"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

critic

Read my film review of 2 Days in New York

Click here to read my latest Exclaim film review of 2 Days in New York, starring Julie Delpy and Chris Rock. I really enjoyed it, and think you will too:)

Sorry for not blogging all week, I’ve been in Montreal seeing family (and doing some graff hunting of course!) so expect regular blogging to resume next week!

Happy weekend, hombres.


Check out my film review of To Rome With Love, directed by Woody Allen

I haven’t been much of a film reviewer this year because I was uber busy with other projects (hello finishing my novel!). But I like to freshen up my critiquing skills every now and then. Click here to read my review of To Rome With Love, directed by Woody Allen and featuring an all-star cast (Allen, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Roberto Benigni).

Little trivia for you: did you know that Penelope Cruz learned how to speak Italian for her role in Don’t Move? I saw that film when it came out and found it highly leotarded. But hey, she can still rock the tongue!

Film opens today! Enjoy!


Fassboner in the Top Ten!



It’s too bad that horse wasn’t nominated for an Oscar … what’s its name?…. oh yeah…

MICHAEL FASSBONER.

Click on the above image to read Exclaim Magazine’s Top 10 Films of 2011. My film review of SHAME made it to #4!

FUCK YEAH FASSBONER.

I wrote a completely new critique of Shame, different from my review originally published back in December … this new review speaks more to the lasting effects of Shame on audiences and why it garnered a spot in the Top 10.

If you’re not feeling clicky, here’s the new review below.





Mo’ Shame, Mo’ FassBoner

my Shame film review was also published in the Dec/Jan issue of Exclaim!, on the stands now, free across the nation.
mmmmm, Fassbonerrrrrrrrr.


Read my film review of SHAME starring FASSBONER




Click on the above image to read my film review of Shame, published in Exclaim Magazine. It opens today, and I would highly recommend NOT bringing a date to this film. It is SO not a date movie. However, as my review says, it’s teetering on brilliance. It’s beautiful, sad, provocative, loaded with depravity, and visuals that will leave you speechless. Enjoy!



Shame, starring Michael Fassbender


i went to the morning press screening for Shame yesterday, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. i tried to review this film during TIFF but all the international press packed the house and there was no room for me in the lightbox. boo.

anyway, i’ve been a huge Michael Fassbender fan since i first reviewed him in the small independent british film Fish Tank.

and this film is a perfect example as to why i’m such a huge fan.

Michael Fassbender gives me a Michael FassBoner.

i’m glad carey mulligan is getting more adult roles as well. i remember when she was just a giggling piece of flotsum in Pride & Prejudice, in the background to Keira Knightley. then suddenly, Keira Knightley was in Carey’s background in Never Let Me Go.

of course, i can’t give you my full review here (there’s a moratorium on pre-release reviews), but when my review is published, i’ll link it here, ‘natch.

suffice it to say, you will want to see this film when it is released in December. i’m predicting Oscars. it’s sicko-brooding-mesmerizing-depravity-undertones-beautiful-cocksure-tinted-symphonic-fuckery that will WOW you until your wow-er is sore.


As If I Am Not There

Last year at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, I reviewed the film As If I Am Not There. Click on the above image to read my review.

As I say in the review, after watching it, I wasn’t able to stop thinking about it. That was over a year ago now.

For some reason, the DVD is only available for purchase in Ireland (it’s an Irish film and Irish co-production) and they can’t ship overseas. So recently I downloaded the torrent online.

I can’t stress the magnitude of  force this film exacts on your heart. While watching it (and even long after the credits have rolled), you sit there feeling as if someone has just taken a butter knife to your heart, and scraped out the inside until it is left raw, seething, and rigid to the touch.

I feel like I have been through what the character Samira has been through. I have never been brutally assaulted, I have never been interned at a concentration camp, nor have I ever been through a war (although I have been to Bosnia-Herzegovina and other warzones). But this isn’t about the specifics of war, rather about much larger behaviours that affect women.

At any moment we can be the punching bags for aggression, or the object of desires. And we’re struggling to understand the difference.

Watch the film.


Like Crazy

Click on the above image to read my Exclaim film review of Like Crazy, starring Anton Yelchin & Felicity Jones, which opens today. I always enjoy a good love story, and now that the season has turned into a colourful and crisp autumn, now more so than ever.

I saw the trailer in the cinemas a few months ago, and was actually really moved just by the trailer, so when my editor offered me this review, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on some of the love affairs I’ve had in my life, all of which seem to be mirrored in this film. Also, for whatever reason, a large majority of my ex’s have been Eastern European and therefore look redonkulously similar to Yelchin.  Go figure.

Watch the trailer below:


Mr Brainwash in Toronto

i’m a little late in the game for this one. Mr Brainwash (aka Thierry Guetta, the notoriously bad  graffiti-poseur who unwittingly became the subject of Banksy’s Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. read my review of it here.) came to Toronto during TIFF to launch a gallery exhibit. i was covering TIFF for one of my regular freelance gigs (so much movie garbage aka review fodder), and then i embarked on my epic bucket list trips to Vancouver and subsequently Peru, so i didn’t get the chance to see the exhibit when it launched.

it’s at Gallery One in Yorkville, and now that i’m back, i thought i’d check it out, but i refused to go inside, instead sticking to the wheatpastes he erected outside the venue.

why?

there’s a reason why it’s called STREET art. by having the work outside, it immediately becomes site-specific and affects its surroundings. it provides a critique and comment on the area and thereby the community. gallery exhibits are removed from cultural contexts and placed on white walls you’re not supposed to touch.

it’s ephemeral.

it’s also democratic. street art is free and enjoyable by anyone who stumbles upon it. there is no admission fee, and there’s no gallery attendant whose shoes cost more than you make in a year. it’s not intimidating.

while gallery work (and even some street art) is curated, it’s the curate process that can, in a word, censor street art. it can be prone to editing, vanilla-ization,and the political provocation inherent in the majority of graffiti can be muted.

and the greatest thing about street art is that EVERYONE is welcome to launch an attack on the streets.

imagine if we were all welcome to comment on our society in creative, clever ways without being subject to the approval of the municipal government first?

i originally posted this here. i took mr brainwash’s blasé saying and added a woody allen quote to (frankly) make it better.

unfortunately, even Banksy noted in the documentary that, after the clusterfuck of Mr Brainwash, he doesn’t think EVERYBODY should make street art anymore.

