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Friday, August 28, 2009

Shop the Block

I just saw a sign for the Monarch Park Street Sale happening this weekend. I'm SO excited. The sale takes place on Monarch Park between Sammon and Mortimer from 8 - noon. This could be a veritable treasure trove of kids toys and household goods, things I am in need of stocking up on. Sadly, I missed the south-of-Danforth version of this sale at the beginning of this summer.

For tips on buying thrifty garage sale items, check out another east-ender blog: The Grunge Queen.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Farmers' Market Tonight

Just a short post today to remind everyone that the Thursday night farmers' market at East Lynn Park is still going strong. In season are corn, zucchini, peaches and plums straight from the field to your table! Opens at 3pm.

And I know that I have written a ton of movie/film related posts in the past week, but I promise this is the last one: the outdoor movie that was supposed to happen at the market last week was rained out during the big storm, so it will be happening tonight at 8pm. If you bring your own bowl, it's half price on popcorn!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Seeing Stars

As the city plunges headlong into the insanity of the film-festival-that-shall-not-be-named, I can guarantee that Danforth East will remain mostly untouched by the general madness of the September event - a safe haven from the paparazzi if you will. However, don't forget that there ARE over a hundred films running during the event so everyone must brush up on their cinema studies.

Hollywood Canteen can help you. I ventured into the Danforth East shop over the weekend to see what I could find. Originally I had gone in looking for movie posters for my rec room, but ended up perusing the thousands and thousands of movie books crammed onto shelves up to the ceiling. It is a veritable treasure trove for anyone even remotely interested in film.The first bio published on Heath Ledger is for sale, as is almost every single book written about Gone With The Wind, including an illustrated history which I picked up for $20.

You may have seen the Hurt Books rack out front. Keep in mind, you have to bypass the stamp collectors who are now taking up real-estate at the front of the store to get to the good stuff at the back, so don't be discouraged. They also do rentals which is great - no more driving down to the Film Buff in the Beach!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thai One On

There is not quite the profusion of Thai restaurants on Danforth East as you might find in other areas of Toronto, however, we do have some gems. Thai on Danforth has the fastest delivery around and a great lunch special to boot. Jean's Vegetarian is literally award winning and those living east of Woodbine sing the praises of Basil Thai Kitchen and their aromatic dishes.

As I was moseying down Danforth near Linsmore this past weekend, I was astonished to see a new Thai restaurant taking shape at 1266 Danforth right next to Jean's. The sign says the name will be Red Chilli Thai Restaurant - what I'm sure will be a welcome additon to the block. With a profusion of new restaurants opening on this stretch and noticeable improvements on behalf of existing businesses (anyone notice Sidewalk Cafe getting a facelift?!), looks like Danforth East is slowly regaining some of its former glory.

I peaked in the window of Red Chilli as the windows were uncovered and saw that it's still being pulled together, but holds the promise of being a warm and inviting place. Wicker tables and chairs and cozy decor can only go so far however. The food will have to withstand the test of local residents well versed in Thai cuisine!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Speaking of movies....

I have 2 double passes to give away for a film tonight at AMC Yonge & Dundas. The first two people to post a comment, each win a double pass.

The film is called The Boys. It's a Disney documentary about the two legendary brothers who pretty much wrote every single Disney score we know (Mary Poppins, Jungle Book, Aristocats etc.). The doc goes behind the scenes of the Hollywood magic factory and documents the bittersweet story - they worked together for years creating beautiful music but behind closed doors they were two brothers who didn't get along. It's a really great film (I got to see a sneak preview a few weeks ago!). I think anyone out there who likes music will love it!

Here's a link to the trailer.

And yes, that's the set of Mary Poppins in the photo......

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Silver Moon, Silver Screen

There's something to be said for watching a movie outdoors, camping under the stars on a blanket with your favourite snacks. I hate to flog the "recessionista" term again, but a lot of venues around the city have hosted free outdoor movie nights this summer (Dundas Square, the Drake Hotel drive-in etc), which I think is a response to the so called "tightening of the economic belt" we've all been feeling.

As usual, the Danforth East Community Association is right on target with their community events. This Thursday they are holding their own free outdoor screening at East Lynn park, immediately following the Farmers' Market.

Snuggle with your honey (or your kids) and settle down for a screening of Madagascar 2 at 8:00 pm. If you bring your own bowl or cup, freshly popped popcorn is half price. 

