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June 29, 2013

APARTMENT REFRESH

For the past little while I've been feeling like my apartment needed a makeover. My place is not at all large, so rearranging everything in one day is actually quite doable, especially by myself. I mostly work from home and was starting to feel like my desk was not a great area to be productive. Also, it was starting to feel a little tight since I have a lot of stuff and most of this stuff was shoved in a corner in an attempt to be hidden. Anyways, I wrote about my easy apartment make over on Wanderer's Palace so you can see the dingy befores and fun afters here. Full apartment tour coming soon!

June 26, 2013

LATELY, IN MOVIES

Will Ferrell is hilarious as always, and I was down for the action, but overall I thought The Other Guys was just alright. I've seen Step Brothers a few times, but recently I really sat down and watched it and could not stop laughing. Definitely one of my favourite comedy movies. Greenberg was a nice surprise. Greta Gerwig is again outstanding, and it was nice seeing Ben Stiller in this role. The Loneliest Planet has so many beautiful images and scenery. It was a movie I would typically love, however I found it a bit slow. Gael Garcia Bernal forever though. Rewatching Before Sunrise, and soon Before Sunset, so I can watch Before Midnight. Everything about this film is perfect: the conversation, their body language in this scene. Perfection. I knew nothing about the choreographer Pina Bausch before seeing the film Pina, but wow. She has such an amazing ability to translate life and emotion in dance, and the film did an exceptional job of portraying this. See this regardless if you are interested in dance or not!

Recommend me a film?

June 25, 2013

FESTIVAL OF STORY

My friend Amy is a jack-of-all-trades. She always has so many creative projects on the go, and her hustle really inspires me. One of her recent endeavours includes event planning for Diasporic Genius, which is an urban development initiative that supports the cultural, economic and physical transformation of Toronto through creative civic engagement. Or more simply put, an amazing organization that uses story and creativity to imagine new ideas of public space that reflect our diverse city.
Diasporic Genius is hosting their Second Annual Festival of Story this upcoming Saturday June 29th in R.V. Burgess Park. From 1-6pm the Festival of Story will celebrate the diverse cultures in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood through story, mixed media, public art pieces, and community arts activities. It's a neighbourhood celebration of the power that stories have to enliven and inspire ourselves and others. So much community spirit, I love this!
Some of the events include Story Circles where you can listen to and share your own stories with your neighbours. How often does that happen, naturally? To me, rarely, so this is so ideal. Storytellers from diverse cultures will also share their world experiences. There will be music and dance, arts & crafts for all ages (my fave), and participatory public art projects with Sketch, an amazing organization I also used to volunteer for. 
If you can, go out this Saturday to listen to and share your stories and participate in an amazing community event. Let's get to know each other a little bit more; this is what summers are for! To learn more about Amy, please visit her website. Also check out the Diasporic Genius Facebook Page for more information on the event. All photographs taken from the DG website. Hope to see you there!

June 18, 2013

NXNE: THE NATIONAL

This past weekend was yet again incredible. I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: Toronto in the summer is the best, ever. Last weekend was one of the busiest so far with quite a few festivals happening all over the city including Taste of Little Italy, Luminato, NXNE, and the MMVAs. Lots of music, food, and free stuff. What else is better amiright? On Friday night a bunch of my best pals and I went to Dundas Square (Toronto's version of Times Square, to those unfamiliar with the city) to see our favourite band The National play. Dreamy.
A new addition to the neighbourhood. At first I was appalled, but now I think it's kind of hilarious. We heard them starting to play as we rounded this corner. I'll never forget running through the streets with the sounds of The National in the air.
We couldn't see anything except for the Blue Jays game and Mantracker on the screens behind them. But in the end, you go to free concerts of your favourite bands to dance in public right? At least that's what I do. The National has been the sound track to my spring/ summer so far. If you haven't yet please listen to their new album Trouble Will Find Me. It speaks the truth. This song goes out to my pals:

June 14, 2013

TORONTO: BACKYARD ALLEYWAY

Some of my favourite places to wander in the city are the alleys. Its an entirely different way to view the city, and its here where you can sometimes spot the most beautiful backyards, or interesting graffiti. Sometimes I walk home entirely through these back streets. These are pictures from the alley that my house backs onto.
Nature overtakes everything. I took the photograph of the blue car two years ago and its one of my favourite pictures. I really wish I did some sort of photo shoot in front of it.
This is my favourite spot and my favourite piece of graffiti in the city. The last photograph was also taken two years ago, also another one can be found here. You can see how much the vines have taken over. I had no idea how strong the suction of these plants were! After a quick google search I found out that there are more around the city. Must find them all!

