Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wishful Thinking

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

Bonjour all!
As we all know, in the midst of the holidays we all want to find the most perfect gifts, find the perfect store which can complete us in a way that leaves our emotions running very high. I had the opportunity yesterday to arrive at such stores as these. What I usually like to find are unique aspects that does insightful contributions behind their names. Stores or brands which continue to stand out and make a difference, especially when it takes into consideration as eco-friendly products. With that in mind, I'd like to share with you what I have encountered the past couple of days.

The Toronto Woman's Bookstore ( located at 73 Harbord Street) is in danger of closing. Founded in 1973, it has been non-profit bookstore dedicated to promoting anti-oppression politics and feminist politics, as well as many other interesting accessories. It has become the largest, non-profit feminist bookstore in Canada.
I have personally been there to pick up some great reads or course books for classes. To hear that a great independent bookstore such as this, could be at risk of closing due to heightened competition of other bigger bookstores, is sorely a loss for supporters of independent bookstores such as I.

For those who have ventured through these doors, and want to make an effort in making a donation, click on the Toronto Woman's Bookstore link given above, and let's all as a community save this bookstore that we love. I know I felt great contributing, by purchasing notebooks there yesterday, where many were already in the heap of donating. Unique gift ideas for the book-lover can find great reads there.

On an eco-friendly note, I happened to purchase a journal that was as charming as its title.
Recover Journals truly innovates and makes use of recycling products, where they take covers from vintage books and bound it with 100% post-consumer paper to make a fantastic journal. Also they convert vinyl record albums and turn them into photo albums and notebooks. A fantastic idea. I actually purchased one from the Toronto Women's Bookstore, but they also distribute throughout different retailers across Canada.

Down on the same street, there happened to be an intriguing looking store sign that says "Things Japanese" (128 Harbord Street).
Looking through the display window, it already guaranteed a promise of interesting things to come. I stepped inside and immediately an aroma of decorated patterns and details, as well as rich colors, instantly guides you around the store.
It was there that i bought this cute Japanese geisha keychain, as well as a perfect Christmas gift for my sister.

To Yorkville I go!
Of course, the day wasn't complete without a small trip to Yorkville. Yorkville Ave is beautiful at this time of year, especially when evening falls, all the lights hanging in on the trees and on buildings on shops provide such a soft glow throughout.
The first thing I popped into has got to be one of my favorite stationery stores in Toronto.

Paper Things ( located at 99 Yorkville Ave) is simply divine and scrumptious.
I think i spent twenty minutes alone just browsing the Moleskins and the Semikolon notebooks as well as the heavenly designs on journal covers. What's great about Paper Things is that all profits from the store are donated to the Build-A- Ballet Fund, supporting The National Ballet of Canada. My two favorite things: Stationery and Ballet. What's not to love?
I also happened to drop by Anthropologie (80 Yorkville Avenue) and it is truly eye candy. Everywhere you go from the clothes, to books, to home decor, it was simply full of inspiration. I loved how there was this old-fashioned cabinet that when you open it, its shelved with perfume. It is definitely one of my favorite stores, I even ended up getting this Romantic-inspired long-sleeved sweater- perfect for this season.

Lastly, I cannot help but sink into a light bliss going over Lollia products. I actually found their products in Paper Things, but truly it brings out the Marie Antoinette/Lula girl in me. From their perfumes (especially the design of their bottles, are utterly charming) to their hand cremes, I found myself back in my small little world.

Well that's all for now, hope everyone has a fantastic and yummy holiday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The dream continues

The power of imagination makes us infinite.
John Muir

I find comfort in the fact that within these precious days of freedom I happily describe as my winter break, I will have the opportunity to bound about in exploring the small world that I happily call my own, discover interesting places within the city with its diverse amount of intricate people, spirits high tuned to the holiday spirit which I know I too, am suffering within its contagious effect. Of course, this is according to how the weather cooperates with me.

Talks of storms approaching and declining temperatures have left me in a midst of near-isolation, the cold seeping right through me - not the greatest companion I've had thus far-that I can assure you.
Of course with hours of quiet times, I have become vulnerable to many interesting inspirations and thoughts.
The first being that simply, I have immersed myself in the world of Romanticism, or of the Romantic Age as some might call it.
The music of Schubert, Chopin, to the works of Dumas, Hugo, Byron and Keats, has left a deep imprint in my heart. Its message spoken at the time can still remain valid to this day.
As well, the works of art at the time (being my double major is in fine arts history, one cannot find this least of all surprising) really channels the essence of blending the world of imagination with that of reality, and with the combination of these Arts, really create a whole new world in such a sober, damp reality we often find ourselves in.

Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps, J. M. W. Turner (1812)

Shipwreck , 1759, Joseph Vernet

Caspar David Friedrich- Mann und Frau den Mond Betrachtend 1830-1835
Jean Baptiste Corot- Ville d'Avray, 1867

Perhaps it is me, but I find that lately we are seemly losing this air of luminous quality, this light in which to see amongst ourselves the beauty and truth in life. This is exactly what the Romantics draw away upon, against a world where everything is fast-paced and the advancement of technologies is bridging away the personal interactions amongst one another.

