Everyday when I head to work I get to drive by the CN Tower via the Gardiner “Held-Up-By-Popsicle-Sticks-But-Whatever” Expressway. In the mornings, the Tower looks really impressive – especially when there is like, wicked-cool fog, or a sweet sunrise or something like that. Every morning, when I drive by and see that iconic, globally-recognizable phallic symbol of Toronto, I feel proud and happy and, you know, like this is the best place in the world.
This week in the morning when I drove by and looked at the tower, I actually felt shitty. For the first time ever, I thought to myself “Uggggggghhh I’m so embarrassed…”.
Unless you are living in a cave under a rock with your fingers in your ears and and a garbage bag over your head, you know that this was not a great week for Toronto. The mayor has solicited global attention – attention that highlights the worst of the city and its people.
So – I felt embarrassed. And I hated myself for feeling embarrassed. Because this city is fucking awesome. Yes, our mayor is a laughingstock and makes us look bad. But Jesus on wheels, Toronto fucking rules – DESPITE Rob Ford.
So yesterday I started thinking about this and started listing in my head all the things that makes Toronto great, and it literally started flowing out of me – why I love living here and why I love the people here and the businesses and the art and the parks and the families and the culture… and really, me loving Toronto has nothing to do with the mayor.
Now, I’m not naive… I know that the person in office has the power to make things easier or harder for certain groups of people… but Toronto is going to be Toronto. Sorry. It’ll happen. Because it’s not really the mayor who defines that shit. It has to do with the amazing people who have taken that shit upon themselves to make their communities bad-ass-awesome. They are the people who have slowly crystallized their network of buildings and stores and parks into fucking amazing communities.
Yes. Toronto has its flaws. The traffic is fucking brutal. The infrastructure is growing at about half the pace of the population. We need a good place to have sandwiches in Parkdale. But still, I love it.
So Toronto, here is a small selection of reasons why I Love You…
- My friends can work hard and grow their own businesses, be their own boss, do something totally unique and personal, and Toronto will embrace them.
- There are times when I ride the subway and I don’t hear a single word of English. We have so many different countries, cultures, and communities represented here, it’s so bad-ass. It makes my heart warm.
- I can buy fucking amazing Indian food from a family-owned restaurant then walk next door to a hipster bar where they play grunge rap and the waitresses wear bra-tops with embroidered cats on them then walk next door to that and buy artisan flowers that were grown on some chick’s balcony then walk next door to that and have homemade cocktails with like, bacon in them then walk next door and buy a 100 dollar jar of fucking imported body oil from Iceland or some shit like that then walk outside and buy a cool native necklace off a street vendor. THAT’S JUST NORMAL ‘ROUND HERE.
- My house is over 100 years old and was part of Canada’s history. I’m pretty sure someone cool and important lived there at one point (other than me).
- You want to get together with like-minded people and do something frekkky-weird and awesome? Go for it. Have a nude bike ride/zombie walk/disco bike ride/mob pillow fight. Whateves.
- People in Toronto care about fucking Toronto. Anytime there is a street changed, a building bought, a tree that gets cut down… PEOPLE GIVE A SHIT. They may be arguing for different sides, but they will definitely have an opinion. They are PART of the discussion.
- We have C-U-L-T-U-R-E. Art galleries up the wazoo. You want to see the David Bowie exhibit that is only coming to like 5 cities in the whole world? YEAH, COME TO TORONTO. You want to see art? Dinosaur bones? Some old chamber pot that some important guy took a dump in 200 years ago? COME TO TORONTO. You want to see up and coming artists? You want to see international musicians? Up and coming musicians? You want to see that guy who juggles chainsaws while eating nails (probably), COME TO TORONTO.
- In my hood there are recovering meth addicts living next to new families living next to hipster renters living next to elderly people who have had their house since the 60′s. Just damn humans co-existing. It’s fucking amazing.
Anyways. Just felt the need to proclaim my love in the midst of this shit. Toronto, don’t let it get you down. You’re still tops in my books.
So those of you who know me, will definitely know Pam, my best friend of a million years who is awesome and smart and gorgeous. For those of you who don’t know her, you’re missing out.
Fortunately for you, you can swing by the new store that she’s opened in Parkdale with her equally awesome and amazing fiancee, Francesco, called North Standard Trading Post.
This store was a *huge* labour of love for both Pam and Franc and they have spent innumerable hours putting together the concept, decor, carefully picking items to stock… and it has turned out frigging beautiful.
