concrete blocks where a tree once stood.
i found this stencil outside Brooklyn Café on Saint-Viateur near de Gaspé in Montreal.
in an unrelated note, today is 11 years since 9/11. i am choosing not to blog specifically about it because i still find it upsetting. i blogged about it last year, that should suffice.
be safe out there, munchkins.
hey america, this is some cross to bear…
military industrial complex
corporate greed trillions
wake up america
stop the wars, 1 200 000 iraq civilians dead, only you can stop it now, 8000 dead soldiers
found on berry and north 10th in williamsburg.
at one point, nyc designated a lot of their buildings “fallout shelters” and for some reason, left those frightening signs up (as i’ve blogged about before). so this message underneath one such fallout shelter on Bergen Street in Brooklyn is quite astute.
speaking of which, here’s another fallout shelter located on java street in Greenpoint.
oh ya, an old turn-of-the-century warehouse made of bricks! that’ll save you!
fuckin’ell. the usa is one scary place.
a quick break from street art …. i took these photographs from Williamsburg, which has a great view of the manhattan skyline and the east river
that’s the new WTC they’re building …. as my plane was landing in NYC, we circled lower manhattan so here’s an above view of it.
so i’m wandering through the meatpacking district and walked by this community centre (in a building that clearly was a church or a library 100 years ago, with its style of architecture) that was closed and gated (seeing as how it was the holidays and all). i wasn’t even going to look up, had it not been for construction. when i did….
are you fucking kidding me?
has the city of new york literally designated certain buildings “fallout shelters” in the even of a nuclear bomb? what are people gonna do, go under their desks and crouch in the fetal position? is that sign leftover from the 1950s and the cold war? and nobody remembered to remove it? wouldn’t the subway tunnels be a much better shelter? are they really that paranoid?
yes i know … 9/11 … but this strikes me as somewhat extreme, and not necessarily based in any kind of reality.
is this a mushroom ….. or a mushroom cloud?
oprah superimposed with jesus. it felt like it related!
are you a democrack?
I just got off The Canadian! I boarded at Union Station in Toronto on Thursday night (the 15th), and spent three days and four nights weaving through the thick green forests of North Western Ontario and Manitoba, then zooming along the flat amber prairies of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and finally the lush and ornate Rocky Mountains of British Columbia.
The colours beyond the train windows were glorious, and they dazzled my eyes with so much beauty, it almost hurt my heart.
I’ve ridden the rail networks of Europe and Asia extensively, so I know what makes an enjoyable journey, and what makes a hellish one. This journey was luxurious, relaxed, and such a wonder. You can fit Europe within the borders of Canada, but unlike Europe, you won’t need a passport to make this journey. At each stop, the terrain changed, the people and communities changed. No two cities or town or hamlets or villages were alike. This is an amazing country we live in, and we need to explore it more, on top of exploring other countries.
We all love to fly and save time, but last year when I flew from Toronto to Vancouver, I never saw or experienced what I did on the train. I got to see what most people just pass over.
The world is a massive place, and I feel sorry for those who spend their entire lives in one place. That would be an awful waste.
The food on board was something I wasn’t expecting! Included in the price of your berth or cabin (I had a cushy cabin all to myself!), you get three squares a day, and they weren’t something just thrown together and microwaved (I’m looking at you, Europe!). I’m talking sumptuous hearty meals that I often couldn’t finish, the portions were so hearty and rich!
My single cabin had it’s own bed, chair, sink, loo, electrical outlets, towels, toiletries, a fan, and even little chocolates left on my pillow!
And the great thing about long rail journeys is the people you meet! I met some other like-minded travellers who were looking for adventure and taking adventure of everything Canada has to offer. Each night, I would encounter someone new. There was one interesting fellow from Victoria who cycled from Victoria to Halifax this year, and he’s 57 years old! He left Victoria on D-Day, and arrived in Halifax on the anniversary of 9/11. Talk about an adventurer!
Recognize the bloke in the middle? That’s Omari Akil Newton, who stars in Blue Mountain State, a huge hit on the Spike Network. Him and I spent many nights yapping it up in the dining car, he was totally cool, and a fellow West Island native too (we grew up in the same small town of Kirkland Quebec!). Even celebs take the train.
