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Category — culture

My Fave Spots in Roncesvalles

Roncesvalles true neighbourhood vibe.

Roncesvalles true neighbourhood vibe.

I love Roncey.  On the western edge of the city, the happening stretch of Roncesvalles between Howard Park and Queen Street is a pedestrian friendly neighbourhood overflowing with gourmet restaurants, cozy cafes, independent retailers and fresh fruit markets.  I was really lucky to accompany my friend D on a foodie lovers walking tour in the summer hosted by Yellow Pages Taste Your Neighbourhood & the Roncesvalles BIA.  My friend and I were the requisite tour girls who lagged behind sampling and buying everything.  Ahem, we were taking one for the team and supporting local.  Yeah we were.

La Cubana (392 Roncesvalles Ave.) – With its retro green and red subway tiled walls and open kitchen, this Cuban style diner is charming and funky.  The menu boasts an overwhelming selection of diner favourites with a latin twist.  Of course there is the Cuban sandwich, corn frituras and empanadas.  Try them brunch or dinner.

La Cubana

La Cubana: Great décor, delicious smells and friendly service.

Barque Smokehouse (299 Roncesvalles Ave.) – You would think as a vegetarian I wouldn’t be into it but the smell of those baby-back, baby-back ribs almost turned me carnivore.  But alas, I lived vicariously through my friend S who tried the sampler of ribs, chicken, brisket and Italian sausage.  I had the plank salmon with a variety of sides which included heirloom tomato salad, panko crusted penne n’ cheese and bbq-spiced French fries.  We didn’t talk for half an hour because we were too busy eating.

Just so you know, Barque Smokehouse is always crowded but this is what it looks like without patrons via EnRoute

Just so you know, Barque Smokehouse is always crowded but this is what it looks like without patrons via EnRoute

The Mercantile (297 Roncesvalles Ave.) – Gourmet meets giftshop.  If someone wants to buy a gift or surprise dinner party guests with something to ‘ooh and ahh’ over, you will find an array of specialty snacks, artisan teas, chocolates and preserves galore in this treasure bursting pantry and sweet boutique.

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October 13, 2014   No Comments

New York State of Mind

I like reading Conde Nast Traveler while I'm on vacay, so I can think about my next vacay. haha.

I like reading Conde Nast Traveler while I’m on vacay, so I can think about my next vacay. haha.

Sometimes I can’t help myself.  I can be self indulgent and impulsive — both common traits of Geminis.  Though I am planning a holiday trip, I could not resist a Fall mini-break to New York with my sister.  This travel compulsion trumps any chocolate addiction.  I can often lure a few friends to tag along because they know I love to plan a) brunches/dinners b) shopping c) activities involving champagne spritzers/Riesling and in general I up the ante on my comedy game.  More fun? Yes please!

I dreamed of New York

I dreamed of New York

I was feeling nostalgic so the theme of our trip was throwback.  I tried to mix in a little of this and little of that, some places that we used to haunt and some new ones to keep it fresh.

Cafeteria (119 7th Ave.) – We were just babies when we used to come here. Do you remember China Club? Carrie loved it. Still open 24 hours, good for brunch mimosas, great for after the bar comfort food. Mac n’ Cheese is still on the menu.

Cafeteria in the heart of Chelsea is open 24 hours. So you can #nomnomnom anytime

Cafeteria in the heart of Chelsea is open 24 hours. So you can #nomnomnom anytime

Nobu NY (105 Hudson St.) – There’s a reason people come back for chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s new style Japanese cuisine. Spaces are warm, subdued and elegant. The Tribeca location is the original (famously backed by Robert de Niro) which opened in 2004.  With imaginative dishes and high quality sushi I’m like ‘whoa.’  This is saying a lot coming from a vegetarian who detests raw things.

Ladurée (398 West Broadway, Soho)  – A Parisian tea room with a glass case of patisserie and candy-coloured rainbow of macarons await.

Decadent delights: I shared the macarons this time. They come in the most beautiful little boites, non?

Decadent delights: I shared the macarons this time. They come in the most beautiful little boites, non?

Stanton Social (99 Stanton St.) – My friend S said, “Lower East Side is the new Meatpacking.” That makes me giggle.  There’s still a bit of grungey edge to LES but I like when the sketch intermingles with trendy spots.  Keeping it real.  Celebrity chef Chris Santos’s menu is a mashup of ethnic tapas from Kobe beef sliders to Nori Spice Tuna Wonton and Summer Squash Ravioli. Try Monday nights if you want a downtown crowd.

