“What a lovely evening for a Block Party” indeed!

Stella Artois Legere Block Party by Lauren O'Nizzle

(Quote in the title was a tweet I remembered but I couldn’t find the original tweet -my bad!)

It was a fun-filled evening and I’m so happy it all worked out. There was a moment where I thought I wouldn’t be able to make the Stella Artois Legere Block Party this past Saturday. My colleagues and I had been wanting to attend a TFC match (huge thank you again to Jon Sinden!) for some time but for one reason or another the cosmos made it so we were only able to attend the game against Real Salt Lake which just happened to be at the same time as the party!

Growing up in Dubai, I don’t feel like I was able to experience what a true block party would have been like and in my eyes they did well. Anyone who was around me that night can attest to the fact that I ate 3 ice cream cones and bought 2 poutines1! If that isn’t indulging like a kid I don’t know what is! I do kind of wish they had a pop-corn machine but I think my cholesterol levels are grateful that they didn’t.

I cycled down from BMO field in my yellow summer dress and couldn’t help but smile at what I could see from the street; they did a great job turning the parking lot at 529 King Street West into what I would have envisioned an old fashioned Block Party would have been like2. They had a TTC bus parked beside a fire truck in one corner of the parking lot. Awesome musical acts lie Tom Wrecks and 1 LOVE TO did their thing from the roof of said fire truck and made me want to climb up and join them.

Upon entering all attendees were given two drink tickets, a red ticket and a blue ticket. The red ticket was redeemable for a soft-serve ice cream cone3 OR a slushie from the Ice Cream truck. The blue ticket was redeemable for poutine or french fries from the food truck. Amazeballs.

There’s more: they had a display of the Dave Murray t-shirts in another corner of the parking lot where you could answer trivia questions and win one of the t-shirts! Ryan Nussbacher won one, you can ask him about it… I think he may even have video evidence. They had a vending machine that they filled with Dave Murray Stella & Toronto postcards OR Goodlife passes4. They had a photobooth and button making station. I think the button making station was the biggest hit in terms of activities. I know I love my Reggy <3 Affan Imran button that we made5.

Since I cycled down I attempted to stay at a slow drinking pace and be responsible. I think I did well. Thanks to my ever awesome date, Affan. I chugged a Vitamin Water when I first got to the bar and then we grabbed some yummy Légères. What I love the most about the planning of the night: there was an excellent flow when trying to move through all the activities. I never felt like I had to make an effort to “walk all the way across the party6” to get to something I wanted to do.

I also thoroughly enjoyed being interviewed by the dude who interviewed me whose name I failed to ask for. He asked me some lovely questions and I wasn’t nervous like I normally would have been when a camera’s record button turns on. My night continued on for a little bit longer after the Block Party dispersed after the pumpkin hour but the well organized, well decorated Block Party was an absolute favourite this summer. Thanks guys!

My question to you is: What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words “Block Party”?

Photo courtesy of my favourite geek-celebrity-sweetheart Lauren O’Nizzle.

Footnotes:
  1. I gave away my 2nd poutine[]
  2. okay minus the houses where people lived, but still[]
  3. vanilla, chocolate or swirl[]
  4. again won by answering trivia questions[]
  5. you better keep that thing, Affan[]
  6. because heavens to betsy I have to walk somewhere?!![]

Flickr Friday: Discover

If there’s one thing I love about travelling, it’s discovering the little places. This photo from my last trip to New York City is one of my favourite… I loved daBhang Cafe; we went there after a get together at someone’s house mostly just for a change of scene1. There wasn’t anything that special about the place, but it’s still one of my favourite memories from that trip.

Later this afternoon, I’ll be leaving for St. Louis, MO for a wedding. A close friend of his is marrying the love of his life, and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m only going for two nights and will be leaving very early Sunday morning but I’m hoping I’ll get to meet another blogger friend, Mike of Celtophilia, while I’m there – it’ll be the icing on the cake for sure!

