JULY / AUGUST
Arts & Lifestyle
The Luyas Mark Robertson Gonzalez
Rachel Street Eco Equity
The Green Issue Our cover model Melina
26 36 ON THE COVER An Interview with Gonzales by Alex Chinien Mark Robertson talks to Hannah Byrne Q&A with The Luyas by Jonathan Loeb Where We’d Rather Be: Hannah Byrne travels to Amsterdam. 69 The SNAP! Street-Guide: Rachel 44 Eco Equity: An essay by Alec Ellsworth 26 30 24 66
6 8 9 20 32 35 38 40 42 46 78
INSIDE Contributors The Editor’s Letter What The Hell Is SNAP! July/August Events Calendar Food Recipe Green Guide: Tote bags Five Skills To Keep Your Bike Rolling by Tomoe Yoshihara Greening Duluth Tourism and the Environment: An Essay by Laura Kneale Horoscopes by Lady Nox Cadaver
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POINT OF VIEW Videogame page by Alexandre Beland-Bernard Movie Column by A.J. Little Sex Column by Jane Westmore Gay Column by Roberto Cialdella
FASHION and BEAUTY 54 It’s A Girl! shot by Sharon Davies 60 What’s Your Favourite Piece? 63 Look of the Issue 11 16 18 50
ART & DESIGN My Metro Profile: Audree Lapierre Profile: Headquarters Galerie and Boutique L’Ete Confetti shot by Karin Demeyer
Legal All contents of this magazine are copyrighted 2008 SNAP Inc. 1/4064 St. Laurent, Montreal, QC, H2W 1Y8 or third-party content providers. SNAP Inc. assumes no responsibility for content of advertisement. Reproduction of editorial is strictly prohibited without prior permission of SNAP Inc. SNAP will not hold itself responsible for unsolicited contributions.
50 69 STREET GUIDE This issue we feature Rachel, the east-west divide that unfurls across the heart of the Plateau and links Park Jeanne Mance with Lafontaine and beyond. As diverse as it is colourful, Rachel features numerous great restaurants, stores and nightspots as well as serving as the epicenter for downtown cyclists. Check it out on page 69, by Shayl Prisk and Danielle Kasperavicius. MANGA Brian Huynh is the second artist to try his hand at SNAP! Magazine’s ongoing ModManga series which explores the narratives of local artists through the subject of Montreal in the year 2020. Check out more work by SNAP! cover photographer Karin Demeyer on her site: www.kdemeyer.galerie-photos.net
The sunny smile of Melina Soochan is SNAP! Magazine’s second cover, shot at 6.30am on a warm summer’s day. A recent graduate from McGill’s Music School, Melina now divides her time between a day job at software design firm Dash Computer Solutions and her night job as an up and coming singer/pianist. As charming as she is beautiful, Melina answered a few questions for us so you could learn a little more about this local lovely: -Three words to describe you: passionate, hard-working, adventurous -Favourite place to have a drink with friends: Crescent street terrasses! -The first job you ever had: Harvey’s… sigh… -What’s your dream job: highly paid, touring artist! Or else, CEO of a successful company, where I have 3h lunch breaks and get to wear nice suits everyday! -If you won an all expenses paid trip, where would you go: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during Carnaval -What is your most treasured possession: my laptop! -When are you happiest: in the morning -Best thing about living in Montreal: The diversity of the people. And the shopping. 5
Contributors Independent Publisher and Editor: Shayl Prisk Lead Designer: Sarah Williams
Graphic Designers: Terry Stonefield, Xavier Tolentino, Kirsten McCrea, Vanda Daftari, Hannah Byrne.
Writing: Shayl Prisk, Alexandre Beland-Bernard, Hannah Byrne, Alex Chinien, A.J. Little, Tomoe Yoshihara, Laura Kneale, Lola Vertigo, Roberto Cialdella, Christina Vincelli, Jonathan Loeb, Alec Ellsworth, Danielle Kasperavicius
Artwork: Zoe Pawlack, Audree Lapierre, Jeff Kulak, Claudio Marzano, Nizar Shorbagi, Lisbeth Zwerger, Shayl Prisk, Brian Huynh.
Photography: Karin Demeyer, Sharon Davies, Julien Rosselet, Shayl Prisk, Amanda Stein, MĂŠlissa Robertson, Danielle Kasperavicius, Laura Kneale, Alain-Pierre Hovasse, Eduardo Arcos, Hermine Oosterwijk, Stephanie Lachance, Jazmin Million and Event Photo Images.
Founders: Hannah Byrne and Shayl Prisk Marketing and Communications: Hannah Byrne Web Editor: Hannah Byrne Web Director: Jeff Traynor SNAP! TV Directors: Alexandre Leblanc, Julien Gregoire. Gallery Directors: Ariane Gregoire, Armance Brandenburg. Advertising Information: 514 576 7867 Offices: 4064 St Laurent Blvd, Suite 1, Montreal QC H2W 1Y8 www.snapme.ca email@example.com 6
Printing: Marquis Book Printing
Photograph by Sharon Davies
Here it is, the Green glossy magazine.
issue, coming to you without a hint of irony from a full-colour
When putting together this issue, we set out to explore many of the connotations of the word green- from money, to health and the outdoors, to issues of ecology and the environment. While we all make our own â€˜carbon footprintâ€™ on this planet we are also all being confronted with new ideas, new choices and new philosophies about how we are living our lives. With this issue we hope to bring you into contact with some local initiatives and movements, give you a fresh and lively glimpse of Montreal life in the summer, introduce you to some cool art, design and activity to make your daily life greener, as well as provide you with some entertaining reads for you to wade through as you soak up all the glorious weather. SP. We hope you enjoy issue 2 of SNAP! Magazine. Let us know what you think! firstname.lastname@example.org
Painting by Zoe Pawlak 8
What The Hell Is SNAP! SNAP! Magazine was created by two Australian girls equipped with not much more than their love for Montreal, a desire to do something creative, and a shared interest in magazines. Our aim is to produce a top quality arts and lifestyle magazine that will please and appeal to the young, active and savvy individuals living, working, studying and partying in Montreal. In support of and beside the magazine, SNAP! is also: An active web community www.snapme.ca ; A host to kick-arse parties and events; Sponsors of young artists and entrepreneurs; A few hard working kids trying to give and get in a bloody awesome city. Some of the things that we feature in SNAP! Magazine each issue include: A Street Guide to give you a low-down on exactly what lies at your feet when you take a stroll in the city. A ModManga, our own take on the Manga format featuring various local artists and their creative interpretations of the theme ‘Montreal in 2020’. A Calendar to give you a heads up on music and culture, as well as some things to try, just for kicks. Profiles on the work, art, music, design, lifestyles and interests of Montrealers, as well as stories and columns by local writers with a tale to tell. Covers, fashion, beauty and general photography that showcases every-day local beauties living in Montreal. A mix of clean, modern and inventive design by some of Montreal’s best graphic designers with some hand typography thrown in- before the discipline dies out completely! Images from a selection of Montreal’s brightest young photographers, among them Karin Demeyer, and Sharon Davies, and illustrations by artists such as Claudio Marzano and Jeff Kulak. And, hopefully, a bit of fun and colour as you gallivant about this lovely town we call Montreal! We look forward to bringing you many more issues down the line. Until then, enjoy our second one!
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info @ indyish . com
Julien Rosselet www.jaygees.net
submit your photo to email@example.com
By Alexandre Beland-Bernard
This month, SNAP! takes a look at open-world games, a genre which throws players into the total freedom of open, sandbox environments. These games usually distinguish themselves through their free-form gameplay, where gamers can typically do whatever they feel like at any given moment. Here are brief glimpses of the characters and stories running through three open world games, conveyed by Alexandre Beland-Bernard.
Grand Theft Auto IV In the rain-drenched streets of Liberty City, you are Niko Bellic. You arrived here hoping to forget the Balkans, where you saw war and death and many other bad things. Little did you know, in Liberty City you would see all these things, and more… Take this afternoon for instance: on one side of a bench sat your friend Derrick and on the other side Francis, a former employer. You know they are brothers but at this point it doesn’t matter – you’ve got a single bullet in your rifle and it’s going in one of their heads. You think back to how you met Derrick. How the first night you saw him, you’d been caught up in a bank robbery gone wrong. You still got away from the pigs, mind you – over their piled up dead bodies. Then you think about Francis, and his bloody ascension to the post of Commissioner. You think about how he had you kill this goody-two-shoes lawyer who had some dirt on him. You think about all the dirt he’s had you clean up. So here you are, sniper rifle in your hand, bullet in the chamber, crosshairs on the heads of two former friends... Which one will you choose? Can you choose? Grand Theft Auto IV, developed by Rockstar North, published by Take-Two Interactive, was released in April 2008 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and retails for $59.99. This game is a definite must-have if you own either of the aforementioned consoles. Interesting fact: GTAIV currently holds the record for sales and profits out of any cultural product ever produced. 12
video games Mafia It started one dark night in 1933, when Paulie and Sam, total strangers at the time, jumped into your cab and told you to just drive. What they didn’t tell you (but which you found out soon enough) was that they had pursuers, the kind that use guns on the people they wanna catch. Soon you, good ol’ honest, Godfearing, taxi-driving Tommy, become a gun-toting Mafioso, making the streets of Lost Heaven run red with blood. So starts your story At least if you can believe Norman the detective, this going-to-thecops-with-all-I-know business might actually help you stay alive. And hey, who knows, maybe you’ll also get a conscience. Mafia, developed by Illusion Softworks, published by Gathering of Developers and Take-Two Interactive, was released in August 2002 for PC and currently retails for $9.99. There are also Xbox and PlayStation 2 ports but don’t play those. Trust me.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Welcome to the Zone. Living here is living in the shadow of the second Chernobyl incident, the one that devastated the countryside and created the faceless monstrosities and mutated animal herds prowling the area. Lucky they’re here. They saved your ass from the bandits who ambushed you last night. You had to put them down after, but they did get you out of a bind. The Zone’s a hard place for us Stalkers, but hey, you gotta survive, right? S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, developed by GSC Game World, published by THQ, was released in March 2007 for PC and currently retails for $49.99. This is NOT a straight videogame adaptation of the classic movie S.T.A.L.K.E.R. by Andrei Tarkovsky, but it’s as close as any game will ever get… Highly rewarding if you like playing in complex, deeply simulated game worlds.
