Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Tango Project..

Oh my Goodness! These last two days have been quite intense with tango-esque ups and downs. Aïe-aïe-aïe! Tango is an emotional dance, if there is any... You might remember that our current biggest challenge is to dance an Argentine tango on our big day; a simple one, though, as I will be wearing my wedding gown... No Tango Nuevo or any other complicated acrobatics! No. But brushing up our rusty feet with Youtube videos was not enough, we needed an expert's eye and a ballroom to really practise our steps. So we did step out!

It all started on Thursday. We took our first tango lesson and practica in a long La Coqueta where Steve Yee and Marilena Stalteri (whom Marco knew from University, it's a small world!) guided us to some basic exercises, just meaning to improve our walk and make it smooth. Hence, from 8 to 10 P.M., we went through a series of warming up and connecting-with-partners exercises. We practiced new steps and turns, revised the cross systems, and danced a bit at the end. The community of dancers, which falls into two categories, the followers and the leaders, was most friendly and coming from various horizons. There was a lady from London, a man from Chile, and Elodie, a Parisian, (another French woman abroad) who now lives in Costa Rica, and who was in Toronto for a couple of days. Elodie beamed with her taste for dancing, she told us that, as she often travels the world for her job, the first thing she does when in a new city, is to google tango lessons and milongas. She also added that her tango shoes travelled with her everywhere in the world. She caught the tango bug, years ago...Is it catchy? What is the factor of incubation?
Talking to Elodie, I kind of fantasized what the tango bug could well look like...Was it a dangerous virus?
At the end of our lesson and practica, we wanted more! We were tired and knew that a lot more was to be done to get the right fluid pace in our tango dancing. Do you know of any other tango lessons & practica going on in the next few days? We asked Marilena. Hmm, you know, our countdown is pressing us to act fast as we are leaving for Europe next Thursday...We'd better practice like crazy.
Marilena gave us a list of lessons and milongas for the weekend. Oooh, but I thought, now I needed to find decent tango shoes. So I asked Marilena and she told me that the "Comme il Faut" shoes from Argentina were the proper shoes to go for. The best. Great!

Where can I find them? At the Rhythm and Motion Studio, Elizabeth sells them for about $200...Ouch, they are gorgeous and perfect for dancing but a bit over the top for my small budget. No worries, I will just try and find some not so 'Comme il Faut' shoes, but some just alrighty shoes to dance with. So yesterday afternoon, there I was...all set to find my ideal tango shoes. I spent the whole afternoon, hunting high and low to find dancing shoes with a strap around the ankle...In a world of super fancy, super high-heeled shoes, believe me, it was a real ordeal! But at the end of the day, I did find them, and I simply adore them - plus they will go so well with my new Etro dress for the upcoming fall season! I struck it lucky, really.

My new Anne Klein shoes found at Nine West on Bloor street. I danced with them; they work very well- wonderful!

So last night, I showed off my new tango shoes. Question to the experts. Is that crave for ideal tango shoes, part of the tango bug?? Please, let me know. Anyways, obsessed or not, we went to the Paradiso Night at the Dovercourt House to take a class with an amazing teacher, Regina( see Viva Tango! )- wow! She talked a lot, explaining us the basic of tango, insisting on the importance of the connection in the embrace and on the simple walk that, with practice, can be embellished with a few ochos, ganchos, sandwiches, or paradas, all according to your appetite. She teaches classical Argentine tango, and we liked it. So when the milonga started, the crowd of dancers gathered on the dance floor, and it quickly got packed. Oh, but who is there?Isn't that the French girl from Costa Rica?, asked Marco. Yes! It is her. Bonjour! It's a small world... Elodie saw our despair while dancing, and said that we would be fine on our big day, no worries. Relax! The basis of tango is walking. Just walking! Easier said than done... Honestly, the connection of the embrace was on and off- which was tough on me, as I feel so connected to my partner the rest of the time! Weirdly enough, for Marco and I, the embellishments are quite easy (we both took tango lessons fifteen years ago or so) but the simple assertiveness of the walk is the trickiest part to adjust our bodies to...

