2007 in pictures…

It was fun doing this last year, so I thought I’d continue…

January

We watched the arrival of the Three Kings in Barcelona, walked along the beach in Barcelona, went to the calçots festival in Valls and happened upon the wonderful monastery of Poblet along the way, and discovered the little town of Arenys de Mar – more pics here.

Three Kings Barcelona beach ArenysPoblet Calçots

February

In February I met Moussa ag Assarid, enjoyed the Festes de Santa Eulália, a festival dedicated to children, and had lunch on top of a mountain near Vic.

Moussa Castellers de Barcelona Festes de Santa Eulalia Lunch at Vic

March

In March Alan and I went to Girona for a bit of a research trip, where we also had some amazing food and I became tempted to find a project that would allow me to spend a year in that amazing city

Street in Girona Tourists in Girona Old books

April

Last month in Barcelona – we visited friends in Mataró and otherwise simply hanged out in Barcelona

Archives Mataro View from Sara's house in Mataro Capoeira in Raval

May

Back in Canada after 13 months in Spain! We stayed with our friends Pearl and Al for the first two weeks and then left for Brazil to visit my family. While we were at Pearl’s, she took us to Todmorden Mills and Bufflers Park.

Yonge & Bloor Good friends Good friends 2 Todmorden Mills Bufflers Park

June

We moved into our new apartment and enjoyed summer in TO; I invented some cool salads and we had a blast at the Pride Parade.

Welcome basket BCE Place Kensington Salad Friends Pride Parade

July

We celebrated Canada Day at the harbourfront and visited Montreal, where we had to spend a few hours at the market. We also went on the first of many photo shoots with Mel and discovered Ireland Park.

Canada Day Montreal Ireland Park Toronto urban beach

August

A great month in Canada. We cycled quite a bit, watched the opening of the CNE, and I got into black & white photography.

Opening of CNE First b&w Bike ride - harbourfront East Chinatown Little Indi

September

September was back-to-school month. Super busy, no time to go out and take pictures. But it was also the month I got my piercing and Alan got his tattoo.

Piercing Tattoo

October

Halloween month! So of course we checked out the action at Church street and I got some good pictures

CatCat Warrior Geisha

November

Remembrance day and another trip to Montreal

End of fall Montreal Remembrance day

December

It seems all I did between November and December was mark papers and exams. But there was also a snowstorm in TO and our trip to Barcelona and Paris!

Snowstorm Barcelona Riding on bicing Kids playing in Paris Invalides

And 2008 arrived like this:

Snowstorm

Farmer Markets & the new consummer

During the summer months, Toronto is filled with markets where local farmers sell their ware. I feel very bad that I still haven’t been able to patronize some of these markets – they are usually during the week – but at least I get to buy local, seasonal produce at the Pusateri Fresh Market, on Church St.

This weekend, the Toronto Star ran a piece comparing two farmer’s markets: the more upscale one at the Brickworks, and the traditional one at Nathan Philips Square, near City Hall. In it, the author criticizes the Nathan Philips Square market for not having music or entertainment for the kids. Please. It’s a market. Where people go to buy fruits and vegetables. Is entertainment for kids a good criteria??

Well, Taste T.O. took exception to the article and wrote their own defence of the Nathan Philips Square market. I have to agree with their conclusion:

“It is not the job of the farmer or the farmer’s market to entertain us, to baby-sit our kids or to give us that “back to the farm” experience. It is not their job to ensure that we feel a sense of community, or to ensure that we go home feeling all warm and rosy because, ooh, look, we supported a farmer today. Let’s stop being so demanding and so damned patronizing and let the farmers do their job – to grow the food we eat. Isn’t that enough of a responsibility?”

Read the full piece here.

Montreal: Marché Jean-Talon

The market par excellence of the immigrant community of Montreal, Jean-Talon is known as one of the largest outdoors public markets of North America. Despite living in the suburbs, Alan and I would shop there every Saturday morning when we lived in Montreal. We just loved the atmosphere. The shopkeepers and merchants enthusiastically offering their ware in rapid French made us feel like we were in Europe. I love markets and try to visit them wherever I go. Markets are places full of energy, tradition, colour, enthusiasm… An experience that can’t be replicated at the local Loblaws or Carrefour. When we lived in Barcelona there were about four large grocery stores within two blocks from where we lived as well as a couple of fruit & vegetable shops. Yet, I preferred to walk 10-15 minutes to the Mercat de l’Abaceria Central in Gràcia to shop. People ask me if it was cheaper. I honestly don’t know. That was never the reason I shop in markets… but that’s another story. I just wanted to share Jean-Talon with you. We went there during our recent visit to Montreal and had a great time. It was berry season and all the stalls were packed with inexpensive Quebec strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. We had great crêpes for lunch at the creperie, watching the dashing French (from France) chef/owner coring and slicing apples. The seasonal fruits and vegetables were nice and tasty – most stands have chopped fruits & veggies for the patrons to try before they buy – and I felt that pang of longing that we, portuguese-speakers, call saudade…. Here are some pictures…

Jean-Talon

Speaking of food and markets, this left me salivating….

Random saturday pics

Saturday we went to Kensington Market for coffee and a chat – we always run into someone willing to discuss the problems of the world there – and I snapped a few pictures. It wasn’t really photo shoot day since we left very late and the light was too harsh. But since there’s no end of neat things & people at Kensington, I couldn’t really keep myself from snapping at least a few shots:

Toronto People

this lady was sitting in front of us in the streetcar and I loved her colours… We then made it into Louie’s, our favourite spot to sit, chat, and watch the world go by… literally…

coffee at Kensington

coffee at Kensington

Across from Louie’s there’s a fruit stand and everybody stands or meets friends at that corner…

Friends

This guy was really cute, he kept walkign around and I wish I could have taken a better picture of him:

People

But the best thing that day was the green car. Some activists took a car, hollowed it and filled it with dirt. They then proceeded to make a garden out of it. Very funny:

Green car

Green car

Green carGreen car

We then went to BCE Place to meet a friend. They had had a party the day before and left some giant balls hanging from the ceiling. It was beautiful! One of those occasions I wished I had a wide angle lens…

BCE placeBCE place

Everybody stopped to take pictures…

people

Tomorrow we move our personal stuff to the apartment. Wednesday the truck comes with the stuff from storage. Can’t wait!