Tuesday 31 May 2016

The Split Crow Pub, Halifax, NS

I had supper this evening at the Split Crow Pub (on Granville Street).

Wings were on special this evening ... I got half with honey garlic sauce and half with spicy Thai sauce.  They were good.

The Brooklyn Warehouse, Halifax, NS

I had lunch today at the Brooklyn Warehouse (on Windsor Street) with my colleague, Trudy.  It's a cute spot.

I ordered the Fried Chicken sandwich without the greens or coleslaw.  It was okay.

Delta Barrington, Halifax, NS

The Delta Barrington was supposed to be my home away from home this week in Halifax (last night 'til Friday morning) and next week (Sunday 'til Thursday).

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the room was a musty smell.  No problem, I thought, as I always travel with scented candles.

Then I noticed how tired the room and the furniture were.

I've never seen a bed against a wall in a hotel

Tempo Food + Drink, Halifax, NS

I had breakfast this morning at Tempo Food + Drink (on Barrington Street).

I don't usually eat breakfast but I had time and I won't be able to have lunch 'til later this afternoon.  I ordered two eggs (easy over) and a glass of milk.

It was good until I came across this ...

Egg shell :(

Accidents happen and I'm glad I found it on the plate and not while I was chewing it.  It put me off the eggs so I ate the toast and some home fries.

I let Lisa, my server, know about it when I was ready to pay.  She handled it well and asked me if I wanted something else instead (I didn't).   She didn't charge me for the meal.

Tempo Food + Drink Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday 30 May 2016

Sunday 29 May 2016

Doors Open - Industry and Internment in Liberty Village, Toronto, ON

It's Doors Open weekend here in Toronto and Gord and I like checking them out.

Gord and I did the Industry and Internment in Liberty Village tour this afternoon in our 'hood, led by Richard Fiennes-Clinton, owner of Muddy York Walking Tours.

Modern day Liberty Village is an up-and-coming trendy neighbourhood, full of galleries, eateries and high density residential towers. But there is a different history behind the charm. Liberty Village was once a village of industries, prisons and reformatories, cut off from the city by a swath of rail transport. Today it's a desirable neighbourhood, and this historical tour demonstrates why it used to be 'the other side of the tracks.'

We've done some of Richard's past walks and found them interesting. I read his book Muddy York: A History of Toronto until 1834 earlier this year and enjoyed it.

The tour started at Hanna Avenue/Liberty Street.


We walked west a couple block to Liberty Street/Jefferson Avenue and learned about the Mercer Reformatory for Women.

It opened in 1872 with the idealistic promise of a "homelike" atmosphere for its inmates. One of the major tenets of the reformatory was to instill feminine Victorian virtues such as obedience and servility. Work, such as cooking, baking, and cleaning, was also a major part of prison life.  Many young women who were labeled troublemakers by officials or who might have been unwed mothers were sent to reformatories such as the Mercer Reformatory, where they were held against their will and subjected to questionable medical experimentation.  It became the centre of controversy with allegations of torture, beatings, experimental drugs and medical procedures, all in the name of reform.  It was closed in 1969.

Lamport Stadium is now on the site

We then walked east to the Liberty Market Building.  Back in its day, trains used to travel along tracks to pick up the guns being manufactured here for the war use and delivering coal and supplies to the industries ... now it's trendy shopping and restaurants.  I used to take boxing classes there about ten years ago before they revitalized the building.

meowbox - May 2016

Morgan and Crumpet's May meowbox arrived today.

meowbox is a cat subscription box full of surprises, delivered to your door every month. Your meowbox is brimming with yummy cat treats and fun cat toys, specially selected for quality and uniqueness, to cater to your cat’s discriminating taste. 

We carefully research and select items that are high quality and unique. We pick food and treats that are either made with natural ingredients, are tasty, nutritious, grain-free, organic or locally made. You won’t find just the regular run-of-the-mill stuff in your meowbox. Our goal is to excite kitty and put a smile on your face. 

The cost ranges from $22.95 to $32.95 a month, depending on the plan, and shipping is free.

We believe that if we have the opportunity to give, then we should share what we have. This philosophy comes packaged neatly within the heart of every meowbox. For every meowbox you buy, we give a can of food to a shelter cat on your behalf. One box can make a difference.

This month meowbox has chosen to donate the equivalent dollar amount to the Fort McMurray Wildfires Disaster Relief. Our donation has been sent to the Edmonton Humane Society in Edmonton, AB, where many displaced animals have been evacuated to.

Art by Mike Brennan

Here's what was in the box ...

beautybox five - May 2016

My May beautybox five arrived this week.

Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling service that delivers 5 deluxe samples and full-sized products right to your door every month.

Subscriptions are $12US a month or $99US for a year.  Shipping is free.

Here's what I received ...

Value = $61.82US

Saturday 28 May 2016

Book ~ "What Killed Jane Creba: Rap, Race, and the Invention of a Gang War" (2016) Anita Arvast

From GoodreadsOn Boxing Day 2005, fifteen-year-old Jane Creba was fatally shot on one of the busiest streets in Toronto. Police and journalists reported her death as that of an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of rival gangs.

In the months that followed Creba’s death, fifty-six men of colour were arrested in connection with the shooting. Twelve men went to preliminary hearings. One black man pleaded guilty and another three men, also black, were convicted of her murder.

But only one bullet killed Jane.

"What Killed Jane Creba" is not only a story of a true crime but of the sensationalism and prejudice that clouded the story from the outset. The author guides readers through the incident and its aftermath, revealing that the whole truth can only be known when we set aside judgments and begin to ask questions: who, what, when, where, how, why and what next? 

On  December 26, 2005, 15-year-old Jane Creba was killed while shopping with her sister.  She was exiting Pizza Pizza on Yonge Street when a gunfight erupted. One bullet hit her and she died during emergency surgery.

In December 2008, Jorrell Simpson-Rowe was convicted by a jury of murder in the second degree and sentenced as an adult to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.  In December 2009, Jeremiah Valentine pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Creba's death and was given a life sentence with no chance of parole for 12 years. In April 2010, a jury found Louis Woodcock and Tyshaun Barnett  guilty of manslaughter. They were also found guilty of four counts each of aggravated assault, relating to other people who were wounded by stray bullets that day.

This book looks at the the men associated with Creba's murder and their backgrounds.  According to the author, they were trying to escape their lives through friendship, drugs and music.  She feels that what killed Creba was "racism" ... people who aren't white.

While it was an interesting book to read to get the details on the men involved in the killing, it was obvious the author was sympathetic to these men because they were black and everyone is racist.

I, on the other hand, am not so sympathetic.  Yes, they had a rough upbringing and didn't have advantages that others have growing up but they chose to deal drugs, steal, fight and kill each other.  They chose to carry guns.  They chose to head to Yonge Street on Boxing Day knowing that something would probably happen.  They chose to pull those guns out and shoot.

Luxury Bahia Principe, Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Sister Sarah and I spent the last week at the Luxury Bahia Principe, an adults only all-inclusive resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica (Saturday until today).

It is about an hour's bus ride from the Montego Bay airport and a half hour drive from Ocho Rios (you can catch a shuttle there and back from the hotel for $15US).  It is attached to the Grand Bahia Principe, which is not adults only.

The reception area
The lobby

It is a huge complex ... the Grand Bahia has 850 rooms and the Luxury Bahia has 525 rooms.  We could use all the facilities at both resorts.  At first it was a bit overwhelming but by the second day it was fine.

The Luxury Bahia is on the right

I was very happy with my room.

As a head's up, there are only five single two prong plugs in the room (one for the TV, lamp by the desk, alarm clock, coffee maker and one in the bathroom for the blow dryer).  My laptop needed a three prong plug and there was only one in the room, which is what the TV was plugged into.  So I had to unplug the kettle, pull the dresser away from the wall to access the three prong plug, move the TV across the dresser and plug it into the kettle plug, and then plug in my laptop.  So bring a power bar as they don't have them or adapters at the hotel (I asked).

There was WIFI throughout the resort and you can connect two of your devices for free.  It was fairly speedy.

The mini fridge was stocked daily with two big bottles of water, two cans of beer, four pop and a bag of chocolate covered peanuts.

The towels were inconsistent.  On my first day, I had three big bath towels, three face cloths, a bath mat and two hand towels.  On the second day, I had three big bath towels and three hand towels.  On the third day ... well, everyday it was a surprise.  I never did get face cloths again.

I asked for a wake-up call three days (as a back-up).  Two days it was five minutes early and the third day it was ten minutes late.

Friday 27 May 2016

Jamaica - Friday

I woke up this morning to sun and 27C (but felt like 28C).  It was supposed to be 29C (but feel like 34C) this afternoon with an 80% chance of rain and a risk of thunderstorms ... but the rain and thunder never came.  Yay!  Looking at the clouds, though, I was concerned.

The dark clouds disappeared and the sun stayed out.  I managed to find a chaise and umbrella by the pool and that's where I parked myself ... not a bad way to spend the morning.