“Don’t break me heart or I’ll break your heart shaped glasses”

Marilyn Manson (probably off of his lamest album to date)

I feel like a little girl on most days, riding around on my trike with ringlets in my hair. A friend of mine gave me a pair of heart shaped pink glasses and my life has changed. I won’t take them off.

They are pink chakra glasses, supposed to evoke love and positive energy. Everything has been better to me since I put them on my face. The universe smiles in my direction.

Pink is the vibrant and lovely color of passion, universal love, everything is more beautiful through a pink lens. Pink smooths it all over, it calms, soothes, and relaxes the mind.

When the pink Chakra is blocked, we experience anxiety, self defeat, lack of strength, and cloudiness. Pink awakens me like a wish at 11:11. I have always been the stereotypical girl attracted to pink.

cat and cow loveI went into the woods and forgot what day it was, I cut myself off from technology and responsibility. There is no need for a cellphone out there. There is no need for a cellphone in here.

I want to throw a party where everyone puts their stupid smart phones in a box and keeps them away the entire night. People will actually speak to each other.

When I went to the Dave Chapelle stand up show the other day they had a strict no cell phone policy and even locked people’s phones in little sealed bags if they brought them into the venue. I thought that was an awesome idea, people will pay attention to the show and not distract others with the glow of their phone, the temptation of false gods, the safe little internest.

Technology literally bit my nipple just now.



“I don’t know whether to say I’m sorry or you’re welcome”
– Juicy Lucy, my roommate and creative soul sister.

The answer is both. Seconds before my vivacious roomie leaned in to give me a hug, I was lying on the couch writing this very blog on my laptop, as she leaned in the laptop closed, (mind you I am not wearing a bra) directly on my nipple, pinching it shut.

So funny, yet so painful, what are the chances of that happening? One of those moments that I want to remember when writing the lesbian stoner comedy that is my life. Every experience is just another scene in the movie.

summer loveI needed that pinch to let me know I was actually awake. I’ve had a strange few days. There is an old man who lives across the street from me, always says hi from his swing as I trike by. Yesterday he called me over, asked me if I wanted a coffee table that he didn’t want to put at the curb, and then told me that his sister died.

He was very sweet, obviously just wanted some conversation and a smile. It was a perfect sunny day, I shared that I recently lost my grandma and I think of her every time it’s sunny.

He then mentioned that his sister’s favorite color was purple and that a beautiful dark purple tulip sprouted, it was beautiful, it was her! The purple chakra means spirituality, connected to the other realm.

The day before my friend called me. She had found a woodpecker in distress. It took its last gasp, stared her in the eyes, and died in her hands.

She told me that I was the first person that she called without thinking. Her fiancé agreed that I was the one they needed to call.

How have I become the person that people need to see when they are sad or in trouble? I think of the person I call when I am in that position and my first responder is always my amazing dad. If I am anything like him that makes me so proud.

happy cat

Even though I am an optimist, I don’t feel that inspiring most days. I’m covered in two day old glitter crust, dandruff, and pizza crumbs, some call me a beautiful creature, but I honestly think I am a little gross.

What I am trying to say is not that I am not capable of being there for someone, but rather why would they ever choose me to begin with? I am irresponsible with my own heart and expectations. I am not even there for myself.

I am trying though, baby steps. It has been six months since I ate meat or talked to a sort of ex love of mine. I made a decision to make my life better by cutting out the things that made me sad. I can’t bear to hurt animals or relish in the despair of unrequited love.

pink glassesI want to see the positive aspects of this incredible world we live in. I want to be there for people, a safe place to go when you are in need.

You can sleep in my hammock or take solace in my hugs. I think that these pink glasses have given me that extra boost of energy to share with everyone I know. I genuinely love everyone and look at things from an unrealistically positive light.

You can’t see flaws through rose tinted glasses. Look to the pleasant parts of life, take it in, breathe in the sunshine and feel good about life in this moment. Get yourself some pink glasses and open your mind.

P.S. Rose tinted glasses are also excellent at hiding those pesky “tired” stoner eyes, paranoia free is the way to be. Fashion for your health.


