June 2012

Those were the days

Remember March? I was in New York back then! I just found some lost photos of the apartment we stayed in. If you’re looking for space in NYC’s East Village, Rad’s House is the place to go.

I think the hostess we had has moved, but the apartment is still rented by the same crew of characters. They invited us to sweet parties and had many drinks with us. Very friendly and, well…rad.

Hey look! My clothes are in the closet! I live here (this week)!

Do you know how sweet it was to wake up and look out into this courtyard every day? TOTALLY – that’s how.

Welcome to the living room.

Can I pour you a tea? Oh! You prefer coffee? Me too, I was just trying to accommodate you. Let’s go here instead…

Actually I think this was a different cafe. I can’t remember the name of it but it started with an “M” and was located near the Highline Bridge.

Sigh. I miss my life as a New Yorker. Especially the red velvet cupcake part of that life, but especially not the subway part.

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A Field Guide to the Bike Trip

Mini-trip! To Selkirk Provincial Park, which is only about 65 km away, so it’s a good intro for people like Robert who love biking but have never toured.

Want my official (not official. There’s lots missing and you will get lost if you treat this as comprehensive. You’ll have to wait for DBH to put its rental fleet and maps together if you want the actual steps) guide to this trip? Ok, then…

Start by packing up, packing up, packing up, packing up.

All you do is take Hamilton’s east-running rail trail up up up the mountain, down Stonechurch a bit and you can ride a gravel trail (tiny gravel so you won’t wipe out), car-free, almost all the way to Caledonia.

Provided, of course, that you put your bike together correctly. Rack malfunction! Good thing Robert brought a mechanic along. Joking. Robert is a mechanic. He was just a mechanic in a hurry when he attached this rack the first time.

If you want to stop for lunch in Caledonia (you do), Cornerstone is the place to do it. Trust me. We’ve tried them all and this place wins.

If you’re really lucky, you’ll get a 30-35km/hour tailwind and you’ll fly down the highway from there. Please observe the background grasses bending in our favour.

Regardless of the fact that you’ve barely worked since lunch, you’re probably going to need a snack in Selkirk. I’m going to recommend the Sunflower Cafe because it’s that or nothing!

If you didn’t pick up groceries already, I hate to say you’re out of luck, but…you pretty much are. There’s enough stuff to make a rudimentary pasta at the convenience store/LCBO (though I think we got the last pack of frozen beef), but not a whole lot else. For instance…

…these are the camping essentials Robert picked up (he doesn’t think vacations are as much fun when you eat healthy). One camping essential sadly not available for purchase? Common sense (burn! Sorry Robert), which is why when we got back from a waterfront stroll, the cake looked like this:

But at least we all got to enjoy the beach.

Right? Right. Now let’s boil some water and pose for an Icebreaker ad.

Done already? It’s time to eat!

Hey, not you!

After dark there’s tonnes to do too. You can stare at the stars…

You can stare at the fire…

And you can spend all night scaring raccoons away from the beef jerky Robert left in his pannier because the death of the cake wasn’t a severe enough lesson.

On the return the next morning, you’re going to have a headwind to pay the cycling gods back for the tailwind you had yesterday, so by the time you get to Caledonia, Oasis will be a must.

Careful on the bridge or this could happen to you.

Just before you get on the trail that will take you to Stonechurch, you’ll pass this guy:

And these guys:

Pet them. They’re nice and they’ll let you because they’ll think you have food. They won’t know you don’t until your hand is running through their horse-y manes and by then it will be too late!

You’ll be home before you know it, with plenty of time to cheers your stamina over a pint at The Ship.

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The first and last time I ever stood on a skateboard was in grade ten. No sooner had I set my foot on it than I was flat on my back in the middle of the parking lot.

Despite those least-successful-ever beginnings, I always had this feeling I’d like to skateboard. When I found out about longboards, I thought they might be my ticket because they seemed so much easier (like how I thought that, despite being an awful guitar student, I might be incredible at bass because there were less strings. Haven’t tried so I still might be!), but it wasn’t until I found out about these girls last year that I knew it was only a matter of time. Surfing nudged me a little more because I needed something to keep up the practice of balancing when waves were down.

However, this is the video that clinched it – that pushed things over the edge from occasional consideration to flat-out obsession – by starting the same kind of scritch-scritch-scratching that kicks off innocently enough and digs maddening holes in the backs of minds. Do you get that? Where you sort of think about something in passing and dismiss it at first and then you eventually realize it’s eating your brain and you think, “oh shit…I might as well just get it over with and start learning __________ because this is not going to go away.”

ANYWHOOOO, all this to say I bought this on Saturday.

AND GUYS. I don’t want to jinx myself right off the bat, but I’m doing it! Not in a bombing down the hills on slide-y gloves kind of way (ummmmm I don’t know if I will ever be that), but last night I went out on the path in the park behind my house and rolled successfully, stayed standing and executed turns. It was glorious! Roarious!

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GUYS. I stink. I know it. But it’s for your own good. I’m weaning you off posts because the next few weeks (especially during July) are going to see some seriously empty web space on these pages. There’s so much going on – Supercrawl fundraiser*, gritLIT fundraiser (come buy some used books during Open Streets on James North this Sunday), island camping here, a major bike trip to Manitoulin Island, mini bike trips here and here, AND Hillside? It’s going to be a good summer. What are you up to?

* The fundraiser is being held here on Thursday night and includes food, refreshments, artist talks and  sneak peeks of some of the work that will be at Supercrawl this September. Plus? An after-party at TAH. Tickets are $40 and all the money goes towards artist fees for local and national artists. Want to come? Email me! ameskenny@gmail.com

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Avast ye mateys!

Yesterday afternoon I went to walk Memphis to the studio and he sat down in the middle of the sidewalk near the park and refused to budge. I thought, this dog is smart – it’s too hot to work right now. So Sean and I hit the lake for the maiden voyage of the duck boat he got me for Christmas.

Wait! Do we have the safety kit?

Fewf! Ok, let’s go!

I went to the studio for a bit after that and then, once it cooled off, I went on a date with Robert.

Romantic, right? Don’t tell Sean.

Shit, where the heck did he come from? Act natural…

Ho hum, just hoisting up the John B’s sail! Nothing to see here.

PS – Sean would like me to tell you that blump on his arm is one of these so you can all stop wondering and/or asking about it. Kidding! He’s not shy. He’ll even let you poke it if you want.

PS again – Not kidding about what it is. Kidding that he’s sensitive about it.


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