Archives: king william

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.

culantro

Oddly enough I fell in love with Peruvian food when I was living in Japan (of all places). There was a delectable Peruvian restaurant in the city I was living in that served anticuchos, deep fried plantains, civiche, salchipapa and purple chicha corn drink. Mmmm. However, having left Japan over a decade ago and with the lack of Peruvian restaurants in Southern Ontario, I had not had the pleasure of indulging in any Peruvian delicacies in a looong time. So I was pretty excited to hear about the opening of a Peruvian restaurant right here in Hamilton.

Culantro Peruvian Cookery has only been open a few months but they have already garnered rave reviews and drool worthy pleasantries with regards to their food.

So on an impromptu early dinner meet up with a few friends, we decided to check Culantro out for ourselves.

We were greeted by the super hospitable chef and Co-owner Juan Castillo, who went above and beyond to make us feel welcome, and to ensure that everything that we ordered was totally perfect (and it was).

I ordered two empanadas; one carne and one pollo with a side of sweet potato fries.

culantro empanadas & carne, hamilton

Steve ordered two empanadas with the veggie salad

The empanadas and sauces were super delicious and totally hit the spot. I wanted to eat about a dozen more. In fact, I remember saying out loud that I kinda wanted to sleep on a pillow of empanadas so that whenever I woke up I could just go “omnomnom” and then fall back to sleep dreaming of eating more empanadas.

The carne empanada was stuffed with prime ontario steak, olives, raisins, and a boiled egg. I know a boiled egg! It may seem a little weird to some, but you have to trust me, it was so super delicious.

On the menu there’s also quarter, half and whole marinated rotisserie chickens (polo a la brasa), which someone at our table also ordered and it was mega yum!

Before our meals were complete Juan came out to chat with us, and to bring us all a little sample of their chicha morada, which is a drink made from purple corn juice with a twist of lime, pineapple and a hint of cinnamon. It was beautifully refreshing with all different sorts of  subtle hints of flavours that tickled my tastebuds.

To find out a little more about the story behind what brought Co-owners Juan, and his sister in law, Catharine to open up a Peruvian restaurant in Hamilton check out their blog here.

In the mean time if you haven’t been to Culantro yet, you should. You can’t go wrong with their empanadas.

The next time that I hear they’ve got pork belly and ceviche on their daily special I’ll have to pop in for another visit, and maybe I’ll indulge in another empanada (or two).

*Culantro 47 King William St. moved to 537 Main Street East 905.777.0060 @culantrocookery

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!

cat on a hot tin roof

It’s hot.

There’s a cat on that crazy roof. Ok there’s a cat on the windowsill.

Hope everyone is managing in all this heat and hotness.  This cat seems to be doing a good job.

One of my favourite buildings on King William.

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