Archives: James north

maker’s market

Last Saturday we headed down to Christ Church Cathedral on James North for the holiday edition of the Maker’s Market.

I love how this church actively partakes in the monthly art crawls. Every month, for the crawls, they open their doors to the public by playing host to the outdoor Maker’s Market as well as some super cool and often experimental musical acts that take advantage of the amazing space and acoustics of the Cathedral.

The Maker’s Market on this particular Saturday was definitely abuzz. Lots of people were making their way around to check out the goods and pick up some potential Christmas and holiday prezies.

Among the many local artisans and vendors Matt Jelly was there selling his Hamilton cards, maps, buttons and t-shirts. We picked up a set of downtown Hamilton cards in 3 different silkscreen printed colours. Matt’s table was hopping as people snatched up their neighbourhood maps. We finally bought our Corktown neighbourhood map too.

We also stopped by Lisa Pijuan-Nomura‘s (aka @girlcancreate) table. She had an assortment of goods and artwork ranging from calendars, notebooks and buttons to vintage paperpacks.

Lisa is a mover and a shaker and a definite do-er. She organizes a variety of arts based events in the city from a story telling series at The Staircase to The Quarterly: A Night of Live Performance at The Pearl Company.  Lisa is also organizing an upcoming event called Handmade: a holiday art and craft sale. So if you’re still looking for a unique Christmas gift or a little art head to James North Art Collective at 328 James North on Sunday, December 16th from 11am-4pm. There’ll be fine art and crafts from over 30 different artists.

fall crawl

October’s art crawl has come and gone but it just might have been my favourite one of the year.  With all the hoopla of the Supercrawl over it was nice to see this art crawl so chill and low-key.  It always seems like in the fall and winter the crawl crowd seems to mellow out, which I secretly kinda love.

During last week’s crawl I stumbled upon three new gallery spaces, one of which has become my new favourite Hamilton gallery.

Located at 27 John Street North, the Nathaniel Hughson Gallery just recently opened in the space that Wishart advertising agency formerly occupied.  It’s a great addition to the expanding Hamilton art and gallery scene.  It keeps me optimistic when galleries start reaching beyond James North especially onto this particular stretch of John (between King William and King Streets). I have big hopes for this little drag on John North -so much potential!

David Hind‘s metal work above the door of Nathaniel Hughson’s Art Gallery.

Another piece by David Hind inside the gallery.  I’m a really big fan of his work and of his collaborative projects with the collective the Aluminum Quilting Society.

There were many other fantastic pieces of artwork in the gallery from several established Ontario artist including local Hamilton artist Christina Sealey.  The works of art exhibited ranged from painting to sculpture, including functional pieces of furniture. It is definitely worth a visit, so add this to the list of galleries to check out at your next art crawl, or better yet take a looksy if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Next we popped into Manta Contemporary at 51 King William, which is another new gallery slightly off the beaten James North track.  I loved the playful exhibit From Cardboard that they had in perfect time for Halloween.

The exhibit consisted of wonderfully crafted masks made from none other than cardboard.  The idea behind the exhibit is to sell the pieces (masks, costumes and props) -for Halloween of course! The works that sell will be replaced regularly by new pieces that are being created on an on-going basis until October 31st.  Super fun! If you need a unique costume now you know where to go.

As we continued on King William I noticed this subtle installation projected onto Delta Bingo Hall‘s wall from Baltimore Café.  It was like a giant old full moon all soft-lit and glowy. Loved these surprise discoveries during this art crawl.

My big fav of the night was a 5 piece blues band (out front of Christ Church Cathedral) consisting primarily of elderly gents.  Their aged voices were just as fun and sassy as they needed to be to draw a crowd.