Guetta’s work is trite, derivative, lacking in unique voice and style, and doesn’t express anything beyond the realm of Hallmark cards. as Banksy said, Guetta took Warhol’s pop culture motif and made it even more meaningless.

talk about being a monkey.


foxymoron

“Girl you’ve got balls……I have been following your blog for a few months….Very enjoyable, I like your attitude about what you want to do……Clear one thing up, I am not hitting on you, although if I was 40 yrs younger it would be a good idea………I like looking at blogs of young people and especially attractive young ladies, as you are…..Much better than young men……Most of the people I go to lunch with are young ladies. I like being around young people…….And a young attractive young lady with balls is very entertaining.
I really was going to write you a while back when you were talking about being bullied by a classmate. Scott I believe……Christine I have no idea what you looked in grade school but if it was bad you sure grew out of it….Just because a person has tits and a vagina does not automatically make them attractive to me…..You are on fine looking lady…..I saw a pic of your Mother, I am older than her, so again this is not interweb sex . I am just an old shit and wanted to say hi and how I enjoy watching your life on the web……
I saw you mention something about a health issue…..I hope it is nothing serious…..Have you posted about it?
Just keep on being you and having a good life……………….
Be well

-(redacted for privacy), Kansas, USA

fanks dirty old man! i have a soft spot for dirty old men, it would seem. they’re sweet, in a pervy kind of way. they fall in love with me, i turn them into friendly father figures who can soothe me about my life when it seems in shambles, and everybody prospers.


have love, will travel; if you need loving, oh baby, i’ll travel

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.

ha!

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.

same alley.

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.

woah, hello.

i don’t understand the message, but the visuals are incredible.

have Spud, will travel.

fromage.

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.

spot a familiar image?

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.

stop procrastinating!

i have so many TIFF film reviews to write (and more to see!), but instead, i’m making googley eyes at you.

priorities: check.

ps: i’m fucking endearing in this video.


Relax, I’m Hilarious

TIFF is coming up, and I’ve been invited to so many advanced press screenings that I’m debating whether or not I should throw myself face-first into the fest like I did last year. Last year was amazing, I reviewed the festival for FOUR different media outlets, including the CBC. I met some amazing people in the industry, attended some hoity-toity parties, saw a record-breaking 35 films (including The King’s Speech, where I knew from the press screening that it would win the Oscar), and feasted on the visual stimuli flashing through a darkened cinema. Static flicking off the beams of light.

So why the debate?

Mama’s got a book to write.

*   *   *

sneak with me as i disappear into the back alleys. keep your feet pedaling, the bike leaves no footprint. the night will swallow us like a python, opening its mouth, and then holding its breath.

all the kids in the ghetto call me Don chris estima.

gauzed in red, the colour tearing through my flesh,  this painted city belongs to me.

we discover art.

and colour

and you will know i was once here

by the looks thrown over my shoulder.

Rob introduced me to Poser, who does these smooth rabbits all over town. Now you won’t be able to walk around without noticing them. I love how the rabbits are holding spraypaint cans whilst almost saying “Eyyyyhhhh, sup gurrrrrl.”

word.

speaking of Deadboy, my last post (which detailed his new Rob & Doug Ford as Tweedledee/Tweedledum wheatpastes all around the city) got some love from BlogTO

 

 that single BlogTO tweet sent my blog traffic batshit crazy through the roof, kiboshing all previous records. fanks hombres!

hello new munchkin readers! enjoy my neurotic blogjaculation.

relax, i’m hilarious.

now shut up and show me your tweets.

rob takes a decent graffiti snap.

rob and i snuck around the back alleys for about four hours, well past midnight. darkness creeping in on secrets.

first obvious target: graffiti alley, then up the ossington alleys, then through kensington market. i think our next destination should be the rail path which runs through the junction. i know there’s some amazing shit there, my camera is gagging for it.

does anybody else think this looks like a concentration camp?

zejko? that sounds yugoslavian . . .  maybe serbian or croatian or bosnian. i wonder who this guy is.

political figure? martyr? writer? philosopher? just some dude?

andy warhol just rolled his eyes.

ha, i love this little gas-can fucker.

oh hello mr elliott. we meet again.

i’m surprised to still see some of the Andrew posters around, they’re quite old (in terms of street art shelf life), so this was a rare find. however, considering the way Andrew died, tagging the poster with a mouthful of blood and a speech bubble with “liberal lies” is rather upsetting.

what kind of tagger writes “liberal lies” anyway? i’m sorry, is Andrew’s tragic story offensive to your conservative graffiti ethos? fuck off with that shit.

my last post detailed some Tokyo tags, and now we know who he is. Rob found him on facebook, so we have a face with a (fake)name now. Sup guy.

i also recently blogged about the posters and stickers that have gone up around queen and spadina, commemorating the kettling and brutality that occurred last year during the G20 summit. the stickers say “our civil rights were lost here.” the posters show sombre photos of  the attrocities done against peaceful toronto civilians.

the “tokyo” is almost gone. i wish rob ford was rubbing away too.

this headless frowner reminds me of our unhappy hipster run-in while rob and i took a break at 416 Snack Bar. some loud hipsters with massive, square, black-framed specs, and nostrils brimming with white coke, shouted at me from across the table to smile.

i turned into them and gave a fatal grimmace.

coked-up hipster goes, “that’s the worst smile i’ve ever seen. why won’t you smile for me?”

to which i leaned in and coo’d, “I’m not going to be your monkey.”

and at that, his balls crawled back up inside his body.

from what i can gather here, someone stenciled “supreme” then someone with a spray can tagged it into “supremely stupid” but they spelled “stupid” wrong…. studpid? stucpid?

this freaked the shit out of me, because in the darkness of the alley, you couldn’t see all those details. you could see a bit of the face. my flash revealed the bleeding ghost.

some daytime shots from the back alleys in parkdale.


reminds me of some graffiti seen in the background during the film Children Of Men…. “last one to die, please turn out the light.”

is that elvis presley or chris cornell?

when horses are this lame, they shoot ‘em.

hi c-saw, i will respond to that question with this.

good call, speaking of bikes …

i’ve got more THE GOOD BIKE finds!

a basket filled with a potted plant, untouched!

AND it’s bolted to the ground. you ain’t stealing this, fuckfaces.

the photo of me at the top of this post is of me taking this photo….

wow, that’s so meta.

and the moral is: the easiest way to make guys lose their shit is to have yours together


hey open wide, here comes original sin

pick up a (free) copy of the August issue of Exclaim, already on the streets nationwide, my film review of Beats, Rhymes, and Life: the travels of A Tribe Called Quest is published within….

microphone check, 1, 2, what is this?

i took a really long walk the other night. Sitto (that’s an arabic colloquialism for “granny”) passed her driving test, the woman is 89, and i don’t want her joyriding, so i hijacked the car, parked it on brunswick, north of bloor. then walked, and walked, and walked.

no headphones, no music. i just wanted to walk and listen to the streets. like a Weimar flâneur (flâneuse?). i ended up at queen and lansdowne in the heart of a hot parkdale. 5 kilometre walk under the gauze of an unforgiving night and an easy breeze.

