Archive | April, 2011

The Only Thing Worth Documenting in DC…

29 Apr

.. or shall I call it: Snoozetown USA. This city is so unstylish it hurts. The metro breaks down while you’re ON it (and it closes way too early.) and Chinatown doesn’t even LOOK Chinese! It consists of a bunch of American chains with their logos translated in Chinese.

Is that really all the capitol of the “free world” has to contribute to their immigrants? Really? Come on, America. Stop being so lazy!

However, I did fall in love with SOMETHING in this city. Those of you who know me (and can’t help but love me) will remember that I happen to be very fond of vegan/vegetarian cuisine. And you may also remember my one-month vegan experiment that occurred in January ( y’all know you miss those days of my nagging and secretly smelling cheese.) So you can imagine how excited I was to find that Washington DC has its very own (and pretty bitchin’) vegan bakery called Sticky Fingers.

http://www.stickyfingersbakery.com/

Attractive name, innit?

Sticky Fingers was my second home in DC. My second day here, my ass spent five hours glued to the comfortable plush-like hot pink booth chair in the back working on my essay. In fact, I’m sitting outside there right now, stealing their internet. So you can see why I came back here today to have one of their orgasmic (and completely vegan) Cupcakes.

And that, madames et monsieurs, was the highlight of the DC portion of my Urban Extravaganza.

That and the fact that H et M isn’t taxed here. (Boycotting my ass. Why must I be such a hypocrite when it comes to fashion!?)

Check it out if you’re ever in DC. Its on 14th and Park, surrounded by a bunch of corporate American chains.

Note: this is where to find the Hipsters of DC.

And now, I’m off to New York.

I’ll keep you posted, mes amis!

Smee in the City

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Tdot in a Nutshell: We Don’t Hate It.

25 Apr

Habs vs. Maple Leafs. Mount Royal vs. The CN Tower. Vieux-Port vs. Old Town Toronto. Ossignton Ave. vs. Avenue du Parc. McGill/Concordia vs. University of Toronto/Ryerson.
Montreal definitely wins, but Toronto isn’t exactly the shittiest place on earth.

So, lets go over the pros and cons of the city, shall we?

Pros:

Kensington Market/The abundance of Vintage Stores:

This hipster haven is absolutely swarming with impressive vintage stores and boutiques. I was actually blown away! Although we have a lot of vintage stores in Montreal (please. nobody should even QUESTION this. They’re called friperies- get off your ass, go to The Mile End, and find one.) the vintage stores in Kensington are crammed together, and have either an upscale, organized boutique feel or a junky treasure trove feel.

I recommend: Courage My Love. This place has a bunch of drawers with underpinnings, jewelry, beads, keys, charms, scarves, and environmental lunch bags! (I knew Ishould’ve gotten one. They’re a fashionable and environmentally friendly substitute for brown paper bags- which is what I often carry my lunch in.)

The size of the city:

‘Nuff said. I love a big city- while Montreal is much prettier than Toronto, hands down, (and more cultured)- Tdot is bigger. This means public transportation runs longer, and you’ll be able to find almost anything you’re looking for. But sorry, Torontonians. You can pretend all you want, but Toronto is NOT New York.

*Just a thought: If I do end up moving to Tdot in the next couple of years, my new blog should be called “This is Not New York”. Hmmm…

Now, I know the “pros” list is short. The rest of the pros are honestly little things.. The city has some great Universities, there’s always something to do, there are “open minded” cafes (please, the jig was up a long time ago.) And it would be nice to be living in an anglophone (for the most part) city. But those two descriptive pros are the ones that got to me the most, honestly.

Now for the cons.

-The cupcakes suck:

C’mon. Look at that. You call that a cupcake! they were TOO FLAT and it wasn’t good.

-Its too expensive:

Montreal is SO much cheaper than Toronto. In fact, you don’t realize how cheap Montreal is until you go to any other city in Canada. Yes, Toronto- we know.. your taxes are less than ours, but our taxes go towards keeping our city clean and interesting for the public: we have all these awesome events for the community: Nuit Blanche, JazzFest, Formula One, Juste pour Rire… Now I’m just rambling. But you know what I mean. What do you have Toronto- HUH?!

Did you know that for students, a public transportation pass (equivalent to the OPUS) is about 70 CAD in Tdot whereas in Montreal its about 40 CAD?Come on, man. Come ON.

-Its not that Pretty:

There’s nothing really NICE to look at in Toronto. Montreal seems to have more parks that are better maintained and just more attractive in general. Same goes for the way apartments and the metro are presented. The Keeks hates the presentation of Toronto’s public transportation. I thought it was okay- kind of interesting, actually (I like the way the Streetcars go into the subway station.) I mean, a subway is a subway. It seems like Toronto doesn’t really have the patience for Pretty. Which brings me to my next point.