Papeterie Nota Bene
3416 avenue du Parc 514.485.6587
Part gallery part international stationer extraordinaire, this boutique in the McGill ghetto does more than just stock notebooks. Here you will find some of the worldâ€™s most unique, colourful and clever designer stationery- inventive Korean pocketbooks, quirky Japanese erasers and magnets, highest quality European notebooks and paper as well as a range of products released by international design firm Fabrica. Store owner and world-traveling stationery scout Russell Hemsworth also stocks a large number of recycled paper products for consumers interested in making more conscious purchases in a designer market. Take a look at some of their notebooks available that do not sacrifice style for conscience.
RED COLORED ELEGY by Seiichi Hayashi “Hayashi uses animation techniques and an experimental style to beautifully lament Ichiro and Sachiko's failed relationship...[Red Colored Elegy] is completely accessible for an experimental work, and the story is heartbreakingly universal.”—Publisher’s Weekly
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GOOD-BYE by Yoshihiro Tatsumi, edited by Adrian Tomine “Tatsumi’s mastery of the visual simplicity of classic manga gives a stark power to these devastating, uncompromising pieces.”—Booklist Praise for The Push Man and Other Stories: “Prepare to be disturbed and blown away. The stuff is remarkable, amazing.”—The Los Angeles Times Book Review 15
Audree Lapierre Audree Lapierre created these clever posters for a UQAM class and kindly allowed us to run them in our Green Issue. We asked Audree a few questions about herself and the art that she creates. How long have you been illustrating and designing? I started studying design in 2001 at Cegep du Vieux-Montréal, but I have drawn all my life. Have you been published? Two of my poster projects will be published in the book NEW ORNAMENTAL TYPE by Thames and Hudson in 2009. What are you working on right now? A 75 foot long mural for a resto/bar in Laval. I am also planning a trip to Europe. What’s your dream job? I have the heart of an entrepreneur, so I’d love to run my own business. Having a great boss and creative freedom is awesome too, and that’s what I have right now at Surface Jalouse. Which artists do you admire? Charley Harper, he was an illustrator. He called his style minimal realism and made beautiful books for kids. I also like the paper sculptures of Jen Stark and illustrations by Cecilia Carlstedt. Favourite place to have a drink with friends? My friend’s old apartment, we called it “La Garçonnière”. Best thing about living in Montreal? Multi-culturalism, poutine and cheap apartments.
Mix tapes, memories, that satisfying click as you slide the cassette in the deck… oh the days of analog are all but long gone, still many of us Generation Y kids are feeling a sentimental desire for the cassette and all it signiﬁes. Along with a revival of all things 90’s –neon, house music, high-tops and leggings- the cassette is back, though now in more decorative form. Take a look at how some designers are rocking this blast from the past:
UK based j-me puts the tape in tape dispenser with the neat and functional item designed to capture the vintage beauty of cassette tapes. www.j-me.co.uk
Reusing discarded tapes to form retro wallets, Marcella Foschi put together these quirky gems, available on www.designboom.com
Limited edition iPod nano cases made from old cassettes protect your player while giving it unique personality. With only 45 available and the sale price set at $45 (and option for rebate) these vintage holders are quite the steal. Take a look on www.45ipodcases.com
Fred & Friends, an online store and distributor of various unique designer goodies, has a tote to end all totes - an oversized full colour ﬂexible plastic cassette! www.worldwidefred.com SP
Page designed by Xavier Tolentino
Headquarters Galerie + Boutique
Celebrating two years with a lively vernissage, beer and cupcakes, the eclectic gallery/boutique HQ was all decked out for the party with the work of over 25 different artists on display. The two-floor space stocks a number of independent fashion labels, designer items and art for sale as well as the creations of the HQ masterminds Tyson and Angie. On any given day you can find jewelry, shoes, hats, dolls, books, clothes and assorted other paraphernalia spread out like treasures over every available surface. Downstairs is an exhibition space featuring any number of artists, among them Natalie Reis, Ray Fenwick, James Braithwaite, Nicoz Balboa and Chrissy Chung. With an interest in independent artists and designers as well as unique and quirky pieces crafted by local artisans, Tyson and Angie offer a way for creative types to showcase and sell their work in a friendly fun environment. They also help to stimulate Montrealâ€™s art crowd with regular events and an active blog. SNAP! was happy to meet the HQ duo and sample the cuppies before taking a few pics of their colourful venue in advance of the wilder celebrations. 1649 Amherst 514.678.2923
Montreal has been touted as the festival capital of the world and here are a few events to get you going. Many of them proclaim to be the biggest and best and I won’t argue … Be sure to set aside some pennies and enjoy the summer months!
AP Hovasse Photos
Montreal International Fireworks Competition June 21st – July 30th La Ronde Theme Park, Parc Jean Drapeau www.internationaldesfeuxloto-quebec.com
This is hailed as the best fireworks festival in the world with fire bugs this year representing fromm France, Italy, South Korea, Portugal, Australia, Canada, USA, Austria, and China. Competing parties have 30 minutes to perform a ‘pyromusical’ presentation (fireworks synched with music). To avoid crowds and fees head to Mount Royal or a well-placed balcony. Kick back with some brewskies and be prepared to ooh and ahh. Montreal’s skies have never been so bright!
July 3rd – 21st Concordia University http://www.festivalfantasia.com Ubisoft presents North America’s largest genre film festival. What began with films from Hong Kong and Japan now includes submissions from around the world. 20
It caters to all your art house needs with horror, action, animation, comedy and fantasy covered. Festival perks include film introductions and interviews with producers, directors etc.
Montreal International Tango Festival July 4th – 13th Tango Libre, 2477 Mont Royal East www.festivaldetangodemontreal.qc.ca
9 days of workshops and 9 evenings of concerts and milonga. This is your chance to be wooed by a tight pants wearing, rose-in-mouth, slick-haired tango dancer from back in the day.
Just for Laughs July 10th – 20th Around town www.hahaha.com
The world’s largest comedy festival happens in Montreal and is celebrating its 25th year. Choose from 2,000 performers, 1,300 of which are free. Have a good chuckle with improv, street performance, stand-up and more.
Dragon Boat Race Festival July 26th – 27th Olympic Basin, Parc Jean Drapeau www.montrealdragonboat.com
The festival commemorates the beloved Chinese poet Qu Yuan. Yuan committed suicide in 278 B.C. in the Miluo River in protest against the emperor. Villagers paddled out, beating drums to ward off ghosts. The front of a dragon boat is decorated with a dragons head and the rear with its tail. A drummer sits at the head, pacing rowers with his drum. It sounds like a good crack and has folk dancing, arts and craft stalls, music from different countries and ethnic food to boot. Pull out your folk time Chinese costume and get in on this one.
DiverS/CitÉ Jazmin Million & Event Photo Images
Vans Warped Tour
July 20th Parc Jean Drapeau http://www.warpedtour.com This punk, hardcore and ska festival is sponsored by shoe giant Vans (not sure if they are giving away free sneakers but give it a shot). Expect a day of outdoor music fun with big names including Pennywise, Reel Big Fish, Angels and Airways, Every Time I Die and more.
July 24th – August 3rd Around town http://www.francofolies.com The FrancoFolies are now in their 20th year, celebrating Franco music from both here and abroad. Take your pick of rock, hip hop, and world music. There will be over 1,000 performers in more than 50 indoor concerts and loads of free outdoor shows. The festival includes street performers, jugglers, and acrobats as well as your side order of arts and craft and food stalls. Big names of ’08 include Michel Fugain, Omnikrom, Yann Perreau, Amadou and Miriam, Pierre Lapointe and more.
July 27th – August 3rd http://www.diverscite.org This gay pride festival continues to grow with loads of free outdoor programming. The ’08 schedule includes modern dance, blues, jazz, pop, techno and electro along with drag performances, art exhibits, film screenings and more.
Montreal Highland Games
August 3rd George Springate Sports Centre http://www.montrealhighlandgames.qc.ca I’m thinking pipe bands, beer, highland dancing, haggis, potatoes, kilts and more. There’s nothing hotter than a man in a kilt so head up for your own piece of Brave Heart action.
August 3rd – 4th Parc Jean Drapeau http://www.osheaga.com Osheaga is now in its third year. I made it down to the first one and had a ripping time. We spent a glorious two days on the hill with a picnic, drinking our body weight in smuggled alcohol, running down to various stages as our program dictated. I’m impressed that Osheaga managed to sneak into my house and steal my top play list. They are including all time favourites The Go Team!, Plants and Animals, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, 21
www.lachancephoto.com Devotchka, Cat Power, Broken Social Scene, Chromeo, and the list continues … The Killers are headlining so I’m going to try and sneak my way into this way … somehow … If rock is your bag, then this is your concert baby. See you there!
August 9th – 17th Saint-Jean sur Richelieu (see site for directions and details on getting there) http://www.montgolfieres.com This festival happens 20 minutes out of Montreal but as the biggest hot air balloon festival in Canada, this is not to be missed. Watch the sun set as 110 balloons launch simultaneously, becoming Chinese lanterns bobbing in the night sky. Tickets are available for spots in the balloons but will set you back around $150. It’s listed as a great event for kids so take the opportunity to relive your childhood with animation shows, rides and cotton candy. Still in doubt? Kenny Rogers will be performing August 17th – need I say more? Launch me! 22
Montreal World Film Festival
August 21st – September 1st Around town http://www.ffm-montreal.org
This festival is all about encouraging cultural diversity and understanding among nations. One of their aims is to promote new talent, which is what we’re all about at SNAP! so two thumbs up! The festival includes world and international premiers, tributes, documentaries, student films, competitions and more. Over 70 countries will be representing so check their site for details.