Baudelaire originated the term “flâneur.” He also once said that “the sole pleasure in love lies in the knowledge that one is doing evil.”

there was a bench outside cafe taste so i sat there for a long time, watching people walk by with falafels in hand. on their bikes, ringing bells like summoning good fortune. girls in white messes.

i never go anywhere without paper and a pen. ideas strike and memories fail more often than not. i started jotting down small notes.

in the heat of the city at night is when i curate the jumble of my head.

as i’m writing, half a dozen sauced blokes tried their hand with me. at this age, i have learned that the best way to navigate unwanted attention is just to ignore it. also at this age, the attention i’m getting is from men easily ten years younger than me. a man with a belly elbowed his mate and said loud enough for me to hear, “she’s a brazillian beauty, no doubt she’s brazillian.”

ignoring gave way to disbelief when a twig of a kid said, “damn gurrrrrl, you is fine” or something along those lines, to which i snorted, “how old ARE you, 12?”

his friends laughed their ass off at him as his 12-year-old balls crawled back up inside his body. in actual fact, they probably hadn’t even dropped yet.

i think i heard him say something like “no i’m 18 with a big dick,” but that was inaudible over the sound of his embarrassment.

“just remember, you’re a girl, you’re not funny, smart, interesting, or any of those things…..if he asks you a question, don’t panic. he already thinks you’re an idiot.”

just because a woman is walking alone on the street doesn’t make her a street-walker.

in my head, i’m still a little girl, looking to adults to tell me how the world is.

i walked back to the car, another 5 kilometres. dundas west is a quiet portuguese strip that is kind of lovely, reminiscent of brooklyn, raw and untamed. men who look like all of my uncles and cousins said things to me in portuguese that i understood and made me hate them.

i think i’ll walk in another direction next time.

“Power to the people, we don’t want it, we want pleasure. And the TVs try to rape us, and I guess that they’re succeeding. Now we’re going to these meetings but we’re not doing any meeting. And we’re trying to be faithful but we’re cheating.

Cheating.

Cheating!”

50 kilometres on my bike, dying from the heat, having to stop to take proper water breaks before my body capsized. vicki took me to the park lawn spit in etobicoke, and snapped this photo of me. i look weird, like i’m trying to swallow something. we sat on the rocks and could hear caribana music from across lake ontario, the water provides echoes. an ant bit my arm and i wailed.

she took me back to her place and made me a chickpea/rice/egg/onion salad mixup thingie with guacamole-lime dressing. she went to wash her hands, and by the time she came back, i had cleaned my plate.

you will find me from the trail of dead organs i leave behind.

one of my besties is going on holiday for 3 weeks, and i’m house-sitting for her whilst she’s gone. i house-sat for her earlier this year, i get to hang with “sid fishous” again. jerkface figgy who likes to freak me out, but i could never stay mad at him. the place is on st george & bernard, north of bloor….3 weeks in the annex during lovely august, with my bike and a penchant for writing down the thoughts that keep me trapped in my head.

my ears are like book-ends.


girl bled to death like she was tongue-kissing a razor blade

woody allen once said, “love is the answer, but while you’re waiting for the answer, sex raises some interesting questions.”

i seem to have a lot of answers that just result in more questions.

it’s july and the only way to make it better is to wear a polynesian flower that cups my hair …  to whisper decomposing secrets into my hands.

win machine

at the Vice Magazine Photo Show this past week, all the crunked up hipsters in kicks and half-shorn heads showed up sweaty, accosting the free beer and pizza, spilling puddles on the floor, and ignoring the homosexual nazi photography on the wall. i never leave home without my chinese fan, and ended up cooling off some coolies while lauren and i tried to have a proper conversation.

there was a bitchin’ DJ pumping music but no one danced.

only unhappy people don’t know how to dance.

outside, cooling off with iPhone photos and seeing the ossington strip regulars that i peripherally know, a man in thick rimmed glasses accosted my journo-convo with a chip on his shoulder, with a disdain for the veiled honesty music critics espouse in order to obtain a regular paycheque.

i wasn’t interested in arguing, but lauren still had the capacity to evoke erudite shutthefuckup-isms.

the next day, a few doors down, a blonde debonnaire named JT tried to pick me up as i was walking by The Port. i wished it had been at The Red Light. he was hosting an event that night, and told me to swing by at 11pm. although he was lovely to look at (blonde curls and dangerous lips), he presented himself on a silver party platter covered in garbage that would surely result in more questions.

i’m doing the safety dance with my body these days.

ready for war

bitch, please.

*   *   *

what’s that i see?

fordzilla! the man behind the brilliant fordzilla wheatpastes i’ve blogged about like a bajillion times before erected this huge piece on college near markham street.

rob ford and stephen harper eating the citizens of a high rise, before some schmuck with no respect for other people’s street art scrawled “bitch move” over it. if you want to see the finished piece before it was defaced, watch this video!!

i have been informed from the project coordinators behind Fordzilla that there will be no more wheatpastes of this theme, so go out and find all the fordzillas in the city and enjoy them while you can!

on spadina road, at kendal avenue (my old street).

near lansdowne and college.

last year, during the G20, i skipped town, flew to NYC, had a manhattan fling and was tossed.

looking back, i can’t decide if it was worth it. i think i would rather have been kettled at queen and spadina, then locked up for 36 hours, than sitting on the steps of union square at 14th street, crying.

happy birfday val!

lauren and i went to a rooftop luau in the clubbing district, full of suits, bikini clad entrepreneuses, scientists, vegans, DJ’s, pieces of pineapple and leis with condoms attached (if  you’re gonna get lei’d, protect yourself).

i had a long conversation by a roasted pig on a spit with a scientist who will one day be an astronaut. he swooshed his hair around and told me about  the tapestry of his life. he had all these stories about  wake-n-bake driving to calgary and The Filth pulling him over in manitoba only to battle it out while trippin’ and getting a mere fine. he also told me about his ambitious goals, going from a 7-time undergrad reject to running his own company at the age of 29. he’s off to chile next, and i’m off to peru. south america and macchu picchu. i listened intently, drinking words like i was swallowing my past, tasting future.

present tense, a guy at the bar shoots green grapes up in the air, and i catch them in my freakin’ gob.

the cn tower glowed green like a rave (disco) stick.

lauren says all wealth is relative.

she’s right. i’m not rich in money, but i’m rich in character.

i’m going to the press screening of Beats, Rhymes & Life, the A Tribe Called Quest documentary, because i’m reviewing it for one of my freelance gigs. i’ve already seen the flick when it premiered at Hot Docs, but a refresher is much appreciated for critique purposes.

all you guys acting out your own hip-hopera need not fret, you can see it before it opens on july 29th. there will be an advanced screening here in toronto on the 21st, tickets are $20 and will go fast (if they’re not already gone). peep the deets below, playa.

and watch the trailer for the documentary here:

if they were to name a rock musical after me right now, it’d be Headcase and the Angry Bitch….