Stanton Social plays good hip hop while you are noshing on your gourmet eats.

Stanton Social plays good hip hop while you are noshing on your gourmet eats.

Wayback playback: Supermodels at Indochine.  FIN.

Wayback playback: Supermodels at Indochine. FIN.

 

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October 4, 2014   No Comments

Visions of Shoes

There's no place like Paris.  Saint Laurent Glitter pumps

There’s no place like Paris. Saint Laurent Glitter pumps

Do you ever wake up from a shopping dream?  Yeah me too.  Sucks to wake up.  To be around me on the daily, is to listen to a constant diatribe on optimism and the power of vision boards.  Fortunately, my spiritual babble is peppered with funny anecdotes and life lessons sung as hip-hop choruses.  “That sh!t cray.  Ain’t it Jay?”

Alternatively this post is titled, shoes to vogue in and the classic house song to play as a soundtrack is Junior Vasquez “If Madonna Calls” (I’m not Here)  Oh yes, we partied hard back in the day…(see/ Les Bains Douches, Paris) 

Quotable Carrie: "I have this little substance abuse problem...expensive footwear."

Quotable Carrie: “I have this little substance abuse problem…expensive footwear.”

I feel like since the end of SATC (not counting the movie), there has been this massive void in our lives.  When Carrie Bradshaw left our living rooms, we could no longer live vicariously through her walk-in closet or ‘ooh and ahh’ as she sashayed down the street.  In an effort to resurrect our fashion icon, we proudly take up her cause.  We share that insane love of shoes.  Those of the 4″ and higher variety.

A love collage of shoes and a toast to the Carries.  Chin-chin.

Nude attitude: Louboutin So Kate

Nude attitude: Louboutin So Kate

If you are wearing these Brian Atwood Gitte Suede and Mink shoes, it is highly appropriate to scissor kick your gams in the air for friends to admire the furry softness of your pom-poms.

If you are wearing these Brian Atwood Gitte Suede and Mink shoes, it is highly appropriate to scissor kick your gams in the air for friends to admire the furry softness of your pom-poms.

Covet like so bad because it's like perfect: YSL Paris Calfskin Pump

Covet like so bad because it’s like perfect: YSL Paris Calfskin Pum

 

More! More! More! How do you like it? Channel Studio 54 in these Brian Atwood Alis Stud Suede pumps

More! More! More! How do you like it? Channel Studio 54 in these Brian Atwood Alis Stud Suede pumps

"When I'm feeling sad and blue, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don't feel soooo blue." Sound of Music lyrics apply

“When I’m feeling sad and blue, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel soooo blue.” Sound of Music lyrics apply

 

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August 21, 2014   No Comments

The Love Collage Celebrates 5 Years!

Macaron Eiffel Tower: Though I am a kind and generous person, I am not sure if I would share. ps. If ever in doubt, Pistachio & Salted Caramel are my faves.

Macaron Eiffel Tower: Though I am a kind and generous person, I am not sure if I would share. ps. If ever in doubt, Pistachio & Salted Caramel are my faves.

I love my blog.  I reallyx3 do.  If you read my ABOUT page, you’ll understand why.  While I don’t have the time I used to when I started five years ago, it’s still an important outlet for me to write, share my ideas about the places I travel, the great restaurants with the most delicious food, the chicest boutiques and vintage shops I frequent and the cultural happenings that keep me excited about living in Toronto. I have a fun life and I always count my lucky stars and bank my Supermoons.

I have a dear friend who also manages a blog and we chat about when and if to call it quits as other life priorities take over.  My feeling is, I will continue writing as long as the passion is there.  It’s a creative space that evolves with me.  If there is one thing I have learned about any love collage — whatever I write about on my blog or put on my actual board comes true.  Sounds hokey but TRUST.  And another grain of wisdom, put your energies in the things, people, places and interests that inspire you.  When you look back, you will only have fond memories and few regrets.

“Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.” – Anais Nin

The patron saint of The Love Collage Anais Nin dressed as a flamenco dancer in Paris. This picture pretty much sums up my life.

The patron saint of The Love Collage Anais Nin dressed as a flamenco dancer in Paris. This picture pretty much sums up my life.