The last gallery discovery of the night was another newish space that we were lead to by a series of arrows chalked, taped and painted on the sidewalk leading off of James and onto Barton. I don’t remember the name of the gallery but it was quite non-descript with a fairly young crowd checking out the artwork. There was some electronic music and sound equipment set up, which implied that there’d likely have been a show, however we didn’t stick around for very long. I’m not 100% certain but I believe this space is called HAVN -”a multi-modal node for the development, exhibition, documentation, and dispersal of sound, images, and ideas” -sounds interesting.

Great to see the continued development and expansion of the art scene in Hamilton!

supercrawl 2012

Alas, I did make it out to Supercrawl, and I did not end up having a Supercrawl baby.  The baby has yet to arrive, but yet another Supercrawl has come and gone.  I missed Supercrawl last year so I was happy that over the weekend I was feeling pretty good and energetic enough to walk on down to James Street and check out how things have grown and progressed since the last Supercrawl I went to two years ago.

Here are some of the photos I took as I walked down James.

"Ghost Barn" John Haney & Carey Jernigan

En Masse Mural on the Sonic Unyon & Dr. Disc building. Local artist contributions from Jamie Lawson, Jacqui Oakley, Manny Trinh, Backy Katz, & Kearon Roy Taylor

"Carnival Commanders", Aluminum Quilting Society

"When the Bottom Falls Out", Brandon Vickerd

"Hyperbolic Crochet Reef", mostly built by Angelune Des Lauriers, Shannon Gerard, Kalpna Patel & Becky Johnson

I just have to say that despite the line up of many fabulous musical acts my absolute favourite band of all of Supercrawl was a band I’d never heard of before named Bombino! A friend we ran into mentioned that this band from Niger would definitely be worth checking out and as we were heading home we sort of stumbled upon the start of their set.  They were so worth sticking around to listen to and watch -a combo of disco, funk and West African music. Here’s a little clip of what you might’ve missed…

 


 

 

 

o’s clothes with i heart hamilton pt. I

On a lovely summer day, a short while ago, Kristin Archer from I Heart Hamilton and I had a rendez vous meet up for our second lunch at Appleberry Café.  Owner Opal Osiol was so sweet and cooked up an enormous amount of menu samplers for us to try out -so damn good!  If you’re in the King East neighbourhood, I would recommend stopping in for lunch for the BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, fried dumpling, or butter pan-fried salmon (those were my favs).  Yum!  You can also read about our first visit to Appleberry Café from I Heart Hamilton here and from me here.

However, I detract from the purpose of this particular post and meet up with Kristin…

We wanted to check out two stores on Cannon Street -the recently opened O’s Clothes as well as the bright and fresh Relish Vintage.

O’s Clothes is a sassy little addition to the corner of Cannon just a tickle east of James Street North.

We stopped in to chat with owner Oliver Knutton about his new business.  It was easy to strike up a conversation with Oliver -he puts himself out there and was happy to share his stories and thoughts with Kristin and I.

When considering what type of store to open up in Hamilton his first thoughts were to open a record store but knowing Hamilton already has its fair share (Dr. Disc, Cheapies, Schizophrenic Records, Books & Beats etc.) he moved on to examine what that missing “je ne sais quoi” might be.  Noting a gap in urban men’s street wear in Hamilton, Oliver told us he decided the time was right to take the plunge (like many other young entrepreneurs in the city) and open up shop.

I follow O’s Clothes on Twitter (@OsclothesK) and love the instagram feed of photos he posts of his customers and their purchases.  I asked Oliver if for the most part it’s his friends that come by to shop.  He agreed that when the shop first opened just about two months ago his friends did make up a large portion of his clientelle but he soon found young guys from the neighbourhood -high school kids were dropping in picking up T-shirts, shoes and the like adding to his client base.

You can tell the stores got an appeal for young guys.  I loved how when approaching the store the “sandwich board” (which is actually a speaker) was pumping out some awesome hiphop -for sure a nice pocket scene I haven’t seen the likes of in Hamilton.  In my younger days in search of something of this sort I’d have to have trekked it in to Toronto, to stores like Uncle Otis, Noise or Get Outside. Well no more… Hamilton holds its own!

