Still Searching, Still Finding

It’s been awhile since I posted about music. I used to love sharing thoughts on favourite songs and tracks- ones that I’m sure would get radio play and ones that would never reach 5 000 streams.

I loved them all the same.

Here are the songs I listened to today

1. Driving back to Toronto listening to some pop radio station cause I love indie and pop when I drive. Man listen, it’s catchy and you know it.

2. Played out this heater when I walked to eat paella at Carmen for a birthday dinner with my girlfriends. I ate too much chorizo and potatoes bravas, but it reminded me of Barcelona- and that’s my soul right there.

 

3. While researching  some new contracts and jobs I would reallllllly like to land. (Also eating popcorn)

 

Night.

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The Definitive Ranking of a Selected Assortment of Croissants in Toronto

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It’s that time of year again, where I bless you with all the hard work, research, and eating I’ve done the past year to give you the Definitive Ranking of a Selected Assortment of Croissants in Toronto.

Last edition of this was inspired y a Miss. Natassha Cruz after asking me where the best croissants were around where we worked- King and John. Any snack lover will tell you this is not the best food area in Toronto. Luckily, this past March, Syd and I moved to snack mecca of Toronto- Dundas and Ossington. The increase in walkable great snacks has had a direct correlation with an increase in happiness. Most places featured on this list are in around home base but others are listed that I’ve just come across- no croissy is safe.

Below please see a selection of shops and restaurants serving croissants and all relevant information- including address, availability, over ranking and comments.

(Yes you have to zoom in. Sorry- I’m not a developer, I’m a snacker.)

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I hope you have a very flakey, buttery, beautiful day.

Missed The Morning Pulse

 

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I know, I’ve been quiet for a little bit. Well, at least online anyways, I don’t think I’m ever quiet in real life.

However, I am trying to change this.

I want to write more, and the best way to do that, is to just do it.

So hi! Me again.

Update on life: working three (and a half) jobs, all part time, all helping me fulfill different goals in my life. A little lost, but inspired and energized as well. Today really helped with the energizing. I head to Chicago in three weeks with my twin flame. Stay tuned for Chi Flames edition. If you know about Los Flames (Angeles) or Sassfransisco, you know it’s going to be a wild time. Luckily, the 3.5 jobs allow me to take this mini weekend getaway.

Job #1: Equinox- Why not work for one of the best and most recognized brands in North America? I love the community and the people especially- really inspiring and very motivating in helping achieve fitness and health goals. I like it. I have a trainer and he helps me ~schlurpppp~ – which is Claire-speak for tighten. He gets me.

Job #2: La Palma- Trendy and hipstery restaurant on Dundas W. V cool and delish spot. I support. No really, that’s the title “Support” I essentially do everything- but take orders. Yes, I would rather be getting that server guap. But for now, this does the trick. Great people, a little mundane with the tasks, but there’s very little stress and the ability to come and go and book time off is the best thing about service. I’m also doing my best to learn about wine so hopefully will be serving Perseco and selling flat irons all damn day soon enough.

Job #3: Giftgowns- A meaningful and great opportunity presented to me by my cousin, Katie. I work doing influencer outreach, cold calling, and every odd job in between to help get this start up to a scale up and beyond. We work out of the DMZ at Yonge and Dundas, today was my first full day in the office- errr space. It’s going.

So for the first time in about 5 months, I was up at 7:30, I got out of bed a half hour later, and was out the door and grabbing a bagel at Schmaltz Appetizing (see pic [new location Dundas and Oss WHATS GOOD?!]) by 8:30, office by 9am via Dundas 505.

In the time I have been absent from the morning commute, I almost forgot about the pulse. I missed it. I missed the pace of the mornings in the city. The hustle. When you work off hours you lose the beat; you miss the steps. Today, I got that feeling again.

To go get it.

I did work all morning.

I grabbed my lunch at the Eaton’s Centre. Well, my banana and oat bar from Starbucks- still full from bagel.

Worked all afternoon. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle. 

I made plans for after work- meeting Maria at Patois then the Nicolas Jaar concert.

Little things- the routine of it all.  I forgot how much I missed it all.

I rescheduled my training session tomorrow for 9:30am. I wanted to feel the morning pulse again. The traffic of rush hour doesn’t bother me much. It means people are working, the community is thriving. Flourish. One time.

Oh, you want to know what the half job is? I’ll get back to writing about it soon, I promise.

When the Desert Feels Like Home

I went to Coachella.

However, by venturing into the desert I actually went home.

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The talent at Coachella is second to none. There are definitely aspects of the festival where improvements can be made, but in terms of artists, I don’t think another festival holds a candle to this line up.

So how do you choose? How do you choose between staying in the beer garden with friends, grabbing food and running into the most beautiful people you’ve ever seen in VIP, Skepta, The Belleville Three or anything inbetween? Well, for my first Coachella (as I constantly had to repeat) I decided to go home.

I made an effort to see Toronto acts. Why? I know I know. I could see them at MOD club, or beg this person or that person for a ticket, but I wanted to see how Toronto was received on the international scale. I went to see Nav who brought out the Weeknd, and Future who called out the best or worst thing to happen to Toronto (depending on who you ask), Drake. I ventured into the Sahara tent for Tory Lanez, and caught the middle part of Majid Jordan’s performance.

In short: Toronto was received well. Really fucking well. The talent and popularity of Toronto artists could not be overlooked and to witness that was pretty rad.