….all evidence to the contrary.


Alliance Films & The Spadina Monologues present The Submarine Movie Contest!


I made this poster myself, can I get a whut-whut up in dis hurr bitch?

Create myspace graphic with Gickr

Alliance Films is proud to present the upcoming release of their new film Submarine, a dramatic comedy about a 15-year-old named Oliver Tate. Oliver has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life. Submarine is produced by Ben Stiller and features some rockin’ tunes from Alex Turner, lead singer of mega-rock-band Arctic Monkeys (personal fav, download their new song “don’t sit down cos i’ve moved your chair,” it’s made of wizard juice)!

Alliance has partnered with The Spadina Monologues to give you a chance to win passes to the advanced screening of Submarine on Thursday, June 9th, before the rest of the planet gets a glimpse. As a film critic, I’m always talking about what it’s like to attend press screenings, advanced screenings, and reviewing films. Now is your chance to have the film critic experience. Oh, and did I mention that I will also be at this advanced screening with you? You can tell everyone you’re on a date with me. I won’t deny it. Swearsies.

How To Enter:

I have 19 double passes (yes, that means you AND a friend) to give away. All you have to do comment in the comments section below, and tell me why you want to see this film. But be sure to be creative, because 4 lucky winners who impress me the most with their mad-comment-skillz will also get a copy of the novel Submarine by Joe Dunthorne, which the Independent Review calls, “the sharpest, funniest, rudest account of a periodically troubled male teenager’s coing of age since The Catcher in The Rye.” That’s a pretty glowing review. I never give such high praise (I’m a tough book critic as well). Make sure in your entry to include either/or/both your email address and your Twitter handle so I can notify my lucky winners!

Details and Contest Rules:

Contest closes Wednesday June 8th at noon. All entries must be received by then. No duplicates will be accepted. Imma be tough up in hurrr.

The advanced screening is Thursday, June 9th at Cineplex Odeon Varsity & VIP Cinemas in Toronto (55 Bloor Street West in the Manulife centre). Prize does not include transportation to the venue. The screening begins at 7pm sharp and no latecomers are admitted (overbooked to ensure capacity, and all that). I will be at the cinema for 6pm to hand out the passes and prize packs, but will only stick around until 6:30pm (I wanna get a seat too, ya know). So arrive early!

3SGJ1q on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
Enter now, movie munchkins!


beating of a million drums, the fire of a million guns, mother of a million sons: civilization

tumblr_lks37uwY0S1qfdwsio1_500

this week was Bike-To-Work Week, and as someone who regularly has bikegasms and cylejaculations, i was writing a bajillion essays and articles about it, many of which caused a serious amount of controversy.

the first was an essay i wrote about why i don’t wear bike helmets, even though i am afraid of being hurt in an accident, and it caused a bit of a clusterfuck (look at the comments!)

the second was an interview with james schwartz, who blogs at The Urban Country, who says that bike helmets actually scare people away from cycling altogether. he says he won’t wear a helmet until motorists and pedestrians do too. he was brilliant to interview, and if you look at the comments section, it really does raise some people’s ire.

***

my friend zach has posted the top 150 twitter influencers in toronto (according to Klout), and guess which lil lass made the top 150!

klout has never been immune to controversy, their ways of scoring influence, communication, interaction, and engagement are very arbitrary, and many people feel like they should be on that list, or higher in the ranks. the last time i checked my klout, maybe six months ago, it was much higher, like 64 or 65, but your score fluctuates with interaction. i think it’s pretty cool that in the 2+ years i’ve been on twitter, i’ve managed to leverage my crazy-ass-rantings into something that people actually pay attention to and read and want to follow. it’s pretty fun. but it’s also not something to put too much stock into. the argument that these klout scores create elitism and “stars” amongst a democratic platform like twitter is justified and has merit.

that being said, i’m kinda chuffed to have made the cut. brag brag brag, sorry (not sorry) i promise i won’t let this go to my head (not a guarantee).

when i posted this news on my facebook, i said ” I don’t know how much stock I should put into this, but this is pretty shits n’ giggles:)

then some asshole who i know peripherally decided to assert his holier-than-thou pedantic musings of my perceived hype-believin’. it’s fucking incredible how people go out of their way to make you feel inferior. here’s the exchange:

like seriously, what was the point of putting that remark on my wall? if you want to just sweep in and shit all over people’s parades, why don’t you find a bunch of emo hipsters with neurotic insecurities to shark-attack, because…

I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF MY AWESOMENESS.

for all his “i’m not snarky” protestations, his facebook status said otherwise, which read “shut the fuck up about your Top 150 klout”. but what really made me laugh was what a fucking hypocrite he was-  if you look at the comments on Zach’s original post, that same egomaniacal prima-donna who can only gain satisfaction from pointing out the shortcomings of others, was WHINING that he wasn’t included in the Top 150! i shit you not.

call me crazy, but not only does he have a chip on his shoulder, he wants to make sure other people feel shit about themselves for their recognition (albeit small & centralized recognition).

such a shame, ‘cos every time i had met with this guy in real life, he was totally cool, and seemed rather humble. once again, the internet allows for people’s true assholedom to emerge.

i went to Hip Hop Karaoke on friday, my first time there ever, although it’s a toronto institution. i can’t call myself a hip hop connoisseur, but luckily, it seemed like the crowd (save a few) had only a popular knowledge of hip hop, rather than an actual underground organic appreciation of it. no one sang any songs by artists i hadn’t heard before. and despite what 8-mile might tell you, the crowd was a varied demographic.

phil and i had been practicing our song for two weeks. TWO WEEKS PEOPLE, i was listening to it on a loop every morning while i dressed for work, on the commute, before i went to bed. i wanted to get this shit down. if you’re interested, this was the song we did. i did macy’s part (obvs), and phil did mos-def. that’s a lot of lyrics to learn.

the previous evening, phil and i had gone to a park and sang the song while people walked their dogs or ate on park benches.  the evening had long fallen into the velvet-black of night, and we were still getting our tongues tied in the nooks and corners of it. some things came easy, other aspects were tentative and a bit slippery (am i still talking about the song?)