I wish I had more time there since it looks like quite a big city… but I’m confident I’ll find at least one little treasure while I’m there.

What do you like most about travelling?

Footnotes:
  1. and probably some food as well[]

Flickr Friday: Unfamiliar

I have been making a lot of changes in my life: I moved out of my parents house, I changed jobs, I forced myself to keep in touch with more people and be more social; I changed my diet and lost a bit of weight; I picked up an exercise-type activity… and I’m not sure that I’m done changing.

I chose this photo because during the March 2009 edition of 26 Things for the word: unfamiliar. At the time, taking the subway was not a normal thing for me. It was foreign. These days, it’s how I get around. I miss driving, but I enjoy walking around and living close enough to things that I can walk to and from places. In heels.

I used to hate taking the subway to school when I was living in Scarborough because it was crowded, smelly and I had a huge ass backpack that I wasn’t allowed to keep on my back1. But these days… it’s one of the things I’m truly grateful for. I only wonder what unfamiliar thing I will come to love in days to come.

It helps to think of things like this when you feel like you’re not sure about things. And it reminds you that maybe… just maybe it’s ok to take risks sometimes. Now, I know… I know what you’re thinking. “Risks? WTF? You stopped driving2 and started taking the subway – what freakin’ risks were you taking?”

I’m talking about moving out of the safety of my parents’ home, where they were there to save me from myself at a moments notice. I’ve always felt independent but it’s not the same until you actually live on your own and have to fend for yourself. I still don’t consider myself that independent because I still get a lot of handouts from my3 mother who can’t resist but buy me some food when she goes grocery shopping4. And to that end, I guess I’ll never be truly independent because she’ll always be my Mum and she’ll always be who she is.

But anyway… I’m getting off track. I’m living a different life than I have for the last 27 and I’m happy for it. All I want to know is,

Is there something in your life that you can’t live without, but you never thought you’d be so glad to have?

Footnotes:
  1. where it was most comfortable[]
  2. had to, I couldn’t keep the car that belonged to my Dad[]
  3. very Filipina[]
  4. she doesn’t buy everything but even one onion is help in my eyes and so it doesn’t count[]

Flickr Friday: A Revival

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, first of all: A huge Thank You from my whole heart1; second of all: I need to revive this post series. I may not be a photographer, but I still enjoy taking photographs and I really enjoyed sharing them with you.

For this revival, I chose a photo from my flickr photostream that surprised me by getting 43 views for no reason that I could see2. It’s a shot I took while driving3 of the my beloved CN Tower.

Ever since I came back from living in Dublin last year I’ve been falling in love with Toronto more and more. I used to take it for granted4. And I think this photo is fitting for explaining this feeling of reviving an old love, or even an undiscovered love because that’s what it reminds me of.

The CN Tower though is not a standalone object in my memory. The CN Tower needs the Skydome5 the combination of the curved dome and the beacon to the right of it will always feel like home. I may have lived my adolescence in Dubai but no place has ever made me feel as good as Toronto does. And after being away for such a long time, I can tell you that nothing clears my head or makes me feel as at home as blogging does6.

What feels like home to you?

p.s. did I mention that he got in last night? Oh yes he did!!

p.p.s. last year, I did a memorial post about the lives we7 lost 8 years ago. I didn’t do one this year, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take a moment8 to remember the fallen. But I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that 🙂

Footnotes:
  1. You guys are so great for my extremely self-critical ego[]
  2. or that anyone bothered to tell me in the comments – I’m not complaining, I’m just sayin’[]
  3. don’t worry, I never look at the camera when I’m drive-shooting I always maintain the Young Drivers’ 8 second rule… if you don’t know what that is I can’t help you. This footnote is too long as it is[]
  4. as you do when you grow up somewhere[]
  5. now called the Rogers Centre but it will always be the Skydome to me[]
  6. especially blogging about my favourite photos… that I’ve taken hehe[]
  7. yes, we. We the human race[]
  8. everyday in fact[]