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I saw groups go absolutely wild when Drake was brought on stage and then recite “Gyalchester” in its entirety.  Yes, when living in Toronto it’s easy to overlook the celebrity of our current pop stars. It’s easy when we are constantly exposed to a new OVO merch drop, radio show or label signee from around the 403W but seeing these artists at arguably the biggest festival was something special. People went wild wild for them. When the Weeknd came out people rushed over to the tent, simultaneously exposing the up and comer, Nav, to hundreds of new fans.

I’m proud to live in Toronto, and if these stars prove to be a reason why someone takes a second glance at Toronto and contemplates visiting, then yes, let the kids sing.

Of course I mixed in the acts I deemed unmissable- The xx, Nicolas Jaar, BANKS, Stormzy etc (as well as a Day 3 bacon grilled cheese en route from the magical healing Rose Garden to Lorde at mainstage- duh).

Going to Coachella and in turn the desert was such a wonderful experience, but to be able to feel a sense of home while standing in the middle Indio, CA was truly heartwarming, and a little emotional- just like Toronto likes it.

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Stay Home at Club 120

I’ve talked about the feeling of home. The feeling of finding a place, or being with someone that makes everything feel a little bit more comfortable.

This is what we want. We want you to Stay Home.

When I moved to Toronto not too long ago, it was the small intimate parties that quickly stole my heart. They felt like home. They were close knit and had a sense of family. The kicker; the music was fucking dope.

Now fortunate enough to help throw parties like the ones I first attended (only better- imo) with my favourite people in the city.

On Friday, March 31 My Side Project (comprised of Yung Choe, Big Daddi Hale and myself) team up with the boys of All Blak Records to invite you to Stay Home at Club 120. We invite you to be amongst friends, and experience what this city truly has to offer. And let me tell ya, it’s pretty fuckin great.

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On the decks we have a buffet (ps. this is maybe one of my favourite words in the English language, who doesn’t love a buffet?!) of what they do best- play music to make you feel, dance, shake, move, and most likely stay out way later than you intended.

Don’t worry it’s a Friday.

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As a little taste before the big night check out these sets by the boys:

Steve Marto- NORTHMIX

Steve Hale- Purple

Paul Quzz- Lost in Chinatown

Andrew Choe- Night Rumors 32

So please, stay home.

(this event is unofficially sponsored by Nando’s)

The Girl Walking in Front of Me

Let me tell you about the girl walking in front of me.

You could tell she had had a long day and the damp Monday night was getting to her. It was dark, as it is at 7:45pm in early March. She was walking with a pace; like she just needed to reach her destination. She carried what looked like a very heavy work bag, you know the bag- the one that carries everything you need from 7:30am- 9pm. Probably just leaving the office;  it was obvious she worked hard; hustled; had put in her time. You could tell. Her trendy, long, wool coat and oversized scarf kept her hair in place. She wore dark jeans and black sneakers. She had a don’t fuck with me aura, so naturally, I fuck with her. She’s a real one.

I imagine she’s like all the other women I know. Fucking handling her shit. I imagine she works her ass off during the day, and enjoys a cocktail or two with her girls or her boyfriend after work. She tries to call her parents often and visits when she can. She has friends living overseas and across the country who she misses very much, laundry to do, a book to start, a presentation to work on, so all-in-all her life was just a bit overwhelming sometimes. But she keeps going, keeps pushing ahead, taking deep breathes and even when she messes up, she figures it out.

Let me tell you about the girl walking in front of me, and how in her I saw all of us. All the women in my life.

I saw the women at my nail salon that I had just left who work for seemingly endless hours, working their asses off to provide.

I saw the women I work with who help me, motivate me and keep me grounded all at the same time.

I saw my selfless mother, who I would sincerely be lost without. I saw my cousin who has dealt with so much shit, and yet still focuses on helping others. I saw my best friends; the women who I know will change the world.

Let me tell you about all the women in my life.

These women inspire. These women are the ones we raise our daughters to look up to- not the ones on a screen. These women aren’t women. They’re humans. They aren’t categorized by sex. They’re categorized by their brains, hearts, and souls.

Let me tell you about the strength of women.

It’s infinite.

The world is ours. The future is female.

Happy International Women’s Day.

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We Were Here

What is home? When did you change the most, when did you become who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow? Where did you learn all of life’s shitty lessons and all the magical ones as well? Where did you fall to your knees and cry and where did you stand on the counter and sing? Where did you become you?

I could tell you about where I lived. It was for 3 years and 10 weeks. It was with three remarkable woman- each occupying the other bedroom for some time, while I lived in the other. Living with every one of them helped me become a better version of myself. It was two noise complaints- one shy of being told to leave instead of leaving voluntarily. It was answering the door in a fur coat at 4am. It was countless movie nights, uberEATS, after parties, pre parties, birthday parties, festival parties, and a few fucking legendary new year’s parties. One year of school was squeezed in there somewhere too. I could tell you about where my heart was broken and where it was mended. I could tell you about the nights I would stare at the CN tower and be terrified I was losing my way as easily as I could recall the days where my best friends and I would sing Fleetwood Mac while cooking breakfast. I cherish all the memories equally.

People have come and gone from the unit on the corner. They have travelled the world only to return to the same place where we had last seen each other. If these walls could talk, they could tell you a few stories, and they could name a few names. But please, don’t ask.

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As I move the last few things out of apartment, I realize all these stories are because of who was present. Who was inside those walls. The stories don’t require the parking spot, dishwasher or the en suite. Yes, I liked having all these things, but it’s the company I kept and continue to keep that made my first place in Toronto insanely special, and so I can’t wait to see what’s about to unfold. I am going to be in a brand new neighbourhood with so much to discover and love. But for now, when someone asks me about where I became me, where I learned who I was, I’ll tell them about The Fort.