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.
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.
When I found out I was going to have some free time in Santa Fe, my first course of action was to go into my bank account and calculate how much money I could spend on superfluous pieces of turquoise jewelry and unnecessary southwestern textiles. Do I need either of these things? Fuck no.
First thing I wanted to go see was the Native American Vendors Program, which is a government-sponsored/organized section of the local Governors building where Native American artists and vendors can sell their work to walkers-by.
There was a LOT of turquoise, and I pretty much plottzed. I guess I thought because I was in New Mexico, the turquoise would be super cheap, and although it was definitely not as expensive as it is in Toronto, it really wasn’t crazy reduced.
There was lots of great silver-work, too. I wanted this damn braided bracelet SO F-ING bad, but it was like $250 bucks and even with my superior bartering skills, I can’t afford that shit. So I left it. Devastating. DEV-A-STA-TING!
First objective: get rings. I liked this one, but the guy wasn’t budging on price and I was all like “forget you, guy”, and went on to the next booth. As you can see, I am a shrewd and savvy negotiator.
In the end, I went a little bananas. Three turquoise rings, and one sliver one. I love them so much. Even though they highlight the piglety-ness of my fingers, I shall wear them as often as I can.
My second objective was to do some vintage shopping, which is becoming an all-consuming need when I visit a new place. I have a desire to buy something so that I can be all like “Yeah, whatever, I got it at a vintage store in <insert town here>. No big deal.” Since I only had one day, I did a bit of research before coming, and this place called Double Take came up many times.
Double Take is huge and has like, a bunch of sub-stores within it. There is a main “regular thrift” store at the bottom, a “western and cowboy vintage” store to one side, a full-on crazy antique and furniture store on the top level, and like baby and kids stores on the side. I went to the vintage cowboy section first. OF COURSE.
I considered getting a pair of cowboy boots, but then I remembered that I have probably about seventeen pairs of cowboy boots already and I never wear them. I actually restrained myself. So proud. Especially after my turquoise binge.
On to the hats. I don’t know if you know, but I look *really* good in hats. Like, all hats. I think it’s because I have an abnormally large gorilla-head, and hats balance out its size. Here are some hats:
I *wish* I had the nutsack to wear the black hat below around, because I think its so FUCKING bad-ass. However, it is also in “crazy-lady” territory if you can’t pull it off well. I chose not to purchase it, because I already think my friends kind of feel like I”m a crazy-lady based on some of the other hats I own. No need to fan the fires of crazy-lady talk.
Instead, I moved onto the vintage cowboy/southwestern wear and fell in damn-ass-poo LOVE with this off-the-shoulder southwestern fancy lady shirt. BOUGHT.
Double Take is also where I found this weird two stone ring. Most turquoise rings started at at least $70 USD, even for ones WAY smaller than this one, but for some reason this one was priced at $25. Neither me nor any of the salespeople were able to determine why it was so cheap. Stones and silver all real. BOUGHT.
There was a *lot* of jewelry. Bolo ties galore. I really wanted that blue jug, too, but it was like $140 or some shit. Forget you, snooty expensive blue jug.
The last (I promise) turquoise thing I bought was this SWEET ASS Zuni necklace below. The design is called the “Squash Blossom”, and again, these are usually SUPER FUCKING expensive. Like, we’re talking $1000.00 expensive (Google that shit). I found this in a huge display case with other turquoise that was 30% off for some reason and there was a small little price written on one corner that said $89. The salesperson was like… “I’m pretty sure that’s not the price”… and I was all like “Woman. It says that price. You have to sell it to me or I’ll sue you.” SO SHE DID. I have no idea whether you can sue people for writing the wrong price on things, but it seems plausible.
I know it has a couple of stones missing, but I DON’T CARE. BOUGHT.
OH YEAH. I also found this Jil Sander skirt for SEVEN DOLLARS.
YA, I SAID SEVEN DOLLARS. Please visit here to get a frame of reference on how fucking unbelievable that is. It also fit like a sexy butt-glove. It says “as is” on the tag, but I searched for about 20 minutes and couldn’t find a single fucking thing wrong with it. FUNKING BOUGHT.
The antiques and artwork in the upper level were also pretty amazing. There is my blue jug, being all expensive:
I seriously considered buying that “Canada” apron below but then I was like “where the fuck will I put that shit?” so I didn’t. I also wanted the two posters. But have no where to put them, either. Le sob.
