8/31/2008

My Fave Things

frame - Black's - Holt Renfrew Centre // calendar pic by Japanese photog - Science City - Holt Renfrew Centre


notebook - Indigo (book store) - Manulife Centre // Butterfly magnet - Rafters - Hudson's Bay Centre // bowl w/lid - The Bay - Bloor & Yonge // storage case - Crabtree & Evelyn - Hazelton Lanes



necklace - The Bay



necklace - The Bay



necklace - The Bay



necklace - The Bay



bracelets - The Bay // vase - Rafters



cuff bracelet - The Bay



shoe - Guess - Bloor & Yonge // green storage bin - The Bay



bracelet & green ring - The Bay // red ring - Ardene - Hudson's Bay Centre // notecards - Indigo //Mario Testino coffeetable book - BMV Books - Yonge & Eglinton


yellow belt - Jacob - Manulife Centre // decorative plate - Rafters // blank greeting cards - gift store - Holt Renfrew Centre



reddish orange vase - Club Monaco // tea mug - The Tea Emporium - Hazelton Lanes // glass vase - Rafters



metal wall art - Rafters



metal wall art



tourquoise glass dish - The Bay



purse - shoe boutique -Hudson's Bay Centre // Toronto Life's Eating & Drinking guide // Pablo Picasso by MOMA - "borrowed" from family member



shoe - shoe boutique - Hudson's Bay Centre // Toronto City Walks tour guide cards - Teatro Verde - Hazelton Lanes // Giant Graphics coffeetable book - BMV Books



jewelry box - The Bay



cat lamp - Rafters



storage case - Crabtree & Evelyn



clutch - shoe boutique - Hudson's Bay Centre



shoe - Guess



handbag - Winners - Bloor St.



Do you remember when I said I like to shop in my neighbourhood? Well, here's the proof! Everything's from around these parts except the coffeetable books. I support the local economy!

Rafters is a favourite store of mine. They sell reasonably-priced giftware & decor items & there's always something new on display. I stop by often, as you can see. I probably have over a dozen of their items at my place & maybe helped put one of their kids through college.

The Bay is my one-stop shop for costume jewelry. Located on racks next to their bustling makeup counters, the pieces they sell are bold but not overwhelming - just my style.
They've decor items upstairs including tons of different storage containers of which I can never have enough.
Their fashion choices cater to a more...uh, let's say "mature" crowd. Maybe 60-year-olds? Not for me, thanks.

When it comes to fashion, I definitely stop by Guess from time to time. Their take on the trends is borderline hussy which is probably why I always come away with something lol.

And that yellow belt? A steal from Jacob at $15 on sale. Yellow's hot this season so while you won't ever see me in an all-yellow dress, I'll pair that beautiful belt with a grey Jacob dress to add more interest to it. I tried on the dress with the belt last week & they looked great together but funds were so tight I had to put the dress back. That hurt because you know by the time I manage to afford it, they probably won't have my size. Fingers crossed it's still there!

Shopping's one of my passions, there's no doubt about it. I love buying something unique that won't break the bank - it's like finding buried treasure. And when someone compliments me on one of my finds, that's the icing on the cake. Of course, I have to tell them where I got it from & how much it cost because I'm so incredibly proud of myself; I'm a giver, what can I say?

Now the fall season's here which means more shopping! Let's see, I need boots & shoes & coats & sweaters & jeans & jewelry & a new job...

8/28/2008

Bars & Nightclubs





Century Room
580 King St. West
Century Room

Cheval
606 King St.West
Cheval

C Lounge
456 Wellington St.West
C Lounge

fluid
217 Richmond St. West
fluid

Hotel Boutique Lounge
77 Peter St.
Hotel Boutique Lounge

Lobby
192 Bloor West
Lobby

nyood
1096 Queen St. W
nyood

This Is London
364 Richmond St.West
This is London

Ultra Supper Club
314 Queen West
Ultra Supper Club

Club Life T.O.

Eatery Reviews

Nyood

Blowfish
IT'S LATE Thursday night and the room is packed at Blowfish, the nearly-unmarked King West restaurant that has set the tone for the area's self-conscious commercialism. Cruising club cougars sip $9.50 Nishibi Martinis while a downtown crowd in the dining room, their faces aglow in the active lighting, picks over portions of seared octopus and architectural towers of Albacore tuna. [...]

