shironeko holga 2

When I wrote about the Shironeko Holga, a few people asked if I could show what pictures taken with it would look like. I have uploaded a few to Flickr, & some of you may have already seen these. I really like this little camera! Sometimes there is a little vignetting (and weird light things, and slight fogging) , and I really like the colours, although the pictures here are mostly grey and earthy! That's late winter / early spring for you, I suppose. I have taken two rolls with it: one was ultra cheap Life brand 200, and the other was Kodak Max 400. I don't notice much of a difference between the two, but then again I seem to only have this camera on me on rainy days & at night.

It's a good camera to take to parties because people are fascinated by it and it has flash. I like flash with film! It feels nostalgic, as with disposable cameras.

(This picture isn't good but it was taken under an umbrella, in the pouring rain)

(Oreo nuzzles Geoff's old World Famous canvas backpack.
These bags are going to be all over Toronto this summer, I bet -- they're in the window of the Drake General Store)

Another great thing about this camera is that if you carry it around in your purse, sometimes your purse will unexpectedly make a cat noise. What's not to love about that?

Oh! Most cats, especially tough outdoor cats, are completely unimpressed by the noises & lights.


soap rocks

I found soap rocks the other day. This is turquoise, my birth stone. I couldn't resist.


p&p parodie

I came across this blog recently, P&P, and I keep going back to it. Lorenzo & Vincent re-create posts by French fashion bloggers -- hilarious! I don't get why it hasn't gone viral. I first saw this on The Cherry Blossom Girl's Facebook fan page, where she said it made her "mourir de rire."

I love their most recent post, a spoof of Pandora's "Merry Christmas." Ahh, so funny!


leanne shapton

I sometimes try to come around to my first real passion, books. I have been feeling disconnected from books for a while, even during the time that I spent working for a rare book dealer (and even as I work inside a library that houses over 4 million books).

I have been seeing references to Leanne Shapton's work quite a bit recently (her article "In the Night Kitchen" has made the rounds, as well as her book cover designs), and this makes me happy. She is a consummate book person, a co-founder of J&L Books, as well as an artist. Her biography is filled with dream jobs.

The other night I was out for drinks with Carly and Erica, and we indulged in some terrific girl talk. I was reminded of Shapton's book, Was She Pretty?, which explores the "conflicting feelings aroused in women by their boyfriends' ex-lovers. It's narrated (and drawn) by a sharp but weary onlooker who is very intimate with all the principles, who seem to form a loose circle of friends." I pulled out my (signed, thank you David Mirvish Books on Art -- miss you) copy yesterday, and found it far more funny than I have in the past. I actually laughed out loud a few times. It's sincere, and maybe even a little uncomfortable.

("Alasdair's ex-girlfriend was his first cousin Annabel. Their family was very casual about it all. They were a close-knit clan of eccentric and photogenic aristocrats who often modeled for luxury ad campaigns.")

A few years ago Geoff and I went on a "date" to the reference library so that I could take a look at her first book, called Toronto. I keep meaning to buy it. I love the tender description: "In 2002, Leanne Shapton gave up her Toronto apartment, left her job, and moved to London where she lived in a small bedsit. The drawings in this book grew out of the acute homesickness she felt. Most of them were done from photographs taken of her close friends and surroundings over the previous five years, and of the new friends she was making in London. The book is a quiet eulogy about leaving friends, and home, and what we love about the photographs we keep with us."

I really like her


fogged film

I don't pretend to know anything about photography and/or cameras, so it's all still very fun for me. When I picked up the first roll of film that I had taken with an old Russian camera called a Smena 8m (I got it on eBay for maybe $12), I had to laugh. They had written "fogged film" on the package. I accidentally half-exposed the whole roll when I wound it (oops), but I think the results are kind of amazing.

I took the first two at Robber one night when I was there to close the shop: I spy Hansel from Basel tights, and paper feathers! And a bike and a bird house...


my tronnow

This post is a blatant ripoff of Erin's amazing "Hamilton Summer" series (part 1 and part 2), with her permission. I love the idea of Google Street View. These pictures are so ugly that they are fantastic to me.

As many of you know, I am pretty fond of this town. I rarely exit the five kilometer radius that surrounds my apartment, and so it feels like a small town to me (although when I visit a truly small town, I realize that it's not a small town at all). Here are some of my favourite places to visit. I'm sure I'm forgetting many, many others.

(Just FYI: no one says "To-ron-to." It's "Tronnow." "Tronna." As few syllables as possible).

It doesn't look like much, but the red building in the middle "houses" Henhouse, my favourite bar in the world. Excellent jukebox and way chill vibes. The owners are from the band The Organ (just FYI). I love it.

