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

tim hortons

take me to new york, i’d love to see LA, i really want to come kick it with you, you’ll be my american boy, american boy….

April 5th was officially 
the SIX YEAR anniversary for The Spadina Monologues!
i am a powerhouse. that’s dedication. seriously, i hope half you bloggers out there have the stamina and staying power that i’m displaying up in hurrr because it’s hard out here for a blog-pimp (“blimp?”)
 over the past 6 years, there’s been travelling, there’s been love affairs, there’s been heart-break, there’s been moving-to-the-other-side-of-the-planet, there’s been reality TV shows, there’s been hollywood movies, there’s been starfucking, there’s been global notoriety, there’s been more love affairs, more backpacking, more heart breaks….there’s been money and theatre and writing and successes….there’s been disasters, epic failures, major embarrassments, and friends-turned-to-foes….and it’s all here documented.
i live in public.
you’re welcome.
here’s to another six years! and to kiboshing all the competition.
i’m still in New York City and it’s like i’m doing a graffiti tour of this amazing city. my eye is trained now to find what everyone else just walks past and ignores. it’s even on the subway, and damn is it good.
this moustache guy is everywhere.
i found out the other day that my Masters Thesis has been put online by either York University, the National Library of Canada, or Google Books (no clue which one of these hosers actually took to the time to scan all 300 pages of this bitch). i wrote this monstrosity in 2006, and at the time, the university said i was on the cutting edge of this type of research in Canada and thusly nominated me for a university-wide graduate thesis award …
i’ve got intelligencia coming outta my academic-tuckus. i double dare you to read it. I TRIPLE DARE YOU.
while i was still in toronto a couple weeks ago, i did a whole bunch of test blogging for a health and wellness publication (you can read some of the articles i wrote in my online writing portfolio), and then they invited me in for an interview where i met the CEO. this particular publication is a female-run & female-targeted with offices both in Toronto and NYC. so when i told them during the interview that i was headed to NYC for a couple weeks, they suggested i meet up with the editors based there as well. so last week, a few days after arriving, i headed to their Broadway offices and met with the editors. we had a lovely chat about the trajectory of the company and other publications they have on the horizon and what not.
the next day, they called me and offered me a full-time staff writer position. if i accepted, i’d be based out of toronto, but there were a few hints here and there that after a year of employment, there would be the option to transfer me to NYC.
i asked them to send me the contract so i could give it a once over and ask some questions….and then thought about it over the weekend.
then promptly accepted the position early monday morning.
HUZZAH!
it’s so funny because as early as february, i was lamenting (read: bitching) to a colleague of mine how poorly freelance writers are treated and that staff writers usually get all the garlands. while i LOVE freelancing, don’t get me wrong, and will continue to freelance whilst in this company, it’s great to be STAFF.
plus, as you all know, i’m all about fostering women’s voices and stories, so to be with a by-women-for-women company is the epitome of awesomesauce.
this opportunity also just kinda fell into my lap. a guy that i had a fickle fling with last year knows the CEO and knew they were looking for writers, so he thought of me and sent me a message letting me know about it.
which was nice of him, considering the last time he was in toronto in january, he caused a shit-storm (you all remember that blog post). he has since atoned for his bad behaviour several times over, so i can’t hold anything against him. i’ll forever think of him fondly as a top lad.
FANKS HOMBRE!
speaking of fickle flings of the past, it would now appear that every single one of my ex’s has a girlfriend. all of ’em! from the helper-monkey i mentioned above, to the butt-munch who broke my heart over the holidays, to my old london and NYC ex’s, to even the dudes i just casually see… fucking hell, when did everyone start pairing off?
at present, i don’t have a love life to speak of.
none whatsoever.
not even a crush!
i ain’t complainin’ mind you. it’s kind of nice to be man-free. who needs a man when you have a life?
IF YOU HAVIN’ BOY PROBLEMS, I FEEL BAD FOR YA HUN
I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT A DICK AIN’T ONE
(hit me)
over the weekend i went to go see a staged reading of the canadian play SIA, produced by Bridge Theatre Company, which was brought to my attention by fellow film critic Glenn Sumi who suggested i attend. i had heard about this play last summer when it went up at the Toronto Fringe, but i didn’t expect to see it in NYC! i was pretty excited to have a slice of home right in the heart of Broadway (well, 54th and 8th, more like)
Sia tells the story of a liberian brother and sister struggling to stay together before the war broke out, whilst simultaneously telling the story of a canadian traveler kidnapped during the war, and how both narratives intersect and affect one another.
and lemme tell ya, all my fellow theatre-addicts, this play, albeit brief (60 minutes? damn you fringe time restraints!), was THE BEST 60 MINUTES OF MY LIFE.

