Category Archives: Entertainment

Undressing Nightlife Dress Codes

During the summer months, my friends and I rarely stay inside the house. We can usually be found barhopping downtown. Having explored Toronto’s nightlife for over a year it is easy to stop noticing things. For example, how most of the attire for females at bars and clubs isn’t exactly what you would wear to church on Sunday. Being a student in downtown Toronto lead me to become unaware of the nightlife expectations placed by others and myself.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe this summer. Also meaning having the opportunity to explore other cities’ nightlives. The first night out I was with a mid to late 20s crowd and we decided to go to a trendy rooftop club in the heart Rome’s l’Eur. It was packed. So packed that the line extended down the street. We were lucky as we knew someone to get us in (ayeeee connections!). Once in, it was like a club in Toronto except cleaner and less trashy. Also noticeable was how the women there were dressed. These girls were dressed like a girl in Toronto would be dressed to go to dinner or the movies and they looked super comfortable and happy with themselves.

Moreover, how they felt and looked translated in the way the opposite sex reached out to them. In Toronto, most males at bars or clubs act a certain way and let’s just say aren’t usually looking to get to know you the next day. In Rome, I was approached by a few guys (from the ages of low 20s all the way to late 20s) and I found –here comes the real shocker—that they were interested in actually getting to know my likes, dislikes, interests, etc. They weren’t touchy and extremely respectful. True gentlemen.

After recovering from those nights and getting some deeply deserved sleep, I started to think about what would happen if my friends in Toronto and I dressed the way the other girls and I did at clubs in Italy. I knew the reaction of other people, both guys and girls, would be completely different. So why is that? Why is it that in Toronto, if women don’t dress like pop culture tells them to, they are most likely not taken seriously, or completely ignored? Or sometimes not even LET IN to these bars and clubs? I mean Italy has pop culture too, less significant on a world scale but still very prominent in society. Is it because in Italy the culture expresses the idea that less make up and more clothing is more? Is it a result of the influence of the American film, music, and fashion industries on Canada, or more specifically Toronto? Is it because females think that they have to show it all off even if they don’t want to just to get any attention?

I was almost 100% certain that if I went to a bar dressed with the same outfit that I loved and felt great in on one of my nights out in Rome or Milan, I would be completely snubbed by the boys, the girls, the bartender, the bodyguards, etc. So, since I like being proven right I decided to test it out. So Friday night, my best friend Amanda and I both tested it out and dressed how we wanted to dress. That is in a nice pair of jeans, crewneck tank tops, and sandals and go to a hip bar downtown. We get to the front of the line and while the body guard checking out IDs didn’t say anything his eyes said it all. One half right for me. We go inside and as predicted we didn’t make as many friends and we would have if we dressed in our usual attires when we go out. However, the friends we did make are still in contact with us for future outings (very interesting, am I right?).

So at the end of this, what did I learn? People going to bars and clubs are going to dress in different ways and people should dress however they want. But how they individually want. Not because society, the bodyguards, the location, etc., tells us to. I learned this in Rome, Milan, and Toronto. In all these places I adapted to how society wanted me to dress and thus brought forth the social conventions associated to how I was dressed as a consequence.

Moral of the story: dress however the hell you want as long as you do you.

Life Lessons from a Cabbie

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The day before I would take the taxi ride that resulted in my learning the story below, I was in a fourth-year English seminar discussing The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments. The professor talked about how the Orient tale was often used in the eighteenth-century as a fantastical narrative form by Western writers concocting stories that commented on their own domestic circumstances. Orient tales like Nights were then often abridged into children’s books imbued with bourgeois morals designed to educate Western readers on how to be good, upstanding Britons.

I don’t drive, and living in Toronto I’ve been happy to take public transit wherever I go. Yet my family doctor is in Oakville, so when I need to see her I go home for the weekend and take a cab to my appointment on the days when my parents can’t give me a lift. So it was that the day after my class I found myself speaking with a middle-aged cab driver who told me that he was from Turkey.