Many seminal things happened in 2013 in the culinary world. Here is a review of 10 moments that will forever affect how we eat, cook or play with our food.

But as “the culinary world” is really a thousand worlds, I’ve picked two from each of five different “regions.”


1. We got food trucks back

However sanitized their reentry, 2013 saw the dismantling of legal obstacles to “mobile” food-selling and preparation in this city. After 60 years, this is no small feat and we shouldn’t take it lightly. Staid and stationary as the trucks might be right now, their presence will inevitably grow more fluid–and irrevocably change our sense of public space. Moreover, as mobile food enterprises grow, traditional restaurants will be challenged to evolve to remain viable, affecting cost, menus and overall experience.

2. No-shows got shamed

Thanks in part to a great article in The Gazette, those self-absorbed you-know-whats who simply vanish at reservation time were finally outed. While they weren’t exactly named, they were certainly shamed. Dialogue from the article spread far and wide and the concept of snubbing restauranteurs became akin to aiming a crossbow at the heart of a vulnerable local hub.



3. Rooftop greenhouses hit the big time

Once just a curiosity in an Ahuntsic warehouse, Lufa Farms has in two short years become well-known to Montréalers. The rooftop greenhouse has been supplying local homes and restos with foodScreen Shot 2013-12-29 at 1.48.43 AM since 2011.

But it was in 2013 that its mission hit the mainstream–and became a household name province-wide. This year Lufa opened its second, arguably more ambitious operation in Laval, vowing to export the model to the states. Québec City has already gotten on board, with a massive industrial rooftop greenhouse in the works for next year. Hell, rooftop greenhouses were so big in 2013 that they could even be spotted in yuppie-oriented Toyota Prius ads!

4. Critics finally learned to eat “out” (of town)

A proliferation of rural eateries seemed to make the press this year, led by Lesley Chesterman’s choice forays to À la table des jardins sauvages, Vices-Versa, and Bistro Champlain and M-C Lortie’s recurring crusades. Not to mention Dany St-Pierre (of Sherbrooke’s Auguste) winning Montréal’s chi-chi “Golden Plates” competition. Will finicky urban masses be quick to follow?


5. Celeb Canadian chefs trashed celeb American chefs for posing with this creepy mascot

I won’t get into the entire complicated backstory of the Chefs for Seals campaign, which hit fever pitch this year as thousands of the most glitzy (and Food Networked) US chefs signed on as mouthpieces for the warm and fuzzy cause. What’s important is that the fallout might have dented our neighbourly culinary relations and strengthened our national culinary community forever.

The US boycott of Canadian seafood provoked so much bark-back (seals, harbours…get it?) that Canadian chefs stood united and found a common voice. Their cause? To support hard-working fishing communities, respectfully-fished Canadian seafood products and the tradition of common sense.

There’s no end to the boycott in sight…but even a cursory glance at the debate reveals that Canadian chefs emerged victorious: respectful, rational, and reinvigorated in the face of their hypocritical foie-gras touting counterparts, most of whom just seemed desperate for a photo op.

6. Poutine restaurants officially became an epidemic

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Though poutine took Williamsburg, then the world, by storm a few years ago, the explosion of the “poutine restaurant” belongs to 2013.

With few exceptions, the poutine-only resto has been a novelty even in Québec until very recently. And though many scoffed at Smoke’s Poutinerie et al.’s attempts to usurp casse-croûtes on their home turf, the reality is that most poutine restaurants have thrived.

2013 saw poutine the theme of a Top Chef Canada episode, an otherwise respectable production, whose host introduced it (without irony) as “the one and only Canadian national dish.” And lest you think poutine still hasn’t found the mainstream, consider this: McDonalds across (gulp!) Toronto now feature the oozy delight.

North America

7. Jiro got reincarnated in New York (sort of)

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 1.45.38 AMMany consider the greatest living sushi master to be Jiro Ono, proprietor of ten-seat Sukiyabashi Ono in a Tokyo métro station. Ono has won three Michelin stars and international fame after David Gelb’s acclaimed 2011 documentary.

