girl on the wing on king

In recent weeks you might have seen the seemingly sudden growth per capita of vintage stores opening up downtown. In fact in the past month or so vintage stores like Newold’sLa Bichette and Love in the Afternoon have all opened on James St. North (only adding to the roster of other established vintage shops on James like White ElephantHawk and Sparrow, Humble Pie and Chaises Musicales).

You could say James North has become the default street that young entrepreneurs and the like have been choosing to open up shop. This, however, is why when I see new stores open elsewhere downtown (like more specifically on King East), I do extra jumps of joy. New businesses on King make me happy because, for one thing, it’s in my hood but secondly a lot of areas besides James North could use a little breath of fresh air too. So I gotta to give mega props when people go out on a limb and venture off the beaten track.

Enter Girl on the Wing.

Girl on the Wing (located at 181 King St. East) is a vintage clothing store that carries nostalgic wares among many other lovely little things such as: T-Shirts inspired by classic reads like The Great Gatsby, Hamlet and Moby Dick, tote bags, jewellery from decoSquare and White Owl, greeting cards, notebooks, and other fanciful novelty and vintage rarities.

Depeapa backpack totes

Saltwater Sandals: I hear that these are all the rage. They even come in super cute fire truck red!

From The Little Otsu LIVING THINGS art zine

Owner, Whitney McMeekin is a Hamilton ex-pat that has recently made the move from Toronto back to Hamilton. She is pleased as punch to be in Hamilton again, and has been happily surprised about her rediscovery of all that Hamilton has to offer.

Whitney’s got a degree in Fashion Communication at Ryerson, and has experience working in the vintage and fashion boutique scene in Toronto. So no surprise that she’s got a knack at promoting her new store with super glam professionally photographed and personally styled lookbooks that cover her fashion favs for her seasonal launches.

Girl on the Wing’s summer launch is tonight from 8-11pm at the store, with promises of drinks, dancing and more importantly fun!

Take a peak at the new vintage inspired swimwear that Girl on the Wing will be carrying by designer Dumebi Iyamah’s fashion line Andrea Iyamah. Here’s a little sneak peak of Andrea Iyamah’s swimsuits -so gorgeous!

swimwear from Andrea Iyamah's summer 2012 line, image taken from www.girlmeetsworld.net

See you tonight at the Summer Solstice Salebration!

*Girl on the Wing, 181 King St. E. 289.389.9898, TW 12-6, ThF 12-7, S 12-6, S12-5, @gotw_hamilton

breakfast

Now that I have a baby, waking up early is something that happens in my life. The benefit of this is that I can actually make it out for breakfast instead of the typical late weekend brunch. This does have its advantages: you can entirely bypass the brunch rush, and after an early breakfast you still have the whole day to do as you like (without this whole brunch thing being all smack dab in the middle of the day).

On a recent Sunday morning, I finally got to try my first and very long awaited waffle breakfast at Cannon Coffee. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get in on their waffles! They were so delicious!

I got the Canadian Brunch Waffle, which consisted of the most delicious fresh smoked bacon, and two poached eggs, topped with cheddar cheese on an apple waffle -no less!

Canadian Brunch Waffle

My cousin, who recently arrived from Japan to study English in Canada, ordered the California Waffle; a jalapeño havarti waffle, topped with two poached eggs, fresh avocado salsa and chopped tomatoes.

California Waffle -I love the little house that holds the maple syrup

 

A direct quote from my cousin:

I eat waffle with Seema.

The Cannon is very nice cafe.

I want to go again.

 

Truth be told, I want to go again too.

 

*Cannon Coffee, 179 Ottawa St. N, 289.700.0088, M-F 7-6, S+S 9-5, @cannoncoffeeco

the road sign project

In an urban setting you can’t really walk very far without seeing some type of sign that tells you what to do, what not to do, which direction to go etc. That’s why at first it was hard to notice that these signs were more than just your typical everyday sign. They seemingly blended right into their surroundings. That’s the beauty of this street art project, put on by Hamilton’s Centre [3], you really need to pay attention to find these cool little installations.

