Movie Premiere: Take This Waltz

June 28, 2012

I’ve been looking forward to Take This Waltz, in part because of the fantastic promotion for the movie. There’ve been TV trailers, there’ve been photo-booths at events, there’s the website Conversation About Love (which you should definitely visit, it has some cute captures, and more practically, it's proof of people really engaging with a marketing campaign). I was definitely kicked about my free passes from Mongrel Media which got me into the movie preview at the Manulife Center. This is a quick review.


You know, you watch the trailers, you read the IMDB snippet, and you think, “Ok, I know what this movie’s all about, I know how it’s going to go.” The movie Take This Waltz works, in part, because there’s a lot of material in the movie that the trailers don’t even hint at. Sure, it’s a movie about  all-consuming infatuation and the sometimes-tedium of marriage and choices. But in the end, it’s more about life than it is about love.

The movie has an all-talented cast of Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby and Sarah Silverman, so you already know you’re going to see some powerful performances. I’ve seen a little too much of Williams being depressed this year, but she did have some fantastic whimsical, almost manic dialogues to work with. Silverman was her usual witty and wise self, I’d really like to see her take the lead in a mainstream movie. I don’t have much to say about Kirby, his role was pretty much that of a boy-toy prop and he played it well, but Seth Rogen, in my opinion, stole the show with his restrained performance and his very realistic responses. His character definitely grows on you through the movie and becomes more than a 2D figure.

In fact, you identify, sometimes uneasily, with every single one of the characters at some point in the film, and the often-funny dialogues keep them just real enough not to be too artsy. Sarah Polley directed reality into so many scenes in the movie and made the whole thing not only believable, but also intense. There was some interesting camerawork and audio in the movie, which had me fascinated as a student of film studies. Every frame’s practically a portrait, and I enjoyed scenes where the sounds inside/outside a house were interspersed with each other. The movie’s filmed almost entirely in Toronto, and I may be reading too much into it, but the city did seem like a good backdrop to the characters’ restlessness and pace of life.

As the movie progressed, you found yourself wondering how it would end, how this series of events could possibly end. I think the scriptwriters had the same question because there were several points when you nearly got up, thinking it was over, but no, wait, there’s yet another shot. It did drag a little, but I think the viewer was offered several ways in which it could have ended, and I personally thought the real ending was about as fair or as unfair as life itself. You left the movie thinking that if the story had played out in real life, that’s probably what would have happened.

I’m not sure if mainstream audiences will appreciate the movie, it’s kind of the answer to ‘What happens after a happily ever after?’ and that’s never a comfortable place to go. But it definitely makes you think, and talk, and set aside your own day-to-day concerns for the two hours in which the movie runs. I personally enjoyed it: a man who desperately wants to rescue a woman who can’t be rescued from her perpetual sense of emptiness.

 Is the woman too smart to ever be truly happy? Is her husband the smart one for figuring out how to just stop looking for more? A marriage without conversation seems like a lonely place to be… you can only see if it works by pushing it to the brink and seeing if you have words beyond the carnal and the cuddly.

All in all, it's the kind of movie that makes you want to sit down with a coffee afterwards and dissect every dialogue, every camera angle, every sound bite, to bits. I'm glad I watched it and I have a whole new list of places I want to see in Toronto after watching it!

Fruit of Their Labour: Not Far From the Tree 5th Anniversary

June 27, 2012

The Event
I studied at KFI, a school where there were plenty of trees just waiting to be climbed… so many, in fact, that we were encouraged to ‘adopt’ a tree each, and watch it grow over the year. Our school also had a farm where we used to visit and help out, and I always felt like I knew exactly where the food on my plate was coming from (and that I’d contributed to getting it there, even!)

Given that background, you can probably understand my immediate attraction towards Not Far From the Tree. If you haven’t heard of them yet (and I’m confident you will, in the following years!) they’re a group that makes good use of Toronto’s abundant supply of fruit by helping tree-owners pick and harvest their bounty. I haven’t been able to go on a fruit pick yet because they get filled up so fast, but a friend of mine led a cherry picking one, where she got 1/5th of 1/3rd of the harvest (1/3rd goes to volunteers, there were 5)… I got a portion of her portion and that was enough to keep me knee-deep in cherries for a week!

I was really happy to help out at Not Far From The Tree’s 5th Anniversary event, where they shared their incredible accomplishments to date with their volunteers.

