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July 21, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEST EDS

I'm pretty sure I've said this many, many times, but Honest Eds really has my heart. I've lived about a two minute walk to this magical place for the past four years. It has become my go-to destination when I need things for around the house or when I want to go for a walk and window shop. It has anything and everything you possibly need, and more.
Today was Honest Eds 65th anniversary. For 65 years this discount department store has stood at Bathurst and Bloor and has touched so many lives. It has been a place of employment and opportunity for many new immigrants and locals and the products are affordable therefore accessible. The store gives away turkeys every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Honest Eds cares about the community. 
Every year his birthday is celebrated with 25 cent discounts, free espresso, hot dogs, and events. Today I watched an incredibly beautiful performance called Honesty by Virgilia Griffith. She performed monologues embodying various employees of Honest Eds in multiple locations around the store - including employee only spots which made my Honest Ed loving heart so happy. It was so touching hearing the stories of those who have sustained the store for so long. It also was extra special seeing as recently there has been news that Honest Eds and the surrounding Mirvish Village is up for sale
You can see some clips/ imagery of the performance from my vine hereherehere, and here. The photos you see here are some of my favourite images I've taken at Honest Eds over the last few years.
I'll be the first in line to defend Honest Eds and Mirvish Village when the time comes for any redevelopment proposals. This place needs to become apart of Toronto's heritage protected buildings! If that means my goal in life is to make enough money to buy and save Honest Eds, then that is what I will do. Over-exaggeration maybe, but this place holds so much meaning in the hearts of everyone who calls this place home. If you ever come to visit Toronto, or if you live here and have never been (!!!) then please take a moment to visit this gem.

July 20, 2013

401 RICHMOND

For one weekend in May, the doors are theoretically open across the city. The festival is called Doors Open Toronto, and there are over 100 buildings that open their otherwise private buildings to the public. Some buildings give tours by volunteers or experts, exhibitions and galleries are open and free, and generally you learn something new about architecture in Toronto. These photographs were taken at 401 Richmond.
I've been to 401 Richmond many times, whether it was for a lecture, a workshop, for work or to visit the incredible bookshop Swipe, but regardless its always for a different event or organization. The building is pretty much already an open, public space, which is part of its charm. I decided to take my friends who recently moved to the city, and to finally get on its glorious rooftop garden.
The building has a rich history, which you can read more about on 401 Richmond's website. The building now houses a large community of small and large businesses, art practices, studios, and offices. There are galleries, an incredible cafe, and a printmaking studio. I've been dreaming of taking one of Open Studio's screen printing classes for almost a year. The above picture was taken in the courtyard, where there is even an early learning centre.
The building is gorgeous any time of the year, but of course even more so in the summer. I visit this building maybe once every month, if that. I definitely want to start visiting more often even if just to wander the halls, or to snap a pic or two for instagram (obviously). More here and here.

July 18, 2013

HIGH PARK: CHERRY BLOSSOMS

At the beginning of May, Sakura trees also known as cherry blossoms bloom all over the world. Here in Toronto we have a bunch of these trees all over the city, but the most spectacular grouping is in High Park.
Somei-Yoshino cherry trees were given to Toronto from Japan in 1959, and about 10 years ago the Japanese Consulate donate another 34 trees to High Park. The park alone is gorgeous, but walking down cherry blossom lined pathways with petals falling all around you is definitely something else. Last year we had an early spring, and then it got cold again so the blossoms did not last long. This year they were wonderful, and they draw quite a large crowd.
I think these are beautiful but my favourite tree is the magnolia tree. The petals on these flowers are large and quite thick. There were almost as many petals on the ground as there were on the branches. What a dreamy setting and what a perfect way to welcome spring.