La Grande Rencontre August 8th – 10th Parc Lafontaine http://granderencontre.com
Get and out support traditional Quebecois music and dance. This year La Grande Rencontre focuses on the fiddle. I’m slightly confused … my only option is to ink this one in. Words by Hannah Byrne Photographs by (previous page; left) AP Hovasse Photo, (previous page; right) Jazmin Million & Event Photo Images, (this page) Stephanie Lachance
The Luyas, a three-piece band which features members of Miracle Fortress, Bell Orchestre and Torngat, are well known locally for their musical medley of French horn, guitar, vocals, and drums. Jonathan Loeb got in touch with Jessie Stein, the femme fatale of this power trio, and asked her a few questions about music, the band, and the future of their sound. What first enticed you about music? I don’t remember….probably the sound. And by that I mean the film, “The Sound of Music”. Music is primally, obviously, and immediately enticing to most people, isn’t it? Not that everyone wants to make it their world, but I feel like there is something very selfevident about the appeal of music. How would you define rock and roll? Rock and roll is a traditional art-form that gained popularity in the 50s and 60s. It has a reputation for being insusceptible to death. How would you describe the music that The Luyas make? I like rock and roll and so do the other Luyas, but I don’t think that it’s really accurate to describe our band in terms of that tradition. We don’t really employ all the tropes and we are pretty bad to dance to or to make babies to. Why French horn, and how did the Luyas come together? The Luyas started because I wanted to play songs with my friend Pietro. He plays French horn, so that explains it. Steffy, the third member, is an awesome drummer so that’s why we started playing with him; then we discovered he’s just the greatest guy in the world so that’s why we’re still a band… Because we play music together and because we like each other. Do you enjoy performing? What aspects do you enjoy and despise most? I like performing very much. The best part is when you’re playing well, and people are liking it. I know that sounds obvious, but it’s true. I don’t really like hanging around at shows anymore…too many nights in rock bars. And I don’t really like drinking, so I don’t dig that part much. Do you enjoy recording? What aspects do you enjoy and despise most? Recording is pretty great. If we’re recording it usually means we’ve finished writing a bunch of songs and it’s time to pour our ideas all over it. I like the accidents that happen when you’re recording that end up sounding amazing and special, so you leave them in. 24
It can be tedious and of course it can be a buzzkill to have your less stellar ideas revealed to you through giant speakers, but overall it’s a good way of meditating on what you’ve written. What does the future hold for the Luyas? We’re going to make an amazing new record. We’re going to play some festivals. We’re going to have band practice tonight. That will be pretty good.
Hello Luyas Words by Jonathan Loeb Photograph by Amanda Stein
very Gonzales Jason Beck carries with him a long history of musical reinvention. Leaving no genre unexplored and collaborating with artists ranging from Leslie Feist to Teki Latex, Gonzales finally returned to his native Montreal in May to show his true colours. There was certainly no doubt in the minds of the sold out crowd at La Tulipe, as to who Gonzales really is. Words by Alex Chinien Photograph by Ramon Palacios Pelletier 27
Gonzales, aka Chilly Gonzales, aka the one eyed Jew, has done it all. From touring with the Canadian rock band Son, to producing electro artists in Berlin, to rapping in the hip hop group the Puppetmastaz, to his instrumental piano album in 2004, it is clear that Jason Beck’s talents are as eclectic as they are impressive. While some could see his track record as a form of musical attention deficit disorder, this misconception is instantly dissolved in conversation with the man himself.
The “Working Together” Boys Noize Remix has gotten a lot of attention on music blogs lately…how did that come to happen? I never had a remix done before…never. I really resisted it; I did some of my own remixes, I did remixes for others, but as far as a Gonzales song, I never had one remixed. I thought maybe this is the time, especially because this album was done acoustically. My sort of informal advisor on all matters electro is Teki Latex and he said “Yeah, I think Boys Noize is the perfect guy for you”. Boys Noize also did that great remix of “My Moon My Man” by Feist, so I knew he could do a pop song while keeping the structure of the original, but at the same time, make something that could be banged out in a club. We’re going to continue collaborating; I’m doing a piano techno project and he [Boys Noize] is going to be involved. Teki is also the one who strategically picks which blogs to leak remixes to. He’s sort of the Internet mastermind of marketing; he’s doing a much better job then my record companies do.
You once described 2004’s Solo Piano as a screaming guy who suddenly starts whispering. Soft Power is also piano driven. Is the screaming guy gone?
No, I don’t think so, the show takes in account all the various faces of Gonzales, so it’s not gone, but it’s true, I never really sang…I never really opened up my icy heart before. That was something I observed other singers do in the studio like Feist and Jamie Lidell and Jane Birkin. First I thought, “Wow, this is easy, they just kind of open their mouth, and say “blah blah blah”. But while it might seem easy, the challenge lies in actually choosing which “blah” to say. It’s deceptively easy, and when I started doing it I saw it as a risk. I thought to myself ‘this is going to be a trip, this is gonna bring out all of my kill-
er instincts and put me in a really disadvantaged position’. I was doing something that is not my natural musical gift. But, as I started to pick the songs, there were a few that really stood out, because it seemed like no one could sing them better. Especially songs like Slow Down - Jane Birkin couldn’t sing this better than me, and Feist couldn’t sing this better than me. I only found six of those songs out of about twenty or thirty and once you choose the song, in a way it does become easy. Then all I have to do is be Gonzales. Slow Down is one of my favorite things to do in the show because I just know there’s not another human on earth that could really sing it and pull off that combination of the music and the lyrics. That’s something only my contradictory, flawridden personality can express.
You once said “Canada has no culture beyond bearded indie rock”. Do you still think that is true? When I left, I felt like that was the dominant culture and that was what I didn’t fit into; it’s a world of music that doesn’t generally privilege the idea of mastery or spectacle. To me, when I watched an indie rock band at that time, it seemed like a skit on how to insult the audience. But in the years since I said that those bearded indie rockers managed to, against all odds, turn that style into a brand. And that I respect. When you can turn something that isn’t on the first look commercial and make it something that finds its niche, like Broken Social Scene or Arcade Fire or those kinds of bands did. I was like wow! You managed to take nineminute songs, with no structure, with no hummable chorus, you’re all wearing stupid lumberjack shirts and have beards, and make it actually work! People love it. They managed to find a way to turn that into something bizarrely extroverted, ambitious and successful and I have no quarrel with it anymore. I take it back, Bearded Indie Rock TM is something I can respect, it’s a Canadian brand… as Canadian as maple syrup. The show itself was a seamless spectacle of music, theatre and comedy that could only be the result of an artist as meticulous with his bravado as Gonzales. After the third encore performance of the evening, he even sat down to read clippings of his most negative reviews to the audience. There can be no doubt that the many faces of Gonzales will continue to inspire audiences for years to come.
On the Mark Words by Hannah Byrne Photographs by Mélissa Robertson
Mark Robertson, front man of Montreal band ‘BullFrog,’ has just launched a solo album. ‘Favorite People’ is an 11-track chilled mix to get you going over the summer. My first listen was on a lazy beer-in-hand afternoon. I was tempted to pack it all in, grab a duffle bag (purchase one first, of course) and move to the Carribbean or Goa or the south of Spain. Album influences range from funk, soul, jazz and samba and the tracks really show this. SNAP! hooked up an interview with Mark who dropped by for a chat, excited about the new album.
Originally from Ottawa, Mark moved to Montreal at age 17 to study music at Concordia. He has been living in and around the city ever since, calling Montreal home. He cut his musical teeth with the band now known as BullFrog. “We weren’t called BullFrog back then. We were ‘Public Enema’ with a Tuesday night at the Voltaire. You could make more money from gigs and we must have played every house pub in town. The same band plays with me on the album and they’re great. We’ve been working together since ‘93/94 and we’re tight. They trust me and there is a lot of chemistry and respect.” BullFrog was the band which launched the DJ career of Kid Koala. “Kid Koala really pushed me to release something solo, something which focuses on me as a singer/songwriter. He features on the album and we mixed the record at his place. I produced most of the album by myself, borrowing enough
judge you before you even start playing but it’s different in Europe, more people are musically educated so they make up their own minds whether they like you or not.” Mark hits the road in September for a tour across Canada. “I can’t wait to get on the road with the album. I hope this will give me the momentum to move on and produce my second album, the songs of which are already written. The response so far has been positive and people have found it refreshing. A friend slipped the album to Andre Menard, the organizer of the Jazz Festival. He really liked it and I am now playing my first gig at Place des Arts. I would almost rather tour before having a big show like this but it’s an exciting start. My wife is going to Germany the week before my show so I’ll be playing Mr Mum to our two kids while she’s gone. It’s going to be a busy and stressful time but I’m looking forward to it.”