This was the journey of a life-time, one that I won’t soon forget, and I’m so grateful that my wanderlust and thirst for adventure facilitated such an experience! Tonight I’m talking on a panel at Social Media Week Conference here in Vancouver about the journey. So if you’re about, here are the details! I’d love to see your faces!
Remember what St. Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
i leave today! Via Rail is putting me on the cross-canada train from Toronto to Vancouver (with a brief stop in Jasper, Alberta) to blog, vlog, and live-tweet the train experience, and upon arrival in Vancouver, I will be speaking on a panel for the Social Media Week conference. The panel is “Brands, Agencies, and Influencers” and we’re discussing how to build personal brands, the relationship between brands and bloggers, and the ethics therein. if you’re gonna be in Vancouver on September 19th, register to hear a sistah speak here!
most of you know that i’m a huge travel junkie, so being able to explore my own country as much as i’ve explored others is a huge opportunity, one that i couldn’t pass on. it takes a bigger woman than me to refuse such a generous offer.
i’ve travelled the european rail networks extensively, and i swear by them because they’re fast, they’re efficient, and they’re inexpensive. i’ve always been a critic of our canadian rail system, so this experience is the opportune time to prove me wrong.
time to whip out my backpack and load it up with travel essentials. tell me, what does one wear to a panel discussion? business casual? i have my pencil skirts and blouses buried somewhere.
more importantly, what does one wear on a train for three days? Via Rail has set me up in the swanky sleeper touring class cabin, where i will apparently get my own shower, and my meals prepared by a kickass chef. i get my own cabin as well, NO SHARESIES!
when i rode the rails in europe, I always had to settle for the 4 bed or 6 bed couchettes shared with complete strangers who snored, had screaming children, or yipped out the window at every train platform we crossed.
one time, when travelling for over 24 hours from lisbon to budapest (it’s a fricken lonnnnnng train ride, with stopovers in paris and vienna), there were no couchettes left, and i had to sit upright in a compartment with 4 others all night. it was THE WORST.
in india, you didn’t even get a separate compartment. you just slept right out in the open, no curtains, no privacy, and everything at risk of being stolen.
anyway, ADVENTURE TALLY HO!
see ya on the west coast, suckas.
* * *
speaking of Social Media and influence, I tweeted this on the 10th anniversary 9/11:
as you can see, it was RT’d by more than 100 people, which actually happens quite a lot on my end, but that number was probably increased when it was RT’d by my main man:
now i finally know what celebrity tweeters have to endure. some people were INCENSED by those nine little words. amazing how one little pacifist sentiment can incite so much furor. some of the messages i received in response to that tweet were ripped right out of Team America, surely. most of them were xenophobic and racist comments directed toward arabs and muslims, i might add. twitter really is the only refuge for the scoundrels.
hey everybody! got an opinion? you should post it on twitter.
PEOPLE WILL SHIT THEMSELVES.
I worked at the CN Tower during 9/11. I quit shortly thereafter, as did everyone else. I don’t just mean employees, I also mean guests and customers. Towers became taboo.
i’ve been blogging about Deadboy‘s street art and graffiti for months and months now, and we talk often.
guess who i finally met?
YES YES YA’LL.
Deadboy had informed me a few weeks ago that he had been asked to participate in the street art showcase which drops in toronto on september 24th, and the official media announcement was last week at City Hall, so i went to support the man in the mask.
i actually didn’t realize he was the one in the mask until he waved at me and came over to say hi. seeing as how we’ve never met before, and i have no clue what he looks like, i just assumed he was someone else. as he got closer, i looked at his mask and was like WAAAAAIT A MINUTE, that’s the mask used in his street art!
anyway, we spoke for about an hour, and the press conference was actually super interesting. turns out the Street Art Showcase has received invitations from Bristol (banky’s hometown) and 5Pointz in Queens!
imma be out of town on the 24th (going to Peru!), but you should definitely check out the showcase. follow them on twitter for updates. support Deadboy, tell him Estima sent ya.
speaking of City Hall….
..and another one…
see what i did there?
do i think that graffiti and street art is vandalism?
the short answer to that is no.
the long answer is FUCK NO.
another brilliant and colourful Spud bomb, right across the street from MuchMusic.