twas LOADED WITH BRILIANCE!
 it was relevant, timely, moving, poignant, heartbreaking, funny, clever, and for a mere staged reading, it was superbly acted by the performers.
also, layne’s daughter charlotte was reading the stage directions! i hadda email him and scold him for not telling me she was in NYC at the same time! also, i found out from running into her that he’s coming back to toronto next week. WAIT, WHAT? layne’s like one of my best friends ever, and he didn’t tell me!
he received a double scolding for that.
but hey, i get to see layne again next week!
last name WIN, first name EPIC.
huge crowd at the reception
the theatre was on the 13th floor of an old art-deco manhattan building, classic new york. the space was a large studio with floor-to-ceiling windows, so it kinda felt like we were experiencing theatre in the clouds. such a great atmosphere!
amber stop being so gorgeous, dammit.
there was a great talkback after the performance, and everyone from the performers, director, playwright, producers, and the audience had brilliant insights for the play and where it should go. i really hope this gets remounted soon because i would maim and mangle my own sister to see a full production of this play.
and you would too. trust me. you so would.
back to graffiti talk! this is why i’m in NYC to begin with, to research and explore street culture and graffiti art, and in my research i had stumbled across details and stories about an entire warehouse building in Queens called 5Pointz, so i knew i hadda check it out, and this was probably one of the single greatest discoveries of my time here. it’s one huge massive converted school (i think) that INVITES popular street artists to come and decorate their exteriors (and interiors). it’s almost like curated graffiti. and some of the stuff is so lovely and vibrant, that while i was there, wedding photos were being taken next to music videos that were being shot.
i was so giddy being here, look at this photojaculation!
awed at street level
it just goes on and on
it don’t matter where ya from!
hahaha rules were made to be broken
i read online that 5Pointz has been sold and will soon be turned into….wait for it….gentrified CONDOS!
ew.
people, if you’re in Queens in the near future, get yo’posterior to 5 Pointz before it’s gone!
i don’t know what ASVP is but dude’s stickers and posters are EVERYWHERE in new york! i can’t turn a corner without seeing a trace of him somewhere!
you KNOW i hadda get myself in on the action
i didn’t drink those brewsky’s on the steps but they sure add to the ‘tude i’m displaying in the photo
if my hip-hop album debut were about to drop, this would be the album cover, surely
blurred for her pleasure
what the hell was i doing here, sniffing the wall?
no no no, i retract that earlier statement…THIS would be my hip-hop album cover. nicely done, estima
aww bless.
wind blown
seriously, let me help you with that.
i mentioned in my last blog post that Jake Dobkin graciously let me interview him for research purposes. a few days later i found out that he was a panelist on the discussion of NYC street photography over at Union Docs in Williamsburg, so i headed over there to their cramped and over-heated space to attend the hotly-debated panel.
 it was actually fricken brilliant. three vastly different modes and approaches to street photography were explored and discussed and debated, but I think i preferred Jake’s approach because he was asking questions about systemic problems with street photography, rather than making hard and fast rules about what he thinks it should be.
there’s jake with his powerpoint presentation, well thought out.
… and ethnicities and the poor and the elderly and the disabled…and it goes for the cheap visual joke that isn’t always that funny…..
i took pages of detailed notes and thoughts during this talk that ended up lasting over two hours. i love how i’ve just really thrown myself into the scene here in NYC, you really gotta get your hands dirty if you’re going to discover anything about a counter-culture or sub-culture. you have to climb up a long ladder on your knees. you have to strike out for deep waters without drowning.
as i was leaving Union Docs, i walked past this amazing new piece that i didn’t see at first. it’s so powerful, and really draws your thoughts toward the socio-economic politics it’s portraying. it’s by street artist DOLK
and whoever added this dog with the shotgun is everywhere as well, cuz i’ve seen this exact same piece in soho!
speaking of soho….when you’re walking through soho…or along houston….or through alphabet city…or the east village….remember to keep your eyes averted to the north. specifically, don’t walk by any lamp post or sign pole without inspecting it….what’s so great about this one, you ask? look closer..
IT HAS A FRICKEN SHEPARD FAIREY “andre the giant obey” STICKER ON IT!!!
these posters and stickers are SO hard to find now because most of them have been taken down….street art in general has such a short shelf life, so finding something like this is a real find. a coup, if you will. if you don’t know the infamous Shepard Fairey by name, you definitely know his work. remember this poster? of course you do. well, guess who was behind it!
omfguy no way, there’s TWO stickers on this pole. BRAINGASM.
you shoulda seen me when i found these stickers. i literally squealed out loud, rushed to find my camera, and started jumping up and down giggling like a school girl as i got happy-snappy with the point-and-shoot. you’d think i’d just won the lottery or something.
speaking of winning the lottery, as i walked through alphabet city, i looked up to see ANOTHER rare rare rare find on the wall. see it?
IT’S A SPACE INVADER!! again, most of space invader’s work has been taken down or has disappeared, so finding one still lurking about is a real treat!!
GIDDY, I TELLS YA!! i actually didn’t want to walk away from it, i just wanted to stay next to it like i was in an afterglow
haw haw haw!! get it??
alphabet city and the east village have all kinds of these hidden gardens (open to the public) where former occupied space is turned into reclaimed nature.
i’m cute as a bug.
but street artists have cleverly melded some messages even in the gardens. LOVES IT.
i should  put this sticker on every bad boyfriend i’ve ever had
hoot.
yo i’ll put it blunt if that’s what you want, yo i am a cunt and that’s what you want, you take afront, just shake ya butt, just shake ya butt New York City!! WHAT?
why did i take a photo of this comic book store? remember this episode? it’s kinda my favourite episode of the series…of all time.
katsu‘s been getting a lot of press lately….but his stuff is taken down before i get a chance to see it!
this was a massively HUUUUGE mural off of Bowery….i know i’ve seen this artist before, can someone fill a sister in?
this piece off of Bowery as well was fresh, done in the past few weeks, i reckon. it was on the wall of hotel, so surely they’ll remove it soon. but it’s so lovely….same artist as above i think
seriously, who did this? I LOVE IT.
how embarrassing it would be if you knew what i was thinking of.
found this buried in a deep dark alleyway off of bleeker.
i love you too, random small sticker on a lamp post!
so amber is taking guitar lessons, and her dorky-hot guitar teacher was playing in a live jazz band at 55 Bar in Greenwich Village, so we went to check him out…..is listening to jazz in a musky bar in the village just a little too precious? yes.
was it awesome? also yes.
we’re so smiley cute.
now we’re sexy
now we’re cute again!!
i had just gone for a run in the Cobble Hill area of brooklyn earlier in the day, so i couldn’t stay too long in the night (was exhausted from all the beauty in Cobble Hill more than the run!), but i’m glad i checked out the gaybourhood jazz of greenwich at least!
i’m now crashing on a friend’s couch in williamsburg, and since i’ve been there, i’ve already bought myself a great pair of cheap second hand Chuck Taylors (fuck you The Public Butter!! trynna charge $20 for beat-up Chucks? kiss my ass!)  AND i’ve gone for a run through the area which is populated mostly by hasidic jews….
hasidic jews are a weird bunch. technically they’re not allowed to touch women, but they wouldn’t get out of my way as i was barreling toward them in my running shoes and sweat shirt. seriously, the street was LOADED  with them, i felt like i was in 1930s Poland…or a Russian shtetl….except they were on cell phones….or behind the wheel of their SUVs.
i think the hasids were staring at me because i was wearing tights and running which i guess could be considered unladylike to them. whatever, it’s a free country (wait…is it?). just cuz hasidic jews occupy the area doesn’t mean i can’t jog through it.
although i had to suppress the urge to slap one of them on the ass as i sprinted by. that woulda been hella-funny and loaded with WIN. i didn’t though, sorry raibbis!
why yes. yes you do.
look at the size of an extra large Timmy’s here!! no wonder americans are so fat, it’s like a litre of coffee!! what is this, a Big Gulp?
it’s bigger than four hands!
today is my last full day in NYC, tomorrow i return to Toronto.
being in NYC these past two weeks really has been something. I have done so much, seen so much, met some really cool people, and i feel like i’ve achieved something. a working holiday in the true sense of the word, my writing has definitely been given a shot in the arm. i am so inspired. in fact, i kinda already feel like a new yorker. i know my way around, i know where everything is, and i’m rejecting all the tourist-y bullshit-y things that people generally do in NYC in favour of a more local experience.
i could live here.
wait, let me retype that.
I (could) live here.
I live here.
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>take me to new york, i’d love to see LA, i really want to come kick it with you, you’ll be my american boy, american boy….