June 13, 2013

ROOF TOPS

After our day at Hanlan's Point, I had a chance to go to a friend's condo rooftop that overlooked the CN Tower. Sometimes the city looks fake to me, like the backdrops and cityscapes at Universal Studios. It somehow doesn't seem real, these buildings just sitting here, made for us. But then I'll spot a GO train coming into Union Station or the flash of a camera from the ferry boat and all of a sudden everything makes sense.

June 11, 2013

TORONTO: HANLAN'S POINT

Last weekend I went to the Toronto islands to picnic and play soccer with a great group of friends. The islands are split into three areas: Hanlan's Point, Centre Island, and Wards Island. We ventured to Hanlan's Point which has a huge beautiful green park and an amazing west facing beach. I don't visit the island as much as I want to so it's so rare I ever see the city from the outside. But wow what a view.
I haven't played soccer in maybe ten years but I actually had an incredible time and even scored a few goals! Who would of thought I'd be so down with sports once I hit 25. Not me. The park has BBQs and picnic tables so grab some friends, good food and beer and go!
Hanlan's Point is a perfect spot to watch the sunset. We walked over to the clothing optional beach and tried to skip rocks into Lake Ontario. I failed miserably, but had more fun anyways putting my feet in the freezing water and warm sand. I can't even remember the last time I actually touched the water, which is funny considering we're a huge city sitting next to this huge lake. This nice moment was momentarily put on hold when a man who claimed he was just attacked came up to us in a very emotional state. I ended up calling the police, for his safety as well as ours and others. It was an intense five minutes as I tried to give him sympathy and to be someone to talk to. It ended well though but I'll never forget that moment.
If I could put my arms around the city and give it a little squeeze, I would. Is it possible to be so in love with a metropolis? Well, I am and I've decided to try and express that love in all the work that I do.

June 10, 2013

FIELD TRIP // ARTS & CRAFTS 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

This past Saturday Kasia and I went to the Field Trip Festival at Fork York to celebrate 10 years of Arts & Crafts. It was incredible. They had tons of delicious food vendors, an Etsy tent (of course), and a beautiful portrait gallery by Norman Wong. But of course, the best part was the tunes. We saw Trust, Bloc Party, Feist, and Broken Social Scene. 
Trust. Robert Alfons is simply mesmerizing. All I want to do is break out into dance any time I listen to Trust, and that's exactly what we did.
Bloc Party. You know how some bands/ songs bring you back in time? Bloc Party brings me to the not so distant 2009. So amazing to see them live.
Feist. I had never before seen her perform solo (her songs, not apart of BSS) and wow is she magnificent. There are literally no other words to describe her. She's a powerhouse and if everyone was a little bit more like Feist the world would be a pretty rad place.
Broken Social Scene. The last time I saw them was with my bffs on Toronto Island back in 2010. It was perfect. This performance was perfect. They played You Forgot It In People from front to back and then a few extra jams. Kasia took this amazing vine. So surreal to hear one of your favourite bands who are from the city you live in, playing with the skyline in the backdrop. This is what the summer is all about.

I made a short mix of some of my favourite jams by these artists to hear live, which you can listen to below:

June 5, 2013

CITY SNAPSHOT: CAPRI

Another day trip from Sorrento was to the island of Capri. We were so grateful that our hosts organize tours in and around Sorrento, so their son took us on a personal tour of the island. It was such a special and exciting day. Capri is filled with luxury, beautiful views from mountains, amazing seafood, and colourful flowers. It's also a huge hot spot for tourists and celebrities alike. Sophia Loren has a home on Capri, and the movies It Started in Naples and Anema 'e Core were filmed there, among many others I'm sure. This song is a perfect representation of my time in this part of Italy.
1. We took a ferry from Sorrento to Capri. That mountain peak is called Anacapri, and yes I went all the way up there. 2. We took a smaller boat to the base of the mountain where we went into a grotto which had beautiful blue water. 3, 4. A beautiful view of Capri. Luckily I got to swim in the waters near the port.
5. A hotel of the same name. This street was filled with expensive hotels, restaurants, and designer labels. I walked past a restaurant that had a photograph wall of celebrities who ate there, and the first one I spotted was Nicholas Cage. Good omen for sure, hah. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. What a beautiful place. The flowers were all so gorgeous.
11 - 18. Taking a chair lift to the peak of a mountain with this gorgeous view was hilarious. My Nonna is such a trouper and it was hysterical and exhilarating. That view though :)
19 - 23. And here is the top. There are no words really. 

See more posts about this trip:

For all the cities I've travelled to, go here.
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