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

amy grindhouse

Amy Grindhouse

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20121224-164303.jpgFound her in Brick Lane:)


5pointz: the institute of higher burnin’


i haven’t been to 5Pointz since March 2011 so i was well overdue for a return.


but there was also a very specific reason for me to head over to 5pointz …


… a familiar face was having a little art show ….


that’s right! Spudbombs and Rob Fuckin’ Ford’s face galore! Spud reprazentin’ TdotOh.


this was pretty exciting. i got all giddy and did my lil’ graffiti-jig right there in queens.


there was also lots of new work to be found on the walls. whilst i was there, several graff artists were hard at work. 5pointz doesn’t mind if regular folk take photos, just as long as they don’t snap the artists themselves at work. anonymity is essential to a graff artist.


i think this Los Bancos wheatpaste by Crisp is one of my favourites. the Banker has a storm trooper head!
these aren’t the bailouts we were looking for.


another Crisp/star wars theme to support Occupy Wall Street
“the 99% we are!”


this piece is fucking brilliant. it’s done with little points of paint (dots) just like Seurat, Monet, and Renoir did in their impressionist paintings! look closer!


this is by international graff artist James Cochran

i think this is a tribute to amy winehouse, who covered Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow once.


this song is really sad… because she’s asking the question, but she already knows the answer…. so she’s asking him to lie to her so that she can live with herself for sleeping with him….

been there.


RIP MCA

by the way, the powers that be are trying to bulldoze 5Pointz. Stop them and save the Mecca. Click here to join the FB group.


i’m gonna take that tiger outside for a ride; what a life

some random street art and graffiti shots from around the city lately. #OccupyStreetWalls!

this was in the window for a hairdressers, methinks. offering the amy grindhouse beehive.

looks nothing like the late-great horseface.

i kid, i kid.

so here’s something interesting. i’m pretty sure these shepard-fairey-esque posters are associated with the Occupy Wall Street movements. instead of Andre The Giant, that looks like the face of the Monopoly guy. coupled with fairey’s “obey” catchphrase,” it seems to be a comment on our blind belief in capitalism. did i get that right?

sorry for poor quality, had to take this with my blackberry in the middle of the street with on-coming traffic. it was on the Queen/Dufferin overpass but it’s already gone. if you only spoke english, you would just think this said pain.

but if you’re a bilingual Canadian (aka a real canadian), you know that in french, “pain” means “bread.” and the word is painted on a bread clip.

you’re welcome. il n’y a pas de quoi.

it feels like a silver deposit box?

hee hee. i said “box.”

okay queen street west, these Time Lord tags are everywhere! so much so, that i am going to follow their progress for the next little while.

for those of you who didn’t grow up as a sci-fi nerd, Time Lord is a reference to Doctor Who

and now for some fun: Lines you’ll never hear in an episode of Doctor Who

 “Looks like we’ve materialised in the 16th century!…. Oh no, it’s Toronto, 2011.”

This is not a waste of time. You are a Time Lord! Have you ever given money to the Liberal Party?!

I’m here to save the Earth, but as a doctor, I won’t be working evenings or weekends.

K9, stop humping the toaster!”

Welcome.To.My.Dalek.Poetry.Reading…This.One.Is.Called.Daffodils….EXTERMINATE.DAFFODILS!“”

is this part of the Inside Out project? or is the Queen West Antique Centre JUST THAT COOL?

Wheatpaste of a sleeper van.

“this need to tell each other.”

“enthralled.”

glorious mural near Adelaide & Spadina. it’s of the infamous 1985 National Geographic photograph of the Afghan Girl.

her name is Sharbat Gula.

i can’t think of a more beautiful name.

PARDON LE DOPENESS!


grindhouse


you better run, better run, faster than my bullet

if you’ve been keeping your eyes open in toronto-the-good, you’ve probably noticed a few fluorescent bikes here and there. they’re part of an art project launched by some OCAD’ers, where they find abandoned bikes that are still locked up, and beautify them with different fluorescent colours, sometimes they even put a potted plant in the basket. anyhoo, i haven’t been able to pop a wheelie in this city without knocking over one of these bikes, they’re everywhere! i am so in love with the idea, as you can see from the above collage that i made which indicates each location i’ve found a bike so far. keep your eyes open, tdot.

to find out more about this project, visit the artists’ tumblr here.

text messages from august 4th

mr k: YOU make me want to do better things

me: that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me

mr k: it’s just you tell me about what you’ve done and i see this insane potential to do more and i think “holy crap man.. this girl is amazingly talented and has done so much!” it’s so awesome and inspiring….. to me you’re muse material because you create the drive for self improvement. Everything you’ve told me points that way. Whenever you tell me about how guys walk all over you, i actually think why?! someone like this is so worthwhile.