>

April 5th was officially 
the SIX YEAR anniversary for The Spadina Monologues! 
i am a powerhouse. that’s dedication. seriously, i hope half you bloggers out there have the stamina and staying power that i’m displaying up in hurrr because it’s hard out here for a blog-pimp (“blimp?”)
 over the past 6 years, there’s been travelling, there’s been love affairs, there’s been heart-break, there’s been moving-to-the-other-side-of-the-planet, there’s been reality TV shows, there’s been hollywood movies, there’s been starfucking, there’s been global notoriety, there’s been more love affairs, more backpacking, more heart breaks….there’s been money and theatre and writing and successes….there’s been disasters, epic failures, major embarrassments, and friends-turned-to-foes….and it’s all here documented. 
i live in public.
you’re welcome.
here’s to another six years! and to kiboshing all the competition.

i’m still in New York City and it’s like i’m doing a graffiti tour of this amazing city. my eye is trained now to find what everyone else just walks past and ignores. it’s even on the subway, and damn is it good.

this moustache guy is everywhere.

i found out the other day that my Masters Thesis has been put online by either York University, the National Library of Canada, or Google Books (no clue which one of these hosers actually took to the time to scan all 300 pages of this bitch). i wrote this monstrosity in 2006, and at the time, the university said i was on the cutting edge of this type of research in Canada and thusly nominated me for a university-wide graduate thesis award …
i’ve got intelligencia coming outta my academic-tuckus. i double dare you to read it. I TRIPLE DARE YOU.

while i was still in toronto a couple weeks ago, i did a whole bunch of test blogging for a health and wellness publication (you can read some of the articles i wrote in my online writing portfolio), and then they invited me in for an interview where i met the CEO. this particular publication is a female-run & female-targeted with offices both in Toronto and NYC. so when i told them during the interview that i was headed to NYC for a couple weeks, they suggested i meet up with the editors based there as well. so last week, a few days after arriving, i headed to their Broadway offices and met with the editors. we had a lovely chat about the trajectory of the company and other publications they have on the horizon and what not.
the next day, they called me and offered me a full-time staff writer position. if i accepted, i’d be based out of toronto, but there were a few hints here and there that after a year of employment, there would be the option to transfer me to NYC.
i asked them to send me the contract so i could give it a once over and ask some questions….and then thought about it over the weekend.
then promptly accepted the position early monday morning.
HUZZAH!

it’s so funny because as early as february, i was lamenting (read: bitching) to a colleague of mine how poorly freelance writers are treated and that staff writers usually get all the garlands. while i LOVE freelancing, don’t get me wrong, and will continue to freelance whilst in this company, it’s great to be STAFF.
plus, as you all know, i’m all about fostering women’s voices and stories, so to be with a by-women-for-women company is the epitome of awesomesauce.
this opportunity also just kinda fell into my lap. a guy that i had a fickle fling with last year knows the CEO and knew they were looking for writers, so he thought of me and sent me a message letting me know about it.
which was nice of him, considering the last time he was in toronto in january, he caused a shit-storm (you all remember that blog post). he has since atoned for his bad behaviour several times over, so i can’t hold anything against him. i’ll forever think of him fondly as a top lad.

FANKS HOMBRE!

speaking of fickle flings of the past, it would now appear that every single one of my ex’s has a girlfriend. all of ’em! from the helper-monkey i mentioned above, to the butt-munch who broke my heart over the holidays, to my old london and NYC ex’s, to even the dudes i just casually see… fucking hell, when did everyone start pairing off?
at present, i don’t have a love life to speak of.
none whatsoever.
not even a crush!
i ain’t complainin’ mind you. it’s kind of nice to be man-free. who needs a man when you have a life?
IF YOU HAVIN’ BOY PROBLEMS, I FEEL BAD FOR YA HUN
I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT A DICK AIN’T ONE
(hit me)

over the weekend i went to go see a staged reading of the canadian play SIA, produced by Bridge Theatre Company, which was brought to my attention by fellow film critic Glenn Sumi who suggested i attend. i had heard about this play last summer when it went up at the Toronto Fringe, but i didn’t expect to see it in NYC! i was pretty excited to have a slice of home right in the heart of Broadway (well, 54th and 8th, more like)

Sia tells the story of a liberian brother and sister struggling to stay together before the war broke out, whilst simultaneously telling the story of a canadian traveler kidnapped during the war, and how both narratives intersect and affect one another.
and lemme tell ya, all my fellow theatre-addicts, this play, albeit brief (60 minutes? damn you fringe time restraints!), was THE BEST 60 MINUTES OF MY LIFE.

