Summer in the city …

The weather’s been so lovely, still hot, but without the humidity, we’ve had much of the summer. Can’t get enough of the outdoors. Last Friday I had to go to the bank and the tailor. Ended up walking for more than an hour, just didn’t want to be inside.

That night I had a fabulous dinner with a friend at an Italian restaurant in Yorkville (CIBO). It’s so interesting, there have been several restaurants in that spot and none of them have lasted that long, but this one is packed all the time.

I had farfalle with shrimp, spinach, capers, and lemon, it was delicious! It’s the second time I’ve had it there and I’ve tried to duplicate it at home. Mine is good, but theirs is better.

My friend had vegetable risotto and she said it was marvelous. Her Continue reading

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Creature of habit

I really have no idea what made me think of this particular topic, but once I did, I really got into it and decided to take a closer look at myself. Turns out I have some pretty strange habits:

  • Brush my teeth before washing my face.
  • Shower before brushing my teeth.
  • Eat the same breakfast every day — fresh fruit, plain greek yoghurt, honey, chopped walnuts and a bit of granola.
  • Make the bed before having breakfast.
  • Have breakfast before getting dressed.
  • Dress in the same order — first bottom, then shoes, then watch, then top.
  • Replace vitamins, shampoo, detergent, condiments etc. when I’m halfway through them.
  • Take vitamins in the same order.
  • Empty the bottom half of the dishwasher before the top.
  • Read the Sunday New York Times in the same order — Style section, News, Arts, Sunday Business, Sunday Review, Travel, the Magazine and the Book Review last.

There’s no doubt in my mind there’s more. But I’m not sure I want to know.

Should I be admitting to any of this? Is it time for an intervention? Should I be seeking medical help? Do you feel like coming over to my apartment, throwing everything on the floor and mixing it all up so I’m forced to do it all in a different order (not that I’d blame you if you did, I’m tempted to do it myself)?

Okay, your turn now.

One week later …

This past Sunday I decided, on the spur of the moment, to visit The Danforth, otherwise known as Greektown in Toronto. It was warm and sunny, glorious really, the kind of day that always attracts locals, visitors from throughout the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and tourists to the Danforth in droves. Not surprising with its abundance of boutiques and family-friendly restaurants and cafes — most with terraces and patios.

But of course, this wasn’t just another summer Sunday on The Danforth. One week earlier, on a beautiful summer night, this lovely, lively, friendly, family-oriented, safe, beloved neighbourhood was the scene of a horrific crime.

As seniors and twenty-somethings and students on summer break and parents with children talked and laughed and ate and sipped and licked dripping ice cream cones, shots suddenly rang out. And Continue reading

Back to doing what I love most …

I’ve been writing a lot lately about cutting back on my television viewing — or, more specifically — the News. So it won’t come as a surprise to hear that in the last couple of weeks I haven’t watched TV at all, and in the last month I don’t think I’ve watched even five hours.

Reading has been a passion my entire life. Even before I could read myself, I loved stories and was constantly bringing either my mum or dad a book so they could read to me. So it’s been disconcerting, and shocking to say the least, to find that in the past year or so, I’ve had a hard time carving off time to read, getting into whichever book(s) I’m reading and actually finishing them.

Too many distractions, I guess. Projects, deadlines, blogging, working on my own book, life, Trump — something’s always gotten in Continue reading

Portugal, India, New York and Oslo in a week

I can see you, sitting there, staring at my headline, saying to yourselves, “that’s not possible, and even if it was, who’d be crazy enough to do it?” Relax, I have no intention of trying it. But my week did include bits of all of them.

It began last Wednesday night when I had dinner with a friend. I don’t know if you’re the same, but I tend to always end up in the same neighborhood when I go out to eat — the one I live in. Why we tend to fall back on what’s familiar I don’t know, but it sure does get boring after a while.

So we decided to venture further afield and go to a little family-run Portuguese restaurant she’s been to before. It’s called Rush Hour and it’s in the west end of Toronto, on Dufferin.

No, I don’t know how a Portuguese restaurant ended up with that Continue reading

What happened to “brotherhood,” “mercy” and “nobleness?”

Beautiful lyrics to be sure. But they’re being drowned out by the sound of innocent children crying. Something to think about this upcoming July 4th …  Continue reading

Good old days …

Amid all the ugliness last week, I did get some glimpses of sunshine; and I’m not talking about the  weather. Twice, I spent time with people I haven’t seen in years, and I do mean years, reminiscing about all the good times we shared.

The last several years I lived in Montreal I was doing advertising and PR in the fashion industry; and, after a couple of years at a tiny agency that specialized in the fur industry, I ended up working for a manufacturer and Continue reading

Happy thoughts …

There’s a scene in Eat, Pray, Love when Elizabeth Gilbert is in Bali and her lover tells her she should choose her thoughts every morning the same way she chooses her clothes.

A friend of mine had the movie on in the background, while she attacked the floor in her hallway with her new Black and Decker power scrubber.

It’s not the first time she’s seen the movie (who hasn’t watched it countless times?), but the words really resonated with her this time around. Her timing, in Continue reading

I surrender …

I’ve always been a news and political junkie; and, when I moved to Toronto from Montreal, I instantly became addicted to CNN and its 24 hour news cycle. It was like I’d died and gone to heaven.

Now it’s more like being in hell.

Am I the only one struggling to find something positive on the news?

Not that I’m an escapist. I’ve never been one to bury my head in the sand, avoid reality or run away from it — even Continue reading