I don’t think that is how any of us expected Game 6 of the ALCS to end. Especially with two guys in scoring position and one run separating us from possible extra innings. I was at FNLROM, but luckily the rain delay allowed me to see the last two innings and I’m glad I got to see it all end. I think my heart would have been even more broken if I had missed it.
Now while we were all heartbroken and disappointed in the moment, the Jays were truly the comeback kids and had a stellar season that we should all be proud of. The Blue Jays were at the top of their game and the team actually felt like a team and not just a bunch of guys thrown together to make Rogers money. Plus they accomplished something the city hasn’t seen in over 22 years. We won the American League East and the ALDS (American League Division Series).
Furthermore, the Blue Jays did something even more amazing than winning those titles – they brought Toronto together and for the first time in a long time, Canada didn’t hate us. If you saw my tweet after Game 6 I said the following:
I truly believe this. Let’s start with Toronto. Blue Flu hit the city in full force Game 1 of ALDS. The amount of people who played hookie that day was probably astronomical. It was predicted that many people would call in sick and my co-worker even showed me a daily HR newsletter with a news article titled along the lines of “How to deal with Blue Flu.” I even convinced the office to play the game in our boardroom that day. In addition, when I was walking down King Street I saw so many people in retro Jays apparel, new Jays apparel and just blue, but those were mostly the bandwagon-ers.
Aside from all the sick calls, the energy was high and the collectiveness we had as a city was amazing. I had the chance to head on down to the #birdsnest to watch that now infamous Game 5 of the ALDS series, where Jose had his famous and meme-worthy bat flip (Image below from Reddit). From high-fiving, hugging, jumping with strangers to, yes I was surprised I allowed this, a peck on the cheek, the energy was high. It was amazing interacting and celebrating with a large group of people who you may otherwise have nothing else in common with. For a single moment, no matter what your differences, whether it interests or socio-economic status, we were all one. Sometimes we forget that and it was amazing to be reminded of it.
Also before I go on I need to make mention of Jose. If you were to ask me to name one Toronto Blue Jay I would automatically name Jose. Jose has been with the Jays for season years and this is his first Post-Season with the team and a well deserved one. The man in my eyes is an iconic Blue Jay and has become the face of many local brands. I have no doubt in my mind he will go down in Blue Jay history and one day be inducted with the likes of Joe Carter and Carlos Delgado in the Rogers Centre. He came through on multiple occasions this post-season and has been a team player through - well mostly the lows up until this year.
Eve n the energy at the Skydome, I refuse to call it Rogers Centre, was phenomenal when I went to Game 5 to the ALCS. I could only get single tickets to the game and had to sit alone away from my friends. However, it was a great experience because I got to meet some many new people. Plus I don’t care what anyone says, Section 538 is the best section in the house. You get to see those homeruns fly by like Colabello’s single, Pillar and his superman moves, the plays at second and third base and you basically get to see the whole dome react.
Also for the month of October, Canada didn’t hate us. Everyone knows that the rest of Canada has this hate for us, so the unity was great! I won’t get into it because this is a blog about love. What I want to say is that Canada was behind Toronto for the first time in a very long one. From Regina to the Atlantic provinces, all of Canada descended to or started cheering on our city. This is different than the Olympics and Pan Am Games because this was our team as opposed to Canada’s.
The Blue Jays brought us so many wins and even though it was not a World Series, they are wins to be proud of. Aside from owning the East and winning the ALDS, the Jays united the country, ignited passion for the home team, restored faith in Toronto sports franchises, put a smile on all of our faces and brought Torontonians and Canadians that much closer to each other. They also told everyone in the MLB that we are fierce competitors and that we are coming back after a 22-year draught.
To the Blue Jays I say congratulations on a phenomenal season. I can’t wait for home opener next year and I truly believe 2015 was just the beginning of an epic few years. After a 22-year drought it is impressive of what we managed to accomplish.
Thank You Toronto Blue Jays.
22 years ago today we won our last World Series to date. Will the Blue Jays force Game 7 and go on to the World Series next week? I think they can!
Nuit Blanche was this past weekend and once again the city became a playground for artists of all mediums who transformed streets, parks, alleyways and buildings into art installations. This year Upasana and I headed out to explore what the city had to offer. There were plenty of wins this year for the events 10th anniversary , which was a relief since the last few years came as disappointments.
1) Le Bosquets by JR
This was by far the most beautiful film installation I have ever seen at Nuit Blanche. This was truly a phenomenal piece from the dancing to the imagery. The film is based on the story of Ladj Ly, the performance of the ballet Les Bosquets for the New York City Ballet and inspired by the riots in the French suburbs in 2005 as it reveals JR’s experience in the ghetto of Montfermeil.
