Month: September 2015

talking art: warhol revisited

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to hear a speaker as part of the rotating lecture series at the Warhol Revisited exhibit at Bay and Bloor.

The speaker was Tavis Coburn, an illustrator with a colourful (sorry for the pun) career. He has worked in advertising, album covers and is frequently hired by magazines and newspapers for his art. As someone who knows basically nothing (read: absolutely nothing) about art, it was really interesting to hear how his career developed. Not only do I know very little about art, I’m also terrible at it, and so I’m always so impressed by someone with artistic ability.

wpid-img_20150924_203453.jpg

The gallery isn’t very big but it is full of impressive art by the famous Andy Warhol. I’ve never seen any of his pieces in real life and some of the pieces were remarkable. I’ve of course seen the soup cans and the Marilyns but there was lots of portraits and characters that were beautifully done in his style.

wpid-img_20150924_195404.jpg

wpid-img_20150924_211859.jpg

The exhibit runs Tuesday-Saturday until the end of the year with a number of lectures happening, check the website for details. Tickets to the lectures include entrance to the gallery and is only open to lecture attendees.

behaving gentlemanly at the gentlemen’s expo

This past weekend was the 3rd annual Gentlemen’s Expo. I’ve been to a number of expos designed for women, so I was excited to see what the gentlemen’s version would entail.

I headed down at noon at Saturday, bought some drink tickets and hit the floor with my boyfriend. I quickly realized there was a lot of drinks that I was going to want to try, including craft beers (and not so craft but still delicious beers), whiskeys and wines. I promise that those will be showing up in Thirsty Thursdays over the next couple of weeks.

It’s no secret that I love “shopping local”. I love seeing what people in this city are doing and this was a great expo to learn about local merchants including “steak” jerky, an all-beef, nitrate-free jerky from table mountain curing company and thank you toronto, with sweet hats and cute dog leashes. I loved the opportunity to speak with the owners and operators of so many great places in the city.

There were lots of options for maintaining a beard, staying dapper and well lubricated. There were a number of presentations on the main stage (most, I unfortunately missed just based on timing) but they included drink pairing guides, hypnosis and concerts. My favourite part of course was the variety of drinks, as much as I love my beer festivals, it was great to be able to sample so many different brands of beers and other drinks that I’m not familiar with. As I said, check back over the next few weeks to see all the great stuff I tried.

I had a great time at The Gentlemen’s Expo, I would recommend checking it out next if you’re looking for a fun day out, there is plenty for the ladies (I may have started my Christmas shopping) as there is for the gentlemen!

Have you been to the The Gentlemen’s Expo? What was your favourite part?

thirsty thursday: my sangria

I know sangria season is winding down (I don’t know how it’s already the 10th!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t make sangria one (or several) more times before summer is officially gone.

I made this sangria with some people over last week – I kind of took the idea from the milestone sangria (fun fact: one of the most referred search terms to my site). Now I’m not one for measuring (or taking pictures, sorry) but this was what made this delicious white wine sangria. It was approximately 2/3 white wine, 1/3 white cranberry juice and 1/3 pear somersby – I garnished with raspberries and grapefruit and it was delicious. Sangria is great because there’s very few wrong ways to make it!

How do you make your sangria?

film screening: sybil and betts: requiem for a friendship

The Alzheimer’s Society in conjunction with MedicAlert Canada is proud to present their 4th annual film screening at Hot Docs on Bloor. I became a little more familiar with the Alzheimer’s Society a few months ago when I attended Memory Ball where I learned some startling statistics about this devastating disease, such as 15% of caregivers are aged 18-24. It is really a disease that affects everyone in someway.

The film they will be screening is “Sybil and Betts: Requiem for a Friendship” which tells the story of two women and their lifelong friendship. Betts is diagnosed with dementia and her friend Sybil rallies friends and family to support Betts. The story shows their strength as they adjust to this difficult reality while finding joy in life. It tells the story of how love can sustain a bond even under the most trying circumstances.