quality gear to make it sound good. The album is completely independent and mostly recorded in home studios . The music industry is going through a good change and smaller producers can now compete with the big guys.” Mark cites influences from BB King to Curtis Mayfield, from blues to hip hop and funk. He has also taken elements from BullFrog, such as mixing and producing with records, and brought these to the album. Other influences come from kicking around the music scene in Europe and South Africa, as well as his time spent studying samba in Brazil. “I have a couple of contacts in Paris and Bordeaux and sometimes I get out of here and go and play a few small gigs over there; no hype just my music. I also played in coffee shops and on the street in Germany and had a great time. In Canada you can’t play un-announced. People will
When asked which is his favorite track, Mark laughs. “’Bounce’ is probably the single and it would be great for a condom advertisement. Some tracks have been called ‘baby making’ songs and when playing live, I have seen people kissing in the crowd to them,” he said laughing. After a listen, I’d have to agree. The album ”Favorite People” is now available on his site www.robertsonmark.com for free download. He produced the 6-panel album cover with Montreal photographer, Melissa Robertson. The cover is available for sale and comes with a blank, yet artwork-printed, CDR. This gives buyers the option of either burning Mark’s album onto it or using it as they wish. Proceeds go directly to the artists. This is definitely an album worth checking out this summer. 31
FOOD photographs and words
danielle kasperavicius & shayl prisk
Some may think veggie burgers are only for the herbivores among us but the fact that Montreal lays claim to a number of vegetarian gems could just change your mind. Check out these beauties: 32
Frite Alors! A more classic take on the veggie burger, their bun with cheese, patty, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and sautéed onions really hits the spot when you want it straight up American-style. $ 5 . 6 5 | 5 2 3 5 av. d u Parc | 1 5 6 2 L a u rier E 433 Rachel E | 143 de la Commune E | 3497 St-Laurent
The Grand Bayou This Cajun inspired eatery serves grilled veggie patties on Kaiser rolls with cheese, fresh avocado, tomatoes and onion and is quite the delight. The only veggie burger of the bunch with fresh avocado served all year round. Sweet! $ 7.49 | 12 Rachel St. W Les Belles Soeurs A signature veggie burger that doesn’t even need ketchupthis is a top notch treat with layers of baby spinach, marinated tofu, grilled mushrooms and onions in a balsamic reduction stacked with house mayonnaise in a big buttery roll. Our favourite! $ 7.95 | 2251 Marie-Anne St. E Aux Vivres Tempeh or portabello burgers do their job filling you up, each offering an unconventional but undeniably good taste for those dining at this vegan restaurant in the Plateau. $ 6.00 | 4631 St. Laurent
Lola Rosa Café Lola’s hemp burger contains hemp seeds and hemp oil in a lentil patty base with fresh cilantro and a touch of curry. It comes on a bagel or bread with lettuce, tomato, sprouts and hot peppers, as well as homemade salsa. Also available is a tofu-based vegetable patty for a more traditional burger. $ 9.95 | 545 Milton st. La Paryse With three different kinds of burgers –bean, tofu or nut and blue cheeseand a bunch of fresh tasty veggies stacked on top, this vegetarian friendly spot delivers on juicy and filling burgers as well as poutine with a city-wide reputation. $ 5 . 9 5 | 3 0 2 Ontario St. E
Note: Going meat-free once in a while does you and the world a bit of good: studies show that the production of red meat takes eight times more energy than the production of grains, vegetables or fruits. Page designed by Vanda Daftari
Jordan’s Simple Summer Salad Three large handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed and patted dry 1 large red onion 1 punnet of fresh washed strawberries, quartered 1 handful of fresh washed blackberries A generous wedge of brie Honey Olive oil Blueberries for garnish Dressing: ¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup honey 1 lemon, juiced 1 tbsp Dijon mustard Pepper Serves 4
This salad was the colourful start to a steamy summer evening on the balcony of Montreal babe Jordan D. She whipped it up, along with some fruity sangria, and was kind enough to give us the recipe when we called her the next day. Jordan’s Method: Fry sliced onions in a little olive oil until softening, then add honey and cook on medium heat until it caramelizes. Add blackberries and set aside. Combine oil for dressing with lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard and pepper, and stir until blended well. Season to taste. Place spinach, strawberries and chunks of brie in a salad bowl and spoon over the caramelized onion. Garnish with blueberries and pour dressing lightly over the spinach. 35
Filmy Residue Words by A.J. Little Illustrations by Jeff Kulak There has always been a lure in the open road for me. I always yearned for the halcyon days of American muscle cars traversing the untamed wilds and highways, like interlopers in a home invasion. I wanted to experience nature through the lens of machinations and gasoline. I always wanted to do a road trip. For a while I tried to develop a book as an excuse to go. Me and my girlfriend at the time were going to go on a greasy food tour taking pictures and writing about burger joints. When the plan was finally starting to come to fruition, we were no longer together, skirting my plans. In the wake of her gut wrenching ambivalence to me, I watched road trip movies about disaffected outsiders. Think Thelma and Louise, Natural Born Killers, or Little Miss Sunshine. The Doom Generation by Gregg Ararki is one that stands out in particular.
The Doom Generation Gregg Araki managed to capture the early 90’s zeitgeist with his second foray into a loverson-the-lam road movie. The story concerns Xavier, Jordan and Amy, each having the respective surnames Red, White and Blue, traveling across Middle America. Amy and Jordan are having a post-coital cigarette in their dilapidated car when a man falls on their hood as he is pursued by a violent possé. Amy and Jordan drive off with the man, Xavier, who fends off his assailants by stabbing them while accidentally cutting himself. Xavier wraps the wound in Jordan’s Ministry t-shirt. Verbally challenged and a rapacious air head, Jordan calls Xavier “X”. The gaggle of Jordan and Amy stop at a mini-mart but are unable to pay the $6.66 for the food they pick out. Dustin Nguyen, co-star to Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street, pulls a shotgun on them and is killed by X. Dustin’s head is cut clean
off, landing in the vegetable aisle, where he continues to talk and vomit yellow Play-Doh. The trio hides in a motel to contemplate their next move. While Jordan and Amy have bath time shenanigans, X watches them and the local news. Despite Araki’s assertion that this is a heterosexual movie, it ends with a ménage à trois, cock socks, Nazis, anthems and castration. Margaret Cho appears briefly in a scene with X, and Parker Posey plays a dejected lesbian alongside real lesbian Amanda Bearse, who was the next door neighbour in Married... With Children. There is also an appearance by one of my favourite 90’s icons, Perry Farrell (of Jane’s Addiction) who plays a clerk in yet another store where what they buy comes to $6.66. Vancouver industrial band Skinny Puppy also make a cameo. The Doom Generation mines the territory of exploitation films. It leaves very little to the imagination as far as cinematic outcome, with everyone’s death vicious and sexuality portrayed as ugly and dirty, which -if you were raised Catholic- is exactly how it should be. The film is ripe with self involved teenageangst and pre-millennial tension. A great cocktail if ever you want to ease you own malaise with someone else’s existential crisis. This being the environmental issue- I couldn’t get green out of my head. Green, green, green. When green was the euphemism for inexperience, I am the greenest of the green. I know absolutely nothing about the people around me... I tend to get lost in the ambiguity of language. I think I am saying things I am not and I think things are being said that aren’t. When it comes to matters of the heart I am so very green and The Doom Generation is its sexually charged, bloody, exclamation point. 37
Using a tote bag for one year replaces 300 to 700 disposable bags. Plastic grocery bags are slowly becoming obsolete with many major chains offering discounts for shoppers with their own totes and some stores flat-out refusing to stock them (go Segalâ€™s go!) This need not spell inconvenient with a capital I and with countless carry-alls available your next trip to the store may even earn you a few admiring glances. We did some research and put together this list for you to sort through and pick out your faves:
Paragraph Bookstore $2.95 Ty-Breiz $5.95 Renaud Bray $5.95 Marche Eden $7.99
Culsac $9.99 Urban Outfitters $14.95 Paul Frank $22 Ardene $16.95
Designed in California and made ethically in China, these ripstop nylon carry-alls fold into a tiny pouch when not being used and are cut from a pattern made to limit material waste. Each Baggu bag features a gusset allowing items to lay flat on the bottom, and can carry up to 25lbs. $8 for one or $22 for three, these flexible totes come in 24 different shades like butter, saffron, lavender and persimmon, or stripes of grey, red, blue or white. The material is also perfect for screen-prints, allowing you to add your own touches as time goes by. Check out www.baggubag.com
Japanâ€™s answer to disposable plastic bags, furoshiki is a form of wrapping items that dates back 400 years. Using one piece of square cloth, the Japanese wrap just about anything from books to food, bottles and gifts.Using a series of knots, the material supports the weight of the item wrapped and once transported, is untied and stored for later use. Visit www.furoshiki.com to learn the art of furoshiki and to purchase the cloth. Furoshiki are also available at Collection du Japon, 460 Ste. Catherine west. SP 39
Five Skills to keep your bike rolling Tomoe Yoshihara: bike mechanic, cheapskate, inventor. Illustration by Claudio Marzano
Have you ever wondered what to do if you get a flat tire half way across town? How about making your brakes work properly? Sometimes the answer is forehead-smackingly simple and cheap. While it is reasonable to pay around $200 to have your bike professionally rebuilt and inspected annually, there are five easy ways to keep your bike rolling and your repair bill down. 0: CHOOSE AN OLD BIKE WITH A GOOD SOUL. Features to look for are a lightweight bike with aluminum rims (they wonâ€™t rust); the seatpost, stem and bottom bracket are not seized; V-brakes or cantilever brakes, but NOT caliper brakes. Good brakes are mounted on two short posts on each side of the tire. Bad brakes are horseshoe shaped and mount on a single bolt above the tire. Spending time finding a good bike will save you money and could save your skin. 40