With temperatures in the heavenly zone, it promises to be a wonderful night for some movie magic!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Get Canned for Winter

This photo reminded me that there was once a time on Danforth East when women and men were genteel and did things like drink tea in the afternoon, prune rosebushes and eat dinner together as a family (sans television). Life was simpler, and a jar of peaches in the winter would have been a delicacy the whole family would savour. In our fast paced world of iPhone gizmos, instant access to goods and take-out food 24/7, we buy jars of Del Monte fruit in air-conditioned supermarkets - even in the middle of summer.

Although some of these things are cool, the simple art of canning fruit and vegetables has been lost. But fear not, the East Toronto Climate Action Group is hosting a canning workshop right in the 'hood, on Monday night at the Danforth Mennonite Church at 2174 Danforth Avenue at 7:30 p.m. The fruit of choice: Peaches, Pears and Blueberries.

SO.....head on over to the East Lynn Farmers' Market tonight and get some of the freshest peaches you can (they're perfectly in season today!) and sign up for this workshop on Monday. You can RSVP to Mary-Margaret McMahon at 416-693-9276

You will thank me in January!!

P.S. The photo is of Monarch Park, June 1921. Courtesy of the Toronto Archives.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ward 32 In the News

Just thought I would share: I came across this news item on Friday (Danforth East Councillor wins legal support from city, announcing that Toronto council has voted to help our local city councillor Sandra Bussin finance a libel suite against a local publication called Ward 32 News.

Here is the link to the Ward 32 News website, but it doesn't look like a legitimate news source, as you will see......

Monday, August 10, 2009

Million dollar smile

A few years ago, a revolution took place. Not the type of revolution that would usually come to mind. This revolution involves teeth.....clean teeth. Someone, somewhere dreamed of a world where dental hygiene and dentists don't have to be BFF's.

The love child of this so-called divorce is Impressions The Dental Hygiene Spa on Danforth - the very first dental hygiene spa in Toronto (and perhaps Canada).

The reason I'm waxing poetic about dental treatments is because they have just celebrated their first anniversary. Pretty exceptional for a new business on Danforth. Apparently, they've been packed since day one. For me, the draw was the complimentary spa treatments I got while I was getting a cleaning - the paraffin wax hand treatment was divine.

There are some great deals to be had as part of their 1 year celebration, in particular a FULL tube of toothpaste if you book an examination in August or September.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Corn Is As High, As An Elephants Eye

I got the inside scoop on something that I felt I should let everyone know about: there will be delicious sweet corn tonight, fresh from the farm, at the East Lynn farmers' market.

Since I've had such a hard time finding corn at our big mega-markets, this is music to my ears.

The corn is picked by the smiley Gary & Harry of Godelie Farms in Otterville at 6 am (too early for me to go corn pickin' so thank goodness they're up!) and it's on your table for dinner. Doesn’t get any fresher than that!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Enfant francaise, s'il vous plait!

J'adore francaise....but it is très mal that I know so very little of it. That is why I have sworn up and down that I will teach my kids French, as tiny members of a bilingual country. Being a new mom on Danforth East, I have realized that this is a sentiment that many of us moms share. That is why I was delighted to hear about a free musical theatre performance at S. Walter Stewart library this Thursday afternoon.

The performer is Grace Morrison and the entire show will be in French - it sounds like it is geared towards older kids, but I don't think its too early to let the little ones soak up the sounds of the continent via passive observation.

The show is from 2:00 - 3:00. For more information and/or registration, you can call the branch at 416-396-3975, s'il vous plait!

And here is a map to the library, thanks to this new handy dandy application called Google Web Elements:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

An Ode To Danforth

Earlier this year, I happened across an East York literary cameo in Vincent Lam's book Bloodletting and Miracle Cures. It turns out that we are also rap stars. Toronto rapper Abdominal has a secret crush on Danforth. You can see here, at about 2:40, a cameo appearance of neighbourhood store Comics & More in his video called T-Ode.

On that note, I decided to make a visit to said establishment and see just why people love this quiet, non-obtrusive comic store wedged between Greenwood/Danforth and Little Ethiopia.

What I discovered is that Comics & More not only has graphic novels (the politically correct grown-up term for comics) but also stocks books on art and drawing, board games, travel games, posters, action figures and other interesting items.

Owner/manager Rob, who is literally the comic book guy from the Simpsons (minus the attitude and the greasy ponytail), has been supplying fans across Toronto for nearly 20 years. He's super smart about comics (check out his blog) and fun to talk to. I wouldn't say that the store is a rival to the Silver Snail on Queen, which is larger and WAY more intense. It's laid back, in an east end kind of way, which is why I like it.

I had my eye on the $1 comic bins, a collection of vintage comics in a variety of themes - a great source for fun pop-art framed on the wall of a kids room. So you see, there is something for everyone, not just the comic-con crowd!