“Melencolia I” (1514), copper engraving by the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528)

Despair, rage, outrage! You should have seen me last night! I had a hard time to simply understand my partner's indications as a follower. I was near to tears with anger and self-inflicted frustration (see above, I looked exactly like the figure in Dürer's engraving) Arghh!... Fortunately enough, my partner felt as frustrated as me as he too was still working on his role as a leader, so we relied on each other's will-power and resumed our practice in the hallway, just the two of us - far from the dancing crowd.
We focused and relaxed, and eventually enjoyed our dancing together. Regina showed up a couple of times to give us a few precious tips, and so did other dancers who were just passing by, encouraging us along the way, telling us that the first months of tango can be really frustrating, but it is worth it! Ah bon! So this is a well-known fact. What a relief! Of course, we closed our night at the milonga, exhausted, but with a big smile on our faces. We had gone deep, we had worked to the core. Pffew! Our feet were in pain, but we now were enjoying ourselves, dancing together.

The Tango Inn, a club of electro-tango in London.

Tonight, we might well go to The Palermo Tango Club at Joy of Dance Studio, and tomorrow, Sunday, La Cachila. Fingers crossed, our no longer rusty feet will dance in unison with the bandoneon!

You might also like:
Me Encanta el Tango

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dizzy... Life is a roundabout.

After Diva, last June, I played another Jean-Jacques Beineix film,
I took it from my shelves at home,
it is Marco's DVD.
Betty Blue, or 37*2 le Matin,
It was my second screening,
the first time I saw it I was twenty-something...
I did not like it as much.
I had forgotten about its force.
As a dizzy sensation.

You might also like:
Curtains of Rain/ Jour de Pluie
In praise of Shadows

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Marco, Julia & I...

Polaroid photo taken by Elsa Dorfman in 1988

Last night, my fiancé and I went to see this yummy film that has just been released: Julie & Julia. It is about the parallel lives of Julia Child, the French Chef, and Julie Powell, a blogger, whose life was saved by Julia Child's revolutionary cookbook : Mastering the Art of French Cooking. We had seen the trailer, and therefore knew that we'd better have a solid dinner beforehand, if we didn't want to agonize over the gorgeous food that would be shown sizzling, frying or roasting on screen. So we seared a couple of peppered steaks that we ate with a beautiful salad of mixed vegetables and scrumptious fresh peas. Miam-miam! We were ready. No rumbling stomachs would roar during the late show of Nora Ephron's adaptation of the two bestselling memoirs: Powell's Julie & Julia, and Julia Child's autobiography, My Life in France.

Meryl Streep // Julia Child

I wanted more recipes, more anecdotes about how Julia got her savoir-faire, more, more! I wished the book had been 1,000 pages long for the film to keep going for at least another half an hour...Because, well, I am afraid I have to admit but I did not know anything about Julia Child before I arrived in Canada. That's true! She was a total stranger to me! It's Marco who introduced me to her for the first time. So now I am getting to know her better - I am reducing my ignorance of great North American chefs. I have also recently discovered The Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr, the incredible James Bond of the food shows in the 1960s...

And another mad chef, Stephen Yan, who would do anything to have it 'wok' alright in his show, Wok with Yan. Good recipes and hilarious!

Being French, I was raised in a kitchen with traditional cuisine performed everyday and most spectacularly at weekends when family gatherings took place. Television was not part of the way to get new recipes, we looked to magazines and cookbooks. I started to watch a few cooking shows on TV, in the 90s. My favourites were Carte Postale Gourmande with the food critic Jean-Luc Petitrenaud or Bon Appétit, Bien sûr with Joël Robuchon, the French chef who also opened a restaurant in NYC, L'Atelier.

So, this morning when I woke up, I was still under the influence and felt like cooking an omelette 'à la Julia'. I opened the original 1969 version of Julia Child's reference cookbook that belongs to my fiancé; who is un fin gourmet, and a pure francophile. Marco has had years of practice with Julia's technique (see bottom of the article where he tells you more about it!), and has therefore become an expert in tossing it on the edge of the pan so as to get a perfectly rolled omelette. Well, I haven't reached that stage of perfection, yet... I got pretty successful with the tossing, I slid the pan back and forth alright but when I tilted it at a 45-degree angle to rapidly gather the eggs at the far lip of the pan with the back of my fork, I could not manage to roll the omelette with the I used my hands, oops! Well, we didn't have any guests, just the usual suspects, so I felt entitled to experiment and get a bit messy.