Again maybe it's me, but I love the feel of an book in my hands, rather than reading it on a electronic device. To turn the pages, hearing its soft, crisp feel against my fingers, a book is my constant companion and I never go out without one.

I took the occasion to visit the local library nearby me yesterday. I haven't gone there for quite some time and as such, I took the time to browse the shelves, relax in the lounge area, and read.

I was reading Jules Verne's "The Adventures of Captain Hatteras", which surprisingly, not many knew of it. A shame really as it had instantly captivated me with its gripping story about a quest for the North Pole.

Just recently, I finished watching Chéri and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Michelle Pfeiffer never does wrong, along with Rupert Friend, whom is starting to gain attention as I never really paid much attention to him, apart from him starring in Pride and Prejudice. However, after I watched The Young Victoria and now this, I'm starting to take on a bit of a liking to him acting-wise.

This film, alongside the excellent score of Alexandre Desplat, sincerely displays the truth universally known that sometimes, you may not always have what you want, even if it be love and that age sometimes is just a number, it completely becomes sidetracked in the name of love. As well, sometimes you know when the person is The One, and it doesn't matter how many individuals you go with in your life, that One person will always be in the back of your mind, and you are never the same thereafter. I'm sure the book by Colette will provide a better scope of this story, which I will now add to my Reading List.

And that's all for now, ciao!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I then whispered to him, "Never let me go."

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the the marrow of life!
To put to rest all that was not life
And not, when I came to die, discover that i had not loved...

Bonjour all!
Snow has finally hit the ground and left me with a chill... literally.
So far in the life of academia, I have completed 1/3 examinations... the next one is that of Cubism and Modern Architecture, although I must get started on the book review for European Politics.

Lately I realized more than usual how grand life is and how unexpected it can be. It can be the most smallest things to the ones that just utterly take your breath away.
It doesn't help that I've been crushing on Keat's works and letters he wrote to Fanny Brawne. It's heartbreaking I tell you. His words are the only words that have actually made tears fall from my face unconsciously.
Commit this to memory: Must take a trip down to Nicholas Hoare (only one of my favorite bookstores down by the St. Lawrence) so that I may have a personal collection of Keat's works to add to my personal library.

Not to mention that I'm dying to see Bright Star. I've already had the soundtrack put into my itunes, but I have not watched yet, shame on me! The clips i've watched however just simply melts my heart. I already know it'll be an instant classic for me.
There is this one scene which made my heart drip and I would love to share this with all of my fellow bloggers and chums!

In a sense, I can relate that wrap-around feeling in my life. Sometimes it could be for the most obvious reasons, others in all sorts of ways for all sorts of people and moments in life.

And that's all for now my luvelies! Ciao!

P.S. Due to the craziness of spending my time studying examinations the next week, I may not update for a bit. Toodles!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Though the fields lay golden, something whispered, -"Snow."

I am a dead poet
That speaks without words,
That listens without sounds.
Speak to me and I will not hear,
For I am a dead poet that knows no bound.
Bonjour all!
It indeed has been busy these crazy ! Not to mention examinations is approaching me... hope I can come out by the 15th sane and alive!
The weather does seem to whisper rumors of the winter to come. Trees baring all to expose their stance during the harsh days of cold.

All the more to cozy up to hot apple cider and curl up beside a deep-seated couch by the fireplace at one of the colleges in my university. I shall try to take more beautiful pictures of it, it's really got the feel of Oxford and of course, Hogwarts.

A bit of delight:
Erin Fetherston and the short films she makes.
Zooey Deschanel.
Letters and postcards from abroad- hoping to do an exchange of fellow voyagers of the world if interested in sending thoughtful/lovely letters amongst one another! Anyone interested, let me know!

Have some of these around, these old fashioned tags and whatnots, think they're quite lovely
Sophia Coppola films
Fine art and art history
Fascination of the explorations and research of the Arctic
Ballerina flats
The color of gold and Bordeaux, as well as blue
Marc by Marc Jacobs
A-line dresses
Ribbons and bows
Lula Magazine,
Perfume and perfume bottles ( i collect the ones I've had)

Here is one of my favorite short films by Erin Fetherson I would like to share, its very fun and charming.
P.S. It's inspiration is actually from the Silly Symphony cartoons- even better.
That's all for now, ciao!

I'm just sitting on a shelf

Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott

Bonjour all!
As you may or may not know, I'm an avid adventurer who loves to explore the nooks and crannies of the world. It was the love of discovery that my friend and I came upon this really interesting old-world store known as Julius Vesz Pipes located within a historic hotel. Apparently Julius Vesz is one of the world’s premiere pipe makers and has been perfecting his craft for close to 50 years. He maintains a supply of centuries-old briar that has been accumulated since the 1960s. I had the pleasure to walk in to the store and meet the guy himself.