twas LOADED WITH BRILIANCE!
 it was relevant, timely, moving, poignant, heartbreaking, funny, clever, and for a mere staged reading, it was superbly acted by the performers.
also, layne’s daughter charlotte was reading the stage directions! i hadda email him and scold him for not telling me she was in NYC at the same time! also, i found out from running into her that he’s coming back to toronto next week. WAIT, WHAT? layne’s like one of my best friends ever, and he didn’t tell me!
he received a double scolding for that.
but hey, i get to see layne again next week!
last name WIN, first name EPIC.

huge crowd at the reception
the theatre was on the 13th floor of an old art-deco manhattan building, classic new york. the space was a large studio with floor-to-ceiling windows, so it kinda felt like we were experiencing theatre in the clouds. such a great atmosphere!

amber stop being so gorgeous, dammit.
there was a great talkback after the performance, and everyone from the performers, director, playwright, producers, and the audience had brilliant insights for the play and where it should go. i really hope this gets remounted soon because i would maim and mangle my own sister to see a full production of this play.
and you would too. trust me. you so would.
back to graffiti talk! this is why i’m in NYC to begin with, to research and explore street culture and graffiti art, and in my research i had stumbled across details and stories about an entire warehouse building in Queens called 5Pointz, so i knew i hadda check it out, and this was probably one of the single greatest discoveries of my time here. it’s one huge massive converted school (i think) that INVITES popular street artists to come and decorate their exteriors (and interiors). it’s almost like curated graffiti. and some of the stuff is so lovely and vibrant, that while i was there, wedding photos were being taken next to music videos that were being shot. 
i was so giddy being here, look at this photojaculation!

awed at street level

it just goes on and on
it don’t matter where ya from!
hahaha rules were made to be broken

i read online that 5Pointz has been sold and will soon be turned into….wait for it….gentrified CONDOS!
ew.
people, if you’re in Queens in the near future, get yo’posterior to 5 Pointz before it’s gone!

i don’t know what ASVP is but dude’s stickers and posters are EVERYWHERE in new york! i can’t turn a corner without seeing a trace of him somewhere!

you KNOW i hadda get myself in on the action
i didn’t drink those brewsky’s on the steps but they sure add to the ‘tude i’m displaying in the photo

if my hip-hop album debut were about to drop, this would be the album cover, surely
blurred for her pleasure

what the hell was i doing here, sniffing the wall?
no no no, i retract that earlier statement…THIS would be my hip-hop album cover. nicely done, estima
aww bless.
wind blown
seriously, let me help you with that.

i mentioned in my last blog post that Jake Dobkin graciously let me interview him for research purposes. a few days later i found out that he was a panelist on the discussion of NYC street photography over at Union Docs in Williamsburg, so i headed over there to their cramped and over-heated space to attend the hotly-debated panel.
 it was actually fricken brilliant. three vastly different modes and approaches to street photography were explored and discussed and debated, but I think i preferred Jake’s approach because he was asking questions about systemic problems with street photography, rather than making hard and fast rules about what he thinks it should be.

there’s jake with his powerpoint presentation, well thought out.
… and ethnicities and the poor and the elderly and the disabled…and it goes for the cheap visual joke that isn’t always that funny…..
i took pages of detailed notes and thoughts during this talk that ended up lasting over two hours. i love how i’ve just really thrown myself into the scene here in NYC, you really gotta get your hands dirty if you’re going to discover anything about a counter-culture or sub-culture. you have to climb up a long ladder on your knees. you have to strike out for deep waters without drowning.

as i was leaving Union Docs, i walked past this amazing new piece that i didn’t see at first. it’s so powerful, and really draws your thoughts toward the socio-economic politics it’s portraying.
and whoever added this dog with the shotgun is everywhere as well, cuz i’ve seen this exact same piece in soho!
speaking of soho….when you’re walking through soho…or along houston….or through alphabet city…or the east village….remember to keep your eyes averted to the north. specifically, don’t walk by any lamp post or sign pole without inspecting it….what’s so great about this one, you ask? look closer..
IT HAS A FRICKEN SHEPARD FAIREY “andre the giant obey” STICKER ON IT!!!
these posters and stickers are SO hard to find now because most of them have been taken down….street art in general has such a short shelf life, so finding something like this is a real find. a coup, if you will. if you don’t know the infamous Shepard Fairey by name, you definitely know his work. remember this poster? of course you do. well, guess who was behind it!
omfguy no way, there’s TWO stickers on this pole. BRAINGASM.
you shoulda seen me when i found these stickers. i literally squealed out loud, rushed to find my camera, and started jumping up and down giggling like a school girl as i got happy-snappy with the point-and-shoot. you’d think i’d just won the lottery or something.
speaking of winning the lottery, as i walked through alphabet city, i looked up to see ANOTHER rare rare rare find on the wall. see it?
IT’S A SPACE INVADER!! again, most of space invader’s work has been taken down or has disappeared, so finding one still lurking about is a real treat!!

GIDDY, I TELLS YA!! i actually didn’t want to walk away from it, i just wanted to stay next to it like i was in an afterglow
haw haw haw!! get it??

alphabet city and the east village have all kinds of these hidden gardens (open to the public) where former occupied space is turned into reclaimed nature.

i’m cute as a bug.

but street artists have cleverly melded some messages even in the gardens. LOVES IT.

i should  put this sticker on every bad boyfriend i’ve ever had
hoot.
yo i’ll put it blunt if that’s what you want, yo i am a cunt and that’s what you want, you take afront, just shake ya butt, just shake ya butt New York City!! WHAT?
why did i take a photo of this comic book store? remember this episode? it’s kinda my favourite episode of the series…of all time.
katsu‘s been getting a lot of press lately….but his stuff is taken down before i get a chance to see it!
this was a massively HUUUUGE mural off of Bowery….i know i’ve seen this artist before, can someone fill a sister in?
this piece off of Bowery as well was fresh, done in the past few weeks, i reckon. it was on the wall of hotel, so surely they’ll remove it soon. but it’s so lovely….same artist as above i think
seriously, who did this? I LOVE IT.

