earth angels

golden

How are you? Are you settling into the Fall, or still holding onto Summer? Maybe you’re too busy to notice how you feel about the seasons. Maybe you’re like me –  full-speed ahead at all times until you glance up, weeks later, wondering where the time went. But really, it’s not that life’s passing, it’s me not paying attention to it.

On Monday I was on my way to LaGuardia, typing furiously into my phone, stressing about the emails I wasn’t getting (data roaming, no thanks) and generally having kind of a crap day. It was really hard to find a car and the one that I did find was cash-only, but I didn’t have enough American cash to cover the total. So I asked if I could pay by card.

“I’m sorry but I don’t take credit,” the driver said.

“What do you mean you don’t take credit?” I snapped (I did! I totally snapped at the poor guy)

He shrugged. So then I told him:

“I guess I’ll have to give you the difference in Canadian” Super bratty move. American’s usually scoff at Canadian currency. It’s like Monopoly money to them. But instead:

“Sure,” he said, and shrugged again. “I never had Canadian money before, Maybe I’ll hold onto this – it’s a pretty green colour, this bill.”

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Then he asked me if I was comfortable and if I would ike a bottle of water. His energy was so calm and kind, it slowed my roll. I put down my phone and made a conscious decision to relax. We chatted the entire way to the airport – these were deep chats, let me tell you – about finding peace through meditation, the importance of supporting people, being present with others and forgiveness.

Life is precious. The right moment is always now, no question,” he told me. I shook his hand when I got to the terminal. He never even told me his name.

While waiting for the plane, I started something for work that I was anxious to finish, so when I got to my seat I pulled out my laptop and kept going. Next to me, a sweet little Indian lady fidgeted in her seat, smiling whenever I looked over at her. She wanted to talk, but I wanted to work. Here was an opportunity to practice being present. I closed my laptop, smiled back and introduced myself.

I learned that she was heading to Toronto for a 40+ year reunion with her University classmates, who were flying in from all over the world. This was her first visit to Canada.

“I’m so proud of my friends. Everyone has achieved such great success. And not just that they have made money, because that’s not the most important thing,” she told me. “I’m proudest most of the joy my friends have found and that we still care for each other, after all these years. Life is so very precious, isn’t it?”

It’s pretty clear the universe is trying to tell me something. I need to slow down – put away my phone, quiet my mind, be here now.

Hi.

rest

summer of instagram

LOVE

There were a lot of weddings.

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Which meant a ton of time spent with the best of buds. This was snapped well after the dance floor had been dismantled at Camp Wakonda. I think every Summer wedding should be followed by a bonfire.

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My brother and his boyfriend came to visit for World Pride. So we went on Ru Paul’s Drag Race boat cruise, obviously.

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Shantay, sail away (oh and I went back to being a redhead)

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There were cottage chills (Oh, Inver)

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Sometimes maybe a little too chill.

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Fun times in the city were sort of few and far between this summer. Partly because we only ever wanted to party on the Island (more below) and also because my new job kept me so busy.

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That’s right – I finally got my dream job and flew to NYC for the uptake. Literally ran into this wall on my morning run through Greenpoint one day and took a moment to reminisce about how far I had come. (Never give up!)

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This new human came into existence and life is all the better for it. Eva Catherine, my niece/god-daughter/middle-namesake and I met for the very first time this summer. I think she’s going to be a ginger like her Auntie.

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After the Arcade Fire concert I went to The Ex and somehow managed to get on every ride for free. When they shut down the park we ran into the darkened fun house like hooligans.

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I finally got aboard my good friend’s boat for a Magic Hour cruise and lake swim. Before this day I had never swam in Lake Ontario. We sailed over to the “clean” side of the island and dropped anchor. One, two, three and we were in and it was awesome.

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Marina hangs were the hands-down highlight of the Summer. Whenever we’d all go over – inevitably too late to sail or swim – we’d light a fire on the beach or mosey over to the Upper Deck Bar, where there’s always live music on the outdoor patio. I can’t think of any other place in Toronto where outdoor dancing is such a regular thing. Boat culture in this city rules, how did it take me so long to figure that out?

I can’t believe Summer’s over, but Fall is shaping up to be great too, so there’s that.

Time flies.

 

Summer?

gregorykrum

It’s the last week of Summer.

Summer? Was it summer? I hadn’t noticed.

I’ve laid on only one beach. I’ve gone swimming only three times.  I haven’t been to Shakespeare in the Park or had a picnic in Trinity Bellwoods or any of the usual things I do from June to September. Summer feels different this year and I’m not the only one who has noticed.

I did go to New York. I did go to three really wonderful weddings. I did just get back from a quick visit to Newfoundland. And I do have another NYC trip in a couple weeks to look forward to.

I also maybe always freak out a little when the end of Summer approaches (remember last year)?

Chilling out now.

Photo: Gregory Krum

 

 

 

the big apple, briefly

I went to NYC for work but still made a point to eat out a bunch. How could I not? How people live in NYC and not go out to restaurants every night is beyond me – there are SO MANY of them. And so many of them are fantastic. Here are my newest discoveries:

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Freemans

Freemans isn’t much of a secret anymore but it took me until this visit to finally check it out. It totally lived up to the hype and I had an amazing time, drinking all the drinks and eating all the food. Get the signature cocktail, try the mussels and pace yourself to stay as long as possible.

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The Post Office

On my day off I took myself out to dinner in Williamsburg. I had some anxiety over where to go but found a review somewhere online about this little cocktail bar under the bridge and committed. The food menu is tiny but they have the best grilled cheese sandwich of all time, ever, so why would you want to order anything else? (besides maybe oysters to start). It’s a whiskey bar, predominantly, but the cocktail menu is top shelf. Try the Bitter Molly and sit at the bar.

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Rosarito Fish Shack

Toronto has some killer taco joints, so while I was looking forward to NYC fish tacos, I didn’t think they would be that much better than what I’m used to. Wrong! Rosarito makes some damn fine seafood tacos. It’s a huge place, too, so getting a table isn’t a hassle. I’m partial to the picnic tables outside.

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Roberta’s

So I didn’t actually get a chance to eat here but I did make the trek up to Bushwick for a quick drink. The pizza, I’ve heard, is unreal although the bar is very basic (don’t let the Tiki Bar sign fool you, they don’t have them). There’s a garden, an in-house radio station and cool vibes all around. Bonus: afterwards, stroll over to A+ dive bar, Alaska (funny story, I rolled with my boss’s husband this night and he asked the bartender to chill our tequila shots. I winced, expecting to be swiftly ejected but the bartender let it slide. Thanks man!)

See you in September, Big Apps.