This Just in...

Cute bags for spring
Hudson Bay Centre

He's mesmerized by her psychedelic coat
Indigo Books

Oh Jessica, why didn't you wear THIS at the Oscars?

Spring is here!
Teatro Verde

More White House than my house
Teatro Verde

Your guess is as good as mine
Feheley Fine Art

70% off don't mean shite when you're broke

Is this resto - True - trying to tell me something?

There's a Statue of Liberty down the block, so I guess the sculptures were done for Obama

I see 100 Yorkville's coming along nicely

Wouldn't mind living here if it weren't so close to traffic

Hot spot with the Queen West theatre crowd
Epicure Cafe

Helloooo Miss Fancy Tights!
It's a trend

Popular burger joint
Queen St. W

Creepy buildings around Queen's Park & ...

...the University of Toronto campus

I'll do a feature on this part of town later

Nice stone work - I hope they never tear it down

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - aka the frickin' nuthouse
1001 Queen St. W

My neighbour is one fugly ass building

Alexander McQueen
Christian Dior: Haute Couture
Tilda for AnOther



Shawn Micallef

A Chorus of [murmur]s
We first encountered EYE WEEKLY contributor Shawn Micallef in 2004, when our then associate editor (now City editor) Edward Keenan was working on a story about the absence of historical plaques in Toronto. For a city with a then-severe (and still lingering) identity crisis — “world class,” anyone? — our lack of pride and self-confidence seemed tragically mirrored by the failure to trumpet our own significant past on the streets where people could see it; to create what then-EYE WEEKLY editor Bert Archer later called “a city of the imagination” by mythologizing our locations and personalities.

We dialed up Micallef, who was a co-founder of the then-new [murmur] project, which took a more grassroots, less official approach to recording local history — literally recording it, on audio tape, and then making it available in snippets via cellphone to people standing on the street. A pedestrian encountering a [murmur] sign on a hydro pole could phone an number and hear a person tell them a story about the very place they were standing.

Shawn Micallef @ eyeweekly.com

Shawn Micallef writes the Psycho Geography column for Eye Weekly.


"The Other"

Riding the Rocket on Queen St. W
by Metrix X

Riding the Rocket on Queen St. W
by Metrix X

Queen West
by NyxProject.com

Queen West
by doug mcneall

Bovine Sex Club benefit for the Queen W. fire
by karen bowness

Active Surplus on Queen W.
Interesting Queen West by Kevin Steele

Upper Canada College
by Phil Marion

122 Old Forest Hill Rd.
by flickr prestigeliving

OCAD (Ontario College of Art)
by Rik Abel

by openended

Malvern Town Centre spelling bee
by Derek Lee,MP

Pacific Mall
by bittermelon

Pacific Mall: North America's largest Asian shopping centre

Kensington Market
by openended

Kensington Market
by openended

Kensington Market cheese shop
by photo nuevo

1398 Queen St. W
True Parkdale by Kevin Steele

1267 Queen St. W.
True Parkdale by Kevin Steele

Taste of the Danforth festival
by Torontoist

Queen West/Kensington by ettml
toronto, on by ardenstreet
My Toronto by Toronto Paul
The Junction Region of Toronto by rodolfo novak
[all pics: flickr.com]

Toronto is All in Your Head
by Sean Micallef
Eye Weekly - 02/05/09

Most people's concept of city is full of silly walls and no-go zones

There are unseen barriers all over Toronto. We hear about them sometimes and they informally tell us where we can and can't go. If a collective map of how Torontonians view their city could be visualized, it would be divided and walled up like Berlin during the Cold War, with vast dark and unknown patches. We often lock ourselves into pockets of the city, shrinking the size of our metropolis.

Some of this is unintentional. We easily get into habits and routines; it helps us get things done. If our friends and favourite stores and, if we're lucky, even our work are in the same area, we'll naturally stay in that area. Living locally makes for smaller carbon footprints and more time for everything else.

Certain parts of the city also have more stuff going on, so it's natural that they become common places of congestion. Petula Clark sang a song called "Downtown", not "Uptown" or "Post-War Suburb" - there's a reason people head to where many things are located, and that concentration is part of what makes cities attractive.