I HAD just come back from living in San Francisco where so many sushi restaurants were hard to beat! I have to say that this one can really compete with those in the Bay Area. Beautiful decor and atmosphere. Perfect for a night out on the town and worth the money. It's a great experience. Will go back soon! (More reviews: MartiniBoys.com)
668 King St. W. // 416-860-0606
Blowfish

Cowbell
No other local resto captures the current culinary zeitgeist as accurately as Mark Cutara's Cowbell. Subscribing to the food philosophy that what grows together goes together, the iconclastic chef not only butchers his own naturally raised beef, but also grows organic veggies on his roof. Why, he even churns his own butter. Toss in a perfectly sized room, calm, focused service & a soundtrack conducive to conversation & the foodies deservedly flock. (NOW Magazine - Nov.08)
1564 Queen St. West (@ Sorauren) // 416-849-1095
Cowbell

Four
It is being billed as the "first healthy, upscale restaurant created to offer guests top quality, chef-driven dishes without all the calories normally associated with high end cuisine." Don't expect diet fare. These dishes are healthy without losing out on flavour. (martiniboys.com)
Four is an outstanding food experience. The imaginative combinations of ingredients combined with the freshness and quality makes this place a regular occurrence with foodies. (martiniboys.com: Jne.08)
Great looking place but the food was a little bland and seemed a bit filler-ish. But, the place is new so I guess it's a learning experience. The seats were really uncomfortable. Bar looked great but a little disjoined from the rest of the place. Couldn't tell whether this was a restaurant or a bar or even both. It's even located in a food court. Might be one of those places that will suffer an identity crisis in a bit. Service was friendly but not anything I can write home about. She looked good but didn't know much. No experience there. I would still come back in a couple of months to see how it progresses though. (martiniboys.com: Jne.08)187 Bay St.//416-368-1444

Gladstone Hotel
by Steven Davey (NOW Magazine: Jun.07)
Most bar kitchens keep their sozzled punters happy with a tried & true menu of artery-clogging crap. So the Gladstone should be applauded for including daily specials like pan-seared duck breast...
Back in '81, Queen West restos had a deserved reputation for service with a sneer. But to encounter the same attitude nearly 3 decades later at the Gladstone is nostalgia we can live without.
1214 Queen West//416-531-4635
Gladstone Hotel

Marben
VISUALLY, Marben is stunning. Obviously a creature of the night, she's sensuously done up in black with strategic, sparkling accents...Resto-lounges often suffer from a downward spiral on the service end when the music is loud & the pretty crowd clamours for their drinks at 10pm on a weekend night. But on a quiet Thursday evening, friendly servers have time for chit-chat & menu explanations. Whether this remains the case as the joint becomes more established remains to be seen. But early indications are that in look, taste & service, the Marben crew have achieved the mystical balance between substance & style. (Eye Weekly: Jun.07)

THEY have a great patio, though it may rain tonight. I eat at Marben on a regular basis and can recommend the pepper rolls, crab cakes and shrimp rolls..The tuna salad is very nice and all the mains are very good..(chowhound.com: Aug.08)

This is one of the few restaurants that does a better job with mains than appetizers...Decent enough service but the mandatory gratuity for large groups and insistence on providing only ONE bill for a group of 11 people (what happened to at least offering to split the bill into halves or thirds to get us out of there on time?) meant we didn't tip as much as we would have normally. (chowhound.com: Aug.08)488 Wellington St. W//416-979-1990//Meal for 2 = $150
Marben

nyood
[DesignLinesMagazine.com]
Opulent high ceilings and stainless steel doors at Nyood (pronounced nude) set the mood for this resto/nightclub, where owner Hanif Harji and chef Roger Mooking (the duo behind King Street East’s Kultura) brought in designers Hamid Samad and Sara Parisotto of Commute Home to deck out the space’s sweeping interior with ├╝ber-hip lighting fixtures with exposed bulbs and industrial cords, walls covered in handwritten words or textured to look like tree bark, and a polished Cipollini marble bar. The tapas menu is crafted for sharing: lamb fougasse flatbread with goat cheese and roasted tomatoes, artisanal charcuterie and braised short ribs, followed by chocolate espresso mousse, among other sugar-infused desserts.
1096 Queen St. W.//416-466-1888
nyood

