Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Totally Blog Worthy

So I'm sitting at the Verb cafe on Bedford and they're playing Burzum's Daudi Balders..such an awesome album...i've never heard it played anywhere in public.. even though he murdered his bandmate it's still a beautiful piece of music. To the right of me is a guy looking at gay porn.

Friends who dress the same.

Around Times Square there are a lot of tourists and sometimes you see that they are wearing the same outfit. Here are 2 Australian tourists dressed the same. There jerseys say: Almost entered Miss Australia... although the dates are different...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ambika - the english nun

Ambika (whose name is taken from the motherly aspect of the goddess Durgha) was one of the nuns in charge at the Shivananda center. She reminded me of all the things i missed from the UK and we had many good chats about stuff. She had many pearls of wisdom to share and she plays a wicked Harmonium.
Around the ashram

Life at the ashram

5:30am gong and 6:00pm satsang - meditation and chanting. Chores - karma yoga, 2 meals a day and 2 yoga sessions.. well structured prevented me from becoming too lazy and bored with plenty of time to read books from their library, take walks and play with the ashram cats (if you could find them) and the dog that visited. I actually missed the early morning satsang twice and since the really strict nun was away in India I didn't get into big trouble.. but if i had stayed longer it may have been a different story! The first day I was there I was really happy, the second day I had struggles because I couldn't contact the outside world then I figured out I could buy phone cards and the rest of the time it was easier and I got into the non reliance on technology, distractions and into the peaceful, simple lifestyle of it all. I was sad to leave but in other ways not.. wouldn't it be nice to have the best of both worlds. Being in the countryside reminded me very much of where I grew up in England and in the pre-mobile phone/internet era....

The Laurantien Mountains,Quebec

We went for walks around the ashram and came across a frozen lake. It felt like Greenland or the land of Narnia.

Satnam and Jacques

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Shivananda Ashram, Val Morin Quebec

I went on a Yoga retreat up in the Laurentian mountains in Canada - loads of yoga, lots of snow and lots of french speaking.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cupcakes in a window

I will miss you Montreal - it was short and sweet..

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The most imposing building in Montreal - L'hotel de ville

Sous Terrain - underground Montreal

Montreal has a warren of underground corridors leading to galleries, government buildings, shopping centres and metro stations... at least it's warm in winter down there...

Parisian style metro entrance..

Maps of underground corridors (sous terre)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Je me souviens = I remember

(There's a story about how this came to be on the Quebec plates - a taxi driver told me but couldn't remember the details.. if any Quebecois is reading this please tell me the story!).

La Vieux Montreal

Cliched to say this but it really did feel like Europe... I had all these flashbacks to being in Paris , or Belgium.. and yearnings to be living back in Holland with it's cobbled streets, independent shops and quirky ways. I think I've lived in aux etats unis for too long....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Montreal Snaps

Shop selling kitchen-ware.

Notre Dame-esque church in la vieux Montreal. Not as decorative or impressive as the real thing.

With the cobbled streets I felt I was in Paris, Brussels or Holland..
Independent shops vs. chains in Montreal

Record shop - Achat et Vente = Buys and Sells

Montreal is more a place of independent shops than chains.. how different it is from New York City - you only have to search for all the starbucks in manhattan to see how truly overrun NY became.

There are still chains like subway (with it's 'ouvert' sign) but they are in the minority, same with Toronto where you are hard pressed to find a starbucks. Canada has rules about not allowing chains to open up there.
Anges Gourmet = Angel Food (?)

A nice little cafe with tarts - white bean, egg and almond. I ate an egg one - c'etait delicieux!

Montreal is one of the most veggie friendly cities I've been too.

Fake meat products are all the rage here - it's great! Viande Vege = veggie meat n'est ce pas?
These shops/restaurants were all in le quartier plateau.. pres de mon logement.

A lot of vegetarian restaurants as well

Toronto to Montreal by Train

The train journey from Montreal to Canada is 5 1/2 hours and passes though lots of open fields with a few trees, farming communities and very little else.

Nearing the suburbs of Montreal

Lake Ontario is like the ocean

People walking around in blankets in Toronto

This is not something you would see in New York City.. even though it's something I've often thought about doing but with a comforter (= duvet).
Interesting crystal shaped building hanging off the side of another one

Fake Castle Building (with Spanish Name) - Casa Lomas in Toronto

A cute, very cheeky little boy.

Lukas in his Bob the Builder outfit

Me with Lucas..outside my friend's house in Toronto.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yann Tiersen

wow, what talent! i especially like Yann Tiersen's accordian playing.. (he created the music for Amelie) and the female vocalist reminds me of Kate Bush.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mar on the Subway

Originally uploaded by dawachan1
This is my good friend Mar who was a former roomate in San Francisco..

Partially eaten birthday cake

Birthday cake partially eaten
Originally uploaded by dawachan1

Pinata in garden

Pinata in garden
Originally uploaded by dawachan1
Girl with stick. It was steve who eventually broke it!

Steve blowing out sparklers
Originally uploaded by dawachan1
Steve and Logan with Steve's birthday cake blowing out sparklers