1: FLAT TIRES They can strike at any moment, so carry a small toolkit with patches, tire-levers and a pump. Start with prevention by using thick, puncture-resistant tires. To fix a flat, start by deflating the tire completely. Take the rubber tire off the metal rim by scooping out the edge starting with two levers about five inches apart and working your way around. This could take some finagling. You may need to disconnect the brakes to make room for the tire’s edge, but you don’t need to take the wheel off the bike. Next, pull the inner tube out of the tire and pump it up. Listen closely for air hissing out to locate the hole or holes. Check the corresponding location on the tire for embedded shards of glass or other pokey objects. Sand a one-inch area around the hole using the sand paper in your patch kit. Now break out the glue and mark a two-inch long X over the hole before applying a very thin coat of glue over the area. Let the glue dry and don’t get it dirty. Take a patch and peel off the bottom wrapper (the topside has a coloured edge). Apply the patch to the middle of the X. Press down firmly and make sure the edges are secure. Let any remaining air out of the tube, put everything back together and pump up your tire. Remember to re-connect your brakes! Congratulations, you’re up and rolling. 2: BRAKE ADJUSTMENTS Some brakes will work better than others and some won’t work when wet. Caliper brakes are usually awful. Steel rims are heavy and dangerously slippery when wet, so use aluminum rims- they make a huge difference. Steel rims have a shiny mirror finish and can be rusty whereas aluminum rims are dull grey. Brake pads wear down with use. As the pads get thin you need to tighten your brake cable. The quick and dirty way is to unscrew the barrel adjuster a few turns. Make sure to screw the locknut all the way down to lock the barrel adjuster in place. You can do this in ten seconds with no tools. Your brake cables may be corroded. Stainless steel cables are the cheapest investment you can make on your bike. They last much longer and only cost a dollar more. Use them and replace your cable housing at the same time. Check that your pads are not worn out. If the pads are thin and make a scraping noise change them immediately or they will cause expensive damage to the rim. Also make sure your pads never touch the rubber tire and that they don’t touch
the rim when you release the brake. With a bit of instruction you can make all of these adjustments easily. 3: OIL YOUR CHAIN You can save yourself a hundred bucks by oiling your chain every month or two. Chains need oil if they sound squeaky, look rusty or have been out in the rain. There’s no need to buy fancy oil. Check the trash at the gas station for an almost-empty bottle of motor oil. There is always enough to coat a chain. Flip your bike over, pour the oil into the bottle cap so you can see what you’re doing, turn the pedals and dribble oil onto the chain. Wipe any drips off the rims. 4: SHIFTING If you can change gears but they jump back immediately there’s probably too little friction in your shift lever(s). Usually you can tighten this by twisting a small metal loop or plastic thumbscrew on the face of the shifter. This will keep it in place. If your bike shifts but won’t shift back, you need help. This is often a problem with corroded cables. Again, it pays to use stainless steel cables. 5: AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION This covers most of the bike in one step but often you can find bikes covered in rust with jammed parts throughout. Something like a stuck seatpost can be a show-stopper in terms of bike repair so it is very important to prevent this problem. Here is what you do: Remove and grease your seatpost, stem, and bottom-bracket threads using anti-seize so they never get stuck. Lubricate your spoke nipples with linseed oil before truing your wheels. Again this is to keep them from rusting in place and busting off when you work on them later. Oil repels water and lubricates so oil or grease all the teeny steel parts on your bike to keep them from rusting. It is best to do these things as soon as you get any bike. A bit of simple care and a major annual tune up will keep your ride rolling indefinitely. If all this seems a bit daunting, never fear. There are several non-profit bike shops in Montreal where volunteer mechanics can give you hands-on instruction on how to do everything to your bike. Check out Right To Move located in the courtyard behind 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West and SSMU Bicycle Collective located at 3600 McTavish Street, room B-04
The push to close Duluth Avenue partly or completely to traffic has been a longtime dream for many living on Montrealâ€™s Plateau. Since last year, however, the idea of Greening Duluth has become a concrete goal, spearheaded by Cameron Stiff, a Toronto native and Concordia graduate. Stiff, who lives and works around Duluth, has a history of leadership and activism in youth and environmental projects, such as the 2005 March for Climate and the creation of Montrealâ€™s first Convergence Center, a place to stimulate dialogue across classes and cultures. He embarked upon Greening Duluth after a short sabbatical, which he used to regroup and refocus. The project thus began with a desire to enact local change and to increase environmental and social sustainability in a community setting. Cameron sat down and gave us an update on the project and the goals of the team working on it. SP 42
How would you describe the community that exists on and around Duluth street? Well, to start with we are in the Plateau, which is one of the most diverse and dense communities in North America. There is a huge range of ages, incomes and education amongst the 100,000 people who call the Plateau home. Duluth runs from Parc Avenue to Parc Lafontaine and is characterized by a strong Portuguese community between St. Laurent and St. Denis, with many cafés and restaurants such as Triangulo, Centrale, Chez Jose and our supermarket, Soares. However, there are many other cultures represented on the street as well, including Japanese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Hungarian, Greek, French, Italian, Thai, Indian and English. There are lots of students and families as well and some really unique and special places too, such as Café Santropol, Fuchsia, Soupe Soup, Cash and Curry, Reservoir, Buddhi Lounge, Au Pied du Cochon, and Eduardo’s. And then there are the deps, all of which have their unique character; the hair salons; and the internationally renowned stained glass studio La Pierre de Lune. At St. Urbain is located, in my opinion, one of the greatest organizations ever- Santropol Roulant. And, in between Coloniale and De Bullion, la Maison de l’amitie, our community centre and the location of the Greening Duluth office, aka The Greenery. What do you imagine Duluth to be like once it is pedestrian only? Well, there is a lot of stuff to figure out before it can physically happen, such as delivery routes, protecting businesses from property value increases, and just how the street will change if it does become pedestrianized. Ultimately, though, I can imagine it being this incredible green, sunny and safe corridor connecting Montreal’s two greatest parks. I can imagine fountains, street artists, patios, rooftop gardens and flower-filled window boxes, solar panels and rainwater collection systems, and a general feeling of community and camaraderie between all the merchants and residents that call Duluth home.
Prince Arthur and de La Gauchetière in Chinatown can both serve as models for Greening Duluth. What would you do the same and what would you do differently? Every street has its own atmosphere and character depending on where it’s located, what shops it has and which communities it serves. In the wintertime, with its tall spruce pines and cobblestone streets, Duluth has the feeling of a small Swiss village, and I’d like to play on that. First of all we want to preserve the unique qualities of the street and protect the livelihoods of the merchants and residents living here. That means holding community conversations around the questions of health and well-being, the environment, and the economy. Why do property values continue to escalate? How can progressive policies protect those with lower-income and small business owners? How are health and environment related? What can we do to build a sustainable society? And where do we start? Perhaps with Pedestrian Sundays like Kensington Market in Toronto, and a farmer’s market to create the right atmosphere and bring in business. I’m still learning all about the different pedestrianization initiatives in Montreal and beyond. It is a very complicated, complex and multi-faceted issue. What is your absolute favourite spot on Duluth street? To be honest I’ve got a million. Sitting in the sun outside Kenzo’s hair salon; at a table on the street outside Soupe Soup; having an omelette sandwich on a croissant (blue cheese and spinach all the way baby!) at Chez Jose; a cozy table for two at Eduardo’s; behind the counter at Fuchsia; up on the rooftop garden outside our office at MA; or, perhaps best of all, letting gravity do the work as I ride my bike down the slowly sloping street, west to east. Last book you read? The Wars by Timothy Findley, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, and Toward Sustainable Communities by Mark Roseland. I also constantly refer to The Southern Wall by W.O. Nilsson, which is about organizational theory, and based on Santropol Roulant. It’s amazing. Ideal job? The one I’m doing! And being a DJ/film producer. Hmmmm…
ECO EQUITY an essay by Alec Ellsworth
Noah’s Ark Part Deux I received a letter from the Canadian Environmental Society today. It was a thank you for my donation to the Northwest Territories Environmental Protection Fund (such a shame what’s happening to those grizzly bears!). It quickly found its way from my mailbox onto my new environmentally-friendly table (made from 100% post-consumer waste), where it now sits among dusty old copies of the Guardian, Outside magazine, and the environmental issue that Vogue put out a little while ago. That’s right, as you may have suspected I’ve totally been revolutionizing my life lately. All the decisions I make are in keeping with the principle that we all must do something to save the environment. New bicycle, bamboo underpants, solar hot water heater, programmable thermostats, and I even got back together with my ex-girlfriend (that’s kind of like recycling…right?). What with the hikes in food prices, organic and local food is looking all that more appealing to me these days anyway. After all, there is so much choice! Nowadays everywhere I look I see green this, sustainable that. Honestly, there is no excuse for you not to be doing your part to save the environment.