Portrayed as a rare relic of en era where masters lived, slept and, yes, dreamt sushi, critics were divided on whether Ono’s lineage would fully survive in Japan. But it seems it is North Americans who can breathe the most easy.

Ono protégé Daisuke Nakazawa (whose devotion to his master is insane in the aforementioned documentary) has opened his own shop in New York, and it appears to be the real deal…dare we say the boldest embodiment of Ono’s ethos outside Japan?

Unexpected, amazing, and only a six hour drive away now! North American sushi will never be graded by the same standards again.

8. Mexico is part of North America, remember?

The hard work of Enrique Olvera is legendary–only a decade ago, the hard-working chef was hand drywalling his space in Mexico City. Now, he has climbed inside the top 20 restaurants in the world. Sure, it’s an elite and controversial list. But it’s not only a testament to Olvera’s perseverance and artistry with Pujol, it’s a sharp reminder to the US (okay, Canada too) that Mexico is part and parcel of “North AmericanScreen Shot 2013-12-29 at 1.53.00 AM haute cuisine.” And, when it comes to culinary “fine art”–they’re here to stay.


9. The art of fermentation exploded

Not literally: no cooks were reported hurt by shards of broken glass from flying kimchi. But in 2013 chefs and cooks took the art of fermentation to the next level.

First, there was Sandor Katz’s landmark book, which proved its relevance to flavour, cooking and health. Next there was David Chang’s heady hit show that explored the intricacies of tsukemen, katsoubushi, kimchi and more, and MAD Food Camp (the culinary TED)’s focus on fermentation as the vanguard of gastronomical experimentation, and many other chefs’ insistence that given global food uncertainties anyone could–and should–culture at home. Far from a trend, the culinary world’s interest in fermentation is here to stay and will only get better with age.

10. Eggless eggs happened

Explosively-popular mayos and doughs suggest that “tech startup” Hampton Creek is well on its way to its goal of an eggless society. Its goal is to “surpass” the egg in taste, nutrition, cost and sustainability. Using only plants. So far, it has managed to draw sustained ire from the dominant industry, a good marker of any product’s culinary impact!

What were the most important moments of your culinary world this year? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at @forgetthebox or @joshdavidson


First things first: I have nothing against cured side cuts of pork. I like them. I take pleasure in eating them. I don’t care if I’m half-Jewish, half-Muslim or half-Hindu—it’s hard for me to resist their splendour amidst this Pork-Filled Nation (Québec).


But the problem with bacon is when it hits the restaurant and we pretend it’s art. Addictively akin to cocaine, it’s a quick fix. And its wielders shouldn’t get any more credibility than a suburban drug dealer.

Bacon caters to the lazy chef. Yet, six years later, it’s all I see on menus from Montréal to Santa Fe.

Bacon was worthy, to be sure, of a brief ironic giggle circa 2007, around the time its prominence amongst respectable restauranteurs and trendsetting gastronomes (yes, you horrible blogging foodie), tempered a late-90s trend toward artificial health edibles. We wanted to smell real food again, to name its pasture, to eat closer to the ground. The sense that this might not be so death-defying after all was soon to follow.

But our bacon trend is about a half-decade past its prime.

Consider, for a moment, just how many raw ingredients are able to punch you in the mouth with salt, fat and sweetness—no effort added.

There aren’t many. I’d love to hear a shortlist of, say, more than five. The thing is, we’ve all been fleeced. Because if more existed, more chefs would be getting rich off of them.

We can all make bacon taste good. I don’t care if it’s No Name or knifed by Pied du Cochon. It takes no skill. And yet, day after day, I see up and coming chefs trumpeting their bacon dishes (or adding bacon to stupid, stupid things) as if even a teaspoon of skill were actually involved.

Trend-chasing bacon cooks: why not make me a turnip dish I will dream about? That would be something to share, post and brag to my friends about. Making turnips tantalizing takes a true culinary hero, like this one, or this one.

But until then, bacon should remain where it belongs: next to fried eggs at a hangover brunch, or as an supporting actor in more rounded, composed dishes.