For example, this Duck sign below by artist Hitoko Okada. I probably walked by this a few times, a little befuddled and confused, before realizing it was an art piece. But once I saw this sign, I started noticing a lot of other intriguing signs by other artists all over the downtown core.

Duck, by Hitoko Okada

untitled, by Jean-Denis Boudreau

Detour, by Carole Deveau

The Road Sign Project is an outdoor art project presented by Centre3, Hamilton, ON, in partnership with Atelier Imago in Moncton, NB. Signs by sixteen artists, posted in various Hamilton locations (and in Centre3′s storefront gallery), offer directions on matters such as contemporary art, science, psychology, politics, romance, and the pathos of post-industrial urban existence. Viewers are invited to join the artists for a guided tour (May 11) and picnic, participate in a t-shirt contest, and contribute observations on the signs and the signified for an upcoming publication.

The Road Sign Project will run until October 19th. For more information about the project and location of artist’s signs click here.

big scoops

The weather is getting hot and perfect for ice cream!

So happy that Big Scoops opened at Duke and James South.  Now there’s finally a place that’s walkable for an evening scoop of ice cream. And bonus -they serve Hewitt’s ice cream!!

Steve got the Raspberry Cheesecake.

I got Chocolate Chip Cookie, minus the dough, which I was kinda bummed about.

Take note that they really are “big scoops”. We ordered a small, which consisted of two very large scoops.

They’ve currently got twenty-one flavours to choose from. Next time I’m going for the banana twist.

I also just found out that Munchee’s Variety store on King East by Mary Street also serves Hewitt’s scooped ice cream too! It’s like all my Hamilton ice cream dreams are coming true. Now I just need to make my way to McCartney & Son to sample their in-house freshly made waffle cones and organic ice cream.

*Big Scoops, 2 Duke, open daily 12-9pm

lilacs

During the depths of a blustery and cold winter hike at the Royal Botanical Gardens, I vowed to make a return visit come spring to frolic in the fragrant blossoms of, non other than, the lilac.

So a few weekends back we packed up Steve’s grandma’s quilt, picked up some take-out sushi plus a couple of coffees from Mulberry and headed to the RBG Lilac Dell for a picnic.

There are over 600 varieties of lilacs at the gardens, all blossoming simultaneously amidst the crab apple blossoms, dogwood and redbud trees.

There were a lot of other picnic goers enjoying the spring dreaminess of the gardens.

Before leaving I enthusiastically stuffed my nose into a few lilac blossoms, drinking in their fragrant smells and paying the price in sneezes later that evening.

Admission is $12.50 per adult (plus tax). I know it seems like a lot but if you make a day of visiting all the parks and gardens of the RBG then it’s definitely worth it  (the admission covers entrance to all 4 gardens!). I always consider the admission to be like a donation, cause I mean, gosh, these gardens and spaces are so beautiful and I’m just happy that they’re around!

newold’s

Newold’s is James North’s most recent vintage clothing store to open.

I’d checked out the this store space a few month’s ago, when they hosted the Vintage and Handmade Market, back during March’s art crawl. But I popped in more recently (after Newold’s official opening in April) with fellow Hamilton blogger Kristin Archer of I Heart Hamilton.

Newold’s is exactly what the name implies. They’ve got a mix of new and old.

We got to chatting with Newold’s owner Airin McGuinty of Reservoir Vintage, who told us she’s been collecting vintage clothes, accessories, and trinkets since she was basically a kid. So when she finally decided to take the plunge, move to Hamilton and set up her own shop she was pretty much fully stocked and ready to go.

Kristin and I were loving Airin’s curated collection of vintage clothing so much so that we noted we’d need to make another trip back to the store to focus specifically on just shopping.

There was a substantial section of kids vintage clothing, which I loved. Look at these adorable leather moccasins!