Does this sound familiar to you? For those of us who rub shoulders in Bio-Terre, Rachel-Berri, Aux Vivres, le Frigo Vert (the list goes on), life is becoming increasingly more “green” as we each go out and do our part. Yup, it’s pretty cushy being part of the “nouveau green.” My gaudy lifestyle seems to have all the trendy benefits of the nouveau-riche, except this time around it is environmentally friendly! Or is it? Here’s a question for you Mr. Sustainable: have you seen any headlines recently about environmental initiatives in Laval, Montreal Nord, Cote-de-Neiges, Hochelaga-Mai44
sonneuve? And it’s not often that you see a nonwhite face in the organic aisle at Provigo. Looking around, I see that the green wave seems to have lifted only boats which have been painted white (perhaps the other colours don’t share the same buoyant properties?). I think we all agree that it’s not fair for us pale-skinned penny pinchers to reap all the benefits, but what are we to do? First off, let’s dispel of the term “environmentally friendly.” This implies that there is some big thing out there, woefully dubbed “the environment” that we are supposed to be all buddy-
buddy with. Well unless you’re a naturalist, member of the green party, or some other sort of nature wacko (which includes a lot of people, bless their souls), this is a pretty darn vague thing to be taking care of. What we need is a new way of thinking about “the environment.” We’re not just trying to save “the environment,” we’re trying to save… well…ourselves. The official definition of sustainability that’s kicking around out there goes something like this: “ensuring maximum quality of life for this generation while not jeopardizing that of future generations.” Sustainability is about us, about people, about the future of humans. Unlike polar bears, pine trees, clean rivers, and natural ecosystems, if homo sapiens disappeared from the earth Mother Nature would probably just shrug and say, “meh.” Instead of saying “environmentally-friendly”, perhaps we could start saying “human-friendly.” Now that we’ve established exactly why we’re so pinned on saving the environment, the next step is figuring out who are the people that, right now, need saving. Where are they? Why do they need help? As it stands, the people who have the greatest need for “human-friendly” products are the ones who have the least access to them. Those who need clean, cheap energy the most live in the least efficient homes. Those who need affordable, good quality food the most are the ones that live in neighborhoods with 50 depanneurs full of potato chips and pop, but nary an organic onion, tomato or carrot. Those who desperately need
stable, good jobs are working in auto manufacturing, mining, construction, and some of the dirtiest industries out there. All this while a small minority of wealthy whites have access to and benefit from environmental improvements such as organic foods, clean transport, and clean energy. This all sounds like an environmental apartheid, ahem, excuse me, I mean a human apartheid…which I suppose is really just an apartheid. Presently few people are benefiting from ‘environmental’ movements, and many remain locked in under-privileged, under-greened (i.e. black, brown, red, yellow) lifestyles. So how do we move from our existing state into a more equitable, human-sustaining society? Allow me to introduce Eco-Equity, the wave of the future. No it’s not an iPod with a potato peeler built into it or some other techno gimmick, it’s a real live movement! A synthesis of the environmental and social justice movements, the central idea behind eco-equity is that the path to a green, human-friendly economy is not only possible, but hugely profitable. If we are going to make our world human-friendly enough to support future generations, we’re going to have to retrofit millions of buildings, build extensive new public transit networks, and scale down our fossil fuel use. On the up side, all of these things will create millions of new “green” jobs, lots of capital, and a big, human-friendly boost to our economy. These “green” jobs could provide pathways out of poverty for millions of low-income folks that need steady employment. Down in the U.S., the national government recently passed the “Green Jobs Act,” which gives 120 million dollars to green job development for low-income people. Here in Canada we’ve got our fair share of poverty and unemployment, not to mention some of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are chock full of immigrants who are being left out of the humanfriendly economy. To find out more about the concepts behind eco-equity go to www.greenforall.org and hop on the wave that will lift all boats (not just the white fancy ones). Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to drink my cleansing juice of filtered water, organic lemons, organic maple syrup and fair trade cayenne pepper. Images by Lisbeth Zwerger, taken gratefully from Heinz Janisch’s illustrated children’s book ‘Noah’s Ark’ published in 1977. 45
Tourism and the Environment: Are they mutually exclusive? Words and photographs by Laura Kneale
Isla Mujeres is known in guide books and to snowbirds as Cancun’s backpacker island. If you unpack in the half-mile wide island you will indeed see more backpackers than locals. I did however find one local during my stay, Carlos Hu Cahun, who I met in a low-key restaurant, Poc Chuc. He told me that ‘Isla,’ as they all call it, used to be made up of a few sand streets, a luscious forest and plentiful biodiversity. Today, the only visible diversity is in how many different ways you can spend your money. In ‘Isla’ there is tasty seafood, white sand beaches and music pumping whether you’re watching the breathtaking sunset or sipping mojitos on swings at the beach bar. While people in ‘Isla’ are making what they can of tourism, promoting local ‘artesanias’, mayan cuisine and their love of life, there is something strange in the air. One can’t avoid noticing the noise of large construction projects at work. And if that isn’t enough, you’ll note that one whole side of the island doesn’t exactly offer an idyllic view. There are bulldozers and bricks piled up in front of the Caribbean sea backdrop to the point that – during my morning yoga session - my eyes kept wandering to the nearby construction site while in the warrior position. After a few days refusing to buy parasols, pottery and piñatas on every street corner, I consulted Carlos to know if there was anything to be done about this overdevelopment extravaganza. He said ‘Isla’ is in a difficult position given its people’s reliance on tourism. With projects streaming onto Mexican investors’ agendas, the following twenty years will only make the island more adapted to it. Planeta. com, the global journal of practical ecotourism, believes Isla Mujeres to be “a case study of the dangers of excessive tourism.” Carlos told me, however, that there is a place still relatively untouched for the region: “Holbox” which means “black hole” in Mayan. It is in fact just like Y tu mama también‘s beach, “boca del 46
cielo”: literally the mouth of the sky. The streets are still made of sand, there are no cars, only cute golf carts that locals like to drive around the main plaza, a.k.a. “the parque”. The beach is covered in pictureperfect seashells and not pink perspiring bodies. The change from Isla Mujeres to Holbox is drastic. The long walks on the beach bring us to a natural reserve, not a cheesy beach bar, and the sunsets watched from a protruding rock are not accompanied with background salsa music. It is so nice it makes me wonder what might happen to it a few years down the road. My questions about the future led me to the past. The reason Holbox seems so untouched is not because of the 3 hour drive and 20 minute ferry ride from the Rivera Maya loop, but rather the damages of Hurricane Wilma in 2005. “A lot was destroyed when that happened,” a local seafood chef called Angel told me. “See that structure over there? It is now a cover for the beach toilet; it used to be the tower of the nicest hotel in town.” But Holbox has not taken very long to rebuild. Its population is a mix of friendly locals and hard-working hippies. With a double-shift tourism season thanks to the sharkwhale, Holbox is attracting avid wildlife watchers in the summer months as well as the usual February flock of northerners. And like in ‘Isla’, who can complain about getting jobs and making the economy run all year round? In this sense, there are chances Holbox may fall prey to the black hole of environmental degradation that has already largely destroyed the Yucatan and Quintana Roo states around it. Amongst the damages, Lonely Planet speaks of the “killing of the coral reefs, mangrove swamps and turtle-nesting beaches”. As the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity in Mexico (CONABIO) 47
confirms, the mangrove swamps have been on 35% decline the past years all over the world. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) has calculated that between 1980 and 2000, the mangrove area has shrunk from 660’000 to 440’000 hectares. However, SEMARNET, the Mexican Department of Environment and Natural Resources has reported very different numbers. According to the statistics, the mangroves would have increased between 1994 and 2000 by over 23%. When numbers from research agencies are alarming but the governments are reassuring, there is something fishy in the air. That being said, aside from the buzz around “ecotourism”, there are places in Mexico that have taken the UN’s numbers more seriously. Take Mazunte on the Pacific coast. With a track record including slash-and-burn-foresting and turtle-slaughtering, the village has gone a long way since. With the help of grassroots group Ecosolar in 1991, the village declared itself an ecological reserve. Thanks to the government funding of the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga and an emphasis on a sustainable low-key tourism industry, the town has become an environmental conservation model in Mexico. The sand roads leading to ‘El Rinconcito’ beach (the small corner) in Mazunte may not be completely straightforward ones but once you get to the shoreline, you understand why it was worth the effort. Hopefully, Mazunte’s mega waves will be the impulse other Mexican tourist towns need to push forward environmentally conscious agendas for tourism. So the issue is not whether you should go discover Mexico, which is -by the way- amazing. The question is how to do it ethically? By avoiding places favouring construction of big hotels, golf courses and discotheques you’re helping yourself as much as Mother Nature. You get a more authentic, relaxed experience, she keeps her turtles, mangroves, beautiful beaches… and everyone has a good time drinking mojitos!
LA ORILLA DEL MAR No es agua ni arena la orilla del mar. El agua sonora de espuma sencilla, el agua no puede formarse la orilla. 48
By Mexican poet Jose Gorostiza
For your chance to win a SNAP! prize pack, send in a design for our t-shirt competition! Check our site for details www.snapme.ca
Photographer: Karin Demeyer Location: South of France Subject: Karin’s sister When: January ‘08
L’ÉTÉ CONFETTI 51
SNAP! presents: KARIN DEMEYER Thursday, August 7th, 8pm Invitation only For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org 53
itâ€™s a girl!
Frills, bows, roses, chiffon- all the things a true girlie-girl needs as she floats through her sugar sweet summer world. Lucky for her, these feminine staples are also a key feature on fall runways, and will take her pretty summer buys well into a winter wardrobe. Photographs by Sharon Davies Words and styling by Shayl Prisk Model: Veronica S. 54
Send Me Roses Fine detailing is a pointed look in â€˜08 clothingfrom pointelle roses and embroidery to lux lace and chiffon. Look for necklines and busts with a bold flourish to get a piece of this beautiful trend.
Take A Bow Forget necklaces, the new neck tie is a girlâ€™s best friend, a pretty flouncy bow. Whether delicate or overblown, you can enhance any outfit with a bow accent or look for a silk blouse with a knot already attached.
Super-Size Me Silhouettes are fuller both in summer and in fall this year. From maxi dresses to flapper inspired drop-waist frocks, loose is the look and roomy the main-stay.
Shades of Grey Grey and silver are hues worth keeping in mind thanks to their multiple connotations- from sexy to soft to moody. Many designers are making medieval references this year, with gauzy silver and black pairings a strong focus. Spring collections also featured more than a number of silk or satin garments in pale shades of grey which look surprisingly light and summery.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE?
We thought it was hard for an every-day Joe to pick out his fave piece of clothing. Try asking a thrift store owner to pick out a single item when their job revolves around the ebb and flow of thousands of gems from their store every year. We plunged ahead and asked the difficult question, a stellar example of journalism.
Friperie St. Laurent 3976 St. Laurent
Friperie Swing 151 Avenue des Pins east
Memento 3678 St-Denis
This beautiful burnt orange dress is apparently the talk of the store, but being a 60’s Pierre Cardin original, it is kept off the floor and away from dirty friperie fingers. With unique bell loops at the hem, it has a bubble edge and a beautiful empire waist shape. Retailing for around 1000 dollars, it is this store’s favourite AND most expensive piece.
The charming owner of this small scale thrift store had the most trouble picking out an item simply because his collection of pieces are in such high rotation and because the store is in possession of so many beautiful vintage era items. Struggling, he showed me at least seven beautiful pieces, so in the end I had to choose. I loved this violet shirt dress from the 50’s with its supple suede fabric and drawstring waist which fell just above the knee. Although unique and retro, it looked surprisingly modern and was shaped beautifully.
