Posted on December 5, 2013
Posted on December 3, 2013
A version of this article was recently published in Chill magazine.
We all have a kind, old Aunt Patricia. We all have a curmudgeon boss we want to impress. Maybe an in-law that only likes golf—and scotch. Lots of scotch.
And we all loathe that time of year when we have to find them the perfect Christmas gift.
Year after year, we give Aunt Patricia a Virginia Woolf book. We give the boss a lame coffee mug with some asinine joke plastered on it. And we always give that in-law a couple golf balls and a bottle of Glenfiddich.
And, for the love of God, stop with the Tim Hortons gift certificates for everyone else. Nothing says “Yeah, I’m not creative and I totally gave up” like a gift certificate. In those cases, dear reader, just give them money. Don’t give them “money” for only one store. That just takes away their options.
But I digress.
Let’s take a second and breathe. Relax that strained, instantly stressed holiday mind. Gift giving isn’t that bad. Really. And yes, I understand that shopping during the holidays can be a hassle. There are too many options; too many people running around aimlessly. I know that you want to stick to that shopping list like glue and get the hell out of that anonymous shopping mall within 10 minutes after entering. I get it. Read More
Posted on November 20, 2013
by RYAN BOLTON
I tried to hold off on writing about Rob Ford during this ongoing clusterfuck. Truthfully, I did.
But enough is enough. The crack-puffing-often-in-a-drunken-stupor-mayor situation started off completely batshit, which led to embarrassing and has entered its final stages of being downright sad and abject. To add to the chorus, Rob Ford needs to step down. For ample reasons. The chief among them being if he really does love this city and its taxpayers, he will step down out of respect for them alone. His glib and endless apologies are such a backhanded slap to all of Toronto. Rob, you smoked crack. While you were mayor of the fourth largest city in North Fucking America. And then lied about it for six months. You also allegedly “banged” hookers, did blow, drove drunk, talked about cunnilingus on live television–Christ, man, let’s just leave it there. The point is: You don’t just apologize for that. You fucking resign. And get some help.
Rob Ford needs to step down for Rob Ford. He’s overtly unhealthy. His public behaviour is manic at best—that of a severe addict. His gluttonous ways (and I’m not alluding to his weight as that’s a cheap shot; I’m talking about his want for drink, his deep desire for attention and his overt megalomania with political power) have sunken him into such an irreversible quagmire.
He so desperately needs professional help first and foremost.
But here’s why Rob Ford needs to step down: he’s an outright liar. Strong relationships are built and based on trust. This is what politicians run on, and, well, eventually fuck up. But Rob Ford has done so to such a gross extent and thrown the media and any detractor under the bus with him. As the LA Times writes, Rob Ford makes Anthony Weiner “and his crotch tweets look demure.” Having lied to the public for over six months about smoking crack and then admitting and expecting some sort of collective forgiving is laughable. He’s sorry. He believes that things will get better. That he will change. Now that there is the biggest lie of them all. Read More
Posted on November 12, 2013
Crows Nest isn’t just a throwback barbershop. Crows Nest isn’t just an aesthetic steeped in tattoos, motorcycles, quality fades and memories of days long past.
To the uninitiated, sure, Crows Nest Barbershop is all of those things. But more specifically, Crows Nest is also Toronto’s best barbershop according to blogTO readers, which, let’s not kid ourselves, means it is the best. And with a small explosion of nascent barber shops that now dot this fair city, that’s no easy feat. Part of it is homage to a once-dying trade that is back on its feet.
Having opened in 2010 by Jon Roth in a compact basement in Kensington, Crows Nest seemed to explode on impact building a vast and loyal clientele through word-of-mouth in its first year. And to see proof of Crows Nest’s demand today, just walk in on any Saturday or Sunday to witness the overflow of young gents leafing through men’s magazines and shooting the shit, waiting up to a couple hours to get a fade or straight razor shave.
