Some things never change, and they shouldn’t …

When my mom decided she wanted to move from Montreal to Toronto, she came and stayed with me for a month, while she looked for an apartment.

The area where I lived at the time, Av & Dav as the locals call it (Avenue Road and Davenport), was and still is known for a one-block-long strip of shops selling flowers and plants and a diner, the Avenue Diner. They’re landmarks, and not just in that specific ‘hood. Cars are double and triple parked outside the flower shops on weekends, people come from all over the city. And the diner, which has always been owned by the Continue reading

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A first time for everything …

I don’t have a sweet tooth, never have had, even as a child. Apparently, as far back as when I was two or three instead of reaching for the platter of brownies, I’d be reaching for the olives and pickles. Odd, because both my parents liked sweets.

My father was discriminating. Way back when there was what would now be described as an artisanal chocolatier in Montreal — Andrée Chocolate. They had a small store on Park Avenue, in an area of the city called The Plateau. I can still see their boxes. White, with “Andrée Chocolate” written in script, in black.

They only used dark chocolate and my father loved their almond bark, chocolate-covered ginger and Continue reading

Let them eat cake and plenty of it …

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. I wish the photo was that recent, but both she and her twin sister, with whom she is celebrating, have both passed.

In fact, it goes back quite a while, because my mom moved to Toronto in 2000, after my aunt died. And when this was taken, she still lived in Montreal.

Clearly, they were surprised and happy. They loved birthday parties, everyone’s parties, and particularly their own. And most of all, they loved birthday cake. So I fully expect they had plenty of cake yesterday. And, if my 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

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

My very own pussy riot …

HERE’S THE COMPLETE ARTICLE I MISTAKENLY PUBLISHED  LAST WEEKEND.

It’s been close to 40 years since I’ve lived without a cat in my life and I’m shocked at how “still” and lifeless my apartment is.

Eerily, uncomfortably so, to be honest. I’m amazed at the energy these little critters bring. For a while now I’ve said — to myself mostly — that Bartlett (my last to go, just last Wednesday, pictured here) would be it for me.

But now I’m not so sure.

In my early years I wanted a dog and while it took my dad and me quite a while to convince my mother, I did finally get my wish, although truth be told, Tosca’s heart belonged to her. He liked us well Continue reading

What is it about the Holidays?

Well, Chanukah and Christmas are over for another year and I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom this season triggers many memories.

Christmas wasn’t a holiday we celebrated when I was growing up, we didn’t have a tree or exchange gifts, but we certainly got into its joyful spirit. Ours was a close family, and we spent just about every day and evening together for that week. Good times, good food and much laughter is what I remember.

Like all kids, I looked forward to being out of school for a Continue reading

Nice to hear “good” news for a change

The world was in crisis mode long before the orange blob of toxic waste moved to Washington. There’s been plenty of poverty, hunger, disease, displacement, fear, uncertainty and misery to go around, both globally and in our own back yards.

And there have always been those who have consistently risen to the challenge, raised their hands and helped. By volunteering, speaking out, challenging the status quo and giving financial aid. Private citizens, celebrities and the mega wealthy, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates Continue reading

Return engagement anyone?

Years ago, in Montreal, I went to an astrologer who told me I was an old soul, that this wasn’t my first life. Although I’m certainly no expert — not even close — and can’t even say I’ve done a lot of reading, or thinking, about reincarnation, it does interest me.

As a subject it came up many times when I was in India — especially in Varanasi — the spiritual capital of India.

It was there I learned that in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, Continue reading

I hesitate to say this out loud, but …

… increasingly, when it comes to Toronto I’ve got a case of the blahs. I’m sorry, I know a lot of you are fans and staunch supporters — which I certainly have been — but I’ve got to be honest.

While I do believe that Toronto has tons of potential I also feel that too much of it is still untapped. And yeah, it frustrates and disappoints me.

I moved here from Montreal 32 years ago (wow, time sure does fly). As North American cities go, Continue reading