I want to start by saying the dancing was great. The contemporary and hip hop/street fusion was paired together perfectly and the scene of both the dancers on the rooftop was breathtaking. I loved the cutaways from the dance sequence to the 2005 footage as it really gave context of the area. I was captivated by this piece and applaud JR as this was one of many amazing pieces by him that night.
2) ON TILT: 30 AIR DANCERS IN A PARKING LOT – MuchFACT, Queen Street West BIA, Charles Bierk and Spencer Cathcart
Presented by the Queen St. West BIA in association with MuchFACT this piece was a collaboration between two organizations and two of the creative minds behind WayHome Music & Arts Festival, Charles Bierk and Spencer Cathcart. Featuring music videos funded by MuchFACT, the parking lot was filled with 30 air dancers, better known as those things you see waving their arms in front of car dealerships. This was truly so much as it was like a club with really tall skinny people - or just your average night clubbing. People were grabbing the air dancers and dancing with them and I bent one over to make it twerk. Honestly, this was a hilarious and enjoyable installation.
3) Light Cave by
This sculpture reminded Upasana and I of Barcelona’s famed Sagrada Familia and its vaulted colourful ceilings. Now the project is described as a cathedral of spirit utilizing light and colour to create a sensory rich experience.
4) Time of the Empress by Aziz + Cucher
The video installation uses images of modernist buildings suspended in loops of simultaneous construction and disintegration to illustrate historical cycles of growth and decay as well as destruction and renewal. I think this piece really spoke to the current state of Toronto’s urban development. Our historical buildings were built during a time of growth in Toronto, went through decay and were ultimately torn down for the construction of new modern buildings which will soon, sooner than we think, disintegrate.
5) Shoes That Line The Lane by Cyril Williams
I always love when the Bata Shoe Museum does Nuit Blanche exhibits, because I truly believe it is one of the most missed museums in the city and this event invite thousands to the shoebox structure.
Anywhere in the world you will see shoes hanging from a wire. I’ve seen it in the Annex in Toronto, in various spots in the USA and most recently in Berlin. Now Alyse will tell you shoes on a wire means you are entering gang territory, but really to hang a shoe on a wire in public spaces is to honour the personal memories and the lives of those who have had an impact on us.
I saw an interview with the artist and he was telling the stories on what some of the shoes meant to people. One person met a famous celebrity and another found out she was free of cancer. It was great to walk underneath a plethora of shoes that were there for somebody’s most important life moment. .
Honourable mentions: Lost Giants by Heather Schilbli, Inside Out by JR, I Pave by Anchi Lin, Silent Knight by Ekow Nimako
This year I took Upasana to her first Nuit Blanche, which
was a night 10 years in the making - well eight years since I started the event in 2008. As her and I wandered the night streets of
Toronto, memories started flooding of Nuit Blanche’s past. I know this post
should have come before the event, so please forgive me, but here are my 10
Best Nuit Blanche Exhibits from when I started going to the event in 2008.
A Dream of Pastures – Mitchell F. Chan & Brad Hindson (2008)
This interactive light and shadow animation show created a ghostly rider on the side of a building near OCAD.
Bouncing Bride: What Goes Down, Must Go Up - Cath Gordon, Laird MacDonald, Ulysess Castellanos (2009)
Getting married is a joyous occasion. After signing a form confirming I didn’t have any heart problems/ my fake marriage license, I climbed up a giant cake to jump with my bride. Then it was over and I had to head down the path of divorce. This is the one and only time I’ll get married.
One At A Time – Group Exhibition (2010)
This was multiple exhibits located in Hart House. The one that really caught my attention was one where you had to exit a room by going between two naked bodies – one male and one female. What I found interesting was the way in which each person faced while exiting. The majority of men went face to face with the female, while many of the women went face to face with the male. There was a good number women who exited face to face with the female, but the number of men exiting towards the naked male were almost non-existant. This leads me to believe that this exhibit was an experiment on sexuality.
Vexations – Marin Arnold & Micah Lexier (2010)
Erik Satie wrote instructions on his score to repeat the motif 840 times. Many people of taken the challenge and have played the motif 840 times, which has taken over 15 hours. This exhibit sought to do the same, but with only 12 hours they need the help of two pianists. After each motif was played, a sculpture was made from each score.
Limelight: Saturday Night – Sans Facon
Two streetlights were transformed into theatre spotlights turning the street into a stage.
12 Hour Dolly – Dylan Reibling (2011)
A camera on a circular dolly filmed for 12 hours straight and Nuit Blanchers had the chance to go centre stage and participate in the film. I remember one girl sitting in the middle eating an apple and this memory has stood out in my mind all these years.
