Friday, July 10, 2009

Toronto skyline (east view)

Toronto, I love you.

CONSUMED: 333 Adelaide St East; Moss Park

Thursday, July 9, 2009

photo/art by Thomas Allen

I know you've seen his work: vintage paperback covers X-acto knifed into melodramatic dioramas. I've been seeing them all over the place (here, here and most recently here). It was showing up so often that I became worried that someone was stealing his bit. But no no, it's all him. If I had the money, I would definitely purchase one of his stunning prints. In the meantime, I'll resign myself to lusting over my pirated self-made desktop wallpapers.

CONSUMED: various media, including the covers for (a) Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton, (b) the May 2009 issue of the Walrus Magazine, and (c) Born Ruffians' most recent album Red Yellow & Blue

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Delancey "bike bus"

When my rear axle broke, that incredibly unlikely accident, it happened when I was coming down off the Williamsburg Bridge in the middle of Delancey. Thank goodness it happened when the traffic behind me had stopped, and not as I was dodging cars. The thing is there isn't a bike lane on Delancey, a straight and speedy through-fare that delivers Brooklynites into lower Manhattan. WIthout this little piece of infrastructure, cyclists are forced to weave in and out of the cacophonous car traffic coming off the bridge.

It was this, as well as hearing other less adventurous riders express their hesitation in riding in Manhattan, that got me riled up for this very simple demonstration organised by Marin with Transportation Alternatives. We started at the corner of Chrystie and Delancey, and once we had the light, we rode as a pack (aka a "bike bus") into the centre lane, where we coasted all the way down Delancey to the entrance to the bridge.

To our surprise, no one honked, the officers directing traffic smiled at us (we obeyed all traffic lights), and we picked up a few commuters here and there and escorted them to their destination. It was a really fun and positive awareness action, and I really wished I had more Monday evenings to contribute.

CONUSMED: Delancey Avenue, between Chrystie and the Williamsburg Bridge (Manhattan)


If you want to get involved, they are doing it the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the months in the summer. Just show up at the corner of Delancey and Chrystie at 6pm of afterwards. You can also in touch with Transportation Alternatives for more info.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

honey lavender shake

Honey lavender (or toasted marshmallow, depending on your mood) shake in Washington Square Park? It's just shy of the goodness of a coffee shake in Madison Square Park (but it avoids the 90+ minute line).

CONSUMED: Stand; 24 E 12th St, Greenwich Village (Manhattan)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Death & Co.

Death & Co. is legendary amongst the speakeasy cocktail circles, or so I've heard. I've also heard that D&C was meant for a more reserved clientele, keeping the number of guests strictly to the number of seats (i.e. no standing spots). This is only half true. When Laura and I tried to go there for the last stop of our lovely evening together, we were almost denied entry because of the lack of seating. The person at the door said he would have to take our number and call if/when there was space. Fate smiled on us at that exact moment and two people came through the heavy stained wooden door, leaving us two seats at the bar.

Instead of a quiet, intimate affair, Laura and I were greeted with a loud, raucous crowd. Nonplussed, we took our seats and peered over the drink menu. I ended up choosing a whiskey sour-like number, The Faithful Scotsman, in honour of my company that night. Laura asked the bartender to throw something together for her (which was also tasty, made from the brambles after which it was named). However, despite the fascination I had with the mixologists' library of tinctures, I wasn't convinced of the virtues of the establishment. Perhaps I'm just one for a sparsely populated dive bar with a good local brew on tap.

CONSUMED: Death & Co.; 433 E 6th St, East Village (Manhattan)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Andrew Bird (at Radio City Music Hall)

Nothing says "whimsy" to me more than the music of Andrew Bird. "Brilliance" also comes to mind. And his show at Radio City Music Hall was nothing short of brilliant. Each piece was crafted in layers (of both violin and whistling!) and slightly reinterpreted from the recording. With each song entrance, it took a few moments — a sort of musical trivia game — to figure out which song he was launching. And satisfaction of the epiphany, the swell of excitement with the moment of recognition ... well it was such a wonderful way to experience a concert.

CONSUMED: Radio City Music Hall; 1260 6th Ave, Midtown (Manhattan)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Economy Candy

I'm only ever down in the LES in the evenings, apparently, because this was the first time in nearly five years that I ever saw Economy Candy without its grill pulled down. I tried in vain to find my favourite British blackcurrant pastilles. I seemed to have over-estimated the store; all they seemed to have were American (albeit often nostalgic American) products. Sour watermelon slices would have to do.

CONSUMED: Economy Candy; 108 Rivington St, Lower East Side (Manhattan)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New York City

Dear NYC,

I know we've had our differences over the years. But despite our tumultuous times, we really nailed it in the end, didn't we? At least I feel that way. There are so many things that I want to say to you, but I can't bear to say out loud because, well to tell you the truth, the only way I've been able to cope these past few days/weeks/months is through denial. So rather than listen to me fall apart in front of you, just know that you will always be there with me as I leave you. And know that I'll visit soon. Because yeah, you're that good.

Thanks for the good times; and even some of the bad. All the best.

CONSUMED: New York City, for the past 5 years


Dear Canada: Oh how I've missed you so. C'mere you.