Beirut restaurant and the Paradise, which was once a porn theatre, then a rep cinema (I miss it!), and is now empty. When I was little, my dentist was next door but it's now a store called "Scented Romance" (?!). This is a great area for the hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant, especially if you like Ethiopian food, Middle Eastern food, and churrasco (and I do!). It's also a great area if you're a retired Greek man and want to hang out in a Greek man-only kathenion (you never know).

The Common. My favourite coffee shop. You can forget about getting a seat most of the time. Arabesque is across the street and they make the best falafels there. Aw, look, liquor license application in the window!

The Dufferin Mall and Dufferin Grove Park. The Dufferin Mall is a hilarious joke to most of us but I can't help but love it there. I've been going there my whole life.

This bleak little strip of Bloor includes Holy Oak (right in the middle, next to Furniture Time -- !?), which is a really nice little coffee shop. Calico Cafe is across the street; Calico makes really amazing vegan food with vegetables that the owner grows himself or gets from the Dufferin Grove farmers' market (see above), which takes place on Thursdays.

Saving Grace: best brunch. Forget about going on the weekend, though. I also like Ella's Uncle, the coffee shop across the street. Bookhou is near here, as is Made.

Augusta Avenue. You kind of have to wander around Kensington Market. Good Egg, El Trompo, Bungalow, Kid Icarus, etc.

Julie's Cuban. Yum.

Luna Cafe. They get beautiful light in there when it's sunny.

The shop with the animal print sign is Penny Arcade Vintage, one of my favourite vintage shops. There's karaoke and disco next door! Rad. I also love I Miss You and the small network of vintage shops around the corner & down the street from here.

The Lakeview. The food here is merely okay but! They're open 24 hours, they've been around forever, scenes from Cocktail with Tom Cruise were filmed here, and they have good beer specials. I always seem to end up here.

Silver Falls Vintage / Hunter & Cook, a gallery. Sweaty Betty's is the bar next door, and that ugly grey building is an artist run center where Geoff worked for a while. World Sew is on the corner, for all your sewing machine & serger repair needs. Virgina Johnson and a lot of good restaurants are up this street (including one of my favourite Vietnamese places, Golden Turtle). I have yet to try the pizza place nearby, Libretto, but I have heard good things. If you want to buy a Fjallraven backpack or Surface to Air shoes, go to Jonathan & Olivia the next block up. I actually really like the bar called The Ossington, just up the street.

Robber! You know how much I love that shop. It's the white one in the middle. In the summer you can get a Big Gulp from the 7-11 a few doors down.

White Squirrel coffee shop. They have Greg's ice cream here. One of those might as well be my bike parked out front!

Chippy's! Excellent fish & chips. Get two orders of haddock & extra tartar sauce & only one order of fries to split between two people. Sit in Trinity-Bellwoods park across the street and enjoy the day. Also visit The Paper Place next door.

Swan is the restaurant in the middle, and I enjoy it quite a bit. Fresh is the vegetarian restaurant next door, on the corner. It's a bit of empire in Toronto. Fawn Boutique is across the street, and it is a beautifully curated shop.

Oddfellows on the corner: all you can eat tacos in the summer on Sundays, all you can eat pierogies in the winter. I also love popping in to Gus Studio and Stylegarage on the opposite corner and thinking about my dream sofas.

This is a great block. Chasse Gardée, Art History, The Melissa, Katherine Mulherin Art Projects, Board of Directors.

The Drake Hotel & the Drake General Store. I like the General Store. They sell Shared clothing and In God We Trust jewelery. I also like eating lunch at the Gladstone Hotel nearby, and I like the Beaver. We also recently discovered that a newish bar near here, The Double Deuce, is a good one.

The green shop is Magic Pony. They have great art shows there and at their other space, Narwhal Art Projects. A lot of great people are associated with these spaces.

This place is pretty hilarious. Ancient discount shop. But if you go down Markham Street you'll be in Mirvish Village, which is a nice little strip with good restaurants and vintage shops. I love Butler's Pantry and the Victory Cafe.

This is my favourite restaurant in Korea Town, Buk Chang Dong. There are only a few items on the menu, and they specialize in soon tofu. So hungry.

Aunties & Uncles. Amazing brunch, but don't bother going there on weekends. Go during the week and wander around Little Italy (just FYI, it's Little Italy historically only -- not too many Italian businesses remain).

Sneaky Dee's is kind of the worst but it's also kind of an institution. You pretty much have to go.

The Big Chill ice cream shop. We are anxiously awaiting its reopening for the season.

Ezra's Pound on Dupont (the little white building in the middle). I used to live nearby but moved away a week after it opened. The hours aren't the best (I think they close at 4 and aren't open on Sundays), but the coffee is very good. I haven't been to the second location on Dundas.

I found Geoff's twin! Right in front of Peixeria Portugal!