By far the most methodically laid out thrift store in Montreal, the store owner hesitated only briefly before reaching for this stunning British rose printed shift from the ’60s. With its own crinoline built in and a high waist seam, this dress perfectly echoes a conservative but feminine spirit. Although we saw a bunch of beautiful items here, this one was definitely a stand-out. SP
Photograph from stardustfashion.com
If there’s ever been a time to play with colour it’s now, with bright shades a big feature on runways and in palettes. Whether it’s a splash of violet mascara, vibrant blue eye shadow, acid green liner or vivid pink lipstick, think skittles and paint a rainbow.
Left: Natalia at Karl Lagerfeld’s spring/summer show. Other designers that tipped the colour scales this season include Rodarte, Badgley Mischka, Michael Kors, Y-3 and Marni. SP
FOUND ART How do we start our green revolution? The first move towards a healthier planet is right at our collective doorsteps. Get house-proud! Next time you need to change your lightbulbs, invest in the more efficient ones- they last longer anyway. Fix your leaking taps, or put a bucket under them to gather water for cleaning or watering plants. Try to use cleaning products and paints that are non-toxic- they are often cheaper than the regular ones and don’t pollute the ocean. Pull appliances away from outlets when not in use and recycle- as if you didn’t already! If you make your house your green castle you are a positive part of the huge puzzle that is living better, healthier and more sustainably. We spotted more than a few door-steps across the city that showed a lot of care and charm. How’s yours lookin’? SP
WHERE WE’D RATHER BE
Words by Hannah Byrne Photographs by (below and top right) Eduardo Arcos; (bottom right) Hermine Oosterwijk
I’m thinking canals, I’m thinking bikes, I’m thinking a song by Peter, Bjorn and John which my housemate plays incessantly. Welcome to Amsterdam, arguably one of the most relaxed and beautiful cities in Europe. I visited a few years back. It came at the end of a 4 month stint backpacking through Europe and it was one of my favourite cities – relaxed, calm, manageable and incredibly friendly. Here is some info to get your travel juices flowing.
I did a little research into the name and got slightly confused … The Netherlands are basically broken up into north and south Holland. The word ‘Dutch’ refers to the Netherlands as a whole. ‘Holland’ refers to either the north or south. I haven’t slept much lately and have recently contracted dyslexia so don’t quote me on this. Grammatical confusions aside, the Netherlands is an amazing country with Amsterdam its biggest city. A population of 1-1.5 million (depending on metropolitan definition) it is on the small side. The city is a somewhat sleepy maze of waterways, cobbled bridges and embankments. Amsterdam is referred to as the Venice of the north and with canals cutting through the city, this rings true. Gabbled houses sit floating on canals, gently rising and sinking with the tide. The architecture is amazing and is one of the most planned cities in Northern Europe. It also weighs in as one of Europe’s largest historical city centres with 7,000 heritage listed buildings. Bikes are the order of the day and I watched with interest as suit-clad business men navigated baskets and brief cases and whole families balanced across linked bikes. Apparently the royal family does like the commoners and gets about like this too. My friend and I hired ourselves some wheels and rode out of central Amsterdam to grassy parks, duck ponds and waterfront residential areas. The city suburbs stretched on for miles and I wanted nothing more than to come back and setup house.
Our budget was tight and we hung out in ‘coffee shops,’ sipping cheap wine smuggled from outside. No one seemed to care as we drank it from drained coffee cups, getting stoned off the second hand smoke of others. Dutch ‘coffee shops’ are licensed to sell small quantities of marijuana to people over 18. They do a roaring trade compared to ‘cafes’ which aren’t licensed to sell much more than a cup of coffee and a bagel. The city is bilingual and it’s the first time in Europe that we didn’t feel stupid ordering coffee in English. Many tourists leave with the hope of returning to Amsterdam for a year or so. It’s a good idea in theory but even though the country speaks English, most jobs ask for Dutch too. One of Amsterdam’s famous areas is of course the red light district. Prostitution- and the sex industry in general- flourish in this quarter. It is, however, relatively small, spanning just several canals. It’s a hotspot for bachelor parties with men from Europe and the UK making it the site of their last fling. Another famous neighbourhood is the Leidseplein, an area full of theatres, outdoor cafes and restos, cinemas, bars etc. It’s the hang out of street musicians, jugglers, fire eaters and other performers, making for a lively artistic atmosphere and some great people watching. So if you’re thinking of taking a trip abroad, Amsterdam is where we’d rather be. Montreal in the summer can’t be beaten but Amsterdam will definitely give it a run for its money.
R a c h e l
I often find myself on the #29 bus, cruising Rachel at all hours of the day and night. Riding east I watch as the surroundings become more green and decidedly more French, with parks, schools and laid-back diners replacing the flashier boutiques, cafés and night spots. Riding west the buzz slowly climbs as we approach St. Denis, where scores of shoppers drift over the sidewalks and where, just two or three blocks east, the cyclists ruled. Rachel is a journey through Montreal diversity, and the 29 rider watches from her bus seat as it evolves. The hippies and joggers of Park Jeanne Mance are replaced by Portuguese bakeries and churches, merge into cafés and restaurants, nightclubs, local restaurants and then, emphatically, it’s Park Lafontaine, and there are cyclists just about everywhere. On the far east end, from Parthenais to Fullum, there is a peaceful, family atmosphere where cats roam along sidewalks and dog-walkers are outnumbered only by strollers. At Frontenac, the very fringe of the city, there is a feeling and a look unlike any other in Montreal. Though industrial, there is a strange, cinematic quality to it, something that has not gone unnoticed by film directors, three shooting scenes there this year alone. Every block of this long curving street tells a story as it cuts a line down the middle of Montreal life. This is Rachel; enjoy the ride.
Classic Belgian crepe house with all the usual and well-loved fare like wheat or sarrasin crepes, garlic salad or onion soup au gratin. Traditional décor and super friendly family-run service. 933 Rachel east 514.521.1444
Les Pas Sages
Until now I had only been to Les Pas Sages once, but that night features quite prominently in my memory, with free shots sent to our table by a shy admirer and a buzzing French crowd partying ‘til late on a weeknight. Great lighting and a fun, trendy atmosphere. 951 Rachel east 514.522.9773
Mushrooms are pretty incredible things. I read about them once on Wikipedia and have been in awe ever since. Because of this, the idea of a store devoted entirely to mushrooms- from growing kits to preserves to decorations and mushroom t-shirtssomehow doesn’t surprise me. Pretty unique and cool. 820 Rachel 514.223.6977
Maison de pates Fraiche
Le Poisson Rouge
Small specialty restaurant featuring a selection of local and exotic fish. Bring your own wine, with large windows and intimate atmosphere. 1201 Rachel east 514.522.4876
Fresh homemade pasta and sauces to make your at home cooking ventures infinitely better. Also serving pasta in the small dining room and stocking Italian items like panettone and olive oil. 865 Rachel east 514.527.5487
LA Masion de Cyclistes
Free air for bike tIres and recycling bins for Montreal residents, La Maison de Cyclistes is the hub of the greenie biker living in Montreal. A café/ boutique/ go-to for all things vélo, La Maison also hosts regular events and works to build the cycling spirit in Montreal. Open 7 days right opposite Park Lafontaine. 1251 Rachel east 514.521.8356
Selling and repairing bikes in all shapes and sizes, Cycle Pop also offers bike, skate and electric bike 68
rentals for a few hours, a day, or a weekend. At the western tip of Park Lafontaine. 1000 Rachel east 514.526.2525
Fondue in all forms makes this two room restaurant a family favourite and is pretty fun for parties. 964 Rachel east 514.524.2100
Famous poutine resto celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Open 24 hours and with 22 different varieties of poutine, it lives up to its reputation. 994 Rachel east 514.525.2415
A La Tricoteuse
Decked out with huge fern fronds, hanging plants and natural wood surfaces, this free-trade coffee house is the quintessential green café. 969 Rachel east 514.529.1321 A contemporary printmaking centre which fosters talent in serigraphy, digital printmaking, etching, woodcut and lithography. With a series of studios and a gallery to exhibit select work in the field, Graff is a bare but lively hothouse for creativity in contemporary printmaking practices. 963 Rachel east 514.526.2616
Iszo Coiffure 940 Rachel east 514.527.8955
Part dive, part haven for locals and people on a dime, this no frills pub is as popular as it is unpretentious. 500 Rachel east 514.524.4446 Specialty knitting and textile store. 779 Rachel east 514.527.2451
A small space on a large scale with fancy French cuisine like duck sausage, tartinade and fois gras. Bring your own wine. 771 Rachel east
Casa Tapas 266 Rachel east 514.848.1063
Small, friendly and unassuming, Miga is family run and serves a selection of Korean food with a lunch special. 432 Rachel east 514.842.4901
4177 St. Denis
Le Petite Fourneau
Patisserie with fine pastries and delicacies. 828 Rachel east 514.521.0387
Once you go, you inevitably come back to this place, which is casual but cool, has huge tables and a sweet mezzanine. Features beer and a number of specialty drinks, plus varied musical performances. 980 Rachel east
Retro, friendly and fun, this diner has burgers, poutine, hot and cold sandwiches as well as brunch favourites and beer on tap. 801 Rachel east 514.526.7967
Contemporary, artsy café serving brunch, snacks and light meals. On sunny weekends, the windows open onto the street for patrons to catch a breeze and people-watch. 4177 St. Denis 514.849.5702 69
Feel touched when you enter Montréal’s only angel boutique. This whimsical gift-store features delights from all around the globe, in addition to workshops, tarot readings and cosmic consultations. 251 Rachel east 514.845.2643
Soccer and panini fans flock to this café, bar and lounge with it’s dark wood and relaxed atmosphere. Wednesday nights are a sure bet for a laugh, when this local hotspot showcases Comedy OFF the Main. 213 Rachel east 514.844.8891
Famous, loved and revered, this tiny, steamy burger joint fits barely 20 in at a time, but the friendly late-night spot is worth the wait and makes poutine as good as any you’ll find anywhere. 4177 St-Laurent 514. 844.0216
Main Street Café Bar
This is your quintessential local, the place you go for cheap beers and a slow-paced relaxed atmosphere. Features satellite TV, giant screens, video poker and karaoke on Saturday nights 4175 St-Laurent 514.843.6843
RACHEL FRINGUE Newly opened friperie 859 Rachel east
Organic. fresh and inventive, this tiny smoothie and juice bar caters to your health, unlike other chains that serve candy marketed as health food. All smoothies are sweetened with dates, and many drinks use almond, sesame, coconut or soy milk as dairy alternatives. The juices are rich in a variety of veggie goodies and come cold, perfect for summer walks along Park Jeanna Mance. 105 Rachel east 514.271.0333
Gorgeous canine café. But I love dog-friendly hangouts, so I’m biased. 506 Rachel east 514.448.1745
SPA Betes VIP
Another place for your chien, this store/café also does dog-washing and general grooming. 222 Rachel east 514.844.8111
A great vintage spot for clothing, especially 60’s era. 751 Rachel east 514.528.1645
Portuguese butcher, baker and patisserie with hot meats and sandwiches. 115 Rachel east 514.849.1803
Brûlerie Vieux Ste-Rose
Grab a fresh smoothie when you stroll in to pick up some specialty cheese or meat at this combo café and European general store. Students and locals enjoy their coffee at the antique farmer’s tables while catching up on current events or hooking up to free WIFI. 252 Rachel east 514.286.0414
IN THE GAME A sex column by Lola Vertigo.