Pizza Rustica
by Steven Davey (NOW Magazine: May 07)
Pizzas are obviously what Rustica is all about, & the namesake pie gets it exactly right - a thin cracker crust brushed with sauce & layered with skinny lengths of somewhat salty prosciutto, sliced button mushrooms, roasted red pepper & lotsa mozza' ($13).
But why are Rustica's crusts - properly charred underneath & blistered around the edges - fluorescent orange?
"It's yellow food colouring," says our cheerful server. "Don't worry, it's all natural. Sometimes the kitchen gets it wrong & the pizzas come out pink!"
270 Wellington West//416-260-0200//$30 per person
Pizza Rustica

Rawlicious
by Edward Keenan (eyeweekly.com/review/article/33855)
Offering a remedy for now-clogged arteries, this year's catchphrase is organic & veggie: The Beet Cafe is mostly vegetarian & all organic; the Sweet Potato organic supermarket is only a block away. Between those fancy-stroller magnets, construction has begun on the Toronto location of Vancouver veggie-hipster institution The Foundation.
Now, a few blocks west, is Rawlicious, Toronto's second vegan, organic, raw food restaurant.
(The other is Live, which we rated flawless a few years ago.)
3092 Dundas West//416-551-3161//Dinner for 2 = $70

Terroni
by Steven Davey (NOW Magazine: Jan.08)
Terroni has grown exponentially to become Toronto's favourite pizzeria: the local chain has taken over the Courthouse on Adelaide East.
The new site is undoubtedly luxe. A series of rooms with vaulted ceilings that date back to the 1850s, it comes with a casual cafe up front & a larger dining atrium to the rear with twin roaring fireplaces.
Terroni's handmade noodles are the real deal. But what about the pizza? I order 2 to go & what's shocking is what's not there. Has the kitchen never heard of fresh basil? An entire Terroni pizza weighs virtually the same as a slice anywhere else, so lightweight it could qualify as Lean Cuisine.
Mies van der Rohe famously posited that less is more. The size of the pies at Terroni shows that less is also much more expensive.
57a Adelaide East (& other locations)//416-203-3093//$45 per person
Terroni

8/26/2008

Chez Moi

A June dawn in 2007: Is this one of the best views in town? Yes, yes it is.



July dawn



A cold, blistery New Years Day
2008



Behind those trees lies the posh nabe of Rosedale



Building on the left is Manulife & to the right (in black) is Unilever



Gorgeous June sunset, 9pm'ish
2007



Street level lobby



Sconce in the street level lobby



Lobby #2



Lobby #2: opposite end of the hall



The facade shot at a cool angle



Loving the way the light filters through the curtains



My humble abode :)



"The three most important things about real estate is location, location, location."

I live chez moi, located close to Bloor & Yonge, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. I feel fortunate to be here & I always say that when I move, I'll miss the fantastic views the most.

The condos sit above Bally's Fitness Club & beneath that is The Bay (store) & the Hudson's Bay Centre (a retail concourse). Through the concourse, you can walk straight into the Bloor-Yonge Subway or continue underground to The Holt Renfrew Centre (25 stores at 50 Bloor W.,including the high-end Holt Renfrew) & the Manulife Centre (more stores - not the office building in my pics) at 55 Bloor W.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that it's hard as hell to hang on to my money in this neighbourhood. I pretty much do all of my shopping within a 1 block radius of where I live. Outside, there's Guess, H&M & Le Chateau for (most of) my clothing needs, restos & eateries galore, the infamous Brass Rail (strip) Club, the seedier side of Yonge Street as you head south towards Wellesley & its uppercrust version as you head north to Rosedale & Summerhill.

If you take a stroll west of Yonge along Bloor St., don't forget your Platinum Card or you'll have to content yourself with window shopping at Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Escada, Swarovski Crystal, Holt Renfrew (with their eye-catching window displays) etc. Hey, it's what I do when I walk by, so rest assured you'll be in good company.

(On a side note, there was objection by the jewel-encrusted "label whores" when Winners moved into this part of town. If you're in the States, think Target but with discounted Nine West goods & the like. Winners is popular, just not with the hoity-toity crowd.)

About a 15-minute walk from Bloor & Yonge is Whole Foods, my salvation amongst a sea of deep-fried goodies & burning garlic (I've sworn off the junk food, I swear). It's located in the once hip, then posh, now totally under construction & soon-to-be-even-more-gastronomically-expensive neighbourhood of Yorkville (more on this in a future post).

Do I love living here? Yes. Is it noisy & chaotic? Oh hell yeah, & I wouldn't have it any other way. What can I say? I love the vibe of city life. It hustles & bustles during the day & bares its fangs at night if you're not self-aware & on-the-ball.