how embarrassing it would be if you knew what i was thinking of.
found this buried in a deep dark alleyway off of bleeker.
i love you too, random small sticker on a lamp post!
so amber is taking guitar lessons, and her dorky-hot guitar teacher was playing in a live jazz band at 55 Bar in Greenwich Village, so we went to check him out…..is listening to jazz in a musky bar in the village just a little too precious? yes.
was it awesome? also yes.
we’re so smiley cute.
now we’re sexy
now we’re cute again!!
i had just gone for a run in the Cobble Hill area of brooklyn earlier in the day, so i couldn’t stay too long in the night (was exhausted from all the beauty in Cobble Hill more than the run!), but i’m glad i checked out the gaybourhood jazz of greenwich at least!

i’m now crashing on a friend’s couch in williamsburg, and since i’ve been there, i’ve already bought myself a great pair of cheap second hand Chuck Taylors (fuck you The Public Butter!! trynna charge $20 for beat-up Chucks? kiss my ass!)  AND i’ve gone for a run through the area which is populated mostly by hasidic jews….
hasidic jews are a weird bunch. technically they’re not allowed to touch women, but they wouldn’t get out of my way as i was barreling toward them in my running shoes and sweat shirt. seriously, the street was LOADED  with them, i felt like i was in 1930s Poland…or a Russian shtetl….except they were on cell phones….or behind the wheel of their SUVs.
i think the hasids were staring at me because i was wearing tights and running which i guess could be considered unladylike to them. whatever, it’s a free country (wait…is it?). just cuz hasidic jews occupy the area doesn’t mean i can’t jog through it.
although i had to suppress the urge to slap one of them on the ass as i sprinted by. that woulda been hella-funny and loaded with WIN. i didn’t though, sorry raibbis!

why yes. yes you do.
look at the size of an extra large Timmy’s here!! no wonder americans are so fat, it’s like a litre of coffee!! what is this, a Big Gulp?
it’s bigger than four hands!
today is my last full day in NYC, tomorrow i return to Toronto.
being in NYC these past two weeks really has been something. I have done so much, seen so much, met some really cool people, and i feel like i’ve achieved something. a working holiday in the true sense of the word, my writing has definitely been given a shot in the arm. i am so inspired. in fact, i kinda already feel like a new yorker. i know my way around, i know where everything is, and i’m rejecting all the tourist-y bullshit-y things that people generally do in NYC in favour of a more local experience.
i could live here.
wait, let me retype that.
I (could) live here.

I live here.

new york city loves to mess around with the LA sound, the LA sound…

in NYC for almost a week and i haven’t blogged! this just won’t do, no no no.
customs were jerks, i slept the entire bus ride, arriving in a new place and hating the journey or barely registering it in your brain is typical with greyhound . passing through upstate new york is basically passing one giant junkyard.  as the new jersey turnpike came into view, i broke open the champagne bottle between my ears.
settling in astoria with Amber, i started immediately doing research on street culture, graffiti artists areas, and things i had to do in NYC that were un-tourist-y (seeing as how i’ve been here 3 times before and have done all that empire-rockefeller-times square-radio city-ellis island-wtc-5th ave-macys-brooklyn bridge bullshit) that gave me a sense of the subcultures, vibes, and shadows that only the locals know about. i could blend right in, disappear, become a ghost.
found out through so much digging that the following night pop-culture-icon Sasha Grey was having a book launch in Soho.
i jumped on that quicker than a bread truck hauling bodies
if you don’t know about Sasha Grey, she became a porn star at the age of 18, immediately became notorious in her first film for asking her scene partner to punch her in the stomach while he was going to town on her….then she did an interview on Tyra Banks which brought her into the mainstream consciousness. After years in the adult world, and doing lots of fashion spreads for Vice Magazine and interviews in hipster mags, Steven Soderbergh cast her in his 2009 film The Girlfriend Experience, which received mixed reviews veering mostly on the positive. Now she has a book out, fronts a band, and is trynna make it in mainstream films.
i haven’t decided how i feel about sasha grey. i will concede that she does occupy a place in the collective conscious, and has tapped into something that seems to hold people’s attention, mine included. but i’m not completely sold that what she does is “performance art.” she’s provocative and different and an incredibly saavy business woman, but i refuse at this junction to put her on the same level as Annie Sprinkle or Chris Burden.  she’s definitely multidisciplinary and draws attention to the work she does in a cerebral and thought-provoking way.
but reading some of the sections in her book Neu Sex, i was actually quite disappointed with the quality of writing and the themes and motifs therein. she’s not a particularly unique writer. in fact, it was quite derivative. she quotes a lot of great philosophers in her writing, so at least we know who she’s thinking with, but she doesn’t seem to engage the intellect of the reader in a way that portrays her opinion on different veins of thought in question.
to be brief, her book sucks . . .
 . . .   and then swallows…
..and then takes it up the ass.
she’s definitely a beaut. and dressed rather demurely. i ALMOST forgot that i’ve seen inside her lady bits.
aw. bless.
see the dude with the ‘fro? that’s Questlove from The Roots!!
Sasha (the picture of dorian)Grey has admirers in high places.
but let’s remember that i’m not in NYC to schmooze with the celebs and star fuckers, i’m here to do research for my novel.
time to beat the street.
originally my research told me to check out places like Chelsea and the East Village and Alphabet City and St Marks Place….but these areas, after much inspection, really were only great for street art in the 70, 80s and 90s and kinda lost their pulse on the street culture nation after people like Basquiat and Keith Haring died.
that’s not to say, as you can see from my pictures here, that there isn’t still remnants of those great days left behind in the areas. they’re just cleverly hidden.
the core of street culture in NYC has moved to Brooklyn, and each year moves further and further inland. so off to Bushwick i went to strike out for deep water.
i was specifically looking for this piece because in my research i had read that it had just gone up on this wall a few days before and was garnering a lot of buzz online. this piece is called Helping Hand and the artist’s name is No Touching Ground.
apparently No Touching Ground actually has that memo notepad tattoo’d on his wrist, and just fills it in with Things To Do in pen. so when he decided to turn his wrist into street art, he decided that reminding himself and others to donate to the Japan quake relief effort was something not to forget. art + philanthropy= win.
you can read all about the backstory and creation of this piece here.
walking around Bushwick, you come across some of the most innovative and beautiful murals one never finds in a 4-walled gallery.
yesterday was a total coup for me because i managed to score an impromptu interview with Jake Dobkin, co-founder of Gothamist and head honcho behind Streetsy.com, one of the best street art and culture websites out there. he was totally cool and chatted with me for an hour about his thoughts on the scene here and answered all of my questions and comments with such thoughtful and insightful responses. getting the backstory on the scene is invaluable info for my book, so it’s not like going to directly quote him or anything, but i will deffo give him a mega-fanks in my book when it’s published. jake dobkin, aka super awesome.
shit guy. totes. HI MUM!
street art is….what? what is it? TELL ME!!
I think i originally saw this piece online, generating some buzz, so when i found it, i got a bit giddy. fuck me if i remember who did it or what it symbolizes. i just think it’s fucking righteous.
aw. pookie.
this dude was skateboarding by as i was taking the shot, and i think he ducked down so he wouldn’t obstruct my view, but i actually wanted him in the frame and timed it perfectly, methinks. FANKS GUY.
the street art piece in the background is by Roa 
ha!
it’s actually called Bogart street, as you can see below, but some clever git bent the sign back so it reads as ART street….and really, that is way more apropos.
i spent a few hours in the Bushwick area at Swallow Cafe which seemed to be populated exclusively by street artists, purveyors, carpenters, people working in mixed disciplines, and hot hot hot hot men in chuck taylors.