vicki vanilla sky

i am a bumble bee.

that’s what mr moore said about me the other day after we had dinner together at disgraceland. i’d never tried their vegan-friendly menu before. i like places that are west of ossington. the wester, the better. omg gurrrrrrrl you are soo west.

i wore a yellow top, black skort (remember skorts!), my yellow tube flops, and that ol’ buttercup yellow flower in my hair that i’ve been wearing since 2005… hence the bumble bee. my friend teresa describes that pill you have to take when you have a UTI as “the bumble bee pill” because it’s black and yellow as well.

i like it when things are named after flying killers.

someone in Kensington Market knows how to bang out the time-sensitive street art without flinching.

crying a gold tear.

i always thought winehouse would just keith richards her way through life. i was living in london when her second album back to black blew up, and she was in daily rags literally daily. remember when her and blake had that huge fight, and emerged on the street after the battle. he had massive nail scratches on his neck which he unsuccessfully tried to cover with a douchey scarf. …and she used to love traipsing around in those ballet slippers, which were bloodied now because she had injected the crack cocaine IN BETWEEN HER TOES.

living in london at that time, listening to her music as i  ran through Southwark and Bermondsey, fisting Borough Market, kicking Tower Bridge, and owning the Elephant and Castle circus, amy is inextricably linked to that period in time. the pubs and punters screamed her songs, spilling out into the streets.  her music got me through a horrible break-up at the time. made riding the DLR somewhat bearable.

amy, you should have been stronger than me.

on the corner of bloor and st. george

there’s only ONE law when it comes to graffiti and street art… you don’t fucking tag or go over someone else’s work. graffiti is all about ego, really. it’s about getting a kind of infamy for your art… when someone fucking tags your art, it’s the biggest form of disrespect.

hey “MER” don’t fucking disrespect. get your fucking tag off of the eyes.

shall we turn this into a new conga line, lisa?

i don’t think i could handle a constant state of pleasure until forever.

but i welcome the challenge.

*   *   *

i’ve blogged about Deadboy lots of times before, and he let me know recently that he’s hit the streets again. he’s launched an attack on the streets, and his provocative wheatpastes are in some of the best locations in the city. on top of that, they are powerful, they ask questions, they make you feel something.

here’s a cross-section of some of his work, with their locations. i invite you all to go on a scavenger hunt and find these pieces of art for yourself.

that’s the great thing about street art… it’s livable and democratic. you don’t need to be a glittering asshole who scrubs up to go to the gallery. you just need to enjoy investigating your own city.

free thought. free art.

probably the best piece of the lot, IMO.

the “fuck you stephen harper” wheatpaste is on queen west and augusta, across the street from Java House.

the “gun-toting toddler” is atop a construction overpass in kensington market, near baldwin and spadina.

right next to it, is this shaved-head kid with a rifle.

and the two make a second appearance on queen west and ryerson, just south of Theatre Passe Muraille.

this “my turn raccoon” which i already found in a kensington market alley is also on queen west and vanauley street.

do you see what i see on the abandoned blockbuster at queen and spadina?

* * *

a few months ago, i photographed this stencil saying in the exact same spot outside st george subway station, but it was promptly removed thereafter.

it’s back.

i was almost crushed by a tractor trailer the other day as i rode my bike through parkdale. he didn’t check his blind spot for me and starting turning. my bike crashed to the ground, and he kept going, his huge tires coming within inches of my body. he only stopped when other cars honked and flagged him down. i got up off the ground, shaking, and tried to smash his side window with blind rage. but i’m just a pipsqueak, really.

the flowers came off of my basket.

my leg is a bit bruised, and i have a few popped capillaries, but i’m fine.

cyclists need some peace of mind in this city. we deserve respect. i’m also a driver, and a pedestrian, so i know what it feels like to be all three. none of us own the road. we need to start sharing.

i’m fucking endearing.


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.


black pearl athena

last week, i was flattered with tickets to see Spent at the Young Centre for Performing Arts in the distillery district. many of you know i am a huge theatre fag and try to see as many plays as possible, and i’m always willing to blog and tweet about the gems.