I've heard complaints that Toronto's too quiet, especially compared to Montreal & New York. Well, so be it. I like a level of chaos I can handle - I don't want to feel buried under it or overwhelmed by it. And besides, every town has its plusses & minuses.
Personally speaking, I think T.O. (as we sometimes call it) is a bit too reserved & conservative. But if the trade-off is a cleaner subway system, a level of politeness you take for granted as a native dweller, less gun violence (although that's changing) & fewer vermin (I'm looking at you, New York, with your cat-sized rats & roaches as household pets), then I'll take it hands down over any other alternative.

This may be why I've been reluctant to renew my passport. I've been to other countries which were nice, but none of them felt like home. Of course, if I live abroad for at least a year, I might change my tune. But why would I want to when everything I need is right here?

8/24/2008

Hello, It's Me!

Mexican street art

I'm missdelite & I'll be your host for as long as you'll have me, or at least until I get tired of this blogging thing. Yes, this is blog #5! What's going on, you may ask? Heck if I know! All I know is it started with a bunch of pics gathering dust on my computer & now this. I've got too much free time, that's what it is. Or TV sucks right now - how about that?

Anywhoo, this blog will be about me & my Toronto, just like the title says. Not all of me or this ginormous town, just snippets here & there of what makes us hum, buzz, twitter & twitch. I've been using my camera phone so please excuse the quality of my pics for the next little while. Actually, some of them aren't half bad, considering.

In case you're wondering, I was born & raised in Toronto & my background is Guyana, South America. I'm made up of 5 different ethnicities: Chinese (1 quarter), Portuguese, African, East Indian & Amerindian. Quite exotic! But very much typical of the Carribean region, for even though Guyana is in S.America (& its only English-speaking country), the culture is more like Barbados than Venezuela.

What else can I tell you about me without giving too much away? Well, I went to Oakwood Collegiate Institute high school & did 2 years at the University of Toronto. There, I took science as part of the pre-med program which was a huge mistake because my strengths in high school were art & English. I gotta tell you, university was hard! I left it behind very much disappointed with the experience & myself but that's neither here nor there anymore. Let's just say it was a heck of a lesson to learn, something along the lines of "Don't let anyone tell you what to do with your life" etc. etc.

Took many years of dance lessons as a kid (ballet, gymnastics, jazz & modern) & played violin & then viola for about 9 years in various school orchestras. It was there I developed an appreciation for classical music. And yes, I LOVE music! (Sorry, I'm not shouting at you but I don't know how to do italics.)

My father played the radio all day long every day when I was growing up & he also exposed me & my brother to the classic songs of his & his parent's generation, hence my reason for creating Miss Delite 3 (Life is Music). I simply feel there's so much great stuff out there that needs to be in one place in order to fully appreciate it. I'm still stuck in the 60s & 70s over at MD3 because those decades are rich rich rich with many of my favourites. I fully intend to make my way through to the 90s & hopefully beyond that but to be perfectly honest, it's a rare event when I hear a great song these days. That may have to do with the fact that the only time I listen to the radio is when I'm in a cab & then it's just non-stop ads sprinkled with Disney-esque/American Idol-ish/Hip Hop-horrific crap.

Miss Delite 2 (What Up Bitches?) is the polar opposite of Miss Delite (Do It With Style), my original blog. From MD I'm sure it's evident by now that I love nice things & even though I can't afford most of what I feature over there, I can still appreciate quality, creative flare & great style. However, let's face it, there's a flip side to the perfect world represented on MD that's at times hilarious & sometimes downright awful. There's really no use pretending it doesn't exist so why not shine a spotlight on this tarnished world we live in & have a good laugh at it or at least, a very hearty groan.

As for Miss Delite 4 (Now You Know), well, I've been collecting clippings of interesting articles on every topic under the sun for about 4 years now. I keep them in these full-to-bursting binders & I really want to toss them out because I'm a typical Virgo who can't stands clutter. I figure I might as well get this stuff up online although I'll be 90 years old before I'm done. If I were rich I'd hire some pimply-faced tween to do the grunt work because I'm charitable that way lol.

And believe it or not, I'm actually considering adding a 6th blog! This one will have to do exclusively with sex & relationships, topics which I find very interesting to say the least. My knowledge in these areas is practically "virginal" compared to more "seasoned" bloggers in this field but you know that isn't going to stop me, right? Besides, where else can I put up links to my favourite bondage sites???

So stay tuned, hoes & johns - missdelite's here & she ain't done yet!