Oliver mentioned that after a fashion feature in The Spec titled The Shopper and as word of his store spreads he’s had visits from folks from all over the city and of all ages.  Oliver told us of two recent sales to an elderly man (65+) who picked up a pair of funky-swish sunglasses because they reminded him of a pair of glasses he used to have in his youth.  Another senior aged woman came by and picked up a gorgeous colourful Fjällräven backpack for her travels. So I guess it’s safe to say that O’s Clothes with their quality goods and apparel has got an appeal to not just the young folk but men and women alike both young and old.

Colourful vegan friendly Borel belts to the right of the photo also come in dark green, grey, white and brown. I ask you -who else in the city carries vegan belts?

The lovely Kristin Archer from I Heart Hamilton modeling some goods at O’s Clothes.

Oliver said that he’s making a special effort to carry local artist’s and designs in his shop.  Top left Kristin holds up a beautifully printed scarf by Hamilton local Rebecca Duyzer (she had a little vintage U-haul store at the August Art Crawl and also has an Etsy store you can check out here).  O’s Clothes also carries T-shirts designed and printed by Dave O’Connor like the centre image of the red Pizza Wizard T-shirt.

Unique to Oliver’s store, besides the brands and clothes he carries, are his custom made corrugated cardboard shelves that he designed (take note the next time you’re by the shop).  He says people often ask him about the shelves to see if they can get ahold of some -not only because they look super cool but also because they’re the perfect fit for storing a nice collection of vinyl.

Oliver’s store, his personality and open friendliness was all round awesome.  As Kristin and I checked out the goods friendly faces were popping in and saying their hello’s to Oliver.  In just a few short months of being open O’s Clothes already seems like a pretty solid neighbourhood fixture.

Had a great afternoon with Kristin from I Heart Hamilton chatting with Oliver.  Kristin looks amazing in those sunglasses doesn’t she? Looking forward to doing another meet up with I Heart Hamilton again -so nice to have a partner in blogging from time to time.

Don’t forget to check out I Heart Hamilton’s Post on O’s Clothes and Relish Vintage here!

*O’s Clothes,  8 Cannon St. East, 905.518.1455 , W-F 11-7, S 12-6, S 12-5, follow O’s Clothes on twitter @OsclothesK

relish vintage with i heart hamilton pt. II

Our second shop stop on Cannon was to non other than Relish Vintage!

Sometime ago when Downtown Bike Hounds had just moved to John Street, I blogged about the soon to open Relish Vintage (see that post here).  Since Relish opened over a year and a half ago, I have of course been by the store many times but had yet to do a blog post (and I did want to do one!).

So after Kristin from I Heart Hamilton and I visited O’s Clothes we decided we’d pop into Relish too to share some of our love for the shops holding it down on Cannon Street.

Love the super bright green storefront exterior!

Store owner Katherine Hollands has a good eye for vintage finds and for selecting fabulous items from unique local designers.  The store carries such a breadth of items that all seem to complement and work perfectly together.  Relish has everything from refurbished vintage furniture to classic vintage dishes, greeting cards, wallets, bags and beautifully crafted Canadian made and designed clothes.

Relish is often my go to place for when I need to find a unique gift for someone. I’ve bought a beautiful leather wallet, greeting cards, and a set of awesome Christmas cocktail glasses.

My friend Lindsay (of Hoot Furnishing) refurbished the desk on the right with a chalkboard top -selling for $75!  Both desks are perfect for the back to school season.

I also love the artwork that is for sale at Relish.  The artwork on the photo above and to the right is by Sarah Holland.  Her 4×4″ oil on canvas paintings are $25 a piece.

Artwork by artist Philip Grant -encaustic on board (with frame) $120.