anyway, we went on around 1:30am when it was mostly the true hip hop fans left. stage-performance awareness set in, and we KILLED IT. we fucking murdered that song! last name WIN, first name EPIC! all the notes and lyrics and timing that we had fumbled over before just somehow stepped in line.

diggs, who recorded it all on video for us, told me the next day that he was really impressed with my performance. he said something along the lines of “i’ve seen a lot of people go up there, and i work in music so i know talent, and you were phenomenal” which of course made me feel super chuffed with myself (even though repeating it here makes me seem self-absorbed, which i refuse to admit to, although i seem to have no problem admitting it to you people).

frankly, i was more excited for phil. when we rehearsed, he had some timing problems and missed a few cues, but once we performed it on stage, he OWNED that shit. he was confident, he was enjoying it, he let go, and his performance was inspired. it was totally hot to watch.

when we finished the song, i started jumping up and down, giddy as a school girl,  and we smashed into a hug.

hip hop karaoke, people.

you don’t know what you’re missing!

aw. bless.

the next day, we cycled the humber valley bike path, which i’d never done before. i was so used to the don valley river path, or the lakeshore path, it never occurred to me to check this one out. it’s pretty amazing. some parts are paved, other parts are pretty rough-hewn and dilapidated, but the scenery along the river is like something out of a henry david thoreau poem. the sun burned like brimstone on our backs, forcing popsicle breaks.

sweat burned my lips into a smile.

when you’re having a punch-drunk time, other people from your past can sense it. earlier this week, a person i had barely dated  text messaged me. when we were hanging a few months ago, he was sweet, warm, and most importantly, unpretentious. he took me out for my birthday, which was lovely.

that was followed by two weeks of radio silence. so i figured, okay, he’s gone off me for whatever reason, good thing it ended before anyone’s feelings got hurt.

then out of the blue, he texted me, gushing with compliments, and an invitation for another lunch date.

i was confused, but i agreed, figuring maybe the dude was just busy or not attuned to proper etiquette following a kiss (although, considering he’s 41 years old, he should know better).

so he takes me out for lunch again, and it’s all lovely and what not. but then at the end of the lunch, he says that classic guy cop-out.

“I just don’t have the time to give you the attention you deserve.”

YAWN.

ya, ‘cos i can’t read between those lines.

dude basically made it crystal clear that he wasn’t interested in dating me or anything further than that. so i wrote him off AGAIN.

Iwent on my NYC extravaganza, came back to begin work at my new position….and that was all two and a half months ago. i haven’t even given him a second thought since i wrote him off, because there was no point. that was a dead end.

on facebook, i noticed that he’s remounting his one-man cabaret again in a couple weeks.

and then this week, out of the blue, i get this text from him , “hey gorgeous lady! how the eff are ya? R u around? wanna have lunch next week?

OH LUCKY ME.

 am i allowed to roll over and thank my lucky stars now?! you’re not sending me mixed messages at all, i don’t find your behaviour confusing, and i don’t think you’re jerking me around either exclamation point.

forget the 10 weeks of radio silence, and the blatant i-don’t-want-to-date-you  sugar-coating. i don’t have a life, or a job, or other men interested in me at all. watch how fast i drop everything just to be in your good graces again. oh, and let’s not forget that your show is just a few weeks away….i mean, i don’t assume AT ALL that you’re merely contacting me so i’ll either blog or tweet about your show, and try to get more bums in seats. oh no! thought  never crossed my mind at all.

you had your chance. NO THANKS.

to quote amy winehouse, what kind of fuckery is this?

i found another sheppard fairey! this one is a different version of his andre the giant obey sticker, but i saw this one many times on the streets of alphabet city whilst in NYC, so i know it’s his. WIN.

last week i blogged about this deadboy poster i found on queen street near augusta. this morning i wake up to this email:

“Hello Christine, deadboy here…
Thank you for the very kind words about my work on Queen St. West! You understood exactly what I was trying to get across… And in answer to your questions, Yes and yes… But I won’t bore you with details. Love your blog!

I’m having my first solo show that runs from June 3-30.. I can send you more info if your interested.

Hope this letter finds you well…
Warm regards,
deadboy

www.wix.com/torontostreetart/deadboy
(still working on this site…)”

YES I MOST DEFINITELY AM INTERESTED! how exciting!

check out his site people, the dude is wicked talented. when i get more info about his solo show, my munchkin readers will be the first to know.

also included in last week’s blog post was my discovery of a series of Mayor Rob “Fordzilla” Ford wheatpaste’s around town. the first one i found had the fat-godzilla mayor eating a streetcar (in reference to our mayor trying to destroy our sustainable public transit). the next one had him eating a spraypaint can (in reference to his war on street art and graffiti). earlier this week, i was walking through kensington market, and what do i find?

Fordzilla is eating a bike, in reference to his hatred of cyclists, and his assertion that if you’re a cyclist and you get hit by a car, it’s your own damn fault. i love how someone wrote on this Fordzilla “300 lbs of fun!!” because seriously, if rob ford actually got his morbidly obese ass on a bike once in a while, maybe he wouldn’t be a stones-throw from death. i can’t believe this fat, leotarded, mentally-stunted fucktard is our mayor. someone else drew in his hand the CN Tower. maybe the next Fordzilla wheatpaste i find will have him eating our tower as well?

FORDZILLA artist dude, you are my new hero. SERIOUSLY, i said this last week, but you need to contact me, you are fricken brilliant. let’s be friends!

don’t mind if i do.


blame it on my ADD baby

hanskystrikesbackfhfh_thumb

i am officially a meme.

this photo was taken just over 4 years ago when i lived in the UK, on a national express bus from oxford to london. i had been particularly emotional that day, as everyone in oxford was in groups, or in pairs, and there was lonesome me. i was so lonely, it ate away at me like a locust. the next egyptian-like plague, known as my boyfriend, was just about to befall me in a week’s time, but right before this photo was taken, i had actually been crying. not the kind of crying that screws up your face and makes veins pop. something softer, something only you know you’re doing. ironic that this one photo is meme’d with a FUCK YEAH. i certainly didn’t feel that way at the time.

also, look at how different i looked back then! what’s with my eyebrows?

*   *   *

i went to the press screening of Forks Over Knives this week and wrote this film review. seriously, planet, when this film opens, you are REQUIRED to go see it. this is a short documentary of unimaginable brilliance, astute observations, and such a tight-shoe-string budget that you can’t help but love its lack of flash and pizzaz. it could use a bit of rearranging, as some sequences have choppy editing and a confusing non-linear-ity (so not a word, but whatever), but you won’t forget it’s message for a long time. read my review, and watch the trailer below. enjoy!