The film screening is on September 22nd, and as mentioned will be screening at the Hot Docs on Bloor, and you can see a trailer here. The film is pay-what-you-can and tickets can be purchased online in advance. There will also be a Q&A following the film with the director, Sybil and Betts’ daughter. This is a great opportunity to see a great documentary and support an important organization in the community.

 

hidden gems in toronto: the upper beach

I’m always surprised when I find neighbourhoods in the city that not only have I not been to, I’ve never heard of. This city never ceases to amaze me. I was invited to check out the Upper Beach by the people at Streetcar Developments, among building condos, you may know Streetcar Developments as the developers that bought Jilly’s at Broadview and Queen.

If you’re like me, and have never heard of the “upper beach”, it’s basically the area halfway between Main Station and the Beach. It’s a 10 minute walk to the Danforth and to the Beach and an adorable neighbourhood where people seem to know each other and cute shops. We started the evening at our “hosts” – Streetcar Development. The Southwood condos. They told us a little history of the neighbourhood and sent us on our way to our first stop, the Yellow House Gallery – a space that is half gallery, half framing shop. The curator and owner hosts monthly exhibitions, the next one beginning on September 10th “BODY.FORM.COLOUR.” and you can easily go to the opening night and support emerging artists.

wpid-img_20150827_184307.jpg

Our next stop was the Art of Cheese, owned and operated the “grand fromage” Bill Miller. He has a huge selection of cheese, which we were able to sample with some local red wines. If you can dream it as a cheese, Bill’s store probably has it. We also got to take home some cheese which was perfect on my balcony with more wine (of course).

wpid-img_20150827_185616.jpg

Our next stop was an adorable gift shop, where I totally stocked up on greeting cards – there was two walls of them. TWO! And the good ones, I hate terrible cards. I should have just bought all of them that day. The store was Collected Joy, which is owned by Sharon Smyl – a former marketing director who quit her job to open her shop. Ask Sharon about any item in her store and she can tell you the story of how it was created and who it was created by. She wanted a store that would be fun to shop in, and she was successful in creating a warm inviting space that you can easily get lost in and find gifts for even the hardest of people.

By this time, we needed a snack. We stopped in at the Stone Pizza and split a few pizzas. This restaurant prides itself on having the freshest ingredients – they don’t even have a freezer on site. The restaurant is mostly designed for take out or delivery, but there are picnic benches outside, as long as the weather keeps holding up.

Of course, that was just a snack so we headed over The Beech Tree, owned by Robert Maxwell, who like Sharon, quit his desk job to open a restaurant. They pride themselves on making everything for the restaurant, including their own juices and infusing their own liquors. I was driving so I didn’t have any drinks here but I want to go back and try their strawberry old fashioned – seems so strange but the potential to be delicious. My favourite food we had was definitely the gnocchi in a sweet corn puree, feta and fennel bread crumble. I can’t wait to go back and eat a whole thing of that to myself.

wpid-img_20150827_200244.jpg wpid-img_20150827_201404.jpg wpid-img_20150827_200452.jpg

 

We were now supposed to go through the Glen Stewart Ravine, but it was getting dark so we walked through the beautiful gorgeous houses. IT was one of those neighbourhoods you can drive around and pick your favourite houses (I can’t be the only one that does that…) We ended up closer to the beach, at Queen St where were met by Sanna’s Famacia‘s bike. Like a “dickey dees” bike, Steve Sanna rides around his handmade smoothes, freezies and juices. While we were standing there chatting with him, the fire department drove by, we thought they were slowing down to tell us we needed to move but they were stopping to say hi to Steve, it really showed the community spirit of the neighbourhood.

I had a great time thanks to The Southwood by Streetcar Developments in the upper beach – a neighbourhood worth exploring. What are your favourite “hidden gems” in the city? I’d love to check more out!