Stop into Relish sometime there are always new things coming into the store.  Say hello to Katherine you’ll likely see her in the store with her newest little addition to her family or with her adorable dog.

You can also follow Katherine via her blog Be Enamoured or on Twitter @RelishHamilton.  Relish is on Etsy too -you can check out the on-line store here.

Loved touring the local shops and spots again with Kristin from I Heart Hamilton.  You can check out her post here.  Can’t wait up to explore together again Kristin!

*Relish Vintage, 6 Cannon St. East, 905.973.8269, W-Sat 12-6, Sun 12-4

 

hamilton street art

I’ve been noting the little subtle pieces of street art that have been popping up most recently throughout the city.

Hamilton red-brick spotted on James North

I love the classic Hamilton red-brick.  We have a few Hamilton bricks in our backyard -they’ve helped in the making of our little mini back patio. When the Century theatre was torn down we managed to snag a few of them (it was literally a sea of red Hamilton bricks after the demo). Every time we walked by we’d pull a couple of bricks through the demo fence to carry home for patio making.

 

I’ve been especially adoring these sewing themed bits of street art.  The Singer sewing machine, fabric sheers…  Has anyone else seen any additional sewing related pieces on walls, perhaps a giant bobbin, button or spool of thread?

hamilton street art

At Gore Park, James St. North & King St.

Hamilton, sewing street art

On Queen St. at Hunter. I think I spotted another pair of scissors somewhere else on James North too.

If you’d like to see the documentation of ChildisHeArt artwork stop by here.

treat yo’self

I can count on my one hand the number of manicures and pedicures I’ve had in my life (that’s not many). However, now that I’m entering into the last trimester of my pregnancy I’ve self-declared that I deserve a little pampering.  When you can’t bend down anymore to take care of your own feet and your hands swell and hurt, sometimes you’ve just gotta get someone else to step in and sometimes you’ve just got to treat yo’self.


Enter the Ten Spot.

When I was still living in Queen West in Toronto I remember when the Ten Spot Beauty Bar opened up on Queen. I unfortunately never took the chance to go before I moved to Hamilton. But funny how sometimes things come around full cirlce; Kristen Wood owner of the Ten Spot and a relatively new Hamiltonian resident herself has just opened a Ten Spot here in Hamilton on James St. North! Not yet even a week since its opening I’ve upped my life total of mani/pedis by having visited the beauty bar on multiple occasions (already)! Making up for lost time? I know -so overindulgent! But I can’t stop myself. I think that I could get used to this pampered life-style. The staff are super friendly, and I always leave feeling like a rock star with the nails and funky colours to match.

Kristen has created her own fab line of lacquers and polishes called Get Nailed.  With the Get Nailed product line also comes microbeads.  Being such a manicure novice I had no idea what this was.  The ladies at the Ten Spot happily busted some of the microbeads out and showed me what it was all about.

My fav was the black microbeads on the black Get Nailed polish -so black caviar shiny!

Click here for the complete DIY guide to doing your own microbeaded nails.

I should mention that the Ten Spot is not limited to just manicures and pedicures but their services also include their acclaimed waxes; bikini: Brazilian, Cracker Jack, and the other usual hairy culprits.  And gentlemen services are not just for ladies only, but also include a whole menu of men’s services too; The Hand Job -man-icure for men, The Foot Job -pedicure for men, the Manzillian, Mankini etc.

The Ten Spot is a fun and sassy new addition to James North!  Congrats on your opening in Hamilton!

*The Ten-Spot, 146 James St. North, 289.309.1010

summer time

So much to do! So much going on!

I love summer! I also love that I have the summer off this year, and that there is so much to do locally in the city to fill up my days.

Just this week I sat on the rooftop of Jackson square and ate my schnitzel sandwich from the market; in the breeze, with the sun, and the beautiful sound of Terra Lightfoot‘s voice singing CCR and Fleetwood Mac covers carrying through the open air. Sigh.

