Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

“You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”
Calling all men: put on a pair of high heels and join the White Ribbon Campaign to Walk A Mile in Her Shoes. On Thursday October 1, 2009 we’re all going to help end violence against women and girls, one man-sized step at time.

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Holy Hipster!

I don’t really know what “hipster” means, so I did some research on Google Images. Along with some American Apparel undie ads and beer-bemused snapshots from Pabst parties (why do they wear sunglasses in dark rooms in the nighttime?), here were some of my favourites:

hipster google search 1

I confess that this doesn’t correspond perfectly to my mental image of the hipster. Perhaps it’s because it was supposed to represent the “Columbia hipster.” The Toronto hipsters must be a different breed… One that wears tighter pants.

hipster trap

Ahaha, I just found this incredibly funny. Although I didn’t learn very much.

Beirut was…

EXCELLENT.

Some highlights included:

  • The band-wide towel-down in the middle of the show — after which Zach sang the next song (was it Elephant Gun?), ukelele in hand and towel draped over his head. Nun-style.
  • A heightened appreciation of The Gulag Orkestar and and The Akara. Live. Whoa.
  • So much love. I was in the third row, but a pretty big guy was in front of me. My Zach Condon view was not optimal. A couple of songs in, he realized I couldn’t see, so he stepped back, and let me stand in front of him. Second Row. Yes.
  • More love. Beirut shows have the power to solve racial conflict. A bunch of drunk latino girls got into a fight with a black guy because he was imitating their (admittedly annoying) screeching while the Dodos opened up the show. But in the end they all made up. (Yay Dodos!)
  • Even more love. AND SO MUCH ELBOW ROOM. Second row, and no one pressed up against you in a quasi-frottage manoeuvre? Priceless.

beirut july 9

(I didn’t bring my camera so this photo from the National Post concert review will have to suffice — they were the first ones to post. I was way closer.)

World Naked Bike Ride. wtf.

Today is delicious.

I was walking down Yonge Street this afternoon, just north of Bloor — and what did I see but a legion of naked men and women on bikes, smiling, laughing and jingling bells. A crowd had assembled at the corner of Yonge and Bloor to watch the bare bikers bell past them, and on up the street. Some had their cameras out, while others just gaped. A man standing beside me, somewhere in his late 50s, had a wide watermelon grin on his face.

But once the initial shock subsided, the question remained: Why on earth was there a band of naked people on bikes rolling through the city? The answer: the World Naked Bike Ride.

Now, what is this World Naked Bike Ride, and why did it happen? According to the designated Wikipedia page, it’s a yearly event in cities around the world to “celebrate cycling and the human body.” As one rider shouted as he peddled his pink bottom up the street, “Burn fat, not gas!”

A worthy cause. An even worthier photo op.

world naked bike ride

http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org/

The many meanings of “soma”, Part I

Upon performing a Google definition search of the word “soma” today, I was blown away by the turn-out. Believe it or not, these four simple letters cover everything from hallucinoges to a Strokes song (and a good one at that). But one of my favourite Soma references is perhaps the closest to home. Or more accurately, closest to work.

Yes, you’ve guessed it: Soma Chocolatemakers. Famous for their Spicy Mayan Hot Chocolate (on display as “Drink of the Gods”), this place is conveniently right down the street from my work this summer. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Gaargh chocolate.

soma omg

55 Mill Street
Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
(416) 815-7662

It’s hard out there for a hooker

In tough economic times, everyone suffers. Including workers in the sex trade.

According to a recent Toronto Star article, the recession is driving prices for prostitutes into the ground. Or sidewalk. The price for oral sex was $60 last fall, while now it’s wavering at $20, and going down. “Full service” has gone down from $150 to $80.

hard out there for a hooker

While some prostitutes were once able to make $600 a night, these days, they can barely scrape up $150. So what’s in store in the future of Toronto’s sex trade? How will sex workers manage to live on plummetting prices and increasing competition?

It’s a serious problem, with dire implications for the economic state of our city. According to York University professor of economics Perry Sadorsky, when the “vices” of smoking, drinking and sex are affected by an economic downturn, you know things are getting bad. “We are in the most serious depression since the 1930s. This shows the magnitude of the decline. It is deep and it is problematic.”

All I can say is… I smell a bailout!