Yes, I will draw some ire for this rant. I will be seen as anti-bacon, or ultra-kosher.

This, as any of my friends could tell you, is tragic. Because I’m of neither sort. Yet bacons’ brainwashees fan far and wide. They’re the same sort of “culinary” type who add pigs to ice cream, foie gras to milkshakes, or bourbon to scallops. It’s anti-culinary. And it’s not their fault. They were fleeced long before they knew what hit them.

Indeed, bacon has ridden such a long wave of taste-trending that most seem unable to recall a time before it. (Article 1: this bloggers’ self-portrait with Gordon Ramsay).

But I can tell you: it existed. And back then, chefs couldn’t so easily cop-out.

Postscript: Mad respect to Lafleur for holding out on the bacon in your poutine. Keep it real. Please. And La Banquise: no comment.

Have you ever craved some Hair of the Dog in the middle of getting a haircut? Dream no more, because it’s become a reality.

Yes, to all of you curious voyeurs! It isn’t just a gimmick! The Blue Dog Motel, a bar wedged between many others on the populated and always busy St Laurent Boulevard, won’t judge you for ordering a gin and tonic with a side of haircut, day or night.

Perhaps for some dutch courage? Relaxation? Social lubrication? Whatever the reason may be, we should all bow down to Montreal born Daniel Marin who had a vision, and pioneered the concept, bringing a bit more fun onto the urban block.

Daniel, a talented hair barber and local ambassador for the Californian water based hair product Layrite, started off giving cuts at the last St-Laurent street sale. The concept really caught on and so his chair was moved from the sidewalk and into the infamous platform level of Blue Dog that once resembled the trippy living room from A Clockwork Orange.

Blue Dog Barber-003

The space has been transformed into a comfortable yet edgy mini salon that suits the atmosphere of the bar. In it, there is the station where Dan works his magic, and a mini bar stashed to the side offering different types of liquor. The bottles are stashed away at times and liquor service is generally offered at the bar itself.

Daniel is a versatile artist who seems willing to work with many different hair types, regardless of length, fullness, texture, or gender. The “no problem” look he gave me when I asked if he would be able to tame my unruly waves was definitely assuring.

“To me, it’s very personal,” he replied when asked where he draws the line, “they tell me what they want, and I let them know if it’s possible beforehand.” He also takes walk ins, which is ideal for those who are feeling impulsive.

As the night progressed and I watched him work his magic, Daniel’s talent with hair really shone through. I witnessed him transform a burly hipster with mop hair into a sleek looking gentleman (with tamed scruff) and a soft looking, slicked back style that I felt tempted to run my fingers through.

Blue Dog Barber-010

I couldn’t help but notice that one of Daniel’s other customers, and Daniel himself, had this similar haircut that resembled heartthrobs of my childhood days. When I asked him if this style was in any way reminiscent of the mid 90s, he scoffed and said “it’s from the 20s and 30s!”

This seems to be the effect that the combination of Layrite and his creative genius have on men’s hair. The product gives an end result of hassle-free hair, is easily washable and holds for just as long as its petroleum jelly based ancestor.

In my opinion, whether it’s 20s, 30s, 90s, trendy, or merely crafted from Dan Marin’s mind, I have nothing against the lads of Montreal walking around town with hair like Leo DiCaprio.

So, why should we start going to Blue Dog to get our hair cut? Well, it’s the only liquor licensed barber in the city and who wouldn’t want to do shots in the middle of a makeover? Also, it’s very economical, since Dan has already done the haute salon scene and doesn’t care to overcharge people for a new look.

Blue Dog Barber-006“What I wanted to do is be one of the lowest on the block,” he said, “25 bucks for men 35 for women.”

If requested, (or if he likes you) he’ll whip out this super nifty head massager called The Hangover Cure. When this device was demonstrated, I didn’t want to leave it alone.

Some may think this establishment could be a road to disaster, but Daniel gives off a super professional vibe. He never works past midnight, appears to be super sober as he’s doing his job and dims the lights/restricts the Barbier area of the bar when he’s off duty, “unless it’s a busy night and space is limited. Then we turn it into a VIP area.”