Later in the afternoon, we were invited for dinner by wonderful friends of ours who live in Oakville. I was invited by Barbara, the most gracious 70-something Australian lady, to pick up a few fresh goodies from her garden. I reveled at the sight of gorgeous tomatoes and fantasized about the rhubarb, thinking of all the strawberry and rhubarb pies and other preserves I could make. Now, tomorrow is going to be quite indecent, blushing with red organic tomatoes. I will most probably make a nice Salade Niçoise (p542) and bake Tomates à la Provençale (p507) (stuffed tomatoes), one of my favourite meals growing up. My mother would sometimes add rice and ground beef to the classical recipe, in order to turn it into a main course.

If you want to find typical recipes from Provence, get yourself a copy of the classic yellow book by J-B Reboul. An absolute must if you like la cuisine provençale. Believe me! No illustrations, just recipes- plain but authentic, the real stuff!

Julia Child’s Tomates à la Provençale

(Tomatoes Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Herbs and Garlic)

For 6 people

6 firm, ripe, red tomatoes about 3 inches in diameter

Salt and pepper

For the stuffing:

1 to 2 cloves mashed garlic

3 Tb minced shallots or green onions

4 Tb minced fresh basil and parsley, or parsley only

1/8 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp salt

Big pinch of pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fine, white, dry bread crumbs

A shallow roasting pan just large enough to bold the tomatoes easily in one layer

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the stems, and cut the tomatoes in half crosswise. Gently press out the juice and seeds. Sprinkle the halves with salt and pepper.

Blend all the ingredients for the stuffing in a mixing bowl. Correct seasoning. Fill each tomato half with a spoonful or two of the mixture. Sprinkle with a few drops of olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes in the roasting pan; do not crowd them. (My note: The tomato halves can be stuffed ahead to this point and refrigerated before baking.)

Shortly before you are ready to serve, place them in the upper third of the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender but hold their shape, and the bread crumb filling has browned lightly.

Cover of the original 1961 edition

But, let's finish with the story of Marco & Julia Child's 1969 version of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (whose cover is identical to the 1961 edition shown above)...It is quite a story! Actually, I've asked him to tell you about it himself:

"I was living in Montreal in 1997. Missing the cooking I had learned in Montpellier a couple of years before, but dead broke, I invested the last few dollars I had in a vintage copy of Julia Child's 752-page Magnum opus 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking'. That book brought a lot of happiness to my life and was well worth the skipped meals required to finance its purchase. I taught myself many dishes from that book, including how to properly cook an omelette. While moving out a few months later, I was devastated to discover that I had lost the book. I am still convinced that one of my flatmates had stolen it...
A year later, I was at a bookstore shopping for Christmas gifts. When I walked up to the cash with a couple of books for my family, I caught a glimpse of the long lost Julia Child's book in a bargain bin, the same 1969 edition as the one I had lost! When I asked the shop owner how much he wanted for it, he answered: "Two dollars". I snatched it up without hesitation, experiencing the exhilaration of a bank robber"

Dan Aykroyd as the bloody French Chef for the Saturday Night Live on December 9th, 1978. Sorry, I could not resist that one. Mea culpa, Julia. Aykroyd nails Child’s every nuance so well that he simply is irresistible. Oh well, she had a great sense of humour, she must have loved and laughed at her doppelgänger's show, don't you think?

Her Life in France. Learning how to bone a duck...Go to Julia Child's official website to watch The French Chef's unique videos!

Marco, Julia and I are now sharing a lot of omelettes and other delicious recipes together, happily ever after... Bon Appétit!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In praise of shadows...

Shadows of my herb garden
Fresh green in the sun
Aquatic weeds swaying
the deep waters
of my kitchen wall

Today at 1P.M.

Reading time:
In Praise of Shadows, by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

Monday, August 17, 2009

Of my Quest for the Right Bridal Look...

On my way to the perfect bridal style (meaning the one that fits me...), I was offered a great opportunity to get valuable tips. Today I participated in a video shoot for Weddingbells magazine. My appointment was at 10.30AM at the Alcorn Salon on Yonge Street. There, I was greeted by Stephanie Gray (online editor), and Nicole Keen (stylist), the two most gracious young ladies you could imagine, both very professional and genuinely friendly. On set were Tony Masciangelo (hair/makeup artist) and his assistant, and two video crew members. When I arrived the whole crew was busy with Julie, their elegant Classical Bride. Maestro Tony did her hair and makeup and WOW! When she put on the dress, she looked absolutely beautiful, ready to walk down the aisle! Even if her big day will only come in May, a May flower in full bloom.
My segment began with a consultation about my beauty look with Tony. I actually had heard about the great talents of Tony Masciangelo by Miguel Jacob (photographer), my fiancé's twin brother, who knows him from jobs they took together; so I knew I was in good hands, I could relax and let my hair down, literally! Sharing in with Tony during the consultation, I mentioned the beautiful new windows at Holt Renfrew, and he told me that he was the one who had styled the wigs for the mannequins on display... It's a small world! If you live in Toronto, don't miss this new window, it has been the best in a long time. Run!

