New York City Oct. 21-25

July 30, 2014

Although, if we’re honest, we couldn’t really afford it- Roisin and I decided to join our pals from Scotland: Lucy (hairdresser extraordinaire) and Kharris (roommate extraordinaire) for a city break in New York. We hadn’t gone on holiday since our Euro adventure so it felt right to just bite the bullet and commit to a wee adventure. I’d gone before in 2004 but I hadn’t really done the full-on tourist scenario, so I was pretty stoked to rake the city with Roisin and tick some boxes.

Before we even left Montreal we decided to get the New York Pass. Sometimes these passes can be a total rip off, I’m looking at you Berlin Pass, but I have to say that this sucker is worth it. We saved a load of cash by literally calculating how many attractions we needed to see in order to break even and then we piled on even more things to see.

We stayed in a hella shitty hostel on the border of China Town and Little Italy – an incredible location as long as one isn’t looking for luxurious accommodations. It was clean enough and we were up early every morning to make the most of the time we had. We literally walked everywhere. We had subway passes but the weather was incredible and we got to see so much more and make some cool discoveries during our 12 hour-long walks across Manhattan.

We fell in love with Tom and Jerry’s Bar in Noho on our very first night. We ended up makin’ it our local, returning several times for their seasonal pumpkin ale. I have to say it was cool to be there around Halloween.

We ventured to the top of the Empire State Building, explored 30 Rock and Rockefeller, we took a movie tour of Central Park which really helped us get our bearings and learn some cool history about the massive green space. We visited the John Lennon memorial near the Dakota, we bought a crap-ton of candy from FAO Schwarz – I really wanted to make a muppet. Had I known that this was something that could be accomplished in the toy store I probably would have saved accordingly. I was also pretty stoked to find another Zoltar fortune telling vending machine. I seem to have a knack for running into them. And of course we checked out the massive keyboard from Big.

We had a tour of NBC Studios and we also when to the Rockefeller Observation Deck late at night to see the city all lit-up. We sauntered around Times Square but to be honest beyond our necessary meal at Red Lobster (a first for Roisin), we tried to avoid the tourist trap.

One of the most unexpected and amazing things that we saw was the Museum at Eldridge Street. It’s this incredible synagogue whose stained glass and worn-in floorboards still come to mind every so often. The place just had an incredible feeling and fascinating history.

We both went to Macy’s and got makeovers at the Chanel counter by the most fantastic make-up artist. I enjoyed this whole experience way more than I probably should have. I felt like a bloody princess walking around the city after that. And we also took a late-night boat cruise around the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and lower Manhattan.

Since we visited FAO Schwarz initially on our own we returned with Lucy and Kharris and had another adventure. We found the Chelsea Hotel, ate as many doughnuts as we could from the Doughnut Plant, and of course we went on a Sex and the City tour, which starts out pretty stellar, but we did have to admit kind of nosedives midway through. I still think it was worth it. It was a hip way to spend an afternoon. (That link has a list of everywhere we went ;) It did end with necessary cocktails and ridiculous picture-taking.

We also spent a lot of time exploring the High Line and sauntering around Greenwich Village. Our pals from Diamond Bones were also in town while we were there so we were able to catch two shows, one in Manhattan and another in Brooklyn. I really, really loved it there. Sauntering around the wee shops deciding on which food trucks to visit – nom. And of course, we entertained ourselves for a good hour or so in Evolution. Such a hip store.

I feel like the next time we’re in the city we’ll be able to relax a bit more and concentrate on the areas we digged the most. I really want to check out Coney Island, we went a little too late in the season.

It really is a phenomenal place.

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September-October 2013: Autumn + Halloween… & remembering Awn

July 29, 2014

These catch-up posts from 2013 were something that I threw together over the Christmas holidays while I was still lingering around at my folk’s place at New Years. So a) it’s extra sad that they’re just getting posted now but also b) I’ve kind of forgotten what photos I had thrown into these galleries.

I had a bit of a jolt with this one because the second photo in the gallery is from my friend Awn’s #neonforawn campaign that began in order to keep her spirits up while she was dealing with chemo treatments for cancer. I think my initial intention was maybe to share a link to the instagram and Facebook posts and try and get some of you to join in as well- but Awn passed away on June 11th at 31.

I can’t really find the right words to express this loss. She was an absolutely phenomenal human being.

awn

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs tune was played at her Celebration of Life. This was the song that she would have liked to dance to on her wedding day.

Carrying on with the catching-up, autumn meant delivering the student survival guide to all of Montreal’s colleges and universities, it meant decorating the flat for the season and we also had a pretty girly night helping our pal Amanda with some relationshipness. (Which really meant a great excuse to eat a lot of cookies.)

Once while working at a Starbucks Michel from Gilmore Girls showed up and I lacked the courage to take a photo with him so all you get is my stealth shot. MICHEL!

We became pretty close friends with a comedian Kate Conner, her husband Jeremy and their four kids. They turned Roisin on to vegetarian food which was a bit of a task ;) On my birthday Amanda surprised me at the Drink ‘n Draw that I used to run at Notre Dame des Quilles with a cake. It was pretty fancy. On the actual day I of course, ate chocolate cake while watching Home Alone… as I do every year. Roisin got me a bunch of lovely photos from our relationship thus far, printed out via this Instagram crafty-scenario.

We became pals with the ladies from Diamond Bones and went to see them play… all the time. They’re friggen incredible. And my work paid me to check out fancypants Toqué‘s lunch menu. It was intense. And tasty. Intensety.

And then of course, on Halloween I got all gussied up as Joan from Mad Men. It was probably the best costume I’ve ever done/the most effort I’ve ever put into a costume. It was a hit, aside from the one chick who thought I was trying to be Adele…

 

August 2013: Wanderin’ around MTL

July 26, 2014

I’m the worst at blogging. 2014, the year of dropping the ball.

So I figure I’ll try to catch up before I’m officially a year behind…

Last summer was really the time that Roisin and I started to explore and get cozy in Montreal. One of the coolest opportunities that I had via Cult MTL, was interviewing Edgar Wright and Nick Frost in person about The World’s End. You can read that interview here.

We also had fun celebrating Montreal’s 3 weeks of Gay Pride festivities. We didn’t really attend Divers/Cité but we did go on our very first Dyke March as part of Pevers/Cité. And of course, I watched the parade (solo sadly as Roisin had to work).

Roisin performed at Gender B(l)ender a queer open mic hosted monthly by Kama La Mackerel, my friends Ryan and Val (who just tied the knot a week ago) came to visit mere days after the proposal during an East Coast Canadian adventure. Their visit was so close to Ryan’s birthday that I was able to bake him a birthday cake – I love a random visit.

Roisin also performed at the tattoo shop Ink City North later on in the month, which is right next door to the donut shop she managed. The night was also host to an awesome boom box-themed art show. We got ourselves addicted to Brit & Chips, the only eatery that allowed Roisin to acquire some Irn Bru (as well as some Guinness battered salmon nom nom). I got to interview Wiley Wiggins just in time for Dazed and Confused‘s 20th anniversary and we got to watch it in his presence outdoors at the McAuslan brewery.

One of our best discoveries throughout the summer came from my boss’ request for us to check out the new frozen yogurt joint Blue Boy. The ’50s style vibe is definitely a draw but you can’t beat serve yo’ self fro-yo of many flavours and loads of topping choices. SO GOOD.

I think the summer is the best time to head to Montreal. It’s an entirely different city.


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