With all the commotion at City Hall, and our mayor’s apparent drug problems, it’s nice to break away from all the drama and remember what’s really important: THE SKY!
Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category
Located at Yonge and Temperance Streets, Dineen Coffee Co. opened its doors a few weeks ago. Nestled on the bottom floor of the historic Dineen Building — once home to W. and F. Dineen Co., a producer of hats and furs — it’s a welcome addition to a part of Toronto that has curiously gone without a charming coffee joint. This is one facet of a substantive face-lift currently underway at this decadent Toronto landmark.
The open space, combined with its modern, yet rustic flavour, reminded me a lot of Buenos Aires, Argentina coffee establishments. Inside you’ll find luscious high ceilings, marble counter tops, comfy red leather seating, hand-painted tile floors (from South America apparently!) and a chandelier that used to be located at the Royal York Hotel. They’ve pulled out all the stops, creating a unique, historically inspired, rich experience.
If you have the time, go check it out. Actually, make the time!
Dineen Coffee Co.
140 Yonge St
I spent all of yesterday with Alexandra. We walked to Leslieville and I learned something about my new favourite neighbourhood that changed my mind about living there: The pubs don’t open until late afternoon / early evening. Deal. Breaker. However, I think it’s a good location to open my vegan bakery.
We walked a lot, with some beer drinking in between that served as little breaks. Alex did take these series of photos of me, in several different… poses.
Considering that Sweaty Betty’s has been open for ten years, it’s shameful that yesterday was my first venture there. How can I call myself a Torontonian?
Alex, our super server, informed us that Kiefer Sutherland was in the previous night, and Drew Barrymore has also partied there.
I can see why. Sweaty Betty’s has an indescribable vibe. It attracts a mixed group of urban dwellers from all walks of life, not just hipsters, of which there are plenty make no mistake in that.
Whenever I go to a bar, I like to sit at, well, the bar. This way I can talk to the bartender and ask as many questions as I would like. Alex was a friendly gal, and she played an eclectic array of music to appeal to all tastes. I appreciate when bartenders take the time to speak with their patrons, especially if they’re genuine and not looking for a big tip.
The beer on tap is pretty tame, nothing too crazy, I don’t think there was an IPA, and the food menu, though small, is satisfying. They make the meals right there in front of you, so I don’t think you’d be able to order grub during a busy night, they just wouldn’t have the time to make it. But you can always ask, just be prepared to be shot down!
The Ossington area has really sprung up over the last couple of years. It was a decade ago that Alisha used to live in this area and my word, has it progressed. Back then it was a neglected neighbourhood of Toronto, and now it’s flourishing with charm.
I thought Sweaty Betty’s was really swell, and if you’re ever in Toronto and looking for a place to meet interesting and funny people, while drinking some great beer, try this place.
13 Ossington Ave
On Adelaide St. is a bar I used to frequent back in my youth that was then called Laide. From what I have read, the owner had a baby and decided to change things around a little bit, name included. New and improved, Triple A is more open, lighter and sleeker than its former self. I observed a welcoming, comfortable urban bar with a friendly, familiar staff that instills a sense of community. The owner’s young daughter was present, and well-behaved which I appreciated immensely! Patrons were arriving to watch The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Boston Bruins, so there was a feeling of tension in the air as men clung to their pints in hopes that the home team would make it to fight another day. And they did. The Leafs won, forcing game seven in the first rounds of playoffs.
So, if you’re downtown and looking for a drink in a friendly, cozy environment check out Triple A! Chau.
Triple A Bar
138 Adelaide St. E.
As I was pet-sitting Maude and Beenie ALL ALONE in this big huge apartment I looked towards my right to see that the sky had turned pink. Luckily my camera was close by and I ran to the balcony to document the scene as it was happening!
Weather report! The temperature in Toronto has been super high for over a week with endless, nourishing sun. This all started on my birthday, April 30, and I took it as a sign that I am the messiah.
Unfortunately, the rain moved in yesterday and it brought a drop in heat, but it’s welcome relief, for now. The next five days are supposed to be cooler with a return to above seasonal temperatures by Wednesday, or something like that.
For those who think that Canada is besieged in snow most of the year I would like to set the record straight. In Toronto, at least, the first snowfall usually occurs in November or December, and with it below zero degree temperatures. Usually February and March are the hardest months because the days are shorter, and of course colder with a snowstorm thrown in here and there for good measure. But we tend to offset this by drinking a lot of alcohol and throwing house parties. April brings Spring showers and by May we’re experiencing summer warmth that lasts well into October.