Me at the Event
I got to 401 Richmond and fell in instant love with the old fashioned brick building and the incredibly green rooftop deck. Apparently that garden used to be open to the public until recently, which is a pity, because it’s gorgeous and I can picture myself whiling a good evening away over there. It was definitely the perfect location for this party though, with the vegan snacks, gelatos and cupcakes fitting right into the décor.

Since there was a big sign at the door of the building saying the garden had been closed to the public (again, wince!), I was on door duty telling volunteers that the garden was still open especially for them and that they could go on up to enjoy the fruits of their labour! It was a fun job, I ran into some people I’d met at The Stop’s Night Market the previous week, and even the talented gentleman who’d designed the NFFTT tee I was wearing. It was definitely a happy crowd that cut that birthday cake with fond memories of their first ever pick, and I’m looking forward to the day when I can blog about my first ever pick too :)

What I loved: Location, location, location. NFFTT’s new office is going to be hosted in the same building where the party happened and it looks idyllic. It fit the group very nicely together, and I got a huge kick out of Steamwhistle’s beer display at the event. They’d also had a fun van at The Stop’s Night Market the previous week, and I love how they seem to be associated with groups that I wholeheartedly support!
What I didn’t love: It threatened to rain off and on, but that was the only cloud (literally!) on a beautiful evening. It was also a bit sad that some people who got to the party early left before the actual cake cutting, or came after the treats from Magic Oven were all gone.

Overall: So glad there were slots open for a volunteer opportunity! I’m waiting to pounce on the next email that comes in and (hopefully) register myself before anyone else can :)

#TwitterParty She's Connected

June 26, 2012

The Event
Logo from the site
I've mentioned before, in my first post, that the active Blogger community in Toronto is the prime driver behind my starting this blog up. And Social Media Women (@ShesConnected) is one of my favorite groups to web-stalk because of the warmth and energy of the network they've built. I'm working on building this blog into something I can add to their impressive repertoire of networked blogs, but in the meanwhile, I settled for joining the fun ladies at a #TwitterParty, in anticipation of their upcoming She's Connected conference.

Me at the Event
Did you know that it only takes an hour of frantic tweeting for a topic to trend? Seriously, that was the fastest hour of my life, keeping track of the #sccto hashtag and trying to answer all the questions as they sped by! It was also my first Twitter party, and I intend to attend many more.

From this one, I already got the links to some great blogs which look like reading fodder for the next week. I also have a whole new bunch of followers/people to follow, and we all know there's nothing like some Twitter love to get us through the week. Where else will people hang on to gripping narratives of your opinions on everything under the sun? I love Twitter.

What I loved: The speed of it all had to be seen to be believed. There were twenty new tweets every minute! I also loved the enthusiasm with which everyone recalled last year's conference. Ford's Karaoke booth, in particular, seems to be on the top of most people's memories. And you always know an event's successful when sponsors are happy to come back the next year! (Take a bow, @chickenfarmers)

What I didn't love: Many of the questions the host posed were about last year's conference and it emphasized the sad fact that I wasn't around here last year, boo! Hopefully we'll cover more general topics and talk about what we want to see at this year's conference in the upcoming Twitter Parties. I was also so bummed that the free conference passes I'd been eyeing all week went to others, as part of a lucky draw! Oh well, there's always next month. Because, in conclusion, I will definitely be back!

Overall: Read the last line above :)

Socializing at Windsor Arms' #OysterTuesdays

June 26, 2012

The Event
What does a vegetarian do at #OysterTuesdays? Network, of course. 

I'd heard a lot about Oyster Tuesdays via Christine Korda's lively Twitter feed ($1.25 for lovely fresh oysters in the inimitable old-school ambiance of the Windsor Hotel). And, of course, I'd heard a lot about Windsor Arms being a premier high tea destination in Toronto from all and sundry. When Christine tweeted an invite, with the disclaimer that the hotel had a fantastic vegan selection, created by Douglas McNish, author of Eat Raw, Eat Well... well. I had absolutely no reason not to head over. 

To add to the overall enthusiasm of it all, @SkinnyGirlCKTLS and @louise_philp were guaranteed to be there.

Me at the Event
For all the socializing I seem to do, I'm actually a fairly shy person on the inside. You know. Deep deep down. Somewhere. Shy me was out in full force as I crept into the already full room at Windsor Arms, but she was quickly swept to the wings in the friendly company I encountered.