After talking for a while about his family and kids, he then asked about me. I told him that I was about to graduate from U of T in June.

“You are entering your donkey years,” he said.

I thought that I had misheard him, but when I saw him looking at me through the rear-view mirror, eyes smiling, I realized I hadn’t. I asked him what he meant, and he told me this story.

Once upon a time there lived a donkey, a dog, a monkey, and a human. The donkey, dog, and monkey each had a life expectancy of forty years while the Human’s was only twenty. Yet each animal had their unique grievances: the donkey was weary of a life spent working hard for others and being treated poorly for little compensation. The dog was weary of guarding his property and spending its days barking to protect it. The monkey was upset because all anyone ever did was make fun of how silly it was. Yet the human had no grievances  because it’s life was easy and pleasant; its only complaint was that it was so short.

Watching from above, God saw their grieving and transported them to Heaven. He listened the donkey, dog, and monkey’s complaints in turn before turning to the human.

“The other animals say that they wish their lives were shorter because their lives are so tedious and difficult, but your life is good,” God said. “What is then is your grievance?”

“Nothing; I only wish that my life were longer,” the human replied.

Thinking for a moment, God at last announced that he had a solution to all their grievances.

“The donkey, dog, and monkey are all weary of their lives and wish them to be shorter. So I will cut each of their lives in half, and give these extra years to the human,” he said.

The cabbie said that I was now, at twenty-one, one year out of my human years and into my donkey years. My human years were easy, carefree, and pleasant. Upon graduating, my donkey years would involve my taking jobs where I worked hard for long hours with little pay as I climbed my career ladder. When I turn forty, he said, I will enter my dog years, where I have made it to the top of my career and am now barking orders at people below me and guarding the success that I earned in my twenties and thirties. When I turn sixty, I will spend the rest of my life in my monkey years, when my grandchildren will make fun of me for being so silly.

“In all my life, I have never met anyone who was able to disprove my story. Can you?” He asked me. I said I couldn’t. He was exactly right.

When we arrived at the clinic I told him that I would share his story, and I did, with my family and friends. Now I am sharing it here, so you too can share the wisdom I learned from a cabbie.

Highlights from Music’s Biggest Night

The 2016 Grammy Awards have concluded, and what better way to relive the star-studded night than to highlight some of the best performances?

Tori Kelly and James Bay performed a duet of their songs “Hollow” and “Let It Go”

The 2016 Grammy Awards was a first for both Tori Kelly and James Bay, who both received their first Grammy nominations and made their first performances at the show. Their mashup of the singles Hollow and Let It Go was captivating, with powerful vocals complemented by the strumming of acoustic guitars. The harmonizing of these two artists was certainly a great addition to the show.

Lady Gaga performs a tribute to the late David Bowie.

Dressed in the iconic clothing of Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie’s alter-ego, Lady Gaga performed a medley of Bowie’s hit songs in an almost 7-minute set. She comanded the stage with her back-up dancers (dressed in Bowie-inspired clothing, of course) and received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her performance.

Aside from his Grammy wins, Abel also celebrated his 26th birthday.

The Weeknd hit the stage and performed his hit songs, Can’t Feel My Face and a slow version of In the Night. He also celebrated wins for Best R&B Performance and Best Urban Contemporary Album. The singer celebrated his 26th birthday at the Grammy Awards after-party.

Adele performing “All I Ask” from her new album, 25.

Adele once again delivered an emotional performance. She performed the song All I Ask from her new album 25. Although there were technical issues that caused a slight hiccup in her performance, she recovered flawlessly and delivered with her powerful vocals.

Kendrick Lamar’s electrifying performance got people talking

Finally, as for the most talked-about performance of the night Kendrick Lamar’s performance of The Blacker the Berry and Alright from his award-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly brought down the house. The fiery (literally) and energetic performance was politically charged, and won’t soon be forgotten.