In my opinion, this establishment is a fun and fresh idea. It’s nice to know that we have the option to knock back a couple while getting a haircut. It’s a super fun concept, and besides, Blue Dog is planning on getting a striped Barber Pole for the occasion.

Do people think this is going to go far? Daniel’s lovely girlfriend and fellow hair stylist Maral definitely thinks so: “this isn’t a pop up shop, it’s gonna get bigger, I feel it.”

* photos by Chris Zacchia

Isn’t it funny how over the past decade we’ve managed to revive the best and worst styles of the better part of the previous century? Since 2003, we have introduced old concepts into our new wardrobes.

I remember the ressurection of leggings worn under mini skirts paired with the large baggy tops of 2005. I remember the unflattering ballerina warm up shrugs that were meant to be tied at the waist but made everyone’s arms look fat. I also remember the 1950s inspired poodle shaped skirts with flamboyant colours and prints of 2004, heinous large neon earrings that we would see Kimmy Gibbler wearing on old episodes of Full House paired with skin tight black mini dresses that would later be a part of American Apparel’s 2007 collection.

I will never forget the vintage movement that swept the end of the decade and turn of the century or as I like to call it, The Return of the 90s. The revival of the 90s took the fashion world by storm.

Being bi-continential, I noticed even my stylishly stubborn friends back in the Middle East eventually catching on to the look. Larger glasses were introduced, fedoras and bowler hats were encouraged and wayfarer sunglasses and skinny jeans were essential.


However, 2013 offers something different. It is almost as though the fashion industry is pushing women’s fashion aside and dedicating the evolution of trend to the male audience.

I know, it sounds like crazy talk, but think about it ladies: has this season not been really weird? Anything “new” you can think of, with the exception of swimsuits and shoes, isn’t actually new.

Last summer, we were obsessing over chiffon material and hi-lo skirts and dresses. This year, feel free to raid your closet because it seems that everything that has been fashionable over the past five years is still perfectly acceptable to create an up-to-date outfit.

My theory is we’re taking a small detour since we’ve literally circled the better half of the previous century stylistically speaking. Yes, this year, with great hesitation, we are back to the years of fashion we were trying to forget not five years ago: the early 2000s.

What does that mean? The Oriental look, metallics, spaghetti strap halters with long a-line skirts and awkward strappy sandals a la Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in their creepy pubescent entertainment careers.

But men are seeing something different in fashion. This season, they are being given more of a chance to actually be fashionable!

mens fashion 2013Sure, more often than not you’ll still see the everyday average heterosexual dude between the ages of 18-35 wearing the same old cargo shorts, graphic tees and disgusting sports sunglasses. You’ll also spot the average sweatpants wearing, hideous high crotch, elastic band jeans with the awkward ass and high ankles wearing guy who looks like he’d just stepped out of a Mickey Mouse Club video cassette, pairing them with those insulting Velcro cross strap sandals.

It’s obvious, however, that the fashion industry has gone the extra mile for my adorable, hairy counterparts. It seems that men, regardless of their sexual orientation or personal style, are being encouraged to go bold with what they wear.

Think about it: the fashion industry for men is usually targeted towards the media’s idea of the “typical” fashion loving homosexual man, and the preppy guys (or as we call them here in Montreal, guys from France), but the everyday average guy, regardless of his sexual orientation, wouldn’t necessarily have much of an option.

What happens if you don’t like what’s coming out? If it’s too preppy for you? All they’ve been stuck with was skinny jeans, plain t shirts, and v neck sweaters (sexy). Otherwise, it’s back to the same old cargo shorts and graphic tees.

This year, shorts are encouraged, especially if they’re cuffed. The cuffed look is being pushed onto men like skinny jeans were.

I’ve spoken to quite a few men who have different tastes, and most of them agreed that the cuffed pant-leg look is too feminine. I personally disagree and feel they should give it a chance and take the risk; after all, cuffed pant legs look pretty classic with a nice loafer or boat shoe and a simple, light button down shirt that’s casually been left unbuttoned.