In addition to the kids section there’s also men’s clothing plus an impressive selection of vintage footwear.

I was really admiring Rebecca Duyzer’s line called Replica Clothing. With their soft fabrics and comfortable designs, you can be sure they’d feel super awesome to wear. You can shop Replica Clothing here on Etsy or in store at Newolds’.

Lest I forget Noodles, the temporary shop cat. She’s adorable! We were lucky enough to have come just a matter of days after Noodles had given birth to a litter of kittens. Kristin and I peeked in on the kittens, who were living in a homemade cut-out cardboard castle -so cute! One of them had just opened their eyes for the first time! Such tiny little things. Even though I have allergies to cats and was about to have a major sneeze explosion, I was still super happy that I got to meet Noodles and her babies (especially since Airin was saying that Noodles won’t be a permanent fixture at the store). Oh Noodles…

For tonight’s art crawl be sure to stop by Newold’s and check out artist Alicia Nauta, who is Newold’s first featured monthly artist; with totes, prints, and shirts for sale.

While you’re there take a look at their selection of vintage match books and stickers you might find some real gems!

To check out Kristin’s post about Newold’s via her blog I Heart Hamilton click here.

*Newold’s, 240 James St. North, 647.284.2754, open daily 12-7pm

going to WORK

The other day Kristin Archer of I Heart Hamilton and I met to catch up and to check out WORK, one of the many new restaurants/bars popping up in downtown Hamilton. In the past few months just on James North alone (not even counting the multiple new spots that have all opened recently around town) we’ve seen the opening of sandwich, soup and salad bar resto McCartney & Son, arcade themed pub The Stowaway and WORK located right next to This Ain’t Hollywood (my favourite Hamilton live music venue).

If I’m not mistaken before WORK opened it was formerly a yellow awning-ed Portuguese sports bar. Am I right? The yellow awning is down but on the interior, you could say… the decor has probably not changed much. But that’s kinda what I like about WORK. Its beauty is in their unique culinary fusions. I counted at least four or five different takes on dishes from various cultures. They have southern ribs and fried chicken, classic spaghetti and meat balls, jerk chicken and even chow mein.

There was such a variety to choose from on their menu that it took Kristin and I a good ten minutes of contemplation before finally making our lunch selections.

However, the one thing that we were quick to decide on was an order of avocado fries. The avocado was in that perfect melt-in-your-mouth state of ripeness but with a crispy savoury battered exterior.

After much deliberation my final lunch selection was the braised beef sandwich. It had a nice tart punch of tangy fresh horseradish.

For dessert we couldn’t resist splitting the Koo Koo cake (named after the classic neopolitan striped Koo Koo Taffy Bar). It’s made with strawberry and cappuccino gelato, layered over an espresso crumb crust.

The charm in WORK is that there’s no pretences; it wears its heart on its sleeve and is the kind of place you can saddle up to the bar, enjoy a beer, some great affordable food and likely end up chatting with everyone in the place (they’re all fans). I found myself telling Kristin that if Steve and I didn’t have a baby, we’d probably frequent here on weekday evenings for a beer and some grub (especially pre-shows at This Ain’t). For now I’ll have to settle for sampling the WORK menu during lunch time meet ups.

Thanks Kristin, it was great to try another new place together and to hear about what you’ve been up to. Looking forward to the next rendezvous! You can read Kristin’s post about WORK here.

*WORK, 337 James St. N, 905.777.9675

doors open

I know I’ve posted about Treble Hall about a million times already but I finally got to see it on the inside -yay Doors Open!

I’d love to see more spaces like this in other similar downtown buildings (especially the ones that line Gore park). I’m sure there are a lot with gorgeous city views and even some with untouched attics with all sorts of Victorian treasures.

We ambitiously thought that we’d make it out to about three or four stops for this year’s Door’s Open but really only made it out to just this one. I figured there’s plenty more time to explore throughout the years.

The weather was so beautiful we spent it mostly walking around and enjoying the spring blossoms and parks.