YES. Neon wolf howling at cactus:
YES. Happy skeleton lady, painted on a damn plate:
YES. 1970’s tacky-amazing dishware:
Sigh. Popped into a couple of other stores, but to be perfectly honest, I had pretty much drained my budget at this point so I didn’t really have money to spend anyways.
Went back to my hotel and ate a delicious club sammie:
Then they were serving s’mores in the lobby so I hauled my fat ass over for a s’more to eat while watching the sun set:
FYI – the sunsets in Santa Fe are UNBELIEVABLE. I felt like I was watching the end of a dramatic movie. The light changes constantly and the colours are so vivid. Eyeball boner.
The best part is that as soon as the light drops out of sight, like thirty coyotes howl as loud as fuck. It was like nature-magic.
Since it was my last day I wanted to get a video of the sunset, so I took my s’more and ran up a steep hill to get a good view. Here is my video. You can hear me gasping for breath like an obese person because I am so out of shape. Try to block that out and focus on the beauty of the moment:
Highly recommend Santa Fe. Go. I’ll leave you with my picstiched Insta of the sunset. My hipster homage:
So it’s possible that I’m going on vacation to paradise in about three weeks, and it’s also possible that I am allowing the monsters of peer pressure invade my strong feminist mind to tell me that I should lose weight and not be a fattybobatty. I have decided that my translucent-white whale skin needs to be wrapped around thighs that are as small as possible to detract from their horror.
At the same time, I want to resist against the oppressive social machine that tells me whaley white jiggle thighs are bad. I MEAN, I would clearly survive the longest in some kind of horrible, meteor-inflicted famine. SHOULDN’T THAT be the REAL indicator of hottness?
With this in mind, I decided to craft a recipe SO FATTY… so BUTTER INFUSED… so CARBOHYDRATE-UNNECESSARY, that it would easily add on one extra day of survival (read: three extra thigh-pounds) in the unlikely event of a famine.
Farfalle with Exotic Mushrooms & Bacon Creme Sauce
A heap of Farfalle Pasta
Like, three handfulls of Cremini, Portobello & Oyster Mushrooms, coarsely chopped
Five strips of Ready Crisp Bacon
1/2 chopped up Sweet Onion
Tablespoon of chopped garlic
1/2 glass of white wine (leaving 2.5 glasses left to drink while cooking)
2 Tablespoons of Butter
Parsley or Thyme (Thyme is always better)
Some shakes of Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Cooking Creme
Salt and Pepper
Wash your bowl of fungus:
Melt butter under medium-high heat and add salt & pepper. Throw in chopped onion and garlic and let that stuff simmer and make your house smell like food-sex. Chop up fungus and put in butter/onion/garlic heaven:
While that shizz is simmering, cook the Ready Crisp bacon in the microwave and pat out all the grease. Chop it up to like, I don’t know, like 0.5 centimeter chunks. Use your judgement. I’m not your mother.
Chop up that parsley too. Parsley was all I had but next time I’ll use thyme. Let’s be honest – parsley is like the Celine Dion of herbs. It’s totally overdone and everyone is bored with it and when you experience it, you don’t even really notice unless someone puts fireworks behind it.
WAHOO look at that steam all up. Throw in the white wine now, if you can bear to part with it. The alcohol evaporates off while you simmer it, which is pretty depressing. I guess you could put your face over the pan with your mouth open hoping to let some of the vaporized alcohol enter your mouth and like, eye holes. It would be a pretty efficient way to get drunk probably.
Anyways, let the pan of delicious shizz simmer until the liquid starts to evaporate and your dealing with a chunky, non-soupy type mixture…
Ok, so now put in the Cooking Creme. I don’t really know the different between Cooking Creme and like, Normal Cow Creme, but in the grocery store there was a normal creme and a cooking creme, and since I was cooking with it, I was all like, “I guess I should get the cooking creme.” Pour it in, then add the bacon and parsley.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that you should probably have the pasta on the stove and like, be boiling it so that it’s ready soon. So that should be pretty much ready. Sorry if I screwed up by not mentioning that earlier, but I mean, learn to be kind of independent sometimes. Man, you are getting clingy.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I want you in my mouth.
Ok, so when the pasta is ready and well-drained, throw it back in the pot, and add in the delicious sauce mixture. Toss it all around to get all the fattiness well-distributed.
Add some Parmesan cheese on the top.
I think we need a closer view:
Ok that last one was a little too close. Something in between.
PERFECT. EAT THAT SHIT AND WATCH YOUR THIGHS EXPAND BEFORE YOUR EYES.