*   *  *

i cannot get over how sexy this song is.

i like riding in the back of  half-empty streetcars with boys. windows all around, surrounded by cars. awash in lights. but our eyes our glazing over at the heat from the freshly-bloomed season. the night ties its ends to our appendages, and we can’t untie ourselves without moaning, or attracting attention from the other streetcar riders.

i say something about ‘riding the rocket’ and we collapse into giggles.

*   *   *

the thing about street art is, it’s ephemeral, it’s livable, it’s democratic, it’s untamed, and you aren’t intimidated by gallery owners whose shoes cost more than you make in a year. you can enjoy art and comments on society for free, on your way to work.

remember how whilst in new york city i found that tom hanks sticker that was awfully clever? turns out, it’s part of an entire sequence!


hansky, you had me at splash.

reg and i meet up after work and i end up buying the sunglasses i had two years ago whilst in india but then sat on and broke. i remember paying $14 for them in kensington market. i find them for $6.80. kensington you thief of hearts. reg and i have a sushi dinner and we’re talking about the things in life that concern us like we can’t figure out how to muddle our way through ourselves. the advice we give the other is so simple, so straightforward, so no nonsense, but we can’t bring ourselves to direct that advice at ourselves. i wondered if i was being rude, and our waiter was kinda insane.

i spent a few hours at tequila bookworm writing in my journal, and ended up finishing it off. i have kept a written journal since the age of 7. i can go back and revisit my life any time i want because i recorded things i did, feelings i felt, experiences i had, people i met, all meticulously. we’re living in interesting times, but memories fail. now is the time to record things.

i’m looking at my bookshelf right now, and en entire row is full of my life’s journals. the places i’ve been, the men i’ve loved, the friends i’ve lost, the people i’ve hated.

sometimes i wonder what i’ll do with this record of my life. will i bury it? will i publish it? will i give it to my grandkids? i might just end up burning them. if people ever really knew the real me, the things that even i don’t like to admit to myself, i wonder what would happen.

you’ll realize that you never really know a person.

speaking of india, i have to start a new journal now, and i’m going to use the leather-bound, hand-crafted journal i bought in Udaipur for 250 rupees (which is like a couple bucks when you convert it).


before and after. which would you rather have on your wall?

don’t remove street art, or we’ll cock-ify you.

so remember in my last post i mentioned how sick i had been on friday and had to take the day off work. well that day, a gift arrived at my desk, so i only received it on monday upon my return. there was no name on it, no return address, no one to thank.

whoever it was clearly knows me well, as they sent me SOY milk, coffee, and a nice mug. but who sends stuff to my office? and takes such meticulous care to wrap it up? and doesn’t leave their name? my tweeple (follow me on twitter, by the way) think it’s a secret admirer, but wouldn’t a secret admirer at least leave some clues? at least one hint?

it’s probably a work colleague or business associate.

still, i think the 16 year old girl in me wants it to be a secret admirer. how romantic.

i found my first sheppard fairey andre-the-giant-obey sticker in NYC recently, and then i found my first sheppard fairy TORONTO sticker a few weeks ago. and now, they’re everywhere. here’s one i found on queen west near ryerson avenue.

and then another, even better-placed sticker, just a few poles down from the first. i don’t know when sheppard fairey was last in toronto, but next time he’s here, i want to usurp his wife. just sayin.

i’m having fun with editing photos lately, this will reoccur now and then, get used to it, my darling munchkins.

i went to the exclaim anniversary party at wrongbar, saw juno winner Shad perform whilst eating wasabi mashed potatos and raw veggie spring rolls. it was actually almost better than last years party. i love how the places i write for invite me to epic city-wide shit.

i’m sorry, i can’t hear you over the sound of my awesomeness.

so i’m walking along after work and i find this amazing wheatpaste piece of artistic genius! it’s FORDZILLA! rob ford, the mayor and well-known art terrorist, portrayed as a godzilla eating our streetcars.

this man is horrifying, but this artistic rendering is actually rather proportional. he’s in the exact same shape as the death star he’s building.

then i’m walking along queen near augusta, and look, i find another one (photo edited to look wicked-cool). now he’s eating a spray can, because of his war on graffiti artists. luckily, someone was smart enough to label him a skinhead here.

HEY TORONTO STREET ARTIST WHO IS MAKING THESE FORDZILLAS, PLEASE CONTACT ME. I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIENNNNNNNND.

my mother is pretty dangerous, it’s true, she is a broken down construction site near baldwin village as well.

MUM QUIT WITH THE BLOG-READING AND MAKE WITH THE FOOD.

i ain’t going no where.

here’s another bit of street art (cleverly enhanced with editing) i found on queen west.

this is hauntingly beautiful, arresting really. the only name i could find on it is written vertically up the side, that says ‘deadboy’ but a google search reveals nothing. who are you, artist?

deadboy, did you love someone? did you lose someone?

these are the things i wonder about when i’m riding the subway back and forth between uptown and downtown, trying to read my commuter-convenient novel, but am more fascinated by the living.


“It isn’t enough for your heart to break because everybody’s heart is broken now” – Allen Ginsberg

tumblr_lkw7hlY6E81qz95cqo1_1280

oh hai there! here i am!
but enough about me, tell me more about your single father.

*   *   *

check out my film review of the bang bang club (that’s what the actress said to the bishop), this is a poor-man’s Blood Diamond, but it’s still a timely and relevant film, seeing as how 2 war photographers were just killed in Libya. so watch for some context, but it should have been told from Kevin Carter’s POV, IMO. WTF. OMG. LOL. Smiley Face.

also, i interviewed mia donovan, who directed the documentary inside lara roxx which premiered at the hot docs festival, check out the article here


we found this in an alleyway just north of queen and dovercourt. i’ve found a few rob ford graffiti stencils before, i’d love to know who is behind them. they are clearly the offspring of stephen hawking, jesus, and gandalf….they are made of perfect jesus wizard sauce.


we found this in an alleyway just south of queen and dovercourt. that ol’ german jew would approve.

wait, what?


we find the best graffiti murals on our bikes.


biked to the distillery district and found cube works, a shop that sells things made out of rubix cubes….just like one of my fav street artists, Space Invader!


reg and i found a few bixi bikes docking stations mere hours after they launched in toronto (i wrote an article about Bixi Bikes, read me!). notice how half of the bikes are already gone? people love them! you know what this means – toronto requires further bicycle infrastructure, more bike lanes, and more civil rights for cyclists. yes, yes ya’ll, i’m a bike-nerd, WHAT OF IT?

she’s so cute.
when reg and i get together, it’s like pegasus has just mated with a unicorn, and we’re riding their super-hero offspring across the neon blue sky.

this piece is by Jerm IX

i had a really trippy thursday and friday. thursday night i went out to yuk yuks with a friend for some comedy after a particularly upsetting day when i had to visit a clinic for a stressful check-up. we were laughing and enjoying ourselves when he gets a message from a friend that’s gone out of town. friend is worried he left stuff burning in his apartment, so we go, keys in hand, to make sure the home fires aren’t burning (see what i did there?).

we help ourselves a bit to stuff that’s in the fridge, and i have half a homemade cookie, and some homemade chocolate.