There were women who'd known each other for ten years and more, there were people attending their first Oyster Tuesday, there were samples of Skinny Girl Cocktail thrown into the mix, and there was instant unwinding and long conversations about everything from travel to the future of mobile advertising.

What I loved: I found it interesting that almost every person in the room had been invited over by Christine. That's good PR for you! It also meant that the group had a certain homogeneous nature that I hadn't seen in any Meetup/event so far. It was interesting meeting people from very similar backgrounds, with very similar interests. It was like walking into conversations you were already a part of. Also, the outdoor seating at the patio was incredible, and I could easily have sat there all week!

What I didn't love: It's great that Windsor Arms has a gourmet vegetarian selection, I'd have loved to see one vegan counterpart complementing the oysters, since $1.25 is a great rate :)

Overall: I'm definitely heading back, not just for the networking at Oyster Tuesdays, but also for the kale salad which Christine says is the best she's ever had. Stay tuned to find out!

Canadian Summer Tradition: BBQ Sundays

June 24, 2012

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, my husband and I are temporarily staying at a house we found through AirBnB. It's great, because it gives us an opportunity to experience life in a true Toronto-style townhouse for a while, before we move to a far more convenient-to-maintain condo. 

The place where we're staying has a great rooftop garden. Inspired by the rooftop + the lovely weather we've been having, we decided to make like Canadians and fire up the barbeque. My husband donned his figurative apron and did an admirable job of roasting and grilling our snacks. All the time that he had the grill on, we were providing constructive commentary, such as 'But why would people do this? An oven's so much easier!' And you know what? An oven is so much easier, but the food made on that grill tasted so good!

Maybe it was because it had been marinating longer. Maybe it was the great outdoors. Possibly the charred smokiness in each bite. There's definitely something to it.

In other news of a culinary nature, I'm celebrating the anniversary of the first time I cooked at home for my husband. Yes, I really do remember these dates. I blame it on my Economics classes in high school, I'm cursed to remember random numbers forever more! Anyway, I baked a tiny little cake and plan to spring a surprise on him. It's safe to say he doesn't remember the date. It's hard to blame him... he probably didn't concentrate on Economics in school.

Summer Solstice Event: The Stop's Night Market

June 20, 2012

The Event

 Having fake-alertedly attended one 'summer solstice' kickoff, I double checked my calendar and confirmed this was the real deal. The Stop is an amazing Community Food Center with a mission to eliminate world hunger. This event, in particular, had a $50 entry to an all-you-can-eat-and-drink Night Market extravaganza in the alley behind Honest Ed's.

27 restaurants & beverage-providers) (including Woodlot, Steamwhistle, and Ursa) generously loaned their chefs' services, and 27 designers worked on creating unique food stalls for them. Toronto sure knows how to put food and art together! (Here's what I'm talking about, if you haven't read it yet). Brockton General's carboard... Pegasus?...was a show-stopper, noone was sure what bird/animal the cart was, but it brought in the hungry and the curious. Cowbell's ice block stall was a literal show stopper, with the heat + the ice combining to create watery chaos.

Me at the Event
I tried to buy tickets for the event, but they were sold out. So I volunteered my way in :)
Pro-tip: It's a great way to get behind the scenes, meet the talented people orchestrating these events, and do your bit towards making them work. Plus, you learn so much about yourself! I for one did not know I knew how to untangle cable wires and make lights actually work. Also, in India, you don't really do part-time restaurant work, the way a lot of college kids here do. It was the chance of a lifetime for me, it's always been my secret dream to work at a restaurant for a bit. What an awesome avenue to do it, we waited on 1000 people who brought in more than $50K that night.

What I loved: I loooooved how many vegetarian options there were. I cannot stress that enough. What I also loved: At one point, the chefs and the beverage providers realized they could swap wares, so they set up beer runs and taco exchanges. It was great fun being in the middle of it all, and bringing smiles on the faces of the chefs who were ensuring everyone else there was smiling too. Additional bonus: vegetarian customization for the helpful volunteer who brought them what they wanted! 

What I didn't love: Sadly, because it was a $50 flat fee, there was quite a bit of wastage. People just kind of took a plate, took one bite, and threw away the rest. There were full glasses of beer (what a sin, seriously!) and entire plates that had just been left behind on tables and strewn around the grounds. Maybe next time it should be a pay $50 and get to eat at any 5 stalls or something.

