On Thursday I got to go to the eighth installment of an annual ceremony celebrating winners of a digital art prize, sponsored by my old company, which Lindsay created in a past life. It was great to see many of my old colleagues again, and just to…get out. Post-vaccination, as in-person things have returned again, I find we’ve struggled to mobilize on getting out as much. So, for one night, it was nice to put on decent clothes, to head downtown (traffic notwithstanding), to take in art, and to talk and laugh with people again.

By the way, if you’re in Toronto and you can make it, the exhibition of the five finalists’ work is at 401 Richmond until October 1st.

Cover photo from Aloette's website


Last week, before her final work-related art event (she’d completely handed off her duties at this point, accelerated by la cheville fracturée) Lindsay and I had dinner at Aloette. Linds had been before; I had not.

I was impressed, but not surprised; I’ve been upstairs to Alo enough times to know this place wouldn’t be fucking around. The food was as expected, but there were little touches that just made the experience — the service, design elements like the under-the-seat cubbies for bags and water bottles, automated shades to keep us from roasting in the late-day sun. Just…touches.

But yes, the food:

  • Cocktails
    • “Sour Cover-Up” (Tanqueray gin, strawberry apéritif, coriander, Bellwoods Jelly King sour beer)
    • “Five-Ten Fizz” (Rangpur gin, sherried apricot, citrus, egg white, Peychauds)
  • Apps
    • cheddar brioche buns
    • Stracciatella cheese on sourdough w/ burnt honey, piquillo pepper, pine nut
    • torched Hamachi w/ green goddess, coconut, avocado, lemon balm
    • glasses of 2016 J.M Sohler sparkling Pinot Blanc
  • Mains
    • Dan: Aloette burger (Beaufort cheese, onion, lettuce, pickle) & fries / 2016 Thymiopoulous Xinomavro
    • Lindsay: spinach agnolotti w/ braised veal, Gremolata, lemon / 2017 Masseria Li Veli Negroamaro

We then walked to the event and proceeded to stare dumbly at plate after plate of delicious hors d’oeuvres, so full we couldn’t eat a single bite.


Cover photo from Aloette’s website

Patel, di Nisio, Fung, Tarocco

Thursday night we went to the opening of a not new, but re-branded gallery: Patel Gallery, which we’d known as Project Gallery. We’d been a few times, and bought a gift there for friends, but last month Lindsay bought some pieces for work and I swooped in after she was done to buy one for myself. See bottom of this post for what, exactly. (I love it so much.)

The opening was nice — I saw Bigfoot, and met a few nice new people, including one whose husband is from Amherst. Afterward we went to Ascari for dinner, and a lovely one at that. An Italian winemaker (Francesca di Nisio) was there to discuss her wine, of which we had a flight: a Pecorino, a Cerasuolo, and a Montepulciano. Lovely, all. We had them with a small meat and cheese board, the highlight of which was some local honeycomb.

The rest of the meal — Arancini Cacio e Pepe; rapini w/ poached salt cod, lemon, almonds, and chili flakes; caramelle w/ kabocha squash & mascarpone filling, sage, brown butter, capers, and lemon (Lindsay); and pappardelle w/ braised beef cheeks, black pepper, fried shallot, marjoram, and grana padano (Dan) — was sensational. Most of it went with a bottle of 2006 Il Tarocco Chianti Classico, which was goddamn outstanding.

Lion Head Ginger Jar Art Vase in Blue and White by Dominique Fung

Penultimate Montreal

This week’s been so busy I forgot to talk about our trip to Montreal last weekend. We brought a bunch of Lindsay’s stuff back to Toronto, but mainly just tried to enjoy Montreal for the last time. For a while, anyway.

Our flight was supposed to leave Friday night but got delayed; we ended up just changing it to early Saturday morning. We flew in, dropped our stuff at the apartment, hung out with Sara and Roscoe for a bit, and then went downtown for lunch at Cafe Parvis. We shared a cucumber salad and margherita pizza; I had a nice little soave and a Loire cab franc. All was good.

Just down the street was the MAC (the contemporary art museum) where we checked out the buzzy new Rafael Lozano-Hemmer exhibition, some of which was very cool, and some of which seemed more spectacle than significant. There were other lovely exhibitions too, like Alone Together and That’s How The Light Gets In and especially The Prophets. A worthwhile visit, to be sure.

For dinner last night we obviously had to hit up Maison Publique, where we turned in a top-notch final meal:

  • Radish, mozzarella, and basil salad
  • White asparagus
  • Tagliatelle in garlic & pesto
  • Fried halibut
    • 2014 Burrowing Owl Chardonnay
  • Spicy lamb tartare
  • Charlevoix Pork
    • 2015 Laughing Stock Portfolio Bordeaux blend
  • Pot de creme
  • Ice cream, with a celebratory/goodbye sparkler
    • Godfather cocktails, made with local amaretto

Quel send-off.