Spent, written and performed by Adam Paolozza and Ravi Jain, is a lampoon of the 2008 economic crisis, told through physical comedy (basically the style is clown, without the red noses or stupid Bozo facepaint). it was a ravishing, funny,vibrant, joyous romp through what many considered a polyp on the colon of ecoomics and finance. Paolozza ad Jain have created a rock ’em sock ’em satire of the discourse we use when dealing with money, making several analogies to religion, and how dollar signs can be confused with crucifixes. they do all that in a mere 80 minutes, with energy to spare.

it’s the coolest fricken play you’ll see this summer in toronto before it hits the edinburgh fringe fest. all the details you need is here (and tickets are cheap, people). get thee to a playhouse.

(#Tweetgasm photos courtesy of Photojunkie.ca)

i actually didn’t notice Reg was copping a feel here. i thought we were just squishing our puppies together.

woah. her face = sex.

was shocked to see paul. i’ve only ever seen him out once before, way back in february for GenYTO during social media week. i’m walking up to the gladstone, then outta nowhere, i see him on the sidewalk, and i’m like, “wait, what?” took me a moment to actually process it. i would have walked right by him if he hadn’t turned at the sound of my heels clicking along the pavement. paul’s twitter bio says that he “believes shoes tell everything about a woman.”

“so what do my heels tell you about me?” i asked.

paul opened his mouth to answer, but i cut him off:

“on second thought, don’t tell me.”

that’s probably for the best.

yaw took these iPhone shots of me. here i’m wearing dave‘s specs, looking like an angry librarian.

this caption should be “I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK IN A LIBRARY!! IF ONLY I COULD READ!!!!!”

now i’m wearing Yaw’s top gun aviators, pulling a duckface, adored by myspace-alien-face-peace-sign-model-mayhems everywhere.

jessica‘s housewarming party. sweaty and rained on, but…..

…i still managed to finger-dance and pull a bride of chucky mug.

testing testing is this thing on?

i was stopped at a red light near college and lansdowne, looked in my side mirror, and nearly lost my heart in the rails and moving blues.

went to Rule Britannia at Clinton’s with andrew, which was rather disappointing. kept playing stupid top 40 british hits from the 80s that are overplayed and not really crowd pleasers. i only heard one Arctic Monkeys song and one Klaxons song, the rest were fucking come-on-eileen, twist-and-shout, i’m-feeling-supersonic-give-me-gin-and-tonic, rio-grande BOLLOCKS. yawn.

this was the night before amy winehouse died. they didn’t play a single one of her tunes.

i remember the first time i heard of the Forever 27 club. it was actually a decade ago now, the summer of 2001, when i was working at the CN Tower. i was one of the bitches operating the elevators. “and now we’re moving at 15 miles per hour, this is the tallest free standing tower in the world, it takes 58 seconds to get to the top, blah blah fucking blah.” this dude that i worked with at the towering inferno was having a houseparty, i think his name was michael, but it could have been colin or william (i’m showing my age here, aren’t i?). on the wall of his sherbourne apartment was this poster that said Forever 27 and it had the usual suspects on it. i didn’t get what it meant until i asked, but for some reason, the image of the poster burned into my brain.  i had the biggest crush on that michael-colin-william dude too. i had held a houseparty earlier in the year, which he attended, and this was back when i had no reservations about drinking, so i shitfacedly swung my legs onto his lap, and basically made a plastered fool of myself, which he seemed to like, because he came back the next day to hang with me, using the pithy excuse of “i left something at yours” which he totally didn’t, he just wanted to do what Reg was doing in the above photo. i didn’t let him.

suffice it to say, when i quit that shit McJob, i never heard or saw him again.

after a 50 kilometre bike ride to the downtown core (good god i love biking and my bike, i’m such a shitkicker), i met up with nate and we basically spent sunday together. iced coffees at Crafted, dinner at Lakeview, drinks at Sweaty Betty’s.

he pointed out the above Devil Rob Ford street art to me, which i may have just walked by if he hadn’t pointed it out. it looks like the same style as these rob-ford-spermatozoa‘s i found a little while back. Who is behind this wheatpaste? it’s on the corner of ossington and humbert. if you know, please tell me!

“my soul is a death rattle,” i recently told nate.

tie a noose around my neck and pull, and pull, and pull.

the Nus doth protest too much.

why we should lose our virginity, from Submarine.

i’ll never tell which reason i chose.

i keep having these ferbile dreams. i wake up disoriented, and the feeling lingers all day, agate colours punctuating my eyes, splitting them from my brain.  i had to walk through the city under a baseball cap and huge sunglasses, head down like i’d lost my dog, hiding the face, for fear that someone would recognize me from the dream, as if the players were about, dreaming the same things, our subconscious minds linked in perfumes.

chasing her around the table, in a movie. wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and the credits roll.


my soul is a death rattle.