July 17, 2013

LATELY, IN PHOTOS: SUMMER IN THE CITY

1. Only a slice of the view I get every Thursday at Open Roof Festival. 2. Toronto had a rough few days of rain, culminating in a pretty bad flood. Wine and pizza in the dark was fun though. 3. I spy the tip of the CN Tower. 4. Studio meetings in condo parkettes are actually quite productive, especially when you play condo ball.
5. Late night walks to cool down by the water lately with my bests have been so great. What a perfect view of the city and those colourful lights on the water! 6. So many spiders. 7. Hanging out by Porter to watch one of the shortest ferry rides in the world. It's a requirement to wave at the people coming home.
8. The laziest of days spent in Trinity Bellwoods. Mandatory after whirlwind Saturday nights. 9. I make wild flower bouquets when I'm home and loved watching my niece Giuliana play with it. 10. Morning coffee runs in back alleys.
11. Porch hangs, bicycle rides, and awkward foot tans. 12. Late night swims to cool down. I sure love this city in the summertime. 

LATELY, IN MOVIES

I've been having a lot of serendipitous moments lately, so when I randomly decided to watch Perfect Sense and it absolutely blew me away and it felt really good. The movie is my type of movie: realistic, emotional, and one that leaves you in awe. This movie is about an epidemic that takes away everyones senses, slowly. The movie poster says "Without love there is nothing", so obviously this is the greatest movie I've seen all July. More Hitchcock with Spellbound. I love the romanticism and how deeply this movie is rooted in Freudian analysis. Kissing Jessica Stein was cute and had a bunch of deep philosophical narrated parts, which was interesting. I purchased Sex, Lies, and Videotape for super cheap and it actually blew me away. It was a bit dark and a bit real. Good combo. I finally got to see what everyone was talking about when I saw Spring Breakers at Open Roof. It was.... interesting and different. Molly Maxwell also played at Open Roof and I loved it! It was such a cool moment when the Toronto skyline flashed across the screen when just behind the screen was the real thing. So meta.

July 12, 2013

THE NOISE PROJECT

I've been speaking about The Noise Project for a while now, and the opening of the exhibition is now officially two weeks away! I would like to officially invite you (Torontonians) to come out to the opening party happening on July 26th at 99 Gallery.

"The Noise Project is a messy, exploratory, active, urban, experiential and multidisciplinary exhibition that brings together a network of artists, producers, designers and urban thinkers to examine the concept of "noise" from a citizen's perspective.

The exhibition will feature noise-inspired immersive & interactive installations, sculptures, videos, outdoor site-specific performances, neighbourhood sound walks, a lecture, a book launch, and an acoustic treasure hunt."

The Noise Project has been organized and curated by the incredible team of Laura and John from Labspace Studio. It will feature new work from 25 different artists/ designers/ creators, myself included!
My piece is called "The City and The Self". I am producing five site specific sound collages and five handmade collages that will hang in the gallery. Below is a description and image of my work to get your minds/ ears/ hearts ready:

A series of site specific sound collages throughout the Queen West Triangle seek to reveal the ebb and flow that make up the energy of the city. The collages represent an emotional sonic interpretation of the surroundings in order to expose the listener to a new awareness of the urban landscape; an awareness of themselves within the city and the city within themselves.

I hope you can make it! For more information on the exhibition opening and gallery times please go here. If you can't make it, don't worry as most of the pieces will be documented online as well, so I'll be back soon to share the event! Yay!

Edit: My image was featured in Now Magazine, both in print and online. Yay!

July 10, 2013

LATELY, IN MOVIES

Finally I watched Saturday Night Fever, although I'll have to see it again as I was in and out of sleep. John Travolta is my favourite; that man was born to dance. Bad Teacher did not appeal to me at all, but my sister said it was good so I gave it a try. It was alright! Keeping the Faith is a classic that brings me right back to the early 2000s so when I saw it for sale for 25 cents this past weekend, I of course had to get it. I had no idea Edward Norton directed this three-way religious rom-com. Every summer I tell myself I'm going to watch all of Hitchcock's films, and I never do. At least it's a start with Rear Window. I have the remastered version on VHS so the images were as beautiful as Grace Kelly.

Every summer I volunteer with Open Roof Festival, a weekly outdoor film fest with beer and local food. So far we've played two films, the first being The Secret Disco Revolution, a satirical documentary of disco (which inspired me to watch Saturday Night Fever). It was hilarious and Canadian, so win win! Last week we played another Canadian film My Awkward Sexual Adventure. The awkward adventure was from a males point of view and it was refreshing to see a Canadian comedy. This week we are playing Spring Breakers so COME!
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