This year I vow to be prepared for the Montréal winter. Last year sucked because I thought I could get by just with my “usual” winter clothing which is really just “Vancouver” winter clothing. I know, I know – horrible. But let me explain. Most activities that I spend my time on is indoors – dancing, computerrrizzingg, photography. Heck even most of the public transportation here in Montréal is underground so you are actually sweating from your layered clothing when on the metro. Before bunkering down for the inevitable however, I took a week trip to the west coast with Myriam to get away from the daily grind and drink all the sweet caffeine nectar as our bellies could handle.
While I occasionally enjoy traveling to see new sights every now and then, on the whole I’m not a big outdoors fan. I’m a lot more comfortable being in front of a computer screen or in a studio than trekking up an hour or two up a mountain with the idea that I have to eventually trek back down. Actually now that I think about it even more, I think I just don’t like walking up inclines, probably because I have short legs.
One of my favourite photospreads that I have seen in the past year has been the instagram set of a photographer being led by his girlfriend around the world. It really did change the way I looked at my own photography because it was really about the idea rather than the execution. As I was walking through the tree bridges of Capilino in Northern Vancouver, I suddenly remembered that photoshoot and snuck it in quickly and didn’t think much about it. I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out.
The more I do photography the more I stop worrying about f-stops and lens selection but lately I have been feeling like I’m a bit stuck in my creative process. I think I need to get back to drawing board and come up with some new ideas instead of taking on the usual projects/gigs.
This trip wasn’t about that though. It was about climbing up and down mountains and just recharging my body and mind. I have a hard time getting away from it all sometimes but if there is a place in the world that I can always count on for that – it’s the pacific north west.
I had the great opportunity to head on down to Boston for the Sweet Molasses blues weekend last week and had a smokin’ good time. I made a decision to not do the workshops this time around and just eat my way around the city and some of the highlights include:
- Lobsters rolls! They were a bit expensive ($20-30) but oh my were they ever so amazing.
- Lobster in everything!
- Spilling spicy cajun sauce (from a mussels dish) all over my shirt and shorts.
- Lobster macaroni and cheese… a mountain of cheese.
- Late night chinese food (haha yes I know) after the loft parties.
I was a bit disappointed in the coffee in the city with the exception of The Thinking Cup but that’s because they use Stumptown’s coffee beans so it was a bit of the familiar.
I highly recommend eating around this fantastic city but not if you are budget conscience traveller. You’re just not going to be able to enjoy seafood here without dropping some dime.
Click on the jump link below for actual dance event pondering…
Was in Vancouver last week and to a really neat video game theme’d resto/bar – EXP Bar. They don’t have video games installed yet in the venue, but when they do, my nerdy ten year old self will be going back often!
I read an article on Wired last week that stated something along the line of trying to plan a trip is a descent into chaos. I couldn’t agree more. When I was younger and full of hope and all things good in the world, I used to enjoy the ritual of flying – putting on my sunday best, saying my pleasantries to the airline workers, and reading all the magazines in the back pouch of the seat ahead of me. Now I’m one of those disgruntled fat TIES praying each moment of the way that a) my flight leaves on time b) there won’t be any babies/loud snorer/bob the talking hair piece on the plane or c) the in-flight announcements are kept at a minimum so I can do some work or get some shut eyes.
Yes, I’ve become one of those people who requests a window seat then promptly closes the window covers and falls asleep (or at least try to fall asleep). I’m not proud of it (but yes I do know that the world looks different when you are looking at it from above).
I did however, come up with some insights from my latest whirl-wind tour of Toronto >> New York >> Toronto >> Montreal >> Las Vegas >> Toronto >> Montreal the past two weeks:
- It might be tempting, but never take the offer that the airline gives you when they overbook a flight. It’s a trap.
- There’s nothing better than an overpriced martini at the airport lounge. It makes you feel like a baller and off to some sort of secret mission.
- When the USA Customs Officers ask you why you are traveling to one of their fair cities, don’t actually say, “to go dancing at an exchange/workshop weekend/jazz event”. They won’t get it and more than likely you’ll be detained for more questioning. Instead, say you are going to a “convention” and if they probe even more, “an arts convention”. Not only will you breeze through the twenty questions game, you’ll actually get a friendlier send off as the Officers think you are going to spend lots of money in their country.
- Being able to sleep while sitting is the most useful skill I have acquired in my life.
- My bucket list goal in life is to only ever fly with carry-on luggages. How much can you stuff in two 23cm x 40cm x 55cm bags?
- iPhones + fat fingers + electronic boarding pass + carrying two heavy luggages while waiting in line to board the plane = INCREASED RISK OF DELETING YOUR BOARDING PASS!!!
- Don’t joke around with the ladies at the airline terminal counter. They ain’t having any of that and you won’t get an upgrade/seat change/flight change for free no matter how funny your jokes about dungeons and dragons are.
- Suggested check-in times are not really “suggested” than more so “required”.
- If you sit in the back 25% of the plane, there is a high chance that they won’t have a chicken sandwich left for you when the meal/food cart comes. And if you’re a vegetarian, chances are they’ll only have chicken sandwiches left.
- You have approximately 0.000005 seconds when going through the bag check point to put ALL YOUR SHIT AND SHOES in the plastic treys before the rest of the line gets disgruntled. That’s just how it is.
- Being really high in the sky makes people really gassy for some strange reason. I have no idea why, but just be weary of people who look like they might fart a lot.
Heads up, this blog post is going to be a bit scattered as I have had a few short ideas stewing in my chicken brain this morning that I just needed to type out. You’ve been warned ;-)
Everyone’s talking ’bout chicken
My last three weeks in Boston and Toronto have been a whirlwind experiment of my current obsession of lifestyle design – merging my work and dance lives together. Truth be told, I really cherished having two separate lives – my nerdy computer internetZ work life where I did many nerdy internet things, and my dance life… where I did many nerdy dance related things (I can’t change my nerdy DNA). This year, I’ve been allowing them to intersect and it seems to be working out!
Even though summer is already half way done, I’m still on a mission to grab a beer with all my Ontario friends by cajoling you all to come to Montréal. Of course this mission is a bit self-serving (I like beer, I like wine..) but I believe you would enjoy yourself once you get here. I know my food baby loves Montréal (I’m definitely on my second trimester).
Here’s an easy and quick guide on how to get to the land of the French using public transportation. Read More…