Overall: I definitely hope this is a recurring event, it's a great way to kick off the summer!

A Morning at City Hall

June 18, 2012

Picture from City of Toronto website
Everyone in Toronto has to have an SIN number, whether they're immigrants or on temporary work permits. I'd been putting off a trip to City Hall to register for mine... largely because when I pity Government offices of any kind, I picture long waits, tons of documentation, and plenty of tedious form filling. Suffice to say that I'd reached my month's quota of form filling by the time I cleared customs and immigration.

It was only when I realized that I need a SIN number to even apply for jobs that I set out for City Hall on the double. I have to say, I  like the old City Hall building a lot, it's bursting with character and reminds me, oddly, of India. The new building, though, is bursting with efficiency and I was super impressed with how easy it was to figure out which line to join, what form to fill (it had just 8 questions!) and so on.

I'll get my SIN 10 days from now, and then this move may start to feel more real than it has so far. We're still living out of suitcases, in temporary accommodation courtesy AirBnB (a website I highly recommend to people visiting cities and looking for cost efficient home-like spaces in which to stay) and this is my first concrete step towards being less of a tourist and more of a here-I-am. I've met so many people in the last few days, and they always tell me where they're from, and when Toronto became their new home. I guess my story probably starts around here.*Big grin*

Little Taste of Toronto: Little Italy + MMVA

June 16, 2012

The Event(s)
The Taste of Italy is a recurring annual event in the boisterous and lively neighborhood of… where else?...Little Italy. I’m a big fan of cheese (really, who isn’t?) and it remains my number one reason for not being completely vegan, so, as you can probably guess, I’ll happily line up when someone says ‘Italian.’

Combine lots of authentic Italian food with the robust tones of Italian music and you have an idyllic Sunday evening. After a quick round of the event, a friend and I planned to hit the much talked-about MMVA to check out the vibe. Co-hosted by LMFAO with pop music’s favorite love-to-hate boy Justin Bieber also performing, the event at Queen West definitely attracted Teen Toronto.

Me at the Event(s)
Though it would seem pretty apparent to everyone, I was rudely shocked when the streetcar I was on suddenly said it wouldn’t go any further because of the Taste of Italy festival. Irony of ironies. I ended up walking through the entire festival not once, but two times… once to get to where my friend was waiting, and another time to check it out full force. May I say, it was well worth the detour.

The energy in the area was palpable, and I kind of pitied my husband watching soccer alone at home, when he could be watching it at one of the crowded, noisy, superfriendly patios lining the road. Not all the food items on display were conventional Italian, but we managed to sneak in a couple of very authentic Gelatos. I cheated and got creamy ones which were practically ice creams. I live for sinful pleasures.

Picture courtesy
As for the MMVA… my GOD, was that area crowded! It was interesting to note the crowd that gathers when you combine free entrance with Justin Bieber on a Sunday with good weather. I have never seen that side of Toronto (ok, fine, I know I’ve been in the city for less than a month. What can I say?  It’s easy to get used to!) and it was a whole load of fun!

What I loved: The energy everywhere! With Sundays like this, your Monday blues are guaranteed to disappear.

What I didn’t love: The shooting at Little Italy the next day. This is the second shooting in Toronto in the short time that I’ve been here, and though I know the city’s supposed to be super safe and the law enforcement agents are doing all they can… it’s just sad. On a related note, Christine, a woman I briefly met online through Meetup, is organizing a fund to support the 13 year old boy who was caught unawares in the shootout at Eaton Center on June 1st. Go here to learn more and spread the word.

Overall: I’m thinking of exploring one neighbourhood in Toronto thoroughly each month going forward. Good idea? Suggestions of what I should check out? Want to come with? Leave me a comment!

This Fortnight in Advertising: June 1 - 15

June 15, 2012

One of the first things I notice when I come to any city is the ads. I look out for hoardings, print ads, ads in transit (such as those in subway stations, buses, and so on), and, of course, TV ads. I’ve been doing this since I was 8 or so, so maybe I was destined to work with marketing after all.

When it comes to Toronto… God, the range of advertising here is so hard to pin down. On the one hand, you have TV ads which are usually about competitor bashing or product differentiation. Pretty standard, though, may I say, the Pepsi ad where the Coke employee drinks Pepsi and switches bandwagons? I seriously doubt that ad would have gotten permission to show in India!