Two of my favourites: Studio 54. Holt Renfrew window, August 2009 - Photo by Miguel Jacob

But, let's get back to my metamorphosis...Just like the previous bride, I had my hair and makeup done to reflect what had been discussed in my consultation and also to fit with the bridal beauty style that Weddingbells had assigned me, the Fashionista Bride... To finish my look I was dressed and accessorized. And, all of a sudden, the wedding bells chimed around me, magic happened...Look!

Me as the Fashionista Bride in a Partina Atelier dress

I love the dark lipstick that Tony chose for my complexion, I will keep the idea for my actual wedding day in September. The delicate blusher veil is from Sussman's Bridal Supplies on Queen Street West, it added drama to the look and subtly mirrored the flower pattern of the lace in the dress. As for the dress, satin and lace, it fit me like a glove! Nicole Keen has such a good eye, it's unbelievable. I had told her that, although my wedding dress style is going to be quite different, I really loved the new Oscar de la Renta 2010 Spring collection, and she came up with this beautiful high-collared, laced-up Partina Atelier dress. Reminiscent of de la Renta, isn't it?

Oscar de la Renta, 2010 Spring collection : Fabulous!

I joked around, and said that I loved the look so much that I was going to run away with the dress and all the gear on. Close your eyes, 1,2,3...let's play 'hide and seek'! Hmm, they did not take me seriously...I guess it is because it was too scorching hot outside, and also because I would not have gone unnoticed on the streets. Have you seen a bride passing by here? We laughed, instead.
I had a wonderful time. Sharing in with this well-seasoned crew and talking about the style I will actually wear was totally enjoyable. They were not short on good advice and tips, which I thanked them for. At 1PM, my segment was finished. I could leave. Tony asked me if I wanted to have my hair undone and my makeup removed, but I said - I don't think so... Stephanie, Nicole and I kidded about it. For sure, professional models would never leave a set with their makeup on, but I am NOT a professional model and it is not everyday that I look so sharp! So I decided to look a bit over the top. Oui, madame- Oui, monsieur, I did show off. I went to Holts, where I noticed the ladies and gentlemen's looks of approval; one lady even smiled to me and said: Nice Chignon! Thank you.
Yes, I walked about ostentatiously to eventually sit down at the terrace of my usual Lettieri Café (the one in Yorkville) and chilled out over a freshly squeezed veggie juice. Ahh - Happiness!

On Bloor Street- Photo by Marco Jacob

What a day! The video will be online on Weddingbells website next September or October. I'll keep you posted. Ok, now I have to go...undo my hair and remove the makeup.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Methinks Paper Things...

My finds in treasure hunting...

That might sound a bit trivial to you, but on my wedding preparations list I had to deal with the placement cards. I was then faced with a big dilemma: flat placement cards or folding ones? As I decided to go shopping at Paper Things for good stock paper and the placement cards in question, I took all the time needed to check all the possibilities, flat or folding, plain and elegant or cheaper cards of lower quality with an ugly silver frame...Hmm, it took me some time to weigh the pros and cons, not only because I am a finicky aesthete but also because we have reached a point where the budget has to be kept tight. I eventually decided against the cheap folding ones and went for the very reasonably priced flat ones from Crane & Co., sober and elegant- the best deal, I could get really. I also took a pack of numbered table cards, they are just perfect! We don't need to do anything to them, just display them on their discreet silver holders and they will exude their subtle charm...

'The Whirl' by Karen Hirshan, 1994- courtesy Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica

We are ready to be caught in The Whirl! Here again, this picture is from a postcard that we received from my good friend, Françoise, to celebrate our upcoming wedding. Do you remember the postcard with the bride and groom on a tight rope? That was another stunning one ( see my first post, entitled An easy Step under the Wedlock label) from Françoise. Yes, we might go for the 'whirl'. We will decide over the weekend.
Good, now is time for action! With our wedding taking place in France, my future spouse and myself have been planning, devising and doing everything we could from across the Atlantic, and, believe me, it sometimes seemed a bit immaterial or remote... But fortunately enough, there is the internet, browsing the websites of wedding businesses has proved very helpful to choose our tableware, flatware, flowers, dragées (traditional candies in France), cakes and pièce montée, etc. I just had to click and forward my choices to my sister, who, by the way, is one of my two amazing maids of honour. As for the catering, my elder brother (who happens to be my godfather too) is in control. The food is going to be good! He and his staff will cater the wedding. So far, both families have proved truly amazing, always resourceful and helpful. We are very lucky!