Two young ladies "rushing" the stage.

The next day I headed to Gore Park for their grand opening of the new designated pedestrian area and their Summer Promenade’s first of several weekly events. So nice to see pedestrians taking over that space and seeing crowds of people gathering and hanging out at Gore Park.  The Gore Park Promenade event with vendors, and live music runs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 11am-5:30pm until September 15th.

Image by Jason Leach taken from Raise the Hammer

Last night I joined the Stinson neighbourhood in Bishop’s Park for their weekly Thursday evening concerts: Songs From the Bishop, running from July 5th to August 23rd. It was such a nice and laid back community event, it just made me love where we live more than ever.

I feel like I say this every month… but tonight’s art crawl is going to be an awesome one! There’s a craft show being put on by the newly open Mint Studio in the Sonic Unyon building (3rd floor).


Blush’s pink trailer coming all the way from Guelph selling gorgeous and delicate women’s clothing in partnership with Beaux Mondes.

The Sweet Ice Snow Cone ladies will be out selling their refreshing treats.  Check out their promo video it is so adorably sweet!

The AGH’s new Design Annex will be open for its very first art crawl.

Dr. Disc will be celebrating its 21st birthday with bands like The Rest, New Hands, The Dirty Nil, and Greg Preston & The Great Machine playing on their rooftop. Plus after Dr. Disc’s Raise the Roof event there’s an after party at The Casbah.  That’s a super packed crawl!

On Saturday there’s also the Farm Crawl!

It seems like everyday there’s something to do, and some place to check out.

the rise of coffee culture in hamilton

Since moving to Hamilton three years ago, I have seen the growth of some serious coffee culture in this city.

Moving from Toronto, where hip independent cafés and coffee shops abounded, I have to admit I was a little skeptical about how I was going to be able to get my coffee fix in the Hammer. And after I moved, I was, indeed, taken aback that a city the size of Hamilton had a serious lack of “good” coffee shops.

I found myself trekking my way down to Locke Street to indulge in the fail-safe but generic Starbuck’s latte. I on occasion schlepped it all the way to Westdale for a cup at My Dog Joe. My only downtown saving grace was Julia Serna’s delicious fair trade Colombian coffee at what was then the temporary mall location of Hamilton Farmers’ Market. She’s still serving up a fine brew at the renovated Market, along with the amazing Red Hill Coffee stand, which I’m a big fan of, too.

But I digress. What it truly came down to was that I was at a loss for a local café. I wanted a place to sit, sip on a good cup of coffee, chat with a friend and enjoy the atmosphere of a true independent coffee shop downtown.

It didn’t take long after moving to Hamilton that I could tell something was brewing (ahem). I saw the opening of Detour café in Dundas. They expanded from an on-site coffee bean roaster, serving small-scale barista espressos, lattes and the like from their tiny shop in the back of a parking lot, to a full blown beautiful and always packed downtown Dundas café.

I heard stories of the Domestique café in Dundas, which opened in 2010. It caters to coffee enthusiasts and the local cycling community. Their infamous Early Surly coffee blend that could wire a deadbeat is likely what propels those avid road cyclists up that mountain of a climb on Sydenham Road.

Not long after the café culture started in Dundas, I noted gutting and renovating had started at Hotel Hamilton — a former laundromat among other past incarnations on the corner of Mulberry and James Street North. With the main floor’s gorgeous moulded ceilings and mosaic tiled floors being revealed and refurbished, I dreamt the space would one day be home to a downtown independent coffee shop. I remember chatting with one of the developers of the building and he mentioned they were looking to lease the space to a café with the feel of something you might find on Queen West in Toronto. I couldn’t wait!