i’ll be back to that cafe, fo’shizzle.

the actual area is called WYCKOFF but someone put an A over the Y.
shock me shock me shock me with that deeeeeviant behaviour.
call me crazy, but i look at this, and i see either a replica or an homage to Keith Haring’s work….am i right?
welcome to ChrisTopia. Population: dis gal.

yes yes, ya’ll. i reserved my ticket to the show a month ago, and STILL hadda wait outside in the fricken cold to get in cuz even with a reservation, entry was first-come first-serve basis and i was in the middle-to-back of the line. i eventually got in the studio, but many who reserved were left out in the cold. GET A BIGGER STUDIO, JON! (ps love you)
this is what it says over the door when you enter the building.
they were playing The Kooks on the speakers as i entered the studio. first the warm up guy Paul comes out and chats up the audience, gets us a bit giggly and stupid. when another person in the audience told him they were from Toronto, i screamed “yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” and Paul focuses on me and goes “well you’re much prettier than the last guy.” (true story) So Paul asks my name and what i do. when i tell him i’m a writer, and he asks what kind, i say “I just finished my first book” and the audience gave me a rousing ovation.

awww shucks.

so Paul asks what the title is.

having been in the audience for many a show where comedians rip audience members a new rectum, i said “errr, i don’t wanna tell you!”

cue audience laughter. others shouted “don’t tell him!” and here’s paul insisting “oh no, i wont’ make fun of it, i swear.”

yeah fucking right! so i said, “err…it’s called War and Peace, mkay?”

He got the hint. sorry paul.

so then Jon comes out and we all cheer like groupies. i’ve seen jon stewart live before, about 5 or 6 years ago he did a standup gig at Massey Hall, but for some reason, my memory of that event is rather hazy.
so jon asks if we have any questions for him, a kinda informal Q & A session, and my hand immediately shoots up. he calls upon me with a “yes madame!” yay, first person to ask a question=most memorable surely.
so i ask, “i was wondering if either you or Norm Macdonald (guest on show) have an opinion on the current heart-palpitating (sarcasm) Canadian election?”
and jon says with all the sardonic bite classic to his humour, “who DOESN’T have an opinion, there are too many opinions really…” audience laughs. “yeah your government collapsed, didn’t it” and this girl in the aud from vancouver says the government was “a sham!” to which jon goes “now now, we don’t want canadians fighting here! you do that often enough on the ice. your hockey games are brutal.”
a few more questions from the audience and the show starts. during the first two segments, it was kinda hard from where i was sitting to see jon as the cameras blocked much of his view, but i still could definitely see him.  Jon Oliver’s segment about “oilfrica” in libya made jon piss his pants with laughter when the cameras weren’t on him. during the commercial breaks, two guys with headsets kept talking to jon and saying what didn’t look like too important stuff to occupy his thoughts. i’ve been the audience for other talk shows before, and the hosts there liked to talk to the audience during commercial breaks…not jon. sadness:(

anyway, norm macdonald comes out as the guest (i had perfect view, cameras had shifted position) and jon uses my question from the Q & A earlier to talk to Canuck Norm about our election and our government! i felt pretty chuffed about that. i DIRECTLY AFFECTED The Daily Show. all hail me.

so if you missed the episode, you can watch it in full in canada here or in the usa here.