On the other hand, you have some seriously inspired text ads at bus stands (my favorites were ‘Don’t worry Jesus, lots of kids have two dads these days. Happy Father’s Day.’ and Bell’s ‘Neighbours are for borrowing sugar, not internet.’ I’m really going to have to start taking pictures going forward, because it’s impossible to track these down online!)

I’ve decided to make note, on a monthly basis, of: 1. The brand you absolutely could not ignore that month (for overall ad presence & coverage across mediums), 2. The ad(s) I loved that month, and 3. Online campaigns that caught my eye. Watch out for this month’s roundup at the end of the month!

A Go Train Away: Weekend in Milton

June 15, 2012

 My dad’s cousins have lived in Toronto for a really long time. I was surprised to hear it was actually well over 9 years, which means that the last time I saw them, I must have been much younger than I thought.

I have fairly vivid memories of visiting their home in India. I remember them swapping travel stories with my dad, and I’ll always remember one of them (they’re twins, so I can be forgiven for forgetting which one!) telling me that I looked just like Meg Ryan, when You’ve Got Mail was on TV. Then again, if You’ve Got Mail was on TV, it must have been ages ago!

It really felt like no time had passed at all when we met them at their beautiful home in Milton, ON. Thank God for my family’s miraculous genes (I hope I carry them too!), no one seems to look any older, despite the passing of years! 

Their house brought back many more memories, with a reconstituted puja room containing many pieces I recognized from their house in India. There were photos of their parents which I remembered seeing in photo albums my grandfather kept in his house. All in all, it was a pleasant trip down memory lane.

They’ve a lovely front porch with well-tended to potted plants, and a back garden which transports you to a new dimension altogether. The house was altogether magical, and the area seemed to do it justice. In the evening, we got in their car and went to a nearby park, as well as a lake with a walking path around it. 

I can’t begin to describe the serenity you feel in these places – the water seems so clean, the grass greener, and there are no high rises for miles together. We even saw unfettered horses grazing in one of the farms on our way back!

And, of course, there was Indian food. Lots of it. A weekend very well spent!

My First Meetup: Summer Solstice After Work Mixer

14 June, 2012

The Event
The organizers
Toronto Friends is one of the most active Meetup groups on… their message boards seem full of engaged responses, and there’s always something fun going on. Michael and Christine, two of the veteran organizers on the group, put out a call for a ‘Summer Solstice’ After Work Mixer at Pogue Mahone (777 Bay).

While the group missed the mark on the summer solstice, the event itself was definitely on the mark – timed after work, in a downtown location office goers could easily get to, and – did the organizers say – free appetizers? No wonder there was a crowd! 120 people attended this very successful event and the ratings on the meetup group the next day spoke volumes.
Crowded bar = successful event

Me at the Event
I was curious to check out the vibe among  a group of virtual strangers. While I’ve heard of Meetup, I was aware that a similar website wasn’t ever set up back home because of the rampant dangers of crowd control. Especially given that this particular meetup was at a bar with free appetizers, I was definitely looking forward to seeing the crowd that came out.

I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and range of the group. You see immigrants from all nations in Toronto, of course, but until you gather a random sampling in a room, you don’t quite realize how diverse the groups that coexist in the city are. I met a lot of interesting people from a host of different countries, and I’m looking forward to many more meetup groups, now that my back-of-the-mind concerns about safety have been addressed!

What I loved: The sheer mix of people, the palpable energy in the crowd… and the fact that for relative introverts, there was a quieter area where they sat around on bar stools and interacted with people who came up to them (very helpful when you have a husband who likes to take his time before opening up! :))

What I didn’t love: I met at least 40 people that night, and not one of us had had an appetizer, free or otherwise. I wonder where they went? We could see them, we could smell them, but somehow, we never quite got them on our plates.

Overall: I’m definitely going to be attending more meetups, hopefully some with themes that I’m interested in. Book clubs & digital media professionals, here I come!

A Lot on Our Plates: President's Choice® 1000 Tastes of Toronto™

10 June, 2012

The Event
Picture courtesy
The President's Choice® 1000 Tastes of Toronto™ is, I hear, one of the most eagerly awaited events at the Toronto Luminato Festival. At the festival’s opening weekend, around 36 participating restaurants, most of which even I’d heard about though I was all of 6 days old in the city (I’m such a foodie!), offered their wares for $5 a plate. There’s a deal you can’t refuse.