Read the rest of the profile here on blogTO.
Posted on October 27, 2013
A recent article I shot and wrote for blogTO.
DJ M-Rock loves the hustle of the game. Getting his start in ’99, M-Rock got serious after getting fired from his advertising job in 2008. Ever since, it has been a steady flow of DJ battles, mixtapes, some producing and of course, straight-up DJing. Having rubbed shoulders with the likes of Drake and playing for clients like Shaq, M-Rock recently won the Toronto division of Red Bull’s Thre3style DJ competition.
M-Rock and I caught up on a rainy Saturday at Le Gourmand to discuss the growing prevalence of coke in King St. clubs, DJ battles, and a little Drake for good measure.
Let’s start with the origin story. How did DJ M-Rock come to be?
I was in a rush for a gig and I needed a name. So I used the initial of my first name (Maneesh) and the most obvious suffix for any hip-hop name is “rock.” It was too late eventually but I grew to like it. This was in 1999.
I’m from a musical family. My father plays Indian classical. I grew up around music and loved it. Before DJing, I was playing instruments and fooling around. I learned how to produce from my friend Vishal. I learned the basics. And I had the idea with my brother to get turntables, and that’s when it started to really come together. That was the next chapter for the next five years in my basement in Rexdale.
Since then it has been a mix of DJ battles, playing with Funky Teknicianz (now disbanded), producer battles and here I am now. Read More
Posted on October 16, 2013
Posted on October 6, 2013
Originally published photos and article on blogTO.
Hastings Barber Shop has a small stack of ’70s era Playboy magazines on the windowsill, and when you look up, the next thing you notice is two large taxidermied deer heads on the wall, flanking the turn-of-the-century wood and mirror barber back bar. Hastings Barber Shop is a cozy space, but it’s packed with personality and straight-up quality fades and shaves. Read the rest of the article and see more photos on blogTO here.
Posted on September 26, 2013
If you’re reading this at work, it’s best you take a deep breath and maybe go for a walk. Otherwise, life might become temporarily frustrating. We present to you the coolest workplaces on Earth. (Seriously, you should probably leave your cubicle right now and find a place where you can shed a tear.)
Chill factor: Firewood walls to start
Industry: Design studio
Location: Portland, Oregon
Design studios, on the greater whole, are usually pretty cool. They’re design studios for chrissakes. Parliament, a cutting edge design agency with clients like Microsoft and Gatorade, has taken the design studio thing to the next level. With wood being the main motif, they have walls constructed of firewood (it looks like a giant stack of wood—as the wall), and all the floors, chairs and desks are also wood with a little bit of varnish. The look? Like if a lumberjack decided to hang up the axe and open a creative agency in the centre of a urban core. (Did we mention there’s also an authentic bear rug? Because there’s that, too.)
Chill factor: Steve Jobs’ brainchild
Location: Emeryville, California
According to Steve Jobs’ biography, the concept behind Pixar Headquarters was a place that “promoted encounters and unplanned collaborations.” He also wanted a building that would stand the test of time. Well, he nailed it. Again. The open space concept super-lab has it all: real-life sized characters from its movies dot the campus, mini cabins that are office spaces for executives, a huge 20-acre landscaped green space and lots and lots of casual meeting spaces, you know, for that unplanned collaboration, for say, the next big animated movie. Read More
Posted on September 22, 2013
This past weekend, we returned to Tobermory to continue the camping tradition we started last year. And like last year, there was ample beautiful scenery—Cyprus Lake is a real Ontario gem—some cliff jumping, a couple beers and some hiking. Here are a couple captures from the weekend camping trip in Tobermory. Enjoy!
Posted on August 27, 2013
In light of today being National Dog Day (damn right it’s a real thing), I present to you, the best fucking thing ever—lots of photos of dogs. Happy National Dog Day!
(And yeah, I know, there’s a lot more photos of Hank than anyone else. Chop it up as bias.)