PAY ATTENTION when watching cuz you can totally hear my laughter standing out in the audience. especially if you know how i laugh, you’ll undoubtably hear me. also when norm comes out and canada is mentioned, you can hear me squeal-shout a bit.

my laugh is kinda stupid-redonkulous and hard to miss.

hahaha, even when in another country, i’m STILL winning like a fiend at Roll Up The Rim.
i saw this car in brooklyn yesterday and had a braingasm. The Big Bang Theory car that sheldon would approve of, surely.
it’s been hard this past week being in NYC as well. the last two times i was here, it was to visit someone that i have decided i should no longer contact. no bad words have been exchanged between us. in fact, the last time we chatted, it was rather pleasant. i just think any contact now would be somewhat inappropriate.
problem is, i’m trynna make new memories in NYC and it’s hard when i pass by Union Square or the cinema at 19th & Broadway, or go for a run along the Hudson river….even going into Bushwick was a bit of a mind-fuck. i didn’t think i felt this strongly about a person that i really didn’t have that much in common with.
in fact, i’m not even sure i liked this person that much. but refraining from contacting them by my own choice whilst here has been kind of painful. there are ghosts all over the city, and it’s made me rather sad when i stop to think about it.
one good thing about here to work and to write is that i’ve gotten a free 2 week membership at Paragraph, which is the NYC writers centre. I got it for free because i’m a member of the Toronto Writers Centre and they have a reciprocal agreement. the other night after The Daily Show, I was writing at the centre until about 1am. then i was gonna hop on the subway back to astoria….instead i walked up broadway for about 20 blocks in the middle of the night.
in the rain.
listening to misanthropic tunes.
i just  needed to walk and to think….
i still have another week loaded with subcultural adventures to be had.

all i hafta say is, when trying to understand the nature of a city’s stone, don’t stick to the comfortable thin skins of bus tours, museums, and flashy lights. bite down into the meaty layers underneath. become a local. see what isn’t seen from the safety of guidebooks.

no i will not visit the Magnolia bakery or Zabars.

fuck that.

enough blogging, the day is still sunny and adolescent-esque. and the city is awaiting this young canadian lass….


>new york city loves to mess around with the LA sound, the LA sound…

>

in NYC for almost a week and i haven’t blogged! this just won’t do, no no no.

customs were jerks, i slept the entire bus ride, arriving in a new place and hating the journey or barely registering it in your brain is typical with greyhound . passing through upstate new york is basically passing one giant junkyard.  as the new jersey turnpike came into view, i broke open the champagne bottle between my ears.
settling in astoria with Amber, i started immediately doing research on street culture, graffiti artists areas, and things i had to do in NYC that were un-tourist-y (seeing as how i’ve been here 3 times before and have done all that empire-rockefeller-times square-radio city-ellis island-wtc-5th ave-macys-brooklyn bridge bullshit) that gave me a sense of the subcultures, vibes, and shadows that only the locals know about. i could blend right in, disappear, become a ghost.
found out through so much digging that the following night pop-culture-icon Sasha Grey was having a book launch in Soho. 
i jumped on that quicker than a bread truck hauling bodies  

if you don’t know about Sasha Grey, she became a porn star at the age of 18, immediately became notorious in her first film for asking her scene partner to punch her in the stomach while he was going to town on her….then she did an interview on Tyra Banks which brought her into the mainstream consciousness. After years in the adult world, and doing lots of fashion spreads for Vice Magazine and interviews in hipster mags, Steven Soderbergh cast her in his 2009 film The Girlfriend Experience, which received mixed reviews veering mostly on the positive. Now she has a book out, fronts a band, and is trynna make it in mainstream films.

i haven’t decided how i feel about sasha grey. i will concede that she does occupy a place in the collective conscious, and has tapped into something that seems to hold people’s attention, mine included. but i’m not completely sold that what she does is “performance art.” she’s provocative and different and an incredibly saavy business woman, but i refuse at this junction to put her on the same level as Annie Sprinkle or Chris Burden.  she’s definitely multidisciplinary and draws attention to the work she does in a cerebral and thought-provoking way.

but reading some of the sections in her book Neu Sex, i was actually quite disappointed with the quality of writing and the themes and motifs therein. she’s not a particularly unique writer. in fact, it was quite derivative. she quotes a lot of great philosophers in her writing, so at least we know who she’s thinking with, but she doesn’t seem to engage the intellect of the reader in a way that portrays her opinion on different veins of thought in question.
to be brief, her book sucks . . . 
 . . .   and then swallows…
..and then takes it up the ass.

she’s definitely a beaut. and dressed rather demurely. i ALMOST forgot that i’ve seen inside her lady bits.
aw. bless.

see the dude with the ‘fro? that’s Questlove from The Roots!!
Sasha (the picture of dorian)Grey has admirers in high places.
but let’s remember that i’m not in NYC to schmooze with the celebs and star fuckers, i’m here to do research for my novel. 
time to beat the street.

originally my research told me to check out places like Chelsea and the East Village and Alphabet City and St Marks Place….but these areas, after much inspection, really were only great for street art in the 70, 80s and 90s and kinda lost their pulse on the street culture nation after people like Basquiat and Keith Haring died. 
that’s not to say, as you can see from my pictures here, that there isn’t still remnants of those great days left behind in the areas. they’re just cleverly hidden.

the core of street culture in NYC has moved to Brooklyn, and each year moves further and further inland. so off to Bushwick i went to strike out for deep water.

i was specifically looking for this piece because in my research i had read that it had just gone up on this wall a few days before and was garnering a lot of buzz online. this piece is called Helping Hand and the artist’s name is No Touching Ground. 
apparently No Touching Ground actually has that memo notepad tattoo’d on his wrist, and just fills it in with Things To Do in pen. so when he decided to turn his wrist into street art, he decided that reminding himself and others to donate to the Japan quake relief effort was something not to forget. art + philanthropy= win.
you can read all about the backstory and creation of this piece here.

walking around Bushwick, you come across some of the most innovative and beautiful murals one never finds in a 4-walled gallery.
yesterday was a total coup for me because i managed to score an impromptu interview with Jake Dobkin, co-founder of Gothamist and head honcho behind Streetsy.com, one of the best street art and culture websites out there. he was totally cool and chatted with me for an hour about his thoughts on the scene here and answered all of my questions and comments with such thoughtful and insightful responses. getting the backstory on the scene is invaluable info for my book, so it’s not like going to directly quote him or anything, but i will deffo give him a mega-fanks in my book when it’s published. jake dobkin, aka super awesome.

shit guy. totes. HI MUM!
street art is….what? what is it? TELL ME!!
I think i originally saw this piece online, generating some buzz, so when i found it, i got a bit giddy. fuck me if i remember who did it or what it symbolizes. i just think it’s fucking righteous.
aw. pookie.