And then comes Autumn, which is usually the most beautiful time of the year because the leaves change colour and the city is… well… the city is stunning. Not to mention cottage country, which has to be experienced first-hand to be believed.
Nothing better than sitting by the fireplace, getting drunk on cheap beer and passing out naked.
Ahhhh.. Canada. I salute you!
Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes yesterday. I don’t celebrate by throwing a party, rather I prefer to drink a bottle of red wine all alone and pass out on the floor. It’s my thing.
In all seriousness, I had a nice day. I left work at noon and sat on a patio by myself enjoying a beer (Rolling Rock if you’re interested) when a complete stranger sat next to me. He kept going on and on about his life, and inevitably the topic turned to sex. He was one of those early disclosures and I was being held hostage.
In 20 minutes I learned that he lost all his teeth to cancer, that he was Jewish and that he recently moved to Toronto from Ottawa. Three months to be exact.
Then he explained how reserved and cold Torontonians are, and sensing my hesitation to speak with him, he told me that I was an introvert. I explained that I wasn’t, that I was simply enjoying some alone time — making no mention that it was my birthday — and that sometimes people appear cold because they prefer to be alone, and are caught off guard when a stranger starts to speak to them.
This didn’t deter him. He kept touching me, trying to feel my muscles, and then made observations about my face, which were unwarranted. I asked him to stop touching me, that I don’t like when people I don’t know invade my personal space. He kept asking me if he could buy me a shot, or another beer, but I politely declined his persistent offers. Then, out of no where he started to “woof” at men as they passed by on the street.
I was shocked that anyone would actually bark at another human being, but he clearly thought this was appropriate. I said to him about one particular gentleman he seemed to fancy, “Maybe you can go and speak to him,” to which he responded, “I’m too shy.”
Just not shy enough to bark at him. Anyway, I got up, paid for my beer, shook his hand and excused myself from his presence.
People! Here are some photographs I took from a recent visit to Riverdale Farm. Enjoy.
Rarely do I eat donuts, but when I do, I prefer quality over Tim Horton’s! Located in my favourite Toronto neighbourhood, Leslieville, Paulett’s Original Donuts and Chicken is certain to meet anyone’s high expectations.
Paulette’s opened last June, and it’s not uncommon to wait in long lineups along the sidewalk, only to find late in the day that all the donuts have pretty much sold out. As was the case yesterday when I had but one choice of donut to eat: Cherry something, I can’t remember the full name!
Because I’m a vegetarian I didn’t try the chicken, but I have heard that it’s to die for. And my cherry donut? It was everything I hoped it would be. I highly recommend that you visit this place when you get a chance.
Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken
913 Queen St. E.
This is me in La Plata, Argentina last year. Torrential rains buried the province of Buenos Aires in water this week and La Plata was the hardest hit, with over 50 deaths. La Plata is the provincial capital and one of the highlights of my time in Argentina. I always looked forward to my visits there, and I was saddened to hear of the devastation many of the locals have experienced.
The federal government is usually very generous in times like these, so I hope that the families will receive subsidies, especially for the local businesses who may have been effected.
My thoughts are with everyone there. It always bothers me when regions with limited means are brought asunder by natural causes. It doesn’t seem fair.
But if there’s one thing I can count on, it’s the strength of spirit of Argentines. They can withstand anything, and they have.
One of the major lessons I tried to teach the kids in Panama was to have respect for the wildlife. I expressed that the animals that are indigenous to the islands are not alive to entertain humans, and that we are in reality, guests in their home, and should treat them with respect.
My words often fell on deaf ears, as teenagers are prone to care only about themselves, but a few heard my message and I believe that they took it to heart.
I was surprised that there were vegetarian options available to me when I was on Bocas Del Toro and that there is an admiration for the animals that live there.
As I stated in one of my earlier posts, I find it disheartening that many of the westerners who visit the islands are unaware that there are indigenous communities that reside there, and when they do learn of this, they don’t care.
I was equally disappointed that many of these tourists chose to seek out the red frogs in the region to hold them in their hands. Little did they know that human touch is poisonous to these tiny creatures, and they often die after, and spread the disease to their families. Due to this willful disregard, the red frog population is dwindling, in a region where only a few years ago they thrived.
In addition I learned that starfish die only 20 seconds outside of water. Therefore it’s important not to touch them or remove them from the sea.
No matter where I travel, I always believe that it’s essential to learn about the people and animals that call these places home, because I gain a deeper understanding of the area, outside of the tourist traps.
Here are some photographs.