Canadian Questions for Drake

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Dear Drake,

How come in Tim Horton’s they used to have those really big oversized delicious granules of sugar on top of the Chocolate Chip Muffins, but then they took them away?  That is some BULL. SHIT.  Then, I went to some Tim Horton’s in like Haliburton or some shit and they had the fucking granules on top, and I was like “PRAISE CANADIAN JESUS, someone at the Tim Horton’s head office came to their damn senses!”.  BUT IT WAS THE ONLY PLACE THAT STILL DID IT, because the next week I came back to Toronto and it was all “NO GRANULES FOR YOU, NATALIE. EAT SHIT AND DIE.”

Anyways, can you talk to someone about it?

Love,

Natalie

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You’ve Got All the Time in the World

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New Year’s Resolution

… is to be more in yo’ face with the blog. I don’t mean like, IN-YOUR-FACE like “POW!”, but like, more in “front” of your face with posts.

In the meantime, here is a picture of me and my main squeeze a la Walt and Jesse:

Let's-Cook-2

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Just One

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The Hunger Head-Games

The Hunger Head Games

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Jameson Typography Porn

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.

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Toronto, I Love You

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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.

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How Long Will I Wait For You

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The Best Store in Toronto

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

Penfield Shirt

…these SICK Dolce Vita boots…

Dolce Vita Hilary Boots

…this bad-ass Muttonhead oilskin jacket…

Muttonhead Jacket

…and this Pendleton wide-brimmed hat…

Pendleton 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
Toronto, ON
M6R 1B2

North Standard Map

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Excuses, excuses

I’VE BEEN BUSY!

SWEAR.

SUPER 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.

Seriously though.

BUSY.

WILL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT VERY SOON.

Swearsies.

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