October 2008

General26 Oct 2008 08:49 pm

I’m in the middle of archiving some photos of my Grandmother to send out to various relatives. I thought that these were particularly striking.

They’re really tiny; almost wallet sized, in fact. Although I scanned them at a really high resolution to enable large prints to be made, I rather like them in their smaller format.

General14 Oct 2008 12:19 am

Throughout my life, I’ve often found myself thinking about living in converted spaces. Someone on our street has converted a large walk up apartment into one supersize house, and I would DIE to have a tour of it. I love the idea of living in a warehouse space, or anything not really meant to be lived in, in a traditional sense.

When I visited Limelight, the infamous club in New York City, I didn’t really care about partying. Instead I rushed from room to room checking out all the modifications that had been done to turn the space into a club from a church.

On that same visit to New York City, I was staying at a hostel next to some sort of institution or hospital which looked derelict. Even then I remember thinking “what a cool building.” Seven years later I was find out that it was the former New York Cancer hospital and it was now being sold off as converted condo units. (A fully furnished duplex home on the lower levels of the original hospital includes four bedrooms, six baths and a library over two floors will cost you $7.75 million)

So, obviously not really in my realm of possibilities.

However, lately, I have been thinking more about moving to the east coast. Prices are still astonishingly low, and internet access is common, even in the most remote of areas, apparently. Based on a tip from a coworker, I checked out some listings at Point2Homes. What did I find there, but a church for sale, pews and all.

Can you imagine living in an old church? So amazing! And this place is going for $99,000.

What would I do with it?

Well, I don’t know exactly, but probably something like this.

or maybe like this

(click on the photos to go to a blog entry for more photos and info on the properties)

With a starting price of just under $100,000, think of the kind of palace you can turn it into! Don’t even get me started on the old hospital my brother and I saw for sale in Thunder Bay. Half a million and the place could be yours….

General07 Oct 2008 11:17 pm

I finally cracked tonight and opened the gift that’s been glaring at me for the last two weeks. You may remember it:

Turns out, inside, was…


Thanks, Mr. M!

ps: hi bruce
Food and Food: Las Vegas and Travels07 Oct 2008 12:34 am

I’ve actually lost count of how many times I’ve been to Vegas. It’s either 5 or 6. Every trip I’ve gone on, my love for the city has grown. This is directly related to being choosey about my travel partners and the increase in my income and poker playing skills, naturally.

This trip promises to be a big one. For one, I’m celebrating my 29th (jay-sus) birthday. For another, there may be up to 13 people traveling from my close social circle, and we’ll be there 6 nights. That’s mental. I’m not holding out hope though, as only 5 of us have plane tickets right now. Finally, I’m really excited to try some new restaurants and return to some old favourites.

On the list this time:

  • Bouchon at the Venetian: The breakfast is, hands down, one of the best I’ve had. My dad and I ate there on our last trip in 2007 and we have not stopped talking about it since. The brioche, the hollandaise, the coffee, all amazing. I might go everyday and be a regular the week I’m there. It’s got this lovely patio and the feeling of being in a french bistro hall.
  • Los Tacos (off strip): In Austin, I had the most amazing tacos, and have been thinking about them ever since. I recently found out via EatingLV that this place does fast, authentic tacos, ceviches and other delicious, inexpensive eats.
  • BLT at the Mirage or Stripburger at Fashion Show Mall (blah to the tired Burgerbar) for their unique milkshakes, juicy burgers and PICKLE FRIES. OMG.
  • Tableau at the Wynn, a dim sum or Chinese dining experience and all you can eat sushi or izakaya are also on tap. Also probably a steak place, maybe Delmonico @ Venetian or Craftsteak @ MGM.

Also the usual haunts of Panera, Sonic and Chipotle. You may wrinkle your nose, but we don’t have these here at home, and I desperately miss them.


It’s over two months away still, but I’m depressed because one of my favourite Italian restaurants in the city closed today and I need to find a reason to live, gullet-wise. Until it’s time to go, I promise myself to listen to every podcast Five Hundy by Midnight has ever produced (how did I not know about these guys!) and cry myself to sleep while dreaming of eating at Joël Robuchon.

Food and Travels05 Oct 2008 02:39 pm

Mostly a photo round up from our autumn trip to Calgary.

We had dinner one night at Mysore Palace, which is a restaurant in downtown Calgary that specializes in Southern Indian cooking. They were kind of pushy about making us get the buffet, but we resisted and ordered our own buffet of sorts, which was amazing. Jenn is protectively guarding her vada in this photo. It’s basically a savoury Indian donut, deep fried. In front of Dave and Jenn is the huge papper masala dosa. It was HUGE.

Dave and Jenn are artists. They’ve spent the last several months creating for three shows, one at the Truck gallery, one at the Glenbow museum and one at their gallery, Skew. Here, Mike is looking at their piece for Truck.

Looking for the ‘secret image’ behind the painting.

This is the overall installation, which included tree shaped banners and miniature trees.

And a close up of the painting.

We moved onto the Glenbow, where Dave + Jenn were showing in a show run in conjunction with the Sled Island music festival. Mike is checking out the work of a friend of theirs, Chris Millar.

Before I was scolded for taking photos in the museum (it was hard to refrain; I wanted to document their work!) I managed to get a shot of one of Dave + Jenn’s two sided works. Their work is hard to photograph. It’s layered, and covered in resin, with many different images and colours and layers and dimensions. Intense.

Near the end of my trip, I visited with Jolene, a family and personal friend. After much contemplation, I decided I wanted to check out Nectar Dessert Bar in Inglewood. I swung into Country Hills, a new development where Jolene lives to pick her up and we drove to Inglewood together. Driving in Calgary at night reminds me of driving in an american city, and I really enjoy the experience.

This photo: madeleines (I think?) and fresh meringues.

As I previously mentioned in another post, Nectar was amazing. It costs just under what a nice lunch might, but the atmosphere and presentation make it less painful. In addition to their regular menu items, they also have seasonal items, such as here in the cooler, caramel and chocolate tarts, triple layer berry cake and key lime tarts.

We got tea to start, but later I got a chai latte and I will immediately order that my next visit. Creamy, spicy and honey laden, it was lovely.

“Cream on Cream”: fromage blanc cheesecake, fruit, lemon lavender shortbread cookies and buttermilk ice cream

“Chocolate Pate”: smokey ganache with sour cherry compote, pistachio butter, and vanilla bean sugar cookies

Fresh meringues, on the house, displayed by the lovely Jolene.

The mainstay menu with their regular signature items, and wine pairing suggestions. They run a number of dessert and tasting classes. We’d definitely return. It was a great place to catch up and try some decadent desserts.

I took a number of photos of Dave + Jenn’s house, but I think I like this shot from the kitchen most. They’ve definitely influenced my own decorating style, but I’m not an artist, so I can’t really pull off the artist chic look.

UPDATE: Dave + Jenn were featured in a story by Calgary Herald writer Nancy Tousley! Read more about their work here.