30 minutes later, we’re walking up broadview to bloor, and i completely lose my shit. i start to get dizzy and really hot, i can’t walk properly or gain my focus. he sits me down a bench and my nervous system fails, and it feels like something is pressing down on my cerebral cortex. my brain is screaming at me to snap out of it, and to pull myself together, and to stop milking it. but my body won’t listen. i begin to BONK with the biggest braingasm and body-clusterfuck i’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing. there was something wrong with that cookie and chocolate bar. i don’t know what exactly it is that i ate, but it’s definitely on my never-have-ingested-before-and-never-will-ingest-again list.


he has to run and get me some food because i am tripping and wigging out so hard that i’m paranoid at the voices i hear around me. time is slowing down and i can’t focus on what he’s saying. one minute he’s calmly stroking my back to get me to chill the fuck out, but that minute in my head lasts 45 minutes. he’s trying to talk to me as he leads me back to the house, but i can’t hear a thing he’s saying, my brain just won’t focus. bits of my life are not registering in my long-form memory (me so clever) and suddenly i’m passed out in some strangers abandoned bed, then a few hours later, i’m hovered over some strangers abandoned toilet regurgitating out my pretty-pink insides.

toilet water is splashing up into my face as life seeps out of me.

he puts me in a cab and i go home and vomit some more until Sitto (that’s ‘granny’ in arabic) starts talking in that high-pitched sad voice that means she’s upset and worried about me. i pass out and miss a day of work because my dizzy body has officially gastro-interitis’d me into oblivion.

seriously, who the fuck bakes sweets with ingredients that will put you out of commission for a full 24 hours?


mum stop reading my blog!!! happy mother’s day you snooping scavenger!

*   *   *

with the following photos…..um…….

you guys enjoy high-brow photographic fuckery, right?

we had brunch at aunties and uncles

then went to the beach

when i put my head on someone’s torso and can hear their pulse and their organs groan, i small part of me thinks i can hear their thoughts in there too.

just sayin’.

*  *  *

it was a particularly cold winter.


kings may come and then go, having sex in the snow

the newspaper headlines reporting bin laden’s death.

compare and contrast.

i took this photo on monday morning and posted it online. within 24 hours, it had over 1200 views. i’d classify that as verging on viral.

it’s official. we have replaced ethics for hype.

having a headline like this detracts from the important issues that people actually care about.

this is pure knee-jerk, reactionary editorializing on the front page that is meant to anger people and appeal to their baser instincts instead of allowing them to form their own opinions from the news. this is here just to sell papers, rather than offering facts on the issue. also the word ‘hell’ in there implies religious connotations that not everyone subscribes to. even religious people would have to agree that “rot in hell” is not a very ecumenical statement and is not endorsed by any church. editorials have no place on front page headlines, and this newspaper, by refusing to hold any issue’s feet to the fire, is calling into question the intelligence of its readers. whether or not bin laden deserved what he got isn’t the question.

when we dumb down the issues to something like this, nobody wins.

the appropriate response to hate is NOT more hate.

*   *   *

so for  hockey election night in Canada, i was invited down to CityTV broadcast headquarters to attend #CityVote, an event where, in their own words, “high-profile tweeters” (that’s so going in my bio) gathered to live-tweet the election and the results, without getting arrested by Elections Canada.


that’s me, doing my job credibly in-studio via UberSocial Twitter on Blackberry

and that’s one of my tweets flashing across the broadcast.

it was a great event, attended by some great twitter-buds and tweethearts of mine, and we were all pretty much in agreement that basically:

The Stache is Da Man.

Also Stephen Harper can now resume building his deathstar in peace.

canadians can’t even do this.

fuck this, i want to see Harper’s long-form birth certificate.

i am extremely excited about Jack Layton and the NDPs political coup in decimating the Liberals as the official opposition, and i’m also so happy for Elizabeth May as the first Green Party Member of Parliament, but now that we have a Harper majority, i can say this, without hyperbole, that this will be the last time we see democracy in action again in this country. hope you enjoyed that.

fucking Fat Alberta, good for nothing province, i blame you for this election. we should invade that province, the only thing they have to defend themselves with is plastic knives and forks, and fucking fat cowboys.

interestingly enough, i wrote this article about the politics surrounding the battle for Trinity-Spadina the day before the election for rabble.ca, a political publication that i have loved for years, so to be asked to write this article was really exciting for me.

read and enjoy!

*   *   *

the contact photography festival is going on right now (alongside hot docs! agh! so much festival-jaculations, so little kleenex to go around), and phil and i found this amazing outdoor exhibit at front and spadina. this is like legal, permitted street art. but that doesn’t negate its potency or the raw, wild, untamed nature of the work. it’s ephemeral, and it’s free.

my two favourite things.

look at his eyes.

they follow you!

*  *  *

my office is located around queen and spadina, and i had heard that the last remaining banksy graffiti from his unannounced visit here last year was sitting right across the street from my daily-grindin’-desk. so after work last week, i went for a stroll to see what i could find.


this building is soon-to-be a hotel. how did i find that out?

as i stood on the lawn, overlooking banksy’s rat, the owner popped out and called out to me, “do you want to see what it looked like before it was defaced?”

“sure,” i said.


he walked over with a framed photograph of the banksy rat and said that the photo was taken the day it went up, and that the very next day, someone had defaced it with the word “love!” and other  nonsense.

it looks like he’s tried to restore it somewhat, but a lot of the strokes have been buried under someone else’s spray.


the owner then told me that he was offered $150,000 by some guy to cut out the bricks sporting the banksy rat, so he could add it to his collection, and the guy would replace the bricks and make it all nice again.

the owner told the guy “no, because this now belongs to the people of  toronto, not me.”

a man after my own heart.

the owner then let me in ON A BANKSY SECRET!

he said Banksy’s best mate from adolescence (from bristol? really?) lives just down the street from the hotel, that’s why Banksy was here last year, to visit him.

banksy apparently has plans to return this summer, and will make some art at the launch of the new hotel which will open in june.

i asked “when exactly will that be?”