-Torontonians need to RELAX:

I get it- its a big city. You’re in a hurry. But fuck, man. Move out of the way. You don’t OWN the city. Have some consideration.. remember, we live in CANADA. (That was totally a burn to the American readers out there.)

All in all, Toronto isn’t that bad. Yeah, if I lived there I totally would just give up on Hockey as an entertaining sport (nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk) and I’d probably see slightly less stylish people, AND I would be broke.. but I don’t think living there would be the end of the world.

I’m in DC now, but more on that later. Probably within the next few days- but don’t get pushy. I’m not in Fake Paris for another week.. remember, even Bloggers deserve a bit of a vacation.

Bisous!

Smee in the City.

*Drool*

18 Apr

Because the sleep deprived love to get their shoe-porn fix.

This is what I want, this is what I DESERVE, for my 22nd birthday. (Which is in 3 months, by the way.) Or, if that fails, a graduation present. But let’s not push it- I HAVE to do the cliché backpacking through India “that place changed my life” bullshit.
Honey, let me tell you. I would love to be backpacking in these. Oh, screw it. I would love to be UNPACKING these.
Get on it, sisters. And sod off- 5’7 is not too tall to wear these shoes.
Alright, I’m 5’7 1/2.

Diversité dans le Plateau!

18 Apr

So I haven’t updated in a while. No apologies, though- to my dedicated readers (being friends and family who I force to read my blog and those loyal facebook stalkers whom I thank very much for thinking my statuses are interesting enough to follow.) as I am busy finishing up my third year of university, sitting at home in my comfy, comfy armchair, watching re-runs of embarrassing t.v on my computer,  sipping Stash’s Blueberry Tea, and occasionally risking the expansion of my derriere by ingesting certain foods that make me vow to change my life the following day.

We’ll blame it on the rain.

So I have some bad news. The other day ( I’ll assume it was thursday, since my perception of time is extremely janked due to the massive all nighters I’ve been pulling: thanks, university. High Five.) As I was schlepping from the Guy-Concordia station to the JW McConnel Building through the pedway, my camera FLIES out of the flap of my open (and extremely awesome, purchased from a tucked away corner in Williamsburg) briefcase bag, and makes the saddest little crashing sound against the ..[ concrete?] ground. Its been acting up since then, so no outfit updates for a bit- although The Keeks was kind enough to document my Denise Huxtable revival with HER camera during our Frozen Yogurt jaunt on this frigid afternoon, so we’ll stay tuned for that!

On that note, however- I will advertise an obvious treasure the city tends to forget about: those hippie dippy oriental merchandise stores that are dotted throughout the Latin Quarter and the Plateau. No,no, you silly stoners. I’m not talking about High Times or the “Indian Culture” stores that have pictures of pot leafs and stencils of Bob Marley airbrushed on their windows (way to be subtle, guys.) I’m talking about stores that actually carry legitimate artificats of different eastern cultures that contribute to the city’s cauldron of diversity. As I searched for the perfect wedding gift for my wonderful, fellow aspiring High School English teacher, Hippie Dippy, Vegan, Badass friend Wolfy, I discovered intricately carved tams, elaborate sheeshas standing tall, gorgeous plaques of sanskrit symbols, intimidatingly realistic statues of Ganesh, and the most beautiful collection of Harmoniums and Sitars- instruments so breathtaking I can’t even fathom any type of clever description to associate them with.

But unless you’re actually dedicated to the experimentation of Eastern music, I wouldn’t push anyone to go out an indulge in that field of merchandise- not to sound crass, but they’re pretty friggin expensive. Jewelry, you could do. Incense, trinkets, tapestries- they got ’em. Its nice to know that if you really wanted a sitar or harmonium, you can have one for a mere $600 bucks. That’s 600 loonies right there- or if we’re being optimistic, 300 toonies! Start saving yer laundry money, people.

Anyway, on Friday I discovered this absolutely GORGEOUS Chinese Heritage store that was wait for it.. NOT in China Town! Great trinkets, absolutely beautiful tea sets, and less intimidating statues. Its called La Maison Chinoise, and its located RIGHT next to my old apartment on Ave du Mont Royal coin Christophe Coloumbe. So that’s Mont Royal metro- walk about four blocks east, (but you gotta allow yourself to get distracted by the outer metro kiosk that sells organic maple syrup and let yourself pass by l’Avenue for the BEST BURGER in the city.) and you’ll see it-its not that tucked away, its just an unobvious sign. Unobvious, VERY crammed, but trust me- its a treasure trove of goodies in there.