CHRISSY MAD! CHRISSY SMASH!
i’ve not blogged about the Good Bike project lately, because there are just soooo many bikes to cover, and i see so many of them, i doubt i could ever photograph them all before they’re busted or ripped up. but this one on queen and spadina caught my eye because it had a name on it.
the Good Bike project ladies put Jane Jacob‘s name on another bike, so i’m wondering if Isabella Angel is an activist like Jacobs?
site specific work is the most ingenious work.
i love the idea that someone saw that sewer hole with the pylons and envisioned something else for it, something that is clever and provocative and colourful.
* * *
speaking of colourful, i was invited to the Diet Coke TIFF fest this year.
i went last year, and as you can see from my blog post at the time, it was a much smaller affair, just our little twitter crew. we all fit into 2 limos at the time. now the Toronto twitter crew has grown so much such that the attendance was easily over 500.
i didn’t bring my camera but raymi‘s photographer colleague made up for that.
there’s ameet off to the left. we met last year when he used to date a friend of mine, but we kind of run in the same circles, so we bump into each other from time to time.
this looks inappropriate.
raymi says she looks like sharon stone in this pic.
and i look like rachel weisz.
our movie would be box office poison.
my friend paul wrote a round-up of the night’s events for The Grid, and decided to link up one of my tweets about the night in the article (go to 10:30pm, and the hyperlinked “REALLY” in brackets at the end of the paragraph).
i stand by my love of veggie poutine, dammit.
and hey, i write for The Grid too, ya know.
Estelle was brilliant, and i managed to elbow my way to the front.
she’s so gorgeous.
and her shoes were fierce, miss thang.
reg and i were made into flipbooks. watch this video until the very end, where i vent my frustation in caption-form.
* * *
i meandered by a venue last night that i shouldn’t have. i saw the scooter and took off running.
go away. please go away.
September 15, 2011 | Categories: 9/11, banksy, biking, blogger, celebrity friends, Christine Estima, deadboy, events, ex boyfriend, fordzilla, GIFs, graffiti, love, peru, photography, relationships, sex, social media, Spud, Stikki Peaches, street art, street culture, the good bike, TIFF, toronto, travel, tweet up, Vancouver, Via Rail | 6 Comments »
this is the first of many more TIFF film reviews to come. Sigh, bring on the festival clusterfuck! Every year I say I won’t do TIFF again, and every year I cave. I just love movies too much, and reviewing them! Being a freelance film critic always wins out over sense and reason. I’ve been covering TIFF for donkey’s years, but I’ve been a patron for a lot longer.
Actually, guess where I was the morning of September 11, 2001?
It was the really crap film Century Hotel, I only wanted to see it because I was a huge OLP fan at the time, and Raine Maida acted in the film (badly). The screening started at 8:45am. After the 90 minutes of pure oblivion, I walked out of the screening, which took place at the ROM, and called mum to say I was headed back to university for my classes.
She told me what had gone down.
I don’t think I understood the full gravity of the situation over the phone.
So I flippantly giggled.
And that’s all I want to say about that.
montreal graffitigasm time!
this was on boulevard st laurent, i think he’s holding a quill, but he’s wielding it like a weapon.
the pen is mightier than the sword, indeed.
this “world of shit” tag was everywhere.
this was off of avenue Duluth, and the following were a series of wheatpastes on the same wall. they blew me away.
the tag on them says “what if art ruled the world?” and i found similar wheatpastes by the same artists all around the plateau.
i LOVE wheatpastes, i think they are the probably among the best kinds of street art you can do. stencils, and sculpture are also among that group.
when pigs fly!
these two colourful spraypaint murals were across the street from the wheatpastes.
i don’t remember my visual mythology well, but phil said this was Thor.
oh phil, thmile when you thay that.
hahahah!! for those of you who don’t speak french, this translates to ‘the duchess of my balls.”
now now, don’t get teste.
this was buried deep an alleyway that had zero illumination, so my flash was the only way i could make out the details.
i just liked the face with the hands. his arm is like a branch i’d like to swing on.
this was purposefully placed (probably by the owners of the house) on St.Denis.
i wonder if this guy actually climbed the street light?
phil and i found this while cycling along the canal off of vieux montreal. it’s like looking in a mirror, non?