A LOVEly Valentine’s Day

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Alone on Valentine’s Day? Do not fear, for Aphrodite is here (jokes, it’s just me)! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and while being with that special someone on this holiday is always great (if you have one), who better to spend the day of love with than your girl friends? These ladies are, after all, the ones who have been there and supported you since the beginning. What’s also amazing is the fact that we live in a vibrant and fabulous city with tons of potential for V-Day fun.

Firstly, what’s better than a night full of food and gossipping? Nothing! Toronto has a wide range of restaurants and pubs that have the perfect Valentine’s Day atmosphere. For those (like me) whose heart is dedicated to Hogwarts, there’s The Lockhart near Dufferin Station. For those (like me again) who like sweets, there’s the Nutella Bar! Another entertaining idea is going to a theatre production. Possibilities? Kinky Boots at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, The Winter’s Tale at the Coal Mine Theatre, Gaslight at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, and many more.

If your ideal girls day is one of relaxation, what better way to spend it than at the spa? Toronto has a variety of spots doing Valentine’s Day packages. Want to stay home instead? A DIY spa is easy to make.  Glamour has some great tips, including how to make a sugary scrub and tasty (healthy!) drinks. Another way to relax on Valentine’s Day is to watch a rom com. Whether at home or at the movies (How to Be Single is coming out on February 12th), binge-watching romantic comedies with your besties at a sleepover with popcorn and nail polish is a good idea any time of year.

Hope you feel the love! XOXO!

Club Profile: University of Toronto Electronic Music Community (UTEMC)

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Image by UTEMC

Interested in electronic music? As per one commenter’s request, read on to learn more about U of T’s only electronic music community!

blogUT: How was the UTEMC created and what is its mission?

UTEMC: The UTEMC was created by two close friends who have been going to EDM events together forever. They decided to create a club where U of T electronic music fans could come together to meet other people and attend events together, as well as foster a culture of electronic music appreciation by fans from all over the three campuses. Our mission is to establish a group of like-minded individuals with an interest in electronic music and DJ events. Our goal to is set up a place for everybody to congregate and discuss events (both upcoming and past), new music, or just to meet somebody else with whom you might share a similar electronic music taste to. Throughout the year we’re going to be hosting events to bring people together, including in-house DJing events and workshops. Continue reading Club Profile: University of Toronto Electronic Music Community (UTEMC)

The Best French-Language Films on Canadian Netflix

Netflix Canada boasts an impressive roster of foreign language films. But you already knew that (right?).

I watch French films to keep up my grasp on the language, which having left Montreal at age 14 I try with some success to maintain at an 8th-grade level. I love French films for their originality (compared to Hollywood’s endless stream of sequels and reboots) and startling array of strong leading ladies. To follow is my list of what I consider to be Netflix’s best, all of which feature English subtitles. In no particular order:

  1. Romantics Anonymous (2010)

Watch two incredibly awkward people who share a passion for chocolate fall in love. Sounds like every relationship ever to me.

“The tale of two pathologically shy chocolate makers who are meant for each other but are too afraid to connect is a mug of warm cocoa with marshmallow topping that produces a comfy feel-good glow.”- Stephen Holden, New York Times

2. The Intouchables (2012)

A runaway hit both in France and abroad, this film will leave you with all the feels and warm-fuzzies.

“In this sentimental feel-good saga of an ultra-wealthy quadriplegic and the petty criminal who becomes his caretaker, the chemistry between the two lead actors goes a considerable way toward elevating the broad-strokes culture clash. That’s crucial to a film that is, in essence, a love story.” Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times Continue reading The Best French-Language Films on Canadian Netflix

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13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival

Celebrate diversity, community, and creativity at the 13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival. The best of emerging filmmaking talent and films from around the world.

November 18 – 21 at Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas St. East, Toronto).

FREE ADMISSION | FREE CHILDCARE

FULL PROGRAM SCHEDULE

As Toronto’s only free-of-charge multi-cultural community film festival, we are dedicated to showcasing local and international cinematic works relevant to inner-city communities. Continue reading 13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival