Friday, 29 March 2013

Differences and the journey so far

Having been in Toronto for a little under three weeks now I feel it's safe for me to make my observations public. I'm past the first impressions, but I'm not yet jaded by the lights and the sirens and the easily accessible brands that we have to scour the countryside to find in Ottawa.

Packing for the big "move" was tough, especially with a fatso cat sitting in my bag.
That being said, Toronto is a bit overwhelming. Meeting new people and telling them that you're from Ottawa usually results in them treating you like a Make a Wish kid at Disneyland; "Oh wow, how does it FEEL to be in Toronto? Are you having trouble adjusting?"


For the uninformed, Toronto is about five hours away from Ottawa. It's in the same time zone, has the same climate and is just as culturally diverse as Ottawa.

My first day called for a totally spring outfit, I even co-ordinated my nail polish to my sweater. When I got to the office I was immediately given a new issue and then found this lonely shopping bag under my desk, what was in it you ask? No it wasn't a Birkin, just a bunch of booklets and papers...*sigh*

The only thing I need to adjust to in Toronto is the fact that in Toronto all the girls wear Rudsak winter jackets paired with Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C clutches instead of TNA jackets with the Marc by Marc Jacobs pouches that every girl in Ottawa has. They wear Tory Burch boots instead of Michael Kors and the taxi service here makes me want to hug and kiss an Ottawa taxi until I'm banned from Blue Line service altogether.

I've also probably seen more Audi R8's in my 2.5 weeks in Toronto than I have watching every season of Top Gear on Netflix.

My second week was disastrous/awesome all at the same time, Monday morning I discovered I left all of my makeup in Ottawa, so I had to rush to Shoppers and buy all new stuff. I also got a taste of the "rich" life, the Winners on Bloor carries YSL, Dolce & Gabbana and more (INSANE RIGHT?) I tried GlamGlow for the first time (TOTALLY RECOMMEND) and I got to check out some cool beauty products.

From what I can tell, having spent a little time in Toronto, it seems nice. I do like it. I think if I ever lived in Toronto, I would need to be very wealthy because the temptation of shopping would be out of this world. But I also am not sure if I could ever get used to sour sewer smell that lingers at random street corners, in Ottawa that kind of smell is usually reserved for the sewer pipes pumping sewage into the Ottawa River behind the Parliament Buildings.

At the same time, the excitement in Toronto is kind of a lot to bear. I've been staying there for over two weeks and I still haven't got over the fact that every day I want to do something. Sitting at home and watching TV doesn't seem to be an option, even though I don't do much of that in Ottawa, everything in Toronto is NEW and EXCITING.

The second weekend was my favourite. Charles came up and we walked all around Toronto all day long and went to a Supercross race, then topped it off with a midnight snack in Dundas Square. 

I think my ambivalence towards the newly minted fourth largest city in North America, is that I'm there, essentially alone. I mean, not alone ALONE, but you know what I mean. My boyfriend, cats, closet and king size bed are all in Ottawa. Despite being in this arguably great city, I'm always going to focus on the things I don't like just because my life isn't really in's in Ottawa, no matter what I'm still just a guest.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

An update...

I've begun to neglect my little bloggy again. It seemed that in the past weeks I had started writing some really interesting content but since then I've become a little too bogged down with everything else going on to write any compelling entries.

In the past I would have just made up some baloney posts just to say that I was still posting, but I think the key going forward is going to be quality over quantity.

One of the reasons I haven't been posting much is because in the past week my life went from (semi) boring to insane. On Wednesday of last week I found out that I had been accepted to a really cool editorial internship at FLARE in Toronto.

So in less than one week I packed my things, arranged lodging, picked up and left for Toronto. I'm staying with a smart and beautiful friend and her amazing roommate, who graciously said I could stay with them.

It also worked out perfectly since they are literally a stone's throw away from the offices where I now work at.

I'm also staying spitting distance from the amazing Holt Renfrew on Bloor, where a Miu Miu boutique just opened. (I'm also probably the first person to ever say they were spitting distance away from Holt Renfrew while at the same time knowing how to pronounce Miu Miu.)

The way things worked out could not have been better, my hosts are probably two of the nicest girls I have ever met, my immediate boss is a complete gem and I think I'm going to have a lot of fun and learn so much. (That sentence totally feels like a beauty queen answer to me, but it's so true.)

Putting all the amazing and exciting things aside though, I will say that just being away from the little family I have cultivated in Ottawa is hard. I miss my boyfriend constantly, and I fear that our little kitty-babies will think that I have abandoned them.

For the next while I'm going to be splitting my time between Ottawa and Toronto, trying to go home as much as possible. It's going to be tiring and just thinking about all the money I'm forking over to Via Rail from now until the start of May makes me really bitter, but hey, what can you do when you live in a (very fashionable) shoe?

Monday, 4 March 2013

The Tiger

I'm finding out lately that being interested in fashion isn't enough. While I will always love clothes, fashion and art, I'm figuring out that I'm more than just a fashion-head.

One of the things that has led me to realize that there's more to the world than shoes and bags and clothes was reading a book for my journalism class. It couldn't be farther from the books I usually read. It didn't involve Grace Coddington driving to the Hamptons with a car full of cats and it had nothing to do with being a shopaholic with a credit card problem and a sexy boss who the heroine always embarrasses herself in front of.

It was the farthest thing possible from those things and I really enjoyed reading the entire thing. I wanted to share with you guys my little review for The Tiger: A Story of Vengence and Survival, by John Vaillant.

The often-forgotten Russian Far East is the setting of this devastatingly interesting book by John Vaillant. The Tiger takes us to the area of Primorye, where people live on the edge of civilization and poaching isn’t just a sad effect of greed, it’s a way of life.

The boreal forest or Taiga becomes the most important character in the book, of which all of the other characters are just merely background to the massive presence that the forest has in the minds of the locals.

But as fabled and revered as the Taiga may be in Russia, it doesn’t compare to the veneration of the Amur tiger.

An endangered species that locals both fear and admire, the Amur tiger has almost mythical status in the Taiga, and most hunters know that if you cross a tiger, it will never forget.

The Tiger centres around Yuri Trush, an ex-military enforcer with Inspection Tiger, a now-defunct organization that worked in the Taiga to crack down on poaching.

But in post-perestoika Russia, times are tough. Many in Primorye need to poach to survive.

The story weaves in an out between the history of the area and it’s ties with tigers and focuses on an instance where a tiger turned against man and went on a rampage of odd behavior that included hunting and killing the poachers that once hunted him.

Parts of the book focus on Trush and his team hunting the man-eating tiger, while going back and forth between historical anecdotes and a narrative that gives the reader a look into the mind of a tiger out for revenge.

Filled with chilling facts that cause the reader to look for any excuse to bring up tigers in subsequent conversations; this is non-fiction at it’s finest. The interesting subject matter combined with Vaillant’s colourful and descriptive writing style leave the reader wanting more at the end of each chapter.

While the non-linear narrative can be confusing at times, this book weaves seamlessly between generations and gives the reader a thorough understanding of one of the most misunderstood areas (and animals) in the world. 

If this isn't enough to totally get you hooked on learning about Russia and Tigers, then you won't mind me telling you that in 2014 this book is going to be adapted into a movie starring...(wait for it)...Brad Pitt!

I think it's really important to broaden your horizons, and even though I tout myself as being totally obsessed with fashion, I'm obsessed with other things tigers.