she’s SO me.
i think the tag says “dayo” and i saw that tag a lot. anyone know who “dayo” is?
i was never a separatiste, but i appreciate the sentiment.
all of the abandoned buildings along the canal are perfect graffiti spots. as our bikes approached this building, i squealed and screeched to a halt on the grass, nearly knocking myself over.
close up! i’m assuming this was done by someone named ezar. i like the mathematical symbol before his name. i learned math in french, so that symbol will always mean “donc” to me. in english, i guess you could call it “therefore.”
donc ezar, this piece looks like a memorial to someone you loved. or someone you lost. or both.
either way, nicely done.
emotions are apathetic.
this was placed on Rue Jarry, on a wall that i think belonged to a dépanneur.
i’d like to think this is a comment on what you can find in a dep.
this was in the mile end area, and i got really excited, because i’ve seen this work in toronto before!
here it is again!!
le snob. le sigh. le tired. le mew. le meow.
i think this wheatpaste is by the same “what if art ruled the world?” wheatpaster guy. it’s the same theme and style.
awww, raccoon looks snuggley. i like how this piece has the painted frame. like it’s gallery work but buried in an alley next to a construction site.
curb your enthusi-gasm.
here he is again, the “what if art ruled the world?” guy.
this “teenage hookers” was spraypainted on the sidewalk in mile end, not far from casa del popolo
we went to the Belmont, and they projected this onto the wall.
i love the word ‘scrotum.’ it’s hard to weave that word into everyday sentences. it should be a ubiquitous word, like fuck or shit.
this was in an alleyway near sherbrooke and de maisonneuve. the fleur-de-lis on the corners of the portrait make me think this dude was a quebecois political figure.
now for some street culture in between the street art! we went to mont royal for the Tam Tams! it’s a drumming circle, similar to the one held at trinity bellwoods, except this seems to be a festival where vendours can sell things as well.
i’ve always wanted to play a djembe, but who can afford them?
i’m sorry, but i am an extremely talented photographer.
case in point!
ps, krista, that girl looks like you!
the whole weekend, i kept repeating the same dyslexic-freudian-slip in my mind:
“i freak spench and english!”
also just like in trinity bellwoods, there are tightrope walkers at the Tam Tams. this one guy was so talented, he went there and back without falling, even though it was super windy.
omfguy. i don’t know whether to sleep with him, or stuff him into a bong and smoke him.
moment of clarity, scene of beauty, mind of chrome, skin translucent.
back to graffiti!
it’s also a long way down.
you just love me for my money. ADMIT IT.
clearly commissioned, but beautiful nonetheless
for what? zee germans?
“drunk asshole construction” was actually tagged all over the plateau. either someone isn’t happy with all of the development in the area, or that’s actually his name.
i don’t know who these two guys are, but i love this stencil. it’s full of heart. stencils are great, because they force you to pay attention to the negative space, and they take a lot of prep work:) this was in an alley off of avenue Duluth, right before it pissed with rain.
i don’t understand the message, but the visuals are incredible.
have Spud, will travel.
this piece was brilliant. it’s carefully drawn, almost like dot-matrix design, then cut into stickers, and carefully placed.
it’s the kind of scene you’d find on a church window mosaic. absolutely genius.
massive wheatpaste on the Studio de la SOCIETE CANADIENNE D’OPERETTE building on rue st. denis.
this building is famous for having other wheatpastes put in this spot.
this was written on a church that was under construction. it translates to “a house of slaves, at least.” although, you could translate it to also say “a house of lesser slaves.“
someone has gone over the original tag to make it say, ‘une maisoner de se espérée en moins.” which kind of makes sense, and translates to “a home to hope less for oneself.“
when it comes to religious institutions, i am forced to agree.
i have so many TIFF film reviews to write (and more to see!), but instead, i’m making googley eyes at you.
ps: i’m fucking endearing in this video.
September 11, 2011 | Categories: 9/11, atheism, blogger, Christine Estima, critic, critiques, film, Ford Canada, GIFs, graffiti, hipsters, Listen Bird, montreal, movies, photography, review, reviews, social media, Spud, Stikki Peaches, street art, street culture, TIFF, toronto, travel, writing | 3 Comments »