this dude was skateboarding by as i was taking the shot, and i think he ducked down so he wouldn’t obstruct my view, but i actually wanted him in the frame and timed it perfectly, methinks. FANKS GUY.
ha!
it’s actually called Bogart street, as you can see below, but some clever git bent the sign back so it reads as ART street….and really, that is way more apropos.

i spent a few hours in the Bushwick area at Swallow Cafe which seemed to be populated exclusively by street artists, purveyors, carpenters, people working in mixed disciplines, and hot hot hot hot men in chuck taylors.

i’ll be back to that cafe, fo’shizzle.

the actual area is called WYCKOFF but someone put an A over the Y.
shock me shock me shock me with that deeeeeviant behaviour.

call me crazy, but i look at this, and i see either a replica or an homage to Keith Haring’s work….am i right?
welcome to ChrisTopia. Population: dis gal.

yes yes, ya’ll. i reserved my ticket to the show a month ago, and STILL hadda wait outside in the fricken cold to get in cuz even with a reservation, entry was first-come first-serve basis and i was in the middle-to-back of the line. i eventually got in the studio, but many who reserved were left out in the cold. GET A BIGGER STUDIO, JON! (ps love you)

this is what it says over the door when you enter the building.

they were playing The Kooks on the speakers as i entered the studio. first the warm up guy Paul comes out and chats up the audience, gets us a bit giggly and stupid. when another person in the audience told him they were from Toronto, i screamed “yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” and Paul focuses on me and goes “well you’re much prettier than the last guy.” (true story) So Paul asks my name and what i do. when i tell him i’m a writer, and he asks what kind, i say “I just finished my first book” and the audience gave me a rousing ovation.

awww shucks.

so Paul asks what the title is.

having been in the audience for many a show where comedians rip audience members a new rectum, i said “errr, i don’t wanna tell you!”

cue audience laughter. others shouted “don’t tell him!” and here’s paul insisting “oh no, i wont’ make fun of it, i swear.”

yeah fucking right! so i said, “err…it’s called War and Peace, mkay?”

He got the hint. sorry paul.

so then Jon comes out and we all cheer like groupies. i’ve seen jon stewart live before, about 5 or 6 years ago he did a standup gig at Massey Hall, but for some reason, my memory of that event is rather hazy.
so jon asks if we have any questions for him, a kinda informal Q & A session, and my hand immediately shoots up. he calls upon me with a “yes madame!” yay, first person to ask a question=most memorable surely.
so i ask, “i was wondering if either you or Norm Macdonald (guest on show) have an opinion on the current heart-palpitating (sarcasm) Canadian election?”
and jon says with all the sardonic bite classic to his humour, “who DOESN’T have an opinion, there are too many opinions really…” audience laughs. “yeah your government collapsed, didn’t it” and this girl in the aud from vancouver says the government was “a sham!” to which jon goes “now now, we don’t want canadians fighting here! you do that often enough on the ice. your hockey games are brutal.”
a few more questions from the audience and the show starts. during the first two segments, it was kinda hard from where i was sitting to see jon as the cameras blocked much of his view, but i still could definitely see him.  Jon Oliver’s segment about “oilfrica” in libya made jon piss his pants with laughter when the cameras weren’t on him. during the commercial breaks, two guys with headsets kept talking to jon and saying what didn’t look like too important stuff to occupy his thoughts. i’ve been the audience for other talk shows before, and the hosts there liked to talk to the audience during commercial breaks…not jon. sadness:(

anyway, norm macdonald comes out as the guest (i had perfect view, cameras had shifted position) and jon uses my question from the Q & A earlier to talk to Canuck Norm about our election and our government! i felt pretty chuffed about that. i DIRECTLY AFFECTED The Daily Show. all hail me.

so if you missed the episode, you can watch it in full in canada here or in the usa here.

PAY ATTENTION when watching cuz you can totally hear my laughter standing out in the audience. especially if you know how i laugh, you’ll undoubtably hear me. also when norm comes out and canada is mentioned, you can hear me squeal-shout a bit.

my laugh is kinda stupid-redonkulous and hard to miss.

hahaha, even when in another country, i’m STILL winning like a fiend at Roll Up The Rim.

i saw this car in brooklyn yesterday and had a braingasm. The Big Bang Theory car that sheldon would approve of, surely. 
it’s been hard this past week being in NYC as well. the last two times i was here, it was to visit someone that i have decided i should no longer contact. no bad words have been exchanged between us. in fact, the last time we chatted, it was rather pleasant. i just think any contact now would be somewhat inappropriate.
problem is, i’m trynna make new memories in NYC and it’s hard when i pass by Union Square or the cinema at 19th & Broadway, or go for a run along the Hudson river….even going into Bushwick was a bit of a mind-fuck. i didn’t think i felt this strongly about a person that i really didn’t have that much in common with.
in fact, i’m not even sure i liked this person that much. but refraining from contacting them by my own choice whilst here has been kind of painful. there are ghosts all over the city, and it’s made me rather sad when i stop to think about it.
one good thing about here to work and to write is that i’ve gotten a free 2 week membership at Paragraph, which is the NYC writers centre. I got it for free because i’m a member of the Toronto Writers Centre and they have a reciprocal agreement. the other night after The Daily Show, I was writing at the centre until about 1am. then i was gonna hop on the subway back to astoria….instead i walked up broadway for about 20 blocks in the middle of the night.
in the rain.
listening to misanthropic tunes.
i just  needed to walk and to think….
i still have another week loaded with subcultural adventures to be had.

all i hafta say is, when trying to understand the nature of a city’s stone, don’t stick to the comfortable thin skins of bus tours, museums, and flashy lights. bite down into the meaty layers underneath. become a local. see what isn’t seen from the safety of guidebooks.

no i will not visit the Magnolia bakery or Zabars.

fuck that.

enough blogging, the day is still sunny and adolescent-esque. and the city is awaiting this young canadian lass….