Totally going back!

And p.s: the little old chinese lady who runs the place can parle anglais. Score!

Teta Platforms with Jido Pants

14 Apr

For all inquiring minds:

Teta= Grandmajjar

Jido= Granfajjar.

I think the collaboration of senescence (or I’m sorry, Nostalgia) with a twist on the 90’s trend that’s coming back is absolutely GENIUS.
I am IN LOVE with these platform shoes that look like they were made  from every grandmother’s leftover couch upholstery.


Paired with high waisted Grandfather slacks and a crop top gives it a breezy spring feel, although I’ll admit I’m totally outfit-repeating the concept from fall 2010.

I used to apologize profusely for outfit repeating- now, yes. We all know its a deadly sin, but remember- concept repeating is okay! Especially if you switch it up a little.

No debating, we love the high waisted with bare ribs look.

Crème Glacée on a Buzzkill of a Day

14 Apr

Sigh, Grumble, and Moan.

Its that time of year again. The time of year when my allergies kick in and my cigarettes taste like kabab.

I’ve been feeling so stuffy lately- in general. Especially with this balmy, humid weather the city is deciding to indulge in. Seriously, Montreal. Where’s the cool, crisp, rainy April we all know and love? And we’ve already reached the middle of the month! Bring on some April showers so we can get our May flowers on, yo!

I’m actually looking quite forward to the tulips that are planted throughout the city.

So I should have posted this yesterday, but I had a 9am American Poetry final today. How did I do? Lets just say at this point, I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about how happy I am to get away from that professor. The man seems nice and all, but he DOES NOT know how to lecture! Please! Stop with your jargon and nasal stuttering- I mean, you’ve already ruined Eliot for me! What next? To this very day I’m grateful for missing the class where he went over confessional poetry. Sylvia and I have this thing.

Anyway, yesterday I had an appointment with an academic advisor who not only looked like Father Christmas but also encouraged me to increase my bad-ass-ness by turning my Major in English Literature (which is officially complete) to a Specialization- for an extra fifteen credits of Post-Colonialism and MORE British Literature. Shall I partake in this, my readers? Or is a specialization just a tool- making you THINK you’re badass and you’re one step closer to being Michelle Pfeifer from Dangerous Minds (who I’ve been aspiring to be since the tender, confused age of six.) but you’re really just chaining yourself to extra school time and extra tuition. What to do, what to do, what to do?

Feeling pensive after leaving this appointment, (and giggly after leaving my cat’s estranged father’s house, Abu Pusshycatuh, further known as AP) The Keeks and I decide to participate in one of the city’s most anticipated, annual events: Free Ice Cream Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s.

Montrealers LOVE their ice cream. Everywhere you go, there’s a place that sells ice-cream. The word crème glacée manages to pop up on even the most unexpected of sources: like the Tabagie or the Dep. So imagine what the line-up outside this opportunity was like.

We waited in line for about 25 minutes, debating whether or not we should just give up our craving. When we were finally able to get inside, the most fun flavours were all out! And it was nuts in there! 

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I personally love half-baked and cookie dough. I think baked goods and ice cream is a great combination, so its no surprise that I opted for a Rasberry Cheesecake scoop. Would have preferred cookie dough, however.

The Keeks knew what she wanted right away. There’s no messing with that girl when it comes to dessert. Give her anything chocolatey and she’ll be a happy camper for days.

Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day happens once a year, during the beginning of Spring (basically, around this time.) There are more than one locations within in the city, (a couple downtown, one in No Damn Good.. ) but we were at the one on Crescent and Maisonneuve, next to the Strip Bar/ Cafe, Wanda’s and Cafe M.

Happy Monday!

11 Apr

This is what we’re craving this week:

  • 3-6 days at the gym (Yeah right, like that’s gonna happen. 😉 )
  • “Boyfriend” jeans, since we don’t need a boyfriend.
  • A trip (and documentation!) to Village des Valeurs/Plateau Friperies
  • Sushi
  • A new episode of ANYTHING to come out.
  • 70s inspired tan or brown leather clog/wedges*

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  • An extra strength flu treatment or any type of natural medicine, because I am sadly getting sick.
  • 10+degree sunny weather.
  • For exams, papers, and school related responsibilities to END.

In one week, I will be one year away from completing my bachelor’s degree and will hopefully move on to making an ass of myself in a bigger, badder city.

But for now, lets enjoy fake Paris, shall we?

À bientôt!

Smee in the City.

*Sadly, both pictures of the shoes were taken from Google Images, because I unfortunately do not own such beautiful creatures. They are however, my ideal shoe of the seasons and I will be documenting my adventures to find them.