Friday, August 13, 2010

Soma Chocolate

Soma. Yes, the word sounds oddly familiar. I don't know if this is actually the intended case, but I swear it was named after the heavenly pleasurable drug from Huxley's "Brave New World" because it is incredibly addicting.
Situated in Toronto's lovely little Distillery District, Soma is an artisan chocolate factory, boutique, and cafe all in one.
They import some of the most sought after Organic Fair Trade cocoa beans from around the world, and create their very own chocolate in house with the help of traditional and antiquated processes.
They offer everything from unique little chocolate snacks, traditional baked goods, gelato, beverages, and a variety of other little delicious treats.
It is seriously some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted. It's dark, rich, aromatic, and smooth. Absolutely divine stuff. Haha.
You must definitely make your way down there if you're in the Distillery District. You will not regret it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Broadway Street

Broadway is one of SoHo's busiest shopping streets. These were some of the first things I experienced when I reached SoHo. I just wanted to quickly drop a few photos to visually share it with you.
As soon as I turned onto Broadway, I was so surprised to see a sneaker shop right off the bat. Haha, I'm not sure why. It made me kinda excited. LOL.
I also don't know why I decided to go in here. Haha, it was kinda boring, but they have a lot of shoes I guess along with some urban streetwear labels. It has this boring mall vibe too it though.
This is the Muji space. I really loved it. They really used the gorgeous high ceilings and huge glass store front to their advantage. The afternoon sun streaming in, laying out shadowy sun spots all over the smooth wood flooring; that's the type of thing I remember when people mention New York.
The space has this simple, neat, and spacious feel to it. Plus cool house furnishings, accessories, stationary, and affordable clothing basics. I really love Muji.
So that was kinda what hit me in the face as soon as I stepped off the Canal Subway Station in SoHo.
Anyways, I know I've really been slacking on the posts. I'll try to get more of my New York photos on here next week. I sincerely hope you're all enjoying your summer.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Opening Ceremony NYC

Definitely one of the most famed retail experiences in New York City. The story of how this space came to be is absolutely fascinating. Spike Jonze made a video for Vice TV a while ago about it.
Anyways as you walk through the front door, you'll realize it's quite a large space with a small little upstairs section with a bunch of books, magazines, and music selections. There are a lot of accessories and new arrivals on the main floor.
Downstairs has a large space filled with clearance stock. A bunch of awesome stuff on sale. I bought a T by Alexander Wang hoodie for $68. It was the last one left.
The staff is either aloof and leaves you alone, or just pleasantly helpful. I still like Toronto's service a little more though, haha. I spent more time in this store than any other in SoHo. Haha, I really loved it all.
The store front is being refaced, basically like the rest of SoHo. Anyways, this is an obvious stop if you're in NYC!
And I really must mention that a visit to this New York will bring some of your favourite blogs to life. One example being Ms. Rumi Neely's Fashion Toast blog. Isn't that cool, haha.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

American Apparel in SoHo
Dov Charney's mark on Broadway. Beautiful cast-iron architecture SoHo is adored for. It's right around the corner from Opening Ceremony.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Magic Pony

Simply put, Magic Pony is a creative culture hub. It's buzzing with all types of events and activities.
It serves as both an art gallery as well as a retail space providing an extensive selection of published books, collectible vinyl toys, special apparel, and unique lifestyle novelties.
You can find all sorts of affordable Kid Robot and Tokidoki toys, along with rarer stuff from artists like Gary Baseman, Michael Lau and David Choe. There is also a nice collection of books, in addition to magazines such as Giant Robot.
Besides the incredibly large store front display, my favourite part of this space is the gallery at the back. A clean and minimalistic space currently hosting a lovely little "Friends With You" exhibition.
From their humble beginnings at Kensington Market in 2002 selling rare Asian toys, to their current Queen Street West store front, they're one of Toronto's most prized possessions.
It's also kinda cool to find out that they went on to open another space in 2008 called "Narwhal Art Projects" which is now currently hosting Roots collaboration with Canadian artist Douglas Coupland.
If you're in the area, you must stop by. You'll love it, and the staff are extremely pleasant and enthusiastic about their store. The store really is as amazing as their name! Haha.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Queen Street West (West Side) / Part Three

This will be the final post I will be making on Queen Street West. This is the blending portion of where the artsy community fades into the touristy mainstream portion of Queen Street.
Da Zone was another one of Toronto's infamous sneaker spots back in the day. It was one of the specialty boutiques under the umbrella of Canada's "Si Vous Play Sports" family. Like many other sneaker boutiques the stumbling economy didn't help its cause too well.
It was one of those places where you knew you could catch a decent deal whenever you needed to. Da Zone, rest in peace.
Travel a bit further east, and the store names begin to appear more familiar to the average person. Canadian Dov Charney's American Apparel...
Urban Outfitters... (the two Toronto locations are essentially within walking distance.)
I still enjoy visiting this place. It's kinda one of those guilty pleasures, because a franchised retail experience like this kind of defeats the purpose of the intimately snug little niche cultures it supports.
But I mean, look at some of the stuff it has... yeah!! The Sartorialist's book!!
And I've crossed over Spadina once again, as you see "Nextdoor" which I talked about in an earlier post.
You also have you're typical downtown stores. "Adidas Originals" where you can find your David Beckham and Jeremy Scott collections stocked. And Canada's main street friendly "Neon" boutique.
So yeah, that's Queen Street West. Some more vintage stores, skate shops and music retail spaces along the way, but for the most part, you have you're mall staples like H&M, Gap, and Zara.
And that brings a close to the Toronto Chapter. Thanks for stopping by.