Examples of Dragées or almond-coated candies

Le saviez-vous?: "Les Grecs anciens et les Romains dégustaient les amandes trempées dans du miel et des épices. C’est au XIIIe siècle que sont fabriquées les premières dragées enrobées de sucre et vendues par les apothicaires pour les femmes enceintes. Symbole d’abondance, de fécondité et de longévité, elles se retrouvent à l’occasion des fêtes familiales. Lors d’un mariage, on les offre aux invités en souvenir de ce jour exceptionnel."(Marie-Claire online)

Pièce montée with the couple on top, what a treat - what a feat!

Well, let's get back to the seat placements. We did it last weekend, and it actually made us take another significant step. Although all and sundry warned us it might be tedious to work on the placement, it turned out to be very exciting! It was easy on us. There are no enmities in our families and friends, so the biggest gamble was to bet on which table will have the more fun...I also enjoyed the meticulous task of taking down every single name on the placement cards, with the best fountain pen we have. They are now sorted out in envelopes according to their table numbers. The preparations haven't been as material since last May, when we sent the invites. You should have seen us feeling our letter-pressed invites, just out from the amazing Lunar Caustic Press (I do recommend this letterpress printer to anyone who is Toronto-based, the best!); it was emotional. I think I suffer from a case of paper sensitivity...

Our very formal wedding invites, designed by my beau

A reply card- illustrated with a Venetian theme by one of our guests, Julien Leydis.

Our next two weekends will be devoted to table cards, menus and our impromptu afternoon concert programmes. Paper-thin things. I can touch them, feel them, this is tangible truth! As a matter of fact, the preparations are now becoming more tangible for us...They'd better be as the whole thing is taking place in about a month's time. September 19th is drawing closer. Just 2 or 3 paper things to sort out, and we will be all set!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On the menu today...

The other day, after a refreshing stroll in the green through Trinity Bellwoods Park, we stopped by at Balfour Books on College Street. As soon as I set foot in the shop, I noticed the two new cookbooks on French cuisine that were on display in the window... I asked for both and plunged head first into their heart with surgical care. They were a bit too polished or fancy, I guess - I eventually discarded them. Even if they both whetted my appetite with a colourful range of new recipes or good old classics from the south-west of France in particular, I discarded them because I needed something louder, something bigger, something that would sound that great pandemonium of ruffling saucepans and steaming pots...

This is not my kitchen but I love the bric-à-brac of saucepans in this picture...

Yes, it took me some time to make up my mind and discard the two books that had first caught my attention, but I did it- for the better, as I found two jewels: a 1963 American cookbook, the Gourmet's Menu Cookbook (edited by Gourmet, Inc) and Bocuse's Regional French Cooking (Flammarion Editions, Paris, 1991) - both irresistible! Love at first sight.

My two trophy books at work in my kitchen...

Ah, the 1960s and their retro style! The book offers a thorough lesson on how to devise a properly planned menu. The retro elegance that unfolds before my eyes as I go through these 652 pages of oddly colored and always neatly compounded food, is quite addictive. Neato! I was surprised to even find a whole section of the book devoted to what is called 'Terrace Dinner.' Where have our good manners gone?

Here is an excerpt from the introduction to the section. Just to give you a taste of the art of terrace dinner...
'Given the proper facilities and suitable weather, it is possible to serve almost any meal outdoors. Usually, however, it is desirable to capitalize on the outdoor situation, to some degree, in the menu. This should not be taken to imply that an alfresco meal must necessarily be cooked outside, The implication is, rather, that the outdoors tends to deformalize any occasion slightly, and that some dishes seem more appropriate than others to the outdoor situation. Grilled meat or a fruit compote is more "at home" than an escalope à la crème or cherries Jubilee.'

