June 19, 2010

thank you, ok

Jessica and I have decided to put our little blog to rest and start some new things.

I will still be doing some Seoul blogging here:

thank you, ok

and I will be collecting links I like here:

thank you, ok tumblr

June 16, 2010

space hamilton

Another surprise in Itaewon.

Space Hamilton hosted an Open Market Art Co-op (for art works, books, magazines, used things, food, and clothing) last month.

I fell in love with the space.

Especially the decaying walls. And the name, which was a little reminder of home.

A Tale of Two Hotels

Like most Torontonians, my experience with Queen Street’s hot hotels has been limited to late night buffoonery and early morning brunch. And so, while I consider myself quite familiar with both The Gladstone and The Drake – I’ve never actually climbed the stairs of either of these ever trendy hotels. During last month's Doors Open Toronto (one of my favourite Toronto summer events) I was able to take a peak inside these local landmarks and check out the rooms without checking in. Inspired by the boutique hotels of lower Manhattan, these historic heritage buildings have been beautifully restored in recent years – transformed from seedy rooming houses into hipster hangouts and spurring on the wave of gentrification in the west end.

Built in 1889 the Gladstone hotel, with its iconic red sign and dramatic arched windows, is the city’s oldest continuously operating hotel. Whether you drop by for weekly karaoke in the Melody Bar or sample fresh fare in the café, there is always something going on inside this architecturally stunning space. Rotating and permanent art exhibitions showcase local artists and a beautifully restored Victorian hand-operated elevator transports guests from their artist inspired rooms to the lower level gallery spaces and bustling bars. The hotel holds a special place in my heart as my parents met in a lovely old Victorian on Gladstone Avenue just down the street.

Just a couple blocks east the Drake Hotel, a self-proclaimed “hotbed for culture” draws sleek nightlife lovers and scruffy urban artists alike. Inside the funky hotel a refurbished 1950s art deco grand staircase leads guests up to the nineteen stylish bedrooms. The suites are chic yet artfully retro with a candy heavy snack bar and in-house Starving Artist wine on offer. The rooftop skyard features sun soaked cabanas under colourful muraled walls – the perfect spot for an early morning Caesar or a late night cocktail. The Drake’s corner café boasts the city’s best scones (blueberry...try the blueberry!) and its quirky gift shop lures foot traffic westward with plenty of Canadiana themed trinkets on offer. The hotel continues to expand along the Queen Street strip between Beaconsfield and Lisgar with a new ice cream/t-shirt shop opening this month appropriately named Scoops and Tees. And of course, Katie and I have both forced our boyfriends to jump in the old fashioned photo booth with us.

Both of these unique hotels feature creative touches that give back to the art communities living and working in the neighbourhood. The Gladstone has thirty-seven distinct artist-designed bedrooms while the Drake’s artist in residence program provides short-term living arrangements for budding artists looking for a space to create. Showcasing the best in local culture, art and cuisine these funky west-end accommodations offer so much more than your average downtown hotel. I only wish I could justify a staycation at one of these lovely hotels...but since I'm only a 10 minute walk away I guess I'll just have to settle for the ice cream and cocktails.

p.s. You can also read a (slightly edited) version of this over here.

just a kid from canada

Irina Lazareanu in Another Magazine.

Just a kid from Canada... with really good hair.

Perhaps it's time for a (much needed) chop.

June 15, 2010

flea market

Two Saturdays ago my boyfriend and I found ourselves at a (rather intimate) flea market.

We were invited by the fellows playing music in the third photo (20th Century Boys - listen here). They are both very sweet, play with great energy, and have cool post-punk fashion.

The flea market itself offered an eclectic assortment of vintage goods (for cheap!) hosted by stylish, young Koreans munching on McDonalds fries. Everyone was very friendly, the sun was shining, and it was a lovely time all around.

I wish I had taken more pictures, however there are lots to look at here.

hasisi park

Hasisi Park takes beautiful pictures.

I like her projects.

Take a look at her big blog.

She makes me really want an old film camera like this.

June 14, 2010


The Galleria Department Store has an unmissable exterior comprised of iridescent LCD discs, shingled like cartoonish fish scales.

Across the street, a less futuristic apartment building also caught my eye.

deli heinzburg

Oooh, this place is so good. So good that it required two back-to-back Sunday lunches. A serious sandwich with proper cheese is (relatively) hard to find in Seoul, so my boyfriend and I were both delighted with this spot. Located in Sinsa-dong, Deli Heinzburg prides itself in a wide (and meaty) selection of paninis, burgers, and deli sandwiches. Their toppings-to-bread ratio is exceptionally good. They also serve the best pickled daikon and cabbage I've tried since being in Korea. We'll no doubt be returning in the (very) near future.

happy food

Sayaka Minemura's sweet little set on How's Your Weekend? led me to something wonderful: her breakfast project. I love these happy foods (and her wooden utensils) so much. Her blog, life in the slow line, is also super cute.

June 10, 2010

mixed tape

Some pictures I took outside a cafe/gallery in Itaewon. I liked their window coverings.

I'm also a fan of Japanese masking tape company mt. Lucky for me, their colourful tapes are abundantly available in Korea.

Along with pretty tape, they're coming out with a new line of wrapping paper. See some cute wrap ideas over here - I love the donuts (and the 'wrap only myself' heading).

June 3, 2010

high five

Along with a killer chickpea salad, Takeout Drawing also offers great views from their second floor.