 

Last year we made it out to a few more Doors Open destinations. One of my favourites, which didn’t make it onto my post from last year, was the most amazing cottage house. First off, I love cottage houses, and second, any house with nooks that look like these you just gotta love.

Not to mention it had a fabulous garden. If we had more yard and sun I’d aspire to live like this cottage set-up (solar panels on the roof, a wall of rain barrels, compostable toilet and giant backyard garden).

Just a 10 minute walk away from downtown it felt like a little country getaway.

sew hungry #2

This was only the second Sew Hungry food truck rally that I’ve attended and it definitely seemed busier than the last one. Parking was tough and the line-ups were heavy. We started off at the Dirty South food truck but it was so busy that we passed on the fried chicken and waffle sandwich and headed straight for Buster’s Sea Cove.

My first Sew Hungry I remember saying that I had regrets about not trying Buster’s Sea Cove’s lobster roll. So first on the list was to get me a roll.

My meal came with a bag of chips, a juicy pickle and a lobster roll. The roll was pretty small and in the end I felt that it was a little over-priced -$13!

sew hungry, buster's sea cove, lobster roll

Buster's Sea Cove Lobster Roll

Be warned that when attending events like this, when you have a stroller, eating on the go from places like food trucks and food stands take on a whole new life. You’ve got crowds to manoeuvre around (and no matter what you always seem to be in the way), rocking to ensure that your baby is falling asleep (so you can eat with some sort of ease), and you’ve really only got one hand free, which is due cause for some messy eating.

So when I spotted a church parking lot filled with empty tables and chairs my friend Vern and I made a b-line for it with our two strollers and sleeping babies in tow. The admission; the purchase of one meat pie (with gravy, peas and onions and a pop). Hello -no problem there! Out of the crowds and the ability to use two hands while eating, we were pretty much sold.

It was a fabulously delicious homemade meat pie. I had to stop myself from licking the plate.

Our next stop was at El Gastronomo Vagabundo (with surprisingly no line-up). For all that it’s worth, line ups are sometimes not the best indicators of what’s good and what isn’t. We were so impressed with the presentation and flavour of the battered poached egg on asparagus that next time I see this truck I won’t hesitate to sample more from their menu.

Deep-fried poached egg; and the yolk was still runny!

asparagus, battered poached egg, with candied bacon

Just check out the photo gallery on El Gastronomo Vagabundo’s page here. Their food looks soooooooo good!

The one truck that I wanted to check out but didn’t get a chance to on this go round was The Big Chief, which is Hamilton’s newest food truck specializing in First Nation cuisine. I’m happy that it’s a Hamilton local so I won’t have to wait until the next Sew Hungry to sample some venison chili and bison sliders. You can follow them @thebigchiefco.

If you’ve never been to a Sew Hungry I do recommend that you go at least once. Do a little research prior to see which trucks you want to hit up first. Most of the trucks sold out of their menu items later on in the day. So get there early before the line-ups get out of hand. If I venture to another Sew Hungry, I’ll also likely consider taking the free shuttle bus or biking so as not to have to deal with finding a parking spot.

 

food in tins

The first really warm spring day about a week or so ago, I packed up some treats and headed out for a play date picnic with Omi at Gage Park.

I do love picnics. Especially meats, cheese and snack type foods.

I gathered some items that we had around the house along with some foccacia bread for make-your-own mini open-faced sandwiches.

Finally put this handy stackable tin lunch container to good use. This little contraption is called a dabba (or tiffin). We picked it up when we were travelling in India. It’s kinda like the Indian version of the obento box.

For dessert I made this super yummy treat. Get this -Mars Bar Rice Krispie Squares! Yeah, it’s pretty decadent, but they are so yum. If you can believe it there’s three Mars Bars in this one batch! Sometimes I have to remind myself about the three bars to stop myself from eating the entire tray all in one go. Three Mars Bars in one day is just totally unacceptable.

 

 

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