Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupy Toronto?

Peaceful (and French-English bilingual!) anticapitalism demonstration at Bay and King.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

communing with orange, yellow and red nature

(the days are getting shorter, darker, colder, so it's time to inject a bit of colour here)

By now you already know I like plenty of things about this city.  In fact, you already know quite well that one of the things I like most is the change of colour of the leaves.   I can't quite explain why (novelty? it's simply "pretty"? it's in our genes???), but I am truely mesmerised by trees turning yellow, orange, red... There is a very child-like part of me that simply goes "wooooow..."

Finding the right time to go is darn hard:  go too early, and you'll find too much green still.  Go late... and all you'll find is brown, dry leaves on the ground.  This year was especially tricky, as temperatures went up and down in patterns that made for a very patchy colour change.   So, one weekend, I simply told my husband "NOW or never".  He new better than suggesting doing something else.  And so we ended (where else?) at High Park, the one place to go if you don't want to go too far.  The best thing? (probably also the craziest) It was really warm!  It was sunny, it was warm, it felt practically like summer!  I mean, we even started sweating! (please do understand, this is Toronto, Canada, OCTOBER, NOT warm):

We had everything: sunshine, flowers, butterflies, shades of green, yellow, orange, red...  In fact, a few trees were in the middle of an orange-red change, and this gave them a pinkish colour under the light.  I definitely had what I had gone for.  

But then again, one is satisfied only as long as one feels satisfied, right?  So what happened next week?  I was like "I have to have one more go, I MUST!"   And I dragged my poor husband once again to watch leaves.  Only this time I chose the Don Valley.  Rather easily accesible by subway.  And simply an amazing experience for me.  You see, High Park is great, it's huge, there's lots of gorgeous trees, lots of colour.  But the Don Valley? That was complete immersion:  we were in the woods, that was no park.  I was ecstatic.  No, really, I was.  When I'm in places like this, I automatically feel... exhilarated, happy, energetic, peaceful... And it wasn't sunny and warm like the week before: it was rainy, the sky was gloomy, the wind blew and, just so you know, I also like dark, stormy-like weather, and the constant rustle of the leaves, the velvety texture the yellow and orange leaves acquired under the soft, diffused light, that just made it that much better for me:

Yeah, I know, a post just about trees, leaves and walks?   But this is, after all, a blog to share what I see, and what I love.  And this, I certainly love.

Monday, October 24, 2011

more vegan breakfasts

In case you're not into the amazing pancake platters they serve at Fresh, there's also this 100% vegan full breakfast:

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Rapture

Toronto's biggest kink event, by Northbound Leather.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

sun breaks through clouds

I love how the sun breaks through the clouds through several spots in the distance, creating shining circles on the lake.

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Location:Bay St,Toronto,Canada

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dessert anyone?

Desserts to die for, at our favourite vegan restaurant of all: Fresh on Spadina.

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Addis Ababa

We were actually going to a vegetarian Ethiopean restaurant nearby, but it was closed, and by chance we found this other Ethiopean restaurant. Not vegetarian. Not really big portions. But we pretty much cleaned the plate. Yummy and spicy.

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Walk @ Don Valley

A windy, cold, drizzly (and beautiful because of all that) walk in the Don Valley.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

steel blue

One of my favourite "lake moods": I love the deep, shiny, steel blue colour of the lake contrasting with lightly lit clouds in the back.

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Location:Bay St,Toronto,Canada

Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumn @ Financial District

I absolutely love the yellow of the trees against the dark grey and the glass of the buildings in the Financial District.

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Location:Scott St,Toronto,Canada

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Indian summer at High Park

Enjoying a warm, clear, sunny day with bright blue skies at High Park. This, we can be thankful for, summer weather with early autumn colours.

*Indian summer: warm, sunny days in autumn after a cold spell.

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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Nepalese deliciousness

At Mt Everest, on Bloor. We ordered only Nepalese dishes (two of them vegetarian). Absolutely delicious, and a mix of ingredients quite unlike what you'd see at Indian restaurants. Really worth a bite.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

sun, we missed you!

A most welcome change from a 6°C, cloudy, drizzly Sunday.

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Location:Bay St,Toronto,Canada

Monday, October 03, 2011

TIFF 2011

Yes, the TIFF was over about two weeks ago, but the day after we saw our last movie we went travelling. In fact, I'm in the very same process of preparing the posts about that trip!  BUT the TIFF plays a very special role in our appreciation of this city, and it would be totally unfair to fail to write at least a bit about our experience this year.

Once again, we bought a 10 ticket package, and we chose ourselves the movies (unlike our first festival, where we were too late to buy tickets and bought a package where the organisers themselves picked the movies, which wasn't that bad at all).   And I'm happy to say that the films we chose were pretty fine, to say the least.  

We saw Beauty (Skoonheid), a chilling movie about homosexuality, from South Africa; a Japanese movie (Monsters Club,モンスターズクラブ) about contemporary angst in a mass oriented society; a Sino-French production (11 Flowers, 我十一) with a very honest and simple portrayal of life in a Chinese town near the end of the Cultural Revolution; The Beloved (Les Bien-Aimés), a French film about love with songs and Catherine Deneuve;  Samsara, a US film by the same amazing team that produced Baraka; Carré Blanc, a well done co-production between France, Luxembourg, Russia, Belgium and Switzerland about a dystopian, totalitarian future; a beautiful and melancholic film about the end of the world, Melancholia, a co-production between Denmark, Sweden, France and Germany; the French film House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide) about a prostitution house in by-gone France; a touching 3D film from Germany and France about Pina's Tanztheater: Pina; and an interesting Norwegian film, Oslo, August 31st (Oslo, 31. August) about the suicide of a young man.  

We really enjoyed this festival and the films we chose.  If I were to give you ONE reason to come to Toronto, it would be this:  come and enjoy films from all around the world, in so many different categories, and see a city that comes particularly alive with visitors and stars alike, that parties late, and that truely celebrates this one special time of the year.   And you may very well see some jewels, like Samsara and Melancholia.   The first one will thrust you non-stop through awe, and tears and emotion; the second one is a masterpiece (the opening scene is particularly beautiful, and you'll be coming back to it in your mind as you near the end of the movie) from Lars von Trier.   If you have any love for dance, Pina is a must, too.   You should try and see all the ones I mentioned (with Oslo last in your list of priorities, perhaps), but you should most definitely try to get your hands (or your eyes) on Samsara and/or Melancholia, as well as Pina.  Go on, google a trailer and you'll see.  I assure you, you won't regret it.  

Thanks Toronto for another amazing TIFF!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

we're not in Kansas anymore...

Streets packed with people drinking from glasses, cups, and all sorts of bottles, spilling out from bars that are too small to hold this many revellers. This is definitely NOT Toronto, but alcohol-infused Chiado:

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Queijadas (and Pastel da Alta Cruz) à Piriquita

You should never eat queijadas, unless they're from A Piriquita in Sintra. Not vegan, at all, but if you must eat them, it should be there.

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