Category Archives: Things I Love

Music, Movies, Stores

Things I Miss About Shanghai

I haven’t been away from Shanghai for that long but it feels as though I didn’t live there for a year. Kind of like when you return from a trip and the next day it feels like a dream. As I reflect on the fastest year of my life, these are the things I’ll miss the most.

Cheap Taxis
I would take a taxi to work for no joke $2.85. I lived in the French Concession and worked in The Bund area, all the way across town, usually sitting in traffic, and it never failed – it was only a few dollars. Talk about great value!

The Fabric Market
Since I was little, I always wanted my clothes made. I would imagine bringing a picture of a designer coat to someone who would measure me and make it happen for a fraction of the cost. My dream came true at the South Bund Fabric Market. I benefited from living in Shanghai and having access to it year round, because it’s actually hit or miss. Sometimes they make it bang on, and other times your item has to be re-worked. Sometimes you can barter a good price and other times they won’t budge. It takes practice. I got practice and great clothes.
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Real Chinese Food
We all know that the Chinese takeout we get in Canada is NOT real Chinese food. I don’t get it! Why don’t they stay true to their food? It was a learning curve discovering the different types of Chinese food. The variety is huge and I will miss the dumplings the most – more specifically xiaolongbao. The most delicious little soup filled dumplings. I’m on a mission to find good ones in Toronto, although I’ve been told I have to go to Markham for the good stuff.
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Door-to-Door Delivery
You can get anything delivered to your door in Shanghai – groceries were a big one for me…and McDonald’s blizzards! They would actually deliver one blizzard. The sites were user friendly, affordable, and offered free delivery. I will miss it dearly because grocery shopping is one of my least favourite chores.

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Seniors in the Park
I loved seeing old people dancing in the park and doing all sorts of activities like singing, playing checkers, tai chi, basketball, walking their dressed up dogs, eating, everything happens in the park. It was a spectacle every morning and evening, and especially on weekends.

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KTV
You’ll see KTV signs everywhere in Asia and that means karaoke! It’s not like the karaoke we’re used to in the Western world where you sing in front of the whole bar. No. Not this. KTV takes place in a building with hundreds of private rooms. You need to make a reservation and when you show up, it’s like checking into the front desk at a hotel. They bring you to your room where you can sing your heart out until 7 am. They serve drinks and food and there’s a disco ball. So much fun!
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Shanghai Moments

Some great moments to share….

IMG_7991I walked into a convenience store and saw a baby in a box. Need I say more? I love Asian babies so much. They are so cute with the chubbiest cheeks. And usually well behaved.
IMG_4705The mall that looked like a spaceship right near my apartment. Best mall ever. I’m not a mall person but in Shanghai I loved everything about this mall. The best restaurants, roof top terraces, beautiful design, clean air, gorgeous stores. IAPM mall is something to remember.
IMG_8188Becoming friends with local fashion designer Nicole Zhang and going to her amazing shows. She’s super talented has the coolest style. She’s been featured in Vogue China.

IMG_8187Getting snapped by street style photographer Roy on the Street with my British friend Selena who was an editor for Time Out Shanghai.
Screen shot 2014-12-18 at 4.49.24 PMNo joke, you see people on bicycles carrying EVERYTHING and ANYTHING, like foam boxes, cardboard boxes, random metal equipment. I once saw a giant dead pig on the back of a motorbike, but I wasn’t fast enough with my camera.IMG_9197Delicious street food, especially this one – a type of bread served piping hot.

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Gatsby The Great

Clearly I’ve been missing for quite some time. I’ve been tied up to the max with work. I miss you blog. But more on that later, as I plan to get back on the train.
Tonight I went to the pre-screening of The Great Gatsby and I left the theater fully inspired!! Inspired to dress-up more often, inspired to party more, and inspired to listen to new music – especially Lana del Ray (love her).
I hardly ever go to the movies and I hardly ever sit through a movie at home. I get sleepy, or I can’t sit still, or I just don’t like it enough.
I went into Gatsby thinking it was going to be long and just ok, and it was long, but it was captivating.
I read the book in high school and I’m not going to say the book was better because 1) I hate when people try to sound smart by saying they liked the book better and 2) I couldn’t even remember it that well, so the movie was definitely better. I absolutely loved the costumes and the perfect cast and how gorgeous everything looked, including dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio. I wore a Gatsby-inspired outfit – a cream coloured knit top with a cream coloured crochet skirt, and lots of accessories – pearls, bracelets, rings, and earrings.
I definitely recommend going to see this movie, it won’t disappoint.

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Filed under Places To Go, Things I Love

For A Good Time, Call

Last night I attended the Canadian premiere of For A Good Time, Call.  Former college frenemies Lauren and Katie are forced to become roommates in New York City, and in order to pay their rent, the unlikely pair start a phone sex line together.  It stars Lauren Miller, Ari Graynor, and Justin Long, with cameos by Seth Rogan, Nia Vardalos, and Kevin Smith.  Directed by Toronto’s Jamie Travis, the film at heart is about female friendship and is hilarious, colourful, and fun to watch.  There’s never a dull moment and it’s different because it’s not a rom com, and it’s not a chick flick – it’s somewhere in between.  Guys will like it just as much as girls…or maybe even more.
After the movie was over, film critic Richard Crouse did a Q&A with the actors, director, and co-writer, and I got a shot with one of the leads, who was super friendly.  The movie comes out Aug. 31st – check it out! JD

Me with Ari Graynor – who looks a lot like Bette Middler!

Watch the trailer

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Things I Like

Things I liked this past weekend…

Sunshine on my newly built deck

Lemonade stand in Kensington Market

Delicious Mexican churros

Great jewelry store in Kensington….was drawn to this mint green table

New zipper bracelet to add to my arm party

Drinks on my deck with the lovely CM

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Play Me, I’m Yours

Yesterday I decided to eat my lunch in the Village of Yorkville park, and I saw a colourful piano that said “Play Me, I’m Yours.”  Within minutes someone sat down and played a few great tunes, another person followed up with more music, and another! It wasn’t planned, it was literally just a piano sitting there for randoms to play.  I thought ‘what an amazing idea, the city should have more of these.’  Turns out we do.  I did a little Google search and there are 41 pianos spread across the city as part of an art installation to celebrate the three-year count down to 2015 Pan American Games.  You can read the full article here that was published in the Star.  After I ate my burger and quinoa salad (leftovers from the weekend), I got the courage to play a tune of my own.  Fact: I used to play the organ and was quite good back in the day, but I can’t read music anymore. SAD.  I still remember some stuff by ear, but taking lessons again is on my bucket list.

There’s a video too – just trying to figure out my iMovie. Also on my bucket list!

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Moonrise Kingdom

I saw Moonrise Kingdom the other day and can’t say enough good things about it.  Written and directed by Wes Anderson (who also did The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited), it’s about two rebellious 12 year-olds who fall in love and run away which sparks a search party to go after them.  It’s set in the summer of 1965 on an island off the coast of New England.  It’s an adorable story with a quirky sense of humour.  It has a stacked cast, and feels very much like a play.  The most incredible thing about it is the attention to detail and how everything is so perfectly shot.  The sets, props, wardrobe, everything is so meticulous and amazing.  I love 1960s style so I was ooing and awing at everything.  The colours are amazing too.  Some people criticize that it’s too perfect and a distraction, but I really appreciated it.  You have to see it to judge for yourself.  Definitely worth seeing in the theatre.  JD

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