Fetishising a neighbourhood turns insidious when it leads to the balkanization of Toronto. The worst is an often-heard West-Queen-West hipster sentiment that goes something like, "I never go north of Bloor, there is nothing there." I sometimes respond to this with an equally stupid comment like, "I never go south of Dundas because it's full of venereal disease-ridden hedonists." The downside of this kind of thinking is two-fold: it devalues other neighbourhoods and limits how much of the city people think they are allowed to experience.

The hipsters are not alone in this feeling (but are the most obnoxiously vocal about it, mostly in online media) as the city blinders go in all directions. I've met folks who live in North Toronto whose sons went to Upper Canada College, who only shop at Holts in Yorkville and go to the Second Cup in Forest Hill Village when they need a coffee. Some of my OCAD students are familiar with either Malvern Town Centre or Pacific Mall, but have rarely walked through Kensington Market. Why not just move to (lovely) Cornwall and pay much cheaper rent if your city-footprint is going to be so small?

Worse, these dark patches on our mental map can become malignant. For that UCC parent, Queen West and Malvern are where people get shot and little else. When parts of the city are unknown and unfrequented, they seem farther away and they can easily be innaccurately perceived, as your undergrad philosophy course may have suggested, as full of "The Other".

Is there any value to breaking out? If life is fine in the neighbourhood, why go elsewhere? The shame is missing out on what else Toronto has to offer.

When a friend went through a breakup recently I encouraged him to date a nice girl from north of Lawrence. Maybe Don Mills, or perhaps Agincourt. Then we would have an excuse to go there socially.

Culturally, reason to break out of our routines may come whether we like it or not. The same gentrifying forces that have pushed artists west along Queen into and out of Parkdale will move venues and event spaces with them. You've likely already been to a "downtown" event in The Junction or east on the Danforth. The more you move around Toronto, the less far away that party in Willowdale will seem.


Power Blondes

To the death, bitches!

I'M the Unsexiest Woman Alive? Why, is Margaret Thatcher dead?!?

I'm ready for my close up, dammit!

If TMZ sponsored a cage match between Kate, Sarah and Sharon, who would win?

1. First pick of the choicest roles in the most Oscar-worthy movies
2. An entire issue of Vanity Fair dedicated to YOU
3. A sex tape of YOU & your 22-year-old Brazilian masseur "mysteriously" leaked to the media
4. Multiple hit-making duets featuring YOU with Timbaland, Timberlake and Mariah
5. An Oscar-worthy, behind-the-scenes documentary about YOU
6. An entire line of John Galliano couture inspired by YOU
7. 10 Manolo Blahniks named after YOU & YOUR MOODS - eg. The Pissed Parker or The Haughty Winslet or The Vulgar Stone
8. Movie theatres named after YOU in every impoverished nation in the world
9. First pick of the cutest, most depraved Third World orphans for YOU to adopt/exploit
10. YOU will become a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador FOR LIFE
11. YOU/YOUR CHOICE of dubbed pop starlet will sing the national anthem at ANY OR ALL Super Bowls
12. YOU will have a prominent seat at the dining table of the Leader of the Free World AND get to influence foreign policy
13. YOU AND ONLY YOU will get to produce any movie YOU WANT
14. Any critic of YOU or YOUR WORK will be executed UPON YOUR DEMAND

Party Fashion
Party Poopers
Academy Awards
Saaay What?


The Perfect Man

No - not him. He's a turd.
But for me, the perfect man would have BJ's face, hair and body. As well as...

...George Clooney's debonair sex appeal...

...Clive Owen's smoldering air of mystery...

...Daniel Day-Lewis' poetic soul...

...Patrick Bateman's sense of entitlement...

...Rahm Emanuel's "Don't fuck with me" attitude...

...Marcus Samuelsson's culinary skills...

...Bill Clinton's down-home Southern charm...

...Jon Stewart's intellectual humour...

...Paul Rudd's goofy sensibility...

...and if he can sing like Chris Cornell? OMG, I'm his.



Jerome Robbins
Elton John