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August 14, 2014   No Comments

Rompers And Jumpsuits: The Trend Continues

Night Moves: Cara sports a tuxedo inspired jumpsuit. This is a polished look for evening. Very Helmut Newton, non?

Night Moves: Cara sports a tuxedo inspired jumpsuit. This is a polished look for evening. Very Helmut Newton, non?

At work, my friend S had just come out of a fashion direction meeting (these do exist and it is someone’s job) and she told me I was on trend for Spring 15 because I was wearing a jumpsuit.  But my obsession with the romper and jumpsuit is nothing new.  I have been amassing rompers and jumpsuits for years.  These are some of my best loved brunch outfits, my after 9pm cocktails, my window-shopping go-to’s.  At brunch, my bestie C and me were chatting about the pitfalls of our romper obsession.  You basically have to completely undress before you can use the ladies room.  And if you’re unaccustomed to the fast change, then you might just pee on yourself.

The trend continues strong but here are some fresh takes on those that dare to wear:

Mara Hoffman romper combines a soft cotton with intricate embroidery details.

Mara Hoffman romper combines a soft cotton with intricate embroidery details.

Topshop deep V-neck jumpsuit in the most vibrant colours and tribal print. Love the geometric shapes which remind me of Morrocan zilij.

Topshop deep V-neck jumpsuit in the most vibrant colours and tribal print. Love the geometric shapes which remind me of Morrocan zilij.

How cool does this girl look? Joe's Denim Romper.  I love how this one is a bit baggy like a boyfriend fit.

How cool does this girl look? Joe’s Denim Romper. I love how this one is a bit baggy like a boyfriend fit.

Is it a wrap dress? Is it a romper? OMG it's both. Just can't get enough of this DVF Wrap Dress Romper on the runway and sported by Gwyneth

Is it a wrap dress? Is it a romper? OMG it’s both. Just can’t get enough of this DVF Wrap Dress Romper on the runway and sported by Gwyneth

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July 19, 2014   No Comments

Beyoncé & Jay-Z On The Run Tour: Sartorial Concert Options

Don't believe the hype! Or maybe they want you to (jedi-mind trick). 43 songs including beloved classics. I can't wait for "I Just Wanna Love  U"

Don’t believe the hype! Or maybe they want you to (jedi-mind trick). 43 songs including beloved classics. I can’t wait for “I Just Wanna Love U”

It’s been weighing heavy on our minds this week.  My VIP carpool has been cranking up the Beyoncé (all my single ladies!) in anticipation for the On The Run concert.  We’ve been comparing our favourite lines from Drunk In Love, with a unanimous vote for “last thing i remember is our beautiful bodies grinding off in that club” and “surfboard-surfboard” (obviously!).  After we’ve cooled our excitement, the next heavily contemplated topic of discussion is what to wear.  Here I present you a myriad of choices to ponder when thinking of your concert-inspired wardrobe.  Remember, to consider your audience. XO

Beyoncé in Versace for New Year's Eve with a bold hottt pink lip. They call it Maximalist style. Too much is never enough.

Beyoncé in Versace for New Year’s Eve with a bold hottt pink lip. They call it Maximalist style. Too much is never enough.

Versace, Versace, Versace: B in Miami with a custom Atelier Versace bodysuit. Loving that emblem cap.

Versace, Versace, Versace: B in Miami with a custom Atelier Versace bodysuit. Loving that emblem cap.

Oh let me just throw on my Givenchy Couture cape and bodysuit. Fancy!

Oh let me just throw on my Givenchy Couture cape and bodysuit. Fancy!

Purrrr! Need me some cat ears. I am super particular about my accessories but these ones from Asos are on the money honey.

Purrrr! Need me some cat ears. I am super particular about my accessories but these ones from Asos are on the money honey.

How about that polka dot bodysuit you weren't sure you would get the right ROC (return on compliment) on? Beyoncé wiggle-wiggles for Jay.

How about that polka dot bodysuit you weren’t sure you would get the right ROC (return on compliment) on? Beyoncé wiggle-wiggles for Jay.

Tom Ford makes Varsity chic in sporty sequins.

Tom Ford makes Varsity chic in sporty sequins.

Canadians girls do it better: Double denim Canadian tuxedo. Wear it sexy for your mandatory hair fling during Grown Woman.

Canadians girls do it better: Double denim Canadian tuxedo. Wear it sexy for your mandatory hair fling during Grown Woman.

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July 3, 2014   No Comments