As soon as you walk in, I instantly took in the heavy musky scent accumulated from what the store contains. It instantly took me back to memories of my grandfather, as I clearly recall his love for pipes and the scent he lightly had on him. Very unexpected, that trip down memory lane and I was very touched.

I was instantly drawn to these guys. I would love a collection of these for my own personal library as decor. A small thought came over me as I wondered to and fro gazing at these lovely soldiers fondly: A scene from one of my favorite films "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" where Benjamin was playing with several of them in a battle and making those "pow pow" noises. I wanted to attempt such a scene.

Very interesting indeed.

They were so interesting. The fact that he has his own special blends you could smell hints of it throughout the store. I really felt like I stepped back in time somewhat. I know if I bought one of these fine pipes and those special Julius Vesz for my dear friend Sherlock Holmes, he would in fact love me more than Watson I should think.
It was really peaceful. Towards the centre there were these fine burgundy leather couches where there was an old coffee table. There was a guest book and as we went through the fine pages, there were guests who wrote lovely comments as far back as the 1970's. The nice part of it towards the end was how his granddaughter wrote cute comments in them.

Clearly towards the end of my make-believe, the Spectacular Brigade (my side) won. Obviously.

And that's all for now, ciao!

Friday, November 20, 2009

In the Town of Austere, nothing is ever the same.

There was a silver tree
Down by a river wide

That's where we would go
To hang our pretty things
And watch the wind blow
There used to be a tree
Where we took our pretty things
We'd hook them by a thread

Golden egg lipstick and feathers
Pieces of glass, chandelier baubles

And empty bottles of wine
And watch the light shine through

I'm afraid to forget you.
I am remembering you
You were sparkling.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You would not believe your eyes, if ten million fireflies lit up the world as I fell asleep

"He thought about himself, and the whole Earth,
Of Man the wonderful, and of the Stars,
And how the deuce they ever could have birth;
And then he thought of Earthquakes, and of Wars,
How many miles the Moon might have in girth,
Of Air-balloons, and of the many bars
To perfect Knowledge of the boundless Skies;
And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes."
-Byron, Don Juan (1819), Canto 1, stanza 92

Bonjour all!

Well so far, my Fall Break has been very lovely indeed. I joined my friend down near the Esplanade to my favorite eatery called Bier Markt. It's a European-style restaurant in the city's original waterfront promenade. It features over 100 beers and a brasserie-inspired menu.

What I particularly enjoyed was the strawberry beer from Belgium known as Fruli. My friend tried some Austrian and German beer which he found to be over the top in his expectations.

Menu-wise, I ordered this lovely Wild Mushroom Soup, which the overall appearance was enjoyable (broth held within the teacup) and alongside that the Markt Poutine was utterly delicious and rich, which I accompanied with a nice Belgium beer known as Palm that was a perfect companion with the Markt Poutine.

Further along the weekend, today I was really glad to meet up with another close friend of mine, where we went down my treasured place here in this city, St. Lawrence. We instantly grabbed some hot apple cider at Second Cup, where we then head to my favorite bookstore Nicholas Hoare. Upon entering the bookstore, I was instantly gripped by the need to pull a book, to go up the ladders and reach out to a intriguing title. There was just too many titles I wanted to add to my personal library, and what felt like hours, I settled down on two:

Both immediately drew my attention. What I like to do is read the first few sentences within a book and if I become captivated, then instantly I know it would be towards my liking. Both satisfied this taste.

Afterwards, it was onwards to lounge at the Royal York Hotel. One of my favorite historic places to go in Toronto, it sweeps you back to a classic time where life seemed to be gracefully and elegantly dancing to the sounds of the Golden Age.
We explored its many different rooms, including its Imperial Room

The Library Bar is exquisite.

I'm actually quite glad we have such amazing architectural accomplishments as the Royal York.

Oftentimes on the upper level, where they have deep-seated old-styled chairs, it would be such a great atmosphere to curl up on a good read, or people-watching. Its just that from above, you look down at those coming and going... wondering where they'll head off to, what sort of life they are living.. its incredible the connectivity we are unconsciously part of.
The interesting moments is when you see flight attendants and their pilot wandering through, and you think about their travels they have gone through... in which I instantly feel the tug of travel in my heart.
Well the day fell into evening. It finally came upon dinner time, so my friend and I agreed upon dining at the Rosewater Supper Club.

I actually first dined here three years ago when my uncle and aunt took my cousins and I for a pre-Christmas celebration. It really was an enjoyable evening. The food was exquisite.

So my friend Tiff and I finally arrived at the Rosewater.

We dined down where the pillows were. What is great about the Rosewater is its invigorating atmosphere and music.
Dinner was fun, while my friend and I caught up and talked. I was actually relieved to see Rosewater quiet on this Saturday, where it usually is packed to the full.

The whole place is very lovely indeed. I'm quite glad I took the time to enjoy life as it is. Between school and at the office, one can ignore many of the things where it may aid you in De-stressing yourself. I'm glad this weekend turned out to be fun, hope yours was just at interesting!

And that's all for now, ciao!


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