Archive for the ‘Neighbourhoods’ Category

Quote of the Day!

2009 July 22

“I don’t know what I’d do if I was laid off right now.  I’d probably kill myself.  I mean, my rent is $700!”

– part of an overheard conversation, this afternoon, between two clerks at American Apparel

This Is Not Sidewalk Art

2009 July 19

I recently walked past this Pepsi advertisement PAINTED ON THE SIDEWALK on Wellesly Street.

Is no place communal territory anymore?  Must I be inundated with ads even as I stare at my feet, meandering around the city?

Funny thing is, I actually thought this Pespi Word Play Campaign was cool – until now.

Strange Marketing Angle

2009 June 5

As seen yesterday, just south of the Eaton Centre:

I’m not sure if this is better than the ‘Bad’ bus, or worse . . .

Torontarazzi

2009 May 19

Spotted (Monday 9 p.m.): Adam Giambrone, on the patio at Cafe Diplomatico, enjoying the Victoria Day holiday.

I ♥ Toronto pseudo-celebrities.

The NY Times Does Toronto

2009 May 18

In yesterday’s Sunday edition of the New York Times, an article appeared fawning over the city of Toronto.

The featured journalist, Danny Lee, makes a few suspect claims (streetcars trolleys run like clockwork??), and he seems to be so enamoured with the West End (West Queen West/College/Ossington) that almost all his recommendations take you there.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty glowing review of our beloved city.  The only thing is, who is reading this?  I might guess that most people reading the Sunday NY Times would be more interested in cocktails in Yorkville than at Sweaty Betty’s.  But I digress.

What it all comes down to is that TZero is actually a great, interesting, diverse city that can be an attractive destination for people even from one of the greatest, most interesting and most diverse cities in the whole world.

It’s Always Sunny On Dundas

2009 April 30

A little bar recently opened up around the corner from my house called Opera Bob’s Public House.  This is definitely going to be my new local for the summer.

Drinks are cheap, there’s a tight little pub grub menu, and the bartender/owner we had was both interesting and funny (and it was his first shift ever bartending!)  When asked by my roommate what the patrons have been like, the guy told us that it’s neither the Ossington hipsters nor the Dundas crazies.  Sounds good to me!

They play sports on the tvs, which will include UFC once they get the go-ahead from the pay-per-view people.  The front window rolls up like a garage door, and it’s nearly directly across the street from Trinity Bellwoods Park, so it’ll be a great place to get a BEvERage following an intense tennis match or a lazy day in the sun.

This place kind of reminds me of the bar from the FX tv show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, mostly because it’s owned by 4 dudes and the one serving us was pretty hilarious.  If you haven’t seen this show yet, here’s a clip.  For some reason, embedding of these previews has been disabled, so you’ll have to click on the url . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=donmqQgum7I

Opera Bob’s Public House is located at 1112 Dundas Street West.  It’s open daily, from 5pm – 2am.

An Abundance of Wu-Tang Related Memorabilia!

2009 April 9

This past weekend, I went to a ‘Book Blast’ being held at this vintage clothing store called Penny Arcade (owned by my friend Gerald’s sister.)  The book being launched was called Youth League, by John O. and according to the author’s website it “depicts an uncertain near future filled with portraits of desperation, violence, and an abundance of Wu-Tang related memorabilia.” 


Truthfully, it was more of a leaflet than a book, but it was cool anyway.  And, some of the characters were wearing some sweet professional sports jerseys!

Youth League was printed in a limited edition of 50 copies and it sold out.  Good thing I got my (signed) copy!

WWJD In Little Italy?

2009 March 26

The photography place around the corner from my house, Ferreira Photo Studio, is displaying both of the following in their window at present:

The first photo shows Little Italy’s most important VIPs: their ancestors, Jesus, and Princess Diana.  The second photo is self-explanatory.

Dust Off Your Bike

2009 March 25

Unless you’re like me and have been riding your bicycle throughout the winter, you’re probably thinking right about now that it’s high time to get your wheels out.  Conveniently, the U of T Mountain Bike Team is having a spring bike tune-up fundraiser!

Get ready to get fit, increase your vitamin D intake, and cruise past the suckers stuck in traffic!

Breakfast Crawl: La Palette

2009 March 9

La Palette is unassumingly located at the northern border of Kensington market, where one might not expect to find a classic French bistro.  It’s not fancy, but the food is great and the atmosphere is very charming.

Apparently this place is a gem of a dining location, offering a small wine list full of great values and delicious and authentic French cuisine.  I’ve only been there for brunch, and for that it’s proved to be pretty great.

On my first visit I opted for the croque madame, which was savoury and delicate.  It quite a while ago though, so I’ll focus on my more recent experience.  This weekend I went for the Omelette La Palette – with brie, roasted peppers, and something else that I can’t recall.  The omelette was not the best one I’ve ever had (plus I rarely opt for an omelette at brunch anyway.)  It seemed to be made with about 2 eggs and was not overwhelmingly filled up with stuff – hence me not even remembering what was in it.  My date, however, had the Pain Farci – thick challah French toast stuffed with fresh berries and mascarpone.  It looked amazing, and based on her enthusiasm tasted as much.  Additionally we had the grilled camembert as a first course (a multi-course brunch, whodathunkit?) which was a great starter.  It was served with grapes and an apple coleslaw.  Mmmm.  The coffee was also good, although not included in the price of breakfast which is a big pet peeve of mine.

On the service side of things, the Garçon was very nice and was patient as we spent about half an hour sort of talking and sort of deciding what we were going to have.  He basically told us we could wave him over when we were ready, but he would be by occasionally to fill up our coffees and waters in any case.

The décor is kinda fancy-French-restaurant and kinda Kensington.  Our colourful tablecloth was well-worn but beautiful, which I guess could act as a metaphor for the market or anything therein.  Additionally, there are a bunch of really beautiful French cookbooks lining the place which we flipped through while finishing up our meal.  There’s also a nice little patio that’s open in appropriate weather.

All in all, La Palette is a nice brunch location that I’ll return to, but not every weekend.  It’s a tad pricy and there are a lot of breakfast spots that I love which are closer to my house.  They do have good food and the atmosphere is very enjoyable.

La Palette is located at 256 Augusta Avenue, just south of College Street.  It’s open for brunch Saturday and Sunday only from 11 – 4.  If you need to call the restaurant for some reason (i.e. a dinner reservation) you can reach them at 416.929.4900.