Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Hey, Hey, You, You Come Eat At My Restaurant

2007 September 11

I have been working so much lately between my two jobs that I haven’t had much time to post on this blog.  If anyone actually reads it, I’m sorry to you.

Anyway, last night was one of the most exciting nights at the restaurant since I began working there.  We had not one, not two, but THREE celebrities eating there, and two of them were actually seriously A-Listers!

First we had Jonathan Demme, the Academy Award winning director of The Silence of the Lambs, and this year’s Jimmy Carter documentary, Man From Plains.  He’s in TO presenting his film at the TIFF.  Then we had 90’s star Frank Whaley, who at one time was a legitimate actor – you may remember him as the loser store worker who hangs with Jennifer Connelly in Career Oportunities.  He also had a part in Pulp Fiction.  Then . . . then, we had one of the biggest stars in music right now eating in one of our private rooms: Avril Lavigne!  She looked like just a regular, normal person and was apparently extremely nice and gracious to her server.  Interesting as the media often paints a picture of her as being a self-absorbed and rude brat.  She also brought along her bodyguard who hung out at the sushi bar all night drinking Evian.  I wonder why Avril wasn’t in Vegas for the MTV VMAs.  She was nominated for Monster Single of the Year.  She probably knew she was going to lose to Rihanna and decided not to even bother.

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Metaphors and Sarcasm

2007 September 6

The front section of today’s Toronto Star had a number of great articles.  2 in particular are, in my opinion, deserving of being quoted:

Francine Kopun’s Toronto’s Film Festival Rivals Cannes passes on this charming metaphor, taken from this week’s Time magazine:

“Don’t take this the wrong way, Toronto, but Hollywood loves you because you’re easy,” writes Winters Keegan in Time’s special festival edition. “Perfectly timed, impeccably organized and unfailingly kind to all varieties of movies, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has become the industry’s hottest festival ticket by acting as a kind of supportive, low-maintenance girlfriend.

“Unlike its major festival sisters – that sexy cougar Cannes, 60, and parka-clad hipster Sundance, 29 – Toronto, 32, is inclusive, friendly and even prettier once you get to know her.”

And Joey Slinger’s Tory Gets An F For Faith-funding Idea slaps us with a bit of sarcasm:

“John Tory is such an ideal leader it’s hard to understand why we don’t send pink slips to the gang that’s been running Queen’s Park and simply appoint him premier so Ontario can get on with its God-given task of being the most wonderful province anybody ever dreamed of.”

Newspapers are like the new internet.

Big Fun in Little Italy

2007 August 30

Today we received a letter in our mailbox from the Little Italy/College Street BIA.  It reads as follows:

Dear Neighbour:

College St from Bathurst to Shaw will close to vehicular traffic from Saturday September 1 at 6 am until Monday September 3 at 6 am.  The street will come to life as we celebrate Fiera – a celebration of Italian culture, cuisine and music.  During these times, College St will be closed and there will be no parking on either side of the street.  Parking enforcement will be maintained on the side streets.  All garbage generated by the event will be cleaned up by a community group and removed from the scene by the Turtle Island.

The hours for Fiera are as follows:

Saturday September 1, 2007 noon – 2:45 am
Sunday September 2, 2007 noon – 2:45 am

We are pleased to announce a stage will be erected at College and Palmerston featuring great music and with many guest artists courtesy of our sponsor CHIN Radio.  Nu Pocu e Napule, direct from Italy, is a traditional fold and tarantella dance group with jugglers and fire throwers and “Pulcinella”PLUS the renowned Qartetto Gelato will perform their pop classical hits, PLUS the “Little Italy Idol Show,” the Johnny Lombardi Italian Song Competition!  Over 40 individual artists will sing and dance on the main stage and in addition to this there will be live music from over 20 bands lining College St from Bathurst to Shaw.  Many of our restaurants will once again be offering tastes and “Sagre” for $1-5.  It will be fun for the whole family with amusement rides and inflatables as part of the festivites.

I hope to see you at Fiera.

Sincerely yours, Lenny Lombardi (Chair)

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If I don’t go away this weekend, I’m there for sure.  Also – what’s the Turtle Island?

EDITED TO ADD: Turtle Island is a recycling company.  I thought it might be something more interesting.

Economic Irony

2007 August 11

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sign with this message in my life – as an incentive.  I’m not sure, but with the fees for exhanging money, these days it might actually work out better for an American to just pay with USD.

Suburbian Invasion (aka Taste of the Danforth)

2007 August 11

Today one of my roommates and I decided to trek over to Greektown to check out Toronto’s largest street festival: Taste of the Danforth.  First of all, we took the subway because parking would probably be hell my roommate doesn’t remember how to ride a bike.  I haven’t been on the subway in a long time, and it was kind of funny because subways – like grocery stores – are the great equalizer.  You really see everybody on the subway, from businesspeople to crazies screaming throughout the whole car that they haven’t eaten anything in 4 days.

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Anyway, by the time we get there I’m really hungry.  It was a good thing, because this festival is all about food.  And there were literally about a million people there, all interested in stuffing themselves tasting the delicacies of Greece.  I found it ironic, though, that much of the food was not Greek.  I mean, sure, the majority was food from Greek restaurants, but I thought this was supposed to be a Greek festival!  Why were there booths selling paella and corn on the cob?  But that’s really neither here nor there.  What’s important is that I got my fill of both delicious food as well as crazy Torontonians.  I ate all the most likely candidates: souvlaki, baklava, and spanakopita.  I also had some fresh fruit and a coke.  Mmmm.

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Top row: us eating
Middle row: close-ups of food, including the biggest spit of meat I’ve ever seen
Bottom row: crazies (somebody actually shaving at the Gillet Fusion booth, and a woman from some activist group claiming that 9/11 was “an inside job,” whatever that means.  Why the hell is she holding an earth painted on a lampshade?)

Quote of the Day!

2007 August 11

“If you think I’m a bitch, you should meet my daughter.”

– text on a t-shirt of a woman I saw this afternoon at the Taste of the Danforth street festival.