Pretty soon Mulberry Coffee Shop opened its doors. It was just what the neighbourhood needed. In the short time I’d lived in Hamilton, I saw all this inspiring change happen.

mulberry coffee shop, james st. north, hamilton

exterior of Mulberry St. Coffee House, Hotel Hamilton

mulberry coffee shop, hamilton, ontario, james st. north

Mulberry Coffee House -gorgeous molded ceilings

Mulberry latte

There have been several new coffee shops and cafés that have opened up since then. There’s Cannon Coffee Co. — better known as “The Cannon” — on the corner of Cannon and Ottawa streets. They serve my favourite latte in the city using beans from all of the local Hamilton coffee roasters that I love: Detour, Red Hill, & Speakeasy. There are Red Crow and Radius, both of which opened up recently on James Street South. On King William, there’s the recently opened Baltimore House’s gothic/Victorian themed café and wine bar and also Homegrown Hamilton (formerly Sky Dragon) with their in-house roasted-fresh coffee beans.

red crow coffee, cafe, james st. south, hamilton, ontario

Red Crow Coffee & Espresso Bar, 211 James St. South

homegrown hamilton, coffee, cafe,

Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William St.

 

What I love is that many if not all of the new coffee shops that have opened are also serving up some phenomenal brunches, snacks and baked goods, giving us Hamiltonians a multitude of options for coffee and treats. Each place is unique, and local, adding their own flavour to the ever-developing coffee culture in Hamilton.

What I’ve discovered since my move is that anything Hamilton may be missing — like, say, a microbrewery or a vegan restaurant or a juice bar — will likely be on its way soon. If it isn’t, get on it: It’s true you can do anything in Hamilton.

My top three coffee shops

1. Detour Coffee: airy, bright atmosphere, great sweet treats, baked goods, soups, salads and the like, fabulous Detour roasted beans; 41 King St. West, Dundas.

2. The Cannon: contemporary style and design with a great people-watching window, best latte in the city, delicious daily lunches and brunches; 179 Ottawa St. North.

3. Mulberry Street Coffee House: love the casual atmosphere, my downtown go-to place for meet-ups, a cup of coffee to go, ginger molasses cookie or a savoury muffin to tide me over; 193 James St. North.

 

You can also find this post printed in The Hamilton Spectator June 9th 2012 here.

 

needlework

If you have the slightest itch towards craftiness, and sewing then you need to make your way down to Needlework on James Street North.  It carries beautiful fabrics, patterns, crafty books, sewing and embroidery supplies.

I love that there is now a sewing place downtown, and that I no longer have to get in a car to grab some fabric, or a button.  Not to mention if you don’t have a sewing machine or if you just want a different sewing/work environment you can pay by the hour to use their in-store machines.

On top of it being just about the prettiest store ever -high tin gold ceilings, bright and airy, and filled with creative inspiration one would usually only dreams of- it also offers fabulous classes. Next month’s workshops sound amazing; a leather moccasin making class umm hello!? Awesome!

Over the weekend I attended my very first ever introductory embroidery class at Needlework.  Our talented instructor for the day Kate Jackson taught us some basic embroidery stitches to get us novice embroiders on our way to creating our own masterpieces.

The samples below are from Kate Jackson (our instructor), Kate Hunter (partner of Needlework & avid embroiderist), and someone who I know is on their way to becoming a fantastic embroiderer -today was her first time and look at her stitches!

Next month Kate Jackson will be back to teach two more classes: Machine Embroidery, and Hand Embroidered Monograms.  I’m especially interested in going to the Monograms class.  I think that embroidered lettering is so gorgeous.  My goal is to one day have the alphabet from A-Z in a variety of fanciful embroidered stitches.

It was great to meet Liz Simpson (partner of Needlework) and all the lovely folks that came to last Saturday’s class.  I hope everyone enjoyed continuing their projects for the day in the comforts of a shady and breezy garden patio stitching away.

For another sneak peak at Liz and Kate’s store check out Beaux Mondes’ post here.

*Needlework, 174 James St. North, 905.667.5663, Open Tues-F 11-6, Sat 11-5, Sun 11-4

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