“i don’t know,” he replied.

“if you did know, would you tell me?”

long pause.

“no.”


here’s the framed photo of what it looked like before it was defaced.

i gave the hotel owner my business card, and said he should contact me, you know, on the fly, if he wanted to give me a head’s up about, oh you know, whatever may happen this summer that i may or may not be interested in.

wink wink.

*  *  *

remember in my last post, i mentioned that some street art i found was done by fauxreel? i emailed him and said,

just a quick message to say that i’m a big fan of your work. i found one of your pieces recently on adelaide street near simcoe and blogged about it, and then realized that you’re also behind the two wheatpaste pieces of the open-mouthed kids on leslie just north of sheppard. i see those two pieces every day on my commute to work (i unfortunately live up there, lol!) and i love them so much because that area NEVER gets any thoughtful street art like that, and i think they’re brilliant.
congrats on all your success sir! uda man.
-Christine

Fauxreel replied! his real name is dan bergeron, and he said,

hi christine,

thanks for your note…
i’m glad you enjoy my work…
the pieces on leslie were part of a project i worked on with Artstarts for the Villawayz housing community…
it was great to put work up in a part of the city that rarely ever sees public art installations…
and the piece on adelaide was just something fun, part of a series called men at work, in which i install images of blue collar workers interacting with the urban landscape…
db

i officially have a new art-star to worship.

*   *   *

another reason why being a member of the press rules.

my media badge got me into the one and only, sold-out, capacity screening of Beats, Rhymes & Life: A Tribe Called Quest documentary at Hot Docs. watch the trailer, and get excited.


most of all someone said true love was dead and i’m bound to fall, bound to fall, for you

THE SPADINA MONOLOGUES

adventures in photoshop. i think i’m gonna get the hang of this. oh  ya, banner up top of this blog has been changed with some brilliance on my part. i’m becoming a total bitch.

last weekend i’m walking down queen west, i look up, and lo-and-behold it’s yet another pole sporting gregory alan elliot‘s turn of phrases and actual name attached to this street art.

i decided to take this as a cosmic sign from the universe. a while back, mr elliot tweeted me his phone number when he saw the cornucopia of his street art pictured on this blog, so after toeing this line (see what i did there+) of his in the sidewalk, i gave him a shout and we met up at Crafted by Te Aro on ossington.

and he was  . . . well . . . he was unlike anyone i’ve ever met before, and that’s not a lie.

without saying how i felt about him, i’ll just tell you what he said:

“i’m NDP in practice, but i always vote conservative.”

make your own judgements.

i concur


since then, it’s been a strange but amazing week. after leaving mr elliot in the ossington area to give away plants that were meant for me to hands of other homes, i looked up at the back of the street lights and poles along queen west (something i trained my eye to do after two weeks in NYC and Brooklyn, never wanting to miss a single piece of street art), and what do i find?

it’s old and it’s ripped, but it’s clearly my boy.


oh ya, that’s a sheppard fairey andre the giant “obey” sticker. proof that he’s been here, and deems our city worthy.


like the first time i ever saw this sticker in real life on houston street in manhattan, i got all giddy and starting jumping up and down.

just ignore me.

i don’t know who put up this really clever stencil on adelaide street near simcoe, but i drove by it first, turned the car around, wheels and hubcaps screeching like surgical tools along the pavement, pulled up in front, and took a bajillion shots.

EDIT!! just found out this is by fauxreel!

i love how the wheatpasted image incorporates the pipes facading the building. so clever. and looks like an old street art friend to the right was taken away. boo-urns.

phil and i found this outside st george station.

there is nothing greater than citizens commenting on the city in which they live through art.

oh and rob-ford-bashing, ya gotta give the drugs-of-joy.

early this week i went to the morning press screening of director morgan spurlock’s latest doc POM The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which premiered here as part of the Hot Docs film fest, which i am covering as media. i wrote a health-framed film review of the film, which you can read here, and then, the holiest of holies happened -> i got to interview DA MAN morgan spurlock himself on the red carpet of the premiere which you can read here! the pres rep only gave me 5 minutes (which was then diminished to 4 mins) with mr spurlock, but he was totally gracious and generous with his responses, and gave many great soundbites.

i’ve been a freelance writer for all of my adult life, and i’ve interviewed a shitload of celebrities and notable personalities, but it never really gets old. the moment you become blazé about how cool the job is, you should leave it. i love being media. i really do.

and now i fancy mr spurlock. just sayin’

 watch me in this video by shawn preece hall interviewing morgan spurlock at the 3:10 mark!

some fuzzy blackberry-shots i took of mr spurlock on the red carpet as he inched his way toward me. here he’s being interviewed by CityTV.

now he’s being interviewed by CBC.

and NOW it’s the naked news, oddly, with clothes.

there’s shawn preece hall in the leather jacket. totally cool dude. he recognized me in the media line from twitter. i love it when that happens (which is rare. i have this complex where i believe no one actually knows my name or what i look like, so when people recognize me and actually know my name, it makes me a gonzo-blush)

anyway, watch the trailer for POM The Greatest Movie Ever Sold here:

i went to the Windsor Arms Hotel for high tea, in celebration of the Windsors tying the knot (see what i did there? anybody? Bueller?)

i wrote about it for The Gloss.

here’s some photos that didn’t make the final cut of the article

i won this book.

i’m not really bothering to read it. i mean, i got up early to watch them get married, but i’m over it now. fuck, even THEY are over it now, look.

drinks served.

hats given.

tea and crumpets.

see those two little pots of jam sitting next to the butter dish in the centre?

ya, those went straight into my purse.

i’m like a sloppy scavenger. i spent so many years broke, eating nothing but scraps and morsels, and that mentality never leaves you.

you can take the poor grifter outta the girl, but you can’t take the girl outta the poor grifter.

when you’re not looking, i’m eating the leftovers on your plate.

all the lovely ladies wore sunday dresses and strappy pumps. i showed up in my work clothes and Chuck Taylors.

above i said i’m turning into a bitch. replace “bitch” with “fuckface.”

something new has popped up this week out of seeming nothingness. for once, i don’t particularly want to say anything about it.

i had a dream in the middle of the week that a hand was reach under the covers of my bed to choke me. when i woke up, i was still suffocating, wrestling with the hand which was independent of any body. this dark, strong, floating hand was trying to kill me while i lay bare.

death by duvet.

the night before i dreamed i was being told by the new girlfriend of an old boyfriend to leave the metropolis, he would never love me that way again.

no one ever loves the same way twice.

back off, duchess of cambridge, wills is MINE.

(Photos: Becca Lemire)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,932 other followers