All Night Convenience - Rhond Weppler & Trevor McHousky (2012)
This was super neat. This pop-up corner store has over 2000 small lanterns that lit up everyday products. Each guest that entered the store had the opportunity to take a product. One by one the store got darker and darker before it closed.
Planes – Trisha Brow Dance Company (2012)
This dance piece looked at using alternative spaces as a dance floor where the dancers would use and defy gravity. Dancers were rolling and climbing a vertical structure discovering the steepness and difficulties of it.
Forever Bicycle – Ai Weiwei (2013)
Who can forget this masterpiece that brought thousands of bikes into the middle of Nathan Phillips Square.
Garden Tower – Tadashi Kawamate (2013)
Evoking the myth of Babel Tower is this sculpture of chairs. However, this was more than just a tower of chairs, but a tornado of memories from the people who have sat in them.
A Dream Boutique
I really love this vendors selection of greeting cards for they are very decently priced and are clean and simple in their design. My personal favourite is the card with a camera on it that reads “Believe in your #selfie.” The collection also features cupcake toppers, invitations, banners, gift tags and more.
| @adreamboutique ( & )
Handsome and Lace
It seems that every market you go to there is a new men’s neckwear/ pocket square designer. I think at the last Midnight Mrkt I attended, th ere were at least three people selling bowties, ties and pocket squares. Up until now I have been a big supporter of Just Sultan, Precious Pocket and The Common-Folk. Now I am adding Handsome and Lace to that list.
Yes, she does bowties, ties and pocket squares with cool patterns that are reversible, but what really caught my attention were her tie necklaces. It is a very simple concept that I have honestly never seen before. These mini-ties are simply attached to a chain and are meant to be worn as a necklace (see below). I was so intrigued and in love with them that I bought the maroon polka dot one because I truly think it is a statement piece that will start conversation. I really find this to be a unique spin on the tie and something that not only caters to men, but women as well.
h | (Instagram) | (Twitter)
DIY is a trend that doesn’t look like it will die anytime soon. From home renovations, bike repairs to knitting there is something fulfilling about doing it yourself. Kiriki Press is a brand that empowers its clientele with its handcrafted embroidery kits, which can be done by first timers or seasoned veterans.
What I love is the end result of this brands product – which is something more than being just adorable. On the website it says you “create beautiful, heirloom-quality dolls…” I like that word heirloom, because it truly illustrates what I love about shop local products – they are built to last with quality materials that support local industry.
| @kirikipress ( & )
A tribute the Brownie sash, this brand sells badges. I was never a Sco ut, but I did watch Disney Pixar’s Up! so I know you earned badges for tasks you completed. Lee Meszaros kind of follows that tradition, but with badges that are awarded based on your personality and characteristics. For example in her “Wilderness Collection” she has a “Being a Happy Camper” Badge which I would give to Connor, because he truly loves camping; For my sister I would give her the “Leaving the Nest” Badge as she flew all the way to England; Sook-Ling would get “Being Innocent as a Lamb” because the only thing that girl ever got in trouble/ ticketed for was eating a sandwich on the Hong Kong subway system; my mom would get “Being a Busy Beaver,” because she works her ass-off and when I find that special someone they’ll get the “Apple of my Eye” badge. She has a badge collection for possessions, wilderness, food, animals or winged-ones, meaning there is a badge to be bestow ed on everyone you know.
I told the owner of Little Bellwoods that her brand couldn’t get any cuter – and that was the truth. I look at her toys and remind myself of Ronald, my Cabbage Patch friend, who was my loyal companion when my parents were away or my protector when the boogieman threatened my dreams. I look at these toys with their adorable faces and just think to myself that one of these toys will become some kid’s companion, protector, safety blanket and/or friend. That really warms my heart to think of that and it is those thoughts t hat reignite my interest in having children.
Anyways, Little Bellwoods has so many cute toys from sleeping skunks, birds with sailor hats and the iconic/ infamous Trinity Bellwoods White Squirrel.
| @littlebellwoods (& )
Thorn & Needle
I hate plants. I find their thirst for water super annoying. One tim e at the office our old Office Manager left me in charge to water the plants while she went off on vacation and by the time she came back, most of them were in the process of dying or dead. I can’t even keep my mom’s cacti alive, which will be a shock to them when they return from 5 months out west.
I digress. Thorn & Needle offers the plant that never dies. The concept is of a small knitted cactus plant. I really love this because at first glance from afar they look like real cacti, however once you get a bit closer you start to see the intricate knits made by the creator. Furthermore, according to his Instagram, the Etsy Made in Canada Show this past weekend was his first craft show! He seemed like a pro though!