Set up in a long alley along Toronto’s historic Distillery District, the smells in the air were pretty incredible. Many of the vendors seemed to have reinvented street food, making it look almost gourmet. Poutini’s House of Poutine, Amaya and Chippy’s Fish & Chips Inc were names that I recognized, among others.

Me at the Event
I actually went to this two times! The first time, I went with a couple of new-found friends I’d made while we made Austrian Potato Soup (read about it here). We took a leisurely stroll, exploring our options, and picking up all the free samples in our path. It was interesting trying to figure out which Canadian staple had made it into the food the vendors were offering.

I went back the next day with my husband, to show him some of the spirit and enthusiasm I’d come across on the previous day. Both times, the event seemed full of happy well-fed people and there was ample moving space despite the crowds.

The Plates!
What I loved: Hands-down, my favorite part of the event was the display of white plates which visitors signed with their messages. They were encouraged to put down their favorite eating place/dish in Toronto, and I had a good time reading through it all (I did make notes for future reference!)

What I didn’t love: While some of the food options available seemed like hearty portions, there were others that I’d resent paying $5 for. One lump of cheese and two basil leaves vs. a full plate of rice with an Indian curry… and both for $5? It seemed like some customers were getting the raw end of the deal. I’d love to see options for entrée and main the next time, priced differently.

Overall: When in the company of foodies, you feel ten times happier. I’d definitely go back next year… and try to influence which vendors they call back too! :)

Cartloads of Fun: Toronto Carretilla Initiative

9 June, 2012

The Event
Makeshift kitchen
I’m deeply interested in food (who isn’t?) and I have a passing love affair with art, having studied it in college (and more than gotten my fill of it with all the assignments we were made to do!)

Put both food and art together and… you usually get an inedible mess which looks pretty. But artist Rainer Prohaska’s Toronto Carretilla Initiative, a part of the Toronto Luminato Festival, immediately grabbed my attention. It combined food + art in a way which was both beautiful, as well as incredibly yummy.

The idea was to fashion an industrial-style kitchen  out of 10 Loblaws’ carts, in various areas of the city. The makeshift kitchen not only passed the Toronto Public Health regulations, but also enabled batches of volunteers cook up community meals of soups and salads. Installation art at its epicurean best.

Me at the Event
This was the first event I attended in Toronto and I loved the sense of experimentation and community in everyone present at the Distillery District’s installation. Our group of 10-12 people made Austrian Potato Soup that chilly Saturday morning, and it certainly seemed to warm up the watching crowd.

The recipe for Austrian Potato Soup
I added an extra touch of colour to the proceedings by promptly knicking my finger while cutting a particularly rotund potato. Lesson learned: knives in Toronto are sharper than they are back home! Bandage in place, I went back to work, and 40 minutes and about a 100 grated carrots, cut celery etc later, soup was ladled out in disposable containers to the eagerly waiting public.

What I loved: Cutting my finger wasn’t pleasant, but it did allow me to step back and look at the group. It was pretty impressive watching the efficiency between stations, and I really got to see the ‘art’ side of it.

What I didn’t love: My soup , an unexpectedly thick and textured warm bowl of goodness, vanished far too fast. But this was more my fault than the organizers’ :)

Overall: So much fun, and I definitely recommend this for anyone who’s even passing through Toronto. 

Hello, Blog!

6 June, 2012

At the offset, I should sheepishly confess that I've owned about 8 blogs to date. Note the past tense. I am (wince) a serial blog deleter.

Sometimes it's because a blog started to lack a cohesive theme, at other times because the people I wrote with moved away. God knows with Twitter, Facebook and G+, more and more people are starting to microblog, rather than good-old-fashioned blog blog. I'm guilty of that myself. Why then start this blog?

Well. I moved to Toronto recently, and found, to my delight, that people here actively blog. Not just tweet. No, they blog! And it's wonderful when you come across a community that blogs because that inspires you to write yourself. Not post a status, but write. Express. Share.

Blogs build communities in ways that microblogs don't quite. Whether it's getting a heartfelt comment on a post that meant a lot, or writing a guest post on a blog you've always admired... there's something about this medium that makes it stand apart.

I'm starting this blog with all the enthusiasm of a new girl in Toronto. It seems fitting that this blog should be about my experiences in the city that inspired the blog. I am four days old in the city, and determined to see and experience all I can. Here we go!

PS: Big big kudos to the team at ShesConnected for inspiring this!