3 Set Menus for Terrace Dinners
Menu 1
Cold Carrot and Orange Soup
Broiled Marinated Steak
Burgundy Onion Rings
Charcoal-Roasted Potatoes
Pineapple Ice Cream in Meringue Shells

Menu 2
Ham Steaks San Juan
Cheese-Stuffed Potatoes
Sliced Cucumbers with Avocado French Dressing
Skewered Caramel Apples

Menu 3
Duck Orange Salad
Crackling Bread
Raspberries Romanoff

In this 1960s Gourmet cookbook, the delicately adorned drawings (by Marilyn Miller) and photographs (by Arthur Palmer) reminded me of the visits I would pay to my aunt's when a child- her house was also typical of that style, full of the same decorative dishes, rattan armchairs and teak furniture.

In 1963, Jerrold Nathan developed a Scandinavian style range in teak. Nathan advertising campaign.

It also reminded me of Tati's films with their fantastic vision of modern interiors. Let's take, for instance, Mon Oncle, this 1958 film comedy that presents us with Monsieur Hulot's quixotic crusade against modern design and architecture or any machine processes, criticizing thus the consumer society, and yet offering amazing sets and interior decors at the same time! The film set was most entirely built from scratch by painter Jacques Lagrange.
Mon Oncle by Jacques Tati, 1958.

As for the other book of the day, I felt a real kinship with my compatriot (of course he is from Lyon...), Paul Bocuse. I've had the privilege to taste his art several times; with my family as a teenager (great education!), at the Abbaye de Collonges and, as an adult, at his compass-rose brasseries in Lyon; le Nord, le Sud, l'Est & l'Ouest- Bocuse's book offers the reader a tasty voyage through the regions and provinces of France.

For your eyes only, here below are two exclusive highlights that I selected from the menu I had planned for our engagement party, last June 21st..Click on the photo and enjoy! One is about La Pissaladière, a specialty from Nice, and the other one is about Le Plateau de Fromages. So gourmand, so French!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another day in the life of Cricri & Co

Me, wearing a 1970s jumpsuit- smart! I love it.

It all started after having dropped my wedding band at the Devil's Workshop for it to receive the final touch, a milgrain pattern- by the way, have I told you that Marco and I made our own wedding bands in a day, no? Oh, well, we did. And it was quite an experience! I recommend this devilish workshop to anybody interested in making their own jewels...I'll show you a picture of the two bands when mine is complete.
We then met with Miguel, Marco's twin brother, at the White Squirrel Coffee Shop, and the three of us, just like the Three Musketeers, set off to take a nice stroll on Queen West. The street was ours! We stopped at Spectacle, and because Spectacle loves you, we tried a few pairs...

A $1,000 pair of vintage Carreras...

Let's play a game: who is wearing the Oliver Peoples and who is wearing the Cutler & Gross? Marco or Miguel? Marco is wearing the Oliver Peoples (on the left) and Miguel, the Cutler & Gross (on the right)...

And now????

So, after an orgy of funny faces and other epiphanic moments in the mirror, we were ready to hit the road again. When we left, Darren, from Spectacle, told me that I was the ring master of a crazy circus. Amusing metaphor- it made us laugh! Ahhh, a short break at Starbuck's allowed us to quench our thirst and hunger thanks to a tall (which, as you probably know, means small in Starbuckian lingo) steamed soy milk and a few almonds on the side. Memo : we are on a detox, so no coffee, black tea or sweet beverages. Next stop on our walk on the mild wild side of Queen West: Cabaret, yeah! "Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome /Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret..."
No, not this Cabaret, the other one, the vintage shop, of course! All of a sudden, a wind of joyful frenzy blew us away, transporting us to some exotic shores of the past...a journey in time and styles.

Here is a 1960s silk suit - I look like a happy canary bird- happy colour!

Then Marco tried on a tail suit and white tie - just for the sake of it...WOW! For men, wearing a tuxedo on special occasions is a great argument but wearing this white tie outfit certainly leaves the audience speechless!

Finally Miguel, tried on this tuxedo and wondered if the 1970s bow tie was not a bit too chubby and too velvety...We cracked up but thought it looked pretty good!

After more than an hour spent at the shop, I made up my mind and bought myself a 1970s winter faux fur coat (in impeccable condition) that makes me look like Delphine Seyrig according to the boys, there are worse comparisons...

We resumed our walk. Last but not least, the Three Musketeers stuck their heads into black holes and became three Superheroes. Just the thought of that Saturday afternoon on Queen Street West puts a beaming smile on my face! Another beautiful day, full of punch...

Miguel, Peek-a-boo Jacob!

Marco, the Eager Groom!
Christine, the Cheeky Bride!
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