New Thing #62: Watch the Royal Wedding

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The above photo is much more exciting than the Royal wedding leading up to it.

I got up at 5:30am and watched, bleary eyed, for the next three hours as Prince William and Kate were married. I’ll admit I loved that they brought 20 foot tall trees into West Minster Abbey and Kate’s dress was pretty damned nice but man, was that ever boring. And why is it that person that seemed to have the most trouble with the hymns was Sir Elton John?

Seeing thousands upon thousands of people making their way to the front of Buckingham Palace was pretty amazing though. And the Royal Family seemed almost human standing on the balcony. But the wedding itself just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’ll be skipping Prince Harry’s nuptials should they ever come to pass.

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New Thing #61: Fund a Kickstarter Project

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I love the idea of Kickstarter.com for funding good ideas thought up by ordinary people. “New Digital Fonts from Rare Letterpress Wood Type” caught my eye today and I thought, what the hey, I’ll give them ten bucks to revive a few beautifully crafted sets of woodtype.

Yes, I’m a type-nerd. I blame a combination of my German design roots and Greg Smith (my very first Art Director who could identify any face at 40 paces) for that. 

New Thing #60: Energy+ Drink

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I am no stranger to energy drinks. I grab one as a treat whenever we’re in the grocery store, but I don’t make a habit of drinking them very often.

This Happy Planet Health Shot though, seems to be the real deal (even if it does just taste like grape juice). About 10 minutes after I drank it I felt about the same as I do after finishing up a latte. Not bad for something that claims to be all natural.

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New Thing #59: Vinyl Wall Art from Surface Collective

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My wife and I have been talking about getting some vinyl wall art for the house for literally years now. When a Groupon popped up from Surface Collective we snatched it up and ordered these origami cranes. 

4 1/2 hours, zero dinners and one dead iPhone battery later, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Unfortunately I lost most of the stop motion video when the power drained out of my phone, so you’re really only seeing the fun part of the whole thing.

You can’t CTRL-Z wall layouts so there was a lot of taping and repositioning of cranes before I decided on the design you see in the video. Plus I ended up with thirteen on the wall before Shauna made me add one more to keep our ceiling fan from decapitating us in the night this summer.

New Thing #58: Advance Voting

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In an effort to keep Stephen Harper from forming a majority government next month I decided to vote in the advance poll today. That means I get I get a bonus vote right? 

Either way there were no lines, friendly clerks and only a slight air of disdain coming from the few voters in attendance. Plus Audrey got to see how democracy works first hand, before the Conservatives crush it forever.

New Thing #57: The Untouchables

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It’s been a very long Easter weekend, and I have to admit, I’m exhausted. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to start crossing a few movies off my list of shame, starting with The Untouchables.

24 years later and this movie completely holds up (aside from the occasional soft jazz interlude and Sean Connery’s complete ignorance of his character’s Irish descent. I mean, if you’re going to make him Irish, and call it out, why cast his direct superior as the most Irish sounding actor in Hollywood? It’s like putting him on a Russian submarine and surrounding him with Russian actors! Oh wait…).

And that’s how good this movie is: I don’t care about any of that. And now a lot more Simpsons’ references make sense to me in the process. 

New Thing #56: Guild Inn Gardens

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Since it was such a lovely day today (and my mother-in-law was looking after Audrey) my wife and I braved the wilds of Scarborough to visit Guild Inn Gardens.

It’s a beautiful public park in its own right on the Scarborough Bluffs. What sets it apart is that it houses some rather unique artistry: reclaimed pieces of Toronto architecture. It’s as if chunks of buildings fell from the sky and landed in a forest. 

It’s a reminder of the beauty that Toronto once so publicly displayed before trading it all in for glass and concrete decades ago. It’s also a beautiful walk in the woods that makes you forget that you’re in the city. 

And on a geekier note, it really felt like I was walking through Oblivion’s Cyrodiil in real life, just waiting for an ogre to come rushing out from behind a bush.

This is going to be an amazing place to visit on a warm summer day when the flowers are in bloom and the leaves rustle from the winds off the lake. It really is a treasure of a park.

 

New Thing #55: Mako Espresso Bar

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As many of you may know, I have sort of an obsession with my local espesso bar Grinder. But a few months ago a new kid on the block (well, a new kid around the corner) opened up: Mako Espresso Bar. So when I pulled up infront of Grinder today, fingers crossed, and found out that they were closed for Good Friday I decided to test my luck and see if Mako was open. And it was.

Unfortunately though, my expectations seem to have been set a bit high. The staff was friendly and the place was generally nice inside but the coffee just wasn’t up to par. The latte was weak and a bit bitter and I think the milk might have been a little on the burnt side as well. At least it only cost $3.75.

Too bad. I guess I’ll just have to check into Grinder for the 144th time.

New Thing #54: Creative Type 3 Opening

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I spent a lot of my college days in and out of art galleries, thanks to my good friend Irena who was quite entrenched in the art scene there. I sort of fell out of touch with openings in general when I moved to Toronto though. 

That’s why I decided to join some of my fellow Proximity cohorts at Creative Type 3 to see what some talented Torontonian typographers had to offer.

The show itself was great, if not a little cramped. Some very clever, beautiful, meaningful and irreverent work was on display and a love of type was certainly felt through every piece. 

What I didn’t like were the hipsters and design snobs. Those guys ruin it for everyone.

New Thing #53: Camros Organic Eatery

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I came across Camros Organic Eatery completely by accident last month while on my way to meet friends. This little vegetarian restaurant is tucked away about half way between Yonge and Church on Hayden Street.

Although it’s a little pricey for pure vegetarian fare ($12 for 3 items) I have to admit it was filling, tasty and, well, good for me.

I will be back.