The store carries high quality, well-made “standards” – i.e. those items that everyone needs and everyone loves… and things that you want to be well made. Things like high quality denim, plaid shirts, rain boots, beautiful waxed coats, warm woolly camp socks, wool blankets, fantastic shaving cream and hair pomade… the list goes on and on.
They also try to carry products made in Canada to support local vendors and artists – nearly all the jewelry they carry is made in Canada, along with some great brands right out of Toronto like Muttonhead.
They just got in the majority of their fall stock which is mind-blowing. Some of my favorites that they are carrying for fall include this Penfield denim and suede shirt for women…
…these SICK Dolce Vita boots…
…this bad-ass Muttonhead oilskin jacket…
…and this Pendleton wide-brimmed hat…
PERHAPS I will buy them and wear them all together. (Perhaps = definitely).
I highly recommend you check them out. Highly.
North Standard Trading Post
1662 Queen Street West
I’VE BEEN BUSY!
So busy that the other day I stepped into the shower with my underwear on because my brain was so full of happenings and it was unable to tell my hands to take my underwear off for showering purposes.
WILL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT VERY SOON.
Check out this great video featuring some great spots in my hood!
…and something specifically on Glory Hole Doughnuts!
Since the summer is rapidly (DAMN rapidly) coming to an end, and since Tami the Beautiful invited me, I decided to take the Sunday this weekend and travel to Aberfoyle Antique Market for my yearly “Buy Junk” antiques spree.
The morning started with a lovely snuggle from Molly, who was sad to see me heading out so early.
Aberfoyle is actually much closer to the city than I thought. After a quick stop for coffee, Tami and I were pulling into the parking lot while “sit-jumping” with excitement at all the dirty old things we would look at.
The day was perfect for aimlessly wandering through piles of old shit. As you can see, the booths were replete with old 70′s mumus and haunted childhood dolls. So basically, my paradise.
First, some of the things I didn’t buy:
Whatever the fuck this thing was, I didn’t buy.
Kim Mitchell Album I didn’t buy.
And of course, the usual gauntlet of AMAZING old furniture that I don’t need/can’t afford/have no space for:
So, seriously, if I had a store I would have bought this huge island/display case in a heartbeat. If I ever do buy a store I’m going to send these pictures to a carpenter and request an exact replica:
LOOK AT THE BACK. It’s beautiful from all sides>>>>>!!!!
Anyhoo. Other things I didn’t buy but considered buying include a wood-grain Thermos, a book on “Canadian” ettiquette, and a big blue desk with an old calendar thing on it.
I regret not buying the Canadian Ettiquette book, because it included such useful information as “Where should wraps be checked?” at my “First Formal Dance”:
OK, on to things I did buy.
I am doing a little side project right now that requires the storage of a bunch of shit. Since I can’t stand the look of cardboard boxes piled in my kitchen, I wanted to get some super hipstery old dirty boxes to store things in.
I spent an inordinate amount of time deciding on *which* dirty old boxes to buy. At first I thought the scotch box and the butter box with the rose on it…
But there was something aesthetically pleasing about the two butter boxes together and I ended up buying the pair:
Tami saw this first – a pure marble ashtray and LIGHTER. So the lighter is like, a big marble cube and you put lighter fluid in it and IT WORKS AND LIGHTS YOUR CIGARETTE/CIGAR/QUESTIONABLE THINGS. It is SO beautiful:
I placed it with my other raw marble ashtray. Because I want to collect them now. I decided.
Speaking of collections, my collection of Scheurich vases is slowing gaining momentum. I think I have at least five already… but most of them are the cream/brown or blue/green, and I always lust after the red ones because they are SO MID CENTURY that they give me a design boner.
The red tall one below is really unique and I got a great deal on it. The short crazy one beside it *probably* (read: definitely) isn’t West German, but it was dirt cheap and COME ON. IT’S AMAZING:
I put them on my shelf with my only other red Scheurich… a small little baby. She looks so much more comfortable with her friends around:
Tami and I also bought these two wicked pitchers. They are our friendship pitchers.
Bought this teeny glass box that I’m going to use as a terrarium. Obviously.
Finally, my collection of dirty old bottles needed to get a bit fleshier, so I managed to procure these FIVE wicked elixir and medicine bottles for EIGHT DOLLARS ALL IN. WHaaaaaaaa???
Finally, this old green goblet. Why? I don’t fucking know. It’s old-timey looking.
I’m still working on finessing my “dirty old bottle montage”, but I’m already happy about the direction it’s taking…
What a profitable day (of unnecessary junk procurement)! All that remains is to sit back among my dirty old bottles and watch the sun go down, gently nodding to my success.