The next morning required a slow start, so we grabbed picnic ingredients from the nearby Metro and ate and hung out in Parc La Fontaine. We read Fran Lebovitz to each other, just like we did in our early days together, and watched ducks and dogs, and enjoyed the sun (but not too much, as we are so very pale).


We had to spend the afternoon packing, but then ducked out to Brouhaha for a few beers with Sara. We heard very odd music, like this. Twice.

I also walked into the ladies washroom. Slick last few hours in Montreal, I must say.

Our flight back home was delayed too, but only by an hour or so. Still, that was more than enough to start us off exhausted for what would turn out to be a very busy week.



Granted, I might need to buy something with colour in it

Slowly but surely, I am building an art collection worthy of hanging in this loft.

The first one I bought was from Krystina Stamatopolous:

Then, in Rwanda, I bought this one:


Finally, my absolute favourite, by Daniel Hutchinson:

Then, at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition we bought a bunch of prints for a print wall, but I also bought this beautiful, delicate thing by Olga Klosowski:

The centerpiece of that print wall, by the way, will be this poster from Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris. Whew, colour!



Cover photo is another piece we bought at the Outdoor Art Exhibit, by Daniela Rojze

The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything

Today was my birthday. My 42nd birthday, as it happens. It was a crazy weekend, though my birthday had little to do with that.

First up was a visit by brother #2 on Thursday. We met after work at the Keg near his hotel, and ate some piles of meat. After that Lindsay and I retired to Chez Nous where Laura poured us some off-menu treats.

On Friday, we were off to nearby Project Gallery Studios for an opening, after which we hung out with a couple of the artists and their friends at Aft until the wee hours.

Saturday morning we dragged ourselves out of bed, loaded up on breakfast and snacks at Bonjour Brioche, then drove north to the Hockley Valley Resort for a wedding. We got there in enough time to eat lunch at the wine bar and change for the wedding. The meal was excellent, and very long, and then the party started. We lasted until about midnight, then retired to our room.

When we arrived I discovered a surprise: Lindsay had gifts and balloons(!) waiting for me: a Secrid wallet, October by China Miéville, and a promise to go see Dunkirk next weekend. Whatta girl.

After some much-needed breakfast this morning we stopped at Adamo Estate winery (which is owned by the same people as the resort) to pick up a few wines we’d tried at the resort, then enjoyed the pretty ride home. The rest of Sunday was relaxing, eating, and watching GoT.

Cover photo from the Omaw website

Jed’s other festival

We spent our Thursday and Friday evenings attending parts of the Vector Festival here in Toronto:

Vector Festival is a participatory and community-oriented initiative dedicated to showcasing digital games and creative media practices. Presenting works across a dynamic range of exhibitions, screenings, performances, lectures, and workshops, Vector acts as a critical bridge between emergent digital platforms and new media art practice.

Thursday night was the opening was the launch party at Inter/Access, and while a bunch of what we saw was interesting, I was blown away by some of what we saw Friday night at Execute!  From Scene To Screen. From the site:

Vector co-founder Clint Enns curates an extraordinary screening that pays homage to the extravagant, edgy, and plain crazy history of the demoscene, a loose international community of programmers, hackers, musicians, and designers (originally involved in cracking video game copy protection) who create self-contained, audio-visual code-based works that range from minuscule visual abstractions to over-the-top epics. The majority of the work will be screened from executable files, rather than video, reframing the demo as a micro-cinema format.

He played the files using various emulators which got a little glitchy…which is part of the point. There were Amiga demos. Nintendo movies about Super Mario’s dementia. DOS animations. An unofficial video for a Grandaddy song (from The Sophtware Slump, which reminded me that I really need to re-listen to that album). Some kind of mutant hybrid where the file was both audio and animation.

There were Commodore C64 files, for fuck’s sake. And some of them made in this year. What a fascinating look into a scene that exists — somehow — out of sheer creativity and, I guess, patience. I remember C64 coding.

Also, when we left Inter/Access Thursday we had dinner at Omaw. I’d been wanting to try that place for a while, but it exceeded expectations. Here’s what came at us:

  • Excellent cocktails. Far better than the wine, frankly. If I go back I’ll stick with the cocktails.
  • Jambalaya fashioned into what looked like tiny balls of charcoal
  • A sheet of aged wagyu covered in peas and coffee succotash
  • Scallops with rice and coconut cream
  • Nashville hot chicken, basically five pieces of flattened boneless chicken covered in hot sauce. MY GOD this was good. I want it every, every day.


Cover photo from the Omaw website