Now, I can see how that would look a little too Dawson’s Creek for some of you, but remember how people felt about skinny jeans when they first came out? Exactly. Just give it a couple of years.

I think that this season, it’s safe to say men are being encouraged to make bolder decisions, even in an androgynous sense. I know that the concept of androgynous style is not necessarily new, but it has definitely been expanding.

Some men are rocking heels paired with self-designed outfits and they look fierce. Same thing with dresses.

Back in the day, the public might have had negative reactions to the concept of gender-bending fashion, but especially after this season, I see great potential in the look. You wear your heels baby, and wear ‘em high.

There is nothing more beautiful than the silhouette of the androgynous look. It’s like having a bunch of beautiful mannequins walking around constantly inspiring me to go shopping.


But you don’t have to wear heels or even cuff your pant legs to be bold. According to one of my fashion conscious, average Joe friends: “men are finally opening up to patterns that aren’t plaids or stripes…. floral, polka dots, small patterns like anchors.”

My friend does live in a in a city where these changes are more likely to take place straight away, but what about the rest of the world? Are men ready to take the plunge into this pond of fashion? All with a grain of salt and giving things a chance, even if you just start off with bold colours or wearing a denim shirt.

Keep in mind, though: rolling up your pant legs make you look taller, and I personally swoon over a tall glass of water.


We humans are part of the environment.

Really, all those trees, bugs, birds, sand, walruses, ice floes, endangered orangutans … we’re part of that.

Call me out for pointing out the obvious, but this notion was once a big revelation for me.

Humans: the observers of the environment ... pfft.

I studied and worked in a few different aspects of the environment; as a technologist, a student, scientist, a field practitioner, an activist, an idealist and now a journalist.

Throughout most of these experiences, I always pictured myself as an observer, but not necessarily part of any type of ecosystem. I guess you could picture it like being a plumber; you fix the pipes, but they’re not your pipes. Well guess what – they are our pipes.

A simplified carbon cycle - one of the many ways we alter the environment. Poor little bunny.

So, we alter the environment, we change it, we destroy it, we help sustain parts of it and the important thing to remember is that we are integrally in it. We’re in it a little too much, actually. The human population in 2011 is forecast to reach 7 billion people. Think crowded metros, shopping malls, streets, overburdened aquifers, food demand, product demand, fuel demand, everything, really.

I’ve always found it so funny that people will make such a big fuss about snow geese overpopulation while we’re the most critically overpopulated species there is, considering our impact on the planet over the last several hundreds of years and how quickly we’ve grown thanks to technology and agriculture.

Human population growth through the ages, or, in other words, WTF

With so many millions of more people out there, can you imagine the increased strain that will be felt by the ecosystem? How much more food will have to be grown and how ethics will stand to face such increasing demands? We’ll need cheaper meat, more corn, more wheat, more space and so on.

Products will be shipped worldwide to the highest bidders, using more fossil fuels, to reach the throes of demand as nations increase their wealth and opt to live more Western lifestyles. In all honesty, that’s what makes supporting local agriculture such a logical choice since it uses less fossil fuels for transport and boosts your local economy, but I digress.

Human overpopulation is a huge problem, but thanks to Oprah and other celebrities, going child-less is becoming the next hip fad. Last year, Sex and the City’s lavish movie about a group of gals with too much money hit the screens. While there is hardly anything environmentally positive about this film, it makes a powerful statement when the main character Carrie Bradshaw and her husband talk to another couple about how their marriage is just about the two of them – no kids allowed.

Carrie Bradshaw is a pretend person, but it is beginning to hit the mainstream to go child-less and they’re speaking up about it. Less people means less strain on resources, causing the planet to give a brief sigh of relief. Oprah Winfrey and Cameron Diaz are part of the GINK (green inclinations, no kids) crowd who proudly live child free; some with the intention on minimizing their impact on the planet by purposefully keeping an empty womb.

When you look at the impact that each individual has on the planet, like the estimated 9,441 metric tons of CO2 used per person in their lifetime, which is close to a 6-fold increase from our parent’s generation, less people might just make sense.