Walking home in the rain, blind drunk, sending defamatory text messages to an ex and then discovering the absence of one’s keys might be considered a low point. I choose to view it as a turning point. I behave myself for a month. No partying or sexual contact, coupled with yoga and meditation for thirty days straight, and I start getting antsy. Shall I get back in the game? I don’t want to put all of my eggs in one basket. But how many baskets can I hold without dropping them all? My goal: to prove the doubters wrong by having multiple fun and fulfilling relationships simultaneously. Yoga brings more than just balance to my life. After a year and a half of perving over the ripped, blonde-haired instructor at my studio, all it takes is finding him on Facebook to set the ball rolling. He asks me out for coffee. I’m hesitant. Will getting to know him destroy the fantasy? We’re sitting on the floor of his apartment talking. Hanging plants, assorted crystals, posters of Hindu gods, swirling paintings of energy and auras in bright technicolour. We’ve just eaten a vegan meal and smoked a joint. He’s telling me that he can see energy radiating everywhere; he can actually see it vibrating between us. Leaning back against the couch, I become aware of his fingertips brushing my elbow. He looks at me and tells me that he wants to kiss me. Any delusion of relationship potential has by now dissipated. But hey: he has the body of Adonis. Summer is a good time for lovers, no? Fast forward about a week. I’m at a friend’s house for a barbecue. His roommate, who I met a month ago is sweet and smart and a sensational chef. I have been warned off, however. Apparently I’m trouble and he has baggage. It doesn’t change the outcome. Immersed in conversation, I suddenly realise that everyone else has left and five hours have passed. I walk home grinning. The following occasion, I don’t walk home at all. 72
I’m back in the game. Finally content with being single in a healthy way (i.e. happiness can only be found within, although other people can certainly enhance my enjoyment of life), my decisions to date, have a good time, and avoid complication seem to be working out. At a high-end restaurant in Westmount, I am being indulged by another good friend, who happens to manage it. Wine, oysters, sushi and other epicurean delights flow unceasingly. My glass magically maintains its level all evening. Friends pass through. More drinks are drank. We head down to St Henri when he finishes his shift for extra indulgence. Deciding that biking intoxicated from Notre Dame to Mount Royal at 3am is not only unappealing but inadvisable, I sleep over. What? He has a king-sized bed. Plenty of room for two. There are a few words to describe what I’m doing. I choose liberated, open-minded, curious. The guys all know about each other, know where I’m at. Why should there be a problem? The relationships vary: sexual, intellectual, emotional, sensual. I care about and enjoy each differently. And why not? We’re all different, aren’t we? To many people the concept that one can juggle and end up with joy rather than jealousy is both foreign and foolish. This is the principle that underlies polyamory, although I think most poly people would disagree with the term juggling. What I really mean is seeing, loving, enjoying multiple people at the same time. Well, not the same time necessarily. Although it could be…
Love isn’t a zero sum game. When a second child is born, a mother doesn’t love the first any less. When you make a new friend, you don’t have to drop an existing one. Just because you are intimate with someone doesn’t mean you will stop being turned on by… a lot of other people. And you don’t love someone less if you make love to someone else. Sometimes it has nothing to do with them at all. Sometimes it’s a matter of chemistry. In a society where divorce and adultery reign supreme, it’s becoming blatantly evident that monogamy is a social construct that might make sense if you’re a strict Catholic, but for a lot of us condom-using city folks it doesn’t really fit. How to navigate the road of open relationships? Honesty, honesty, honesty. People get upset about cheating because of betrayal. That’s why it’s called cheating. However, if you’re honest and open with your partners, then jealously needn’t exist. My aforementioned lovers know what page I’m on. My former longtime love knew and accepted what I did because we discussed it. It even spiced up our bedroom activities. That said, it isn’t easy. Jealousy is an extremely powerful emotion, but it can be overcome if you see it for what it really is. Why is it that rage and anger are supposed to be controlled, but jealousy is allowed to run rampant? Other people don’t make you jealous. You make you jealous. If you take responsibility for your emotions, and see them for what they are, then chances are they won’t overwhelm you. Rather than feeling jealous that your love is with someone else, you can derive an extraordinary sense of joy from their pleasure. It’s like a gift, really. I know. This sounds like crazy talk. We all have boundaries, and they’re all different. But that’s why it can be beautiful to have various relationships with different people, whether sex comes into it or not. That said, we all have bad days. Sometimes you just want your sweetheart all to yourself. If that’s the case, then open lines of communication can avoid potential upsets. As I said, it’s all about honesty. I’m not saying this is a sure-fire recipe for polyamorous pleasure. I know there are people out there who have no desire to be involved with more than one person at a time. But what I am saying is that if you are playing the dating game, or if you’re looking for something outside of your relationship, how about trying to play the honesty card? That’s honesty with yourself first, and everyone else. Lies are for losers anyhow.
SNAP! SUPPORTS: Odd Bird is a one-woman operation which we’ve had our eye on for some time now. Artist Tara Campbell works solo, transforming everyday objects into unique pieces of jewelry. Take a look at some of her designs and you’ll see what we’re talking about. The name comes from her parrot (apparently the biggest odd bird of them all) who oversees operations perched on Tara’s shoulder. To win a custom SNAP! domino, enter our t-shirt design competition (see page 49) and you could be sporting the hottest new look in town! www.oddbirddesigns.com Your biggest source of inspiration? From so many things! Antique etchings & prints, illustrations from old children’s books, etc. Some images are personal nods to my other interests such as Western (Cowgirls & horses) riding. Other images may be of things that I am really into (such as insects) but I feel that they look neat on the dominoes! I want to offer “something fun for everyone” with my designs. 5 years from now? I’d love to eventually learn the art of silver smithing so I could make finer jewelry. It would also be nice to have Odd Bird as a full-time gig possibly also offering a clothing line. By then I might have a bigger studio space too as currently all my work is performed on the kitchen table! Don’t leave the house without? Earrings, I feel totally “naked” without them. Morning routine: Wake up, shower, dress, feed cat, have breakfast with the parrot, pack a lunch & then off to the day job....sometimes sneaking in a coat of glaze on some dominoes amongst all that too!
OH SNAP! A gay column by Roberto Cialdella
Gayism. ColoUrism. Stupidism. -“We kissed” -“That is incredible. He’s so hot and he doesn’t even look gay!”
Oh oh. So I wanted to be a walking cliché and write about the new ‘Sex And The City’ movie but this exchange between my nellie gay confidante and I last week has left me bewildered. Gobsmacked even. To think that after all the progress we’ve made, not looking gay can be considered a superior trait among other gays. We’ve resorted to this obsession for masculine traits and those who embody them or even impersonate them. Are masculine mannered men really the Beyoncé of gay people? Valued so because they resemble the accepted and expected standard, just like the actress/ singer is considered black-but-not-too-black for crossover and multi-racial audiences? Are we gays mirroring Colourism? Colourism for those who might not be in the know, is discrimination within the same ethnic group –often Latino, Black, Indian, Asian and others- based on one’s tone of skin. Consider the parallels between some Indian personals -‘Seeking fair coloured’ ‘Wheat-ish skin only’ ‘Pale female’- and in gay classifieds: ‘No fems’ ‘Straight looking seeking same’ ‘masculine only’. Fair skin in Indians has long been associated with aristocracy the same way that masculinity has for a long time represented the beacon of civilization and effeminate men its corruption or flaw. Being gay, or straight, or black or white, does not in itself entail only one specific meaning or image. Yet many people continue to conform to rigid types through their actions and preferences. The reality is that the more non-stereotypical gay peo-
ple that come out, the more the narrow stereotypes of gay people will be debunked. Yet the ones who need to come out for this to be possible are afraid to do so as to not be associated with the stereotype in the first place. Still, the media tends only to portray two kinds of gay men- prancing leather clad lads from gay pride parades, and burly beauties from such films as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’. Aside from the fact that most of the latter are played by straight actors (and whose publicists make sure we are made aware who they really bed at night) the real problem is that there is not enough diversity in our gay landscape. My experiences with men, whether serious or flimsy, are often affected by this problem. My mannerisms or character traits have frequently been taken up as an issue by them. There was the scant occasion where it may merely have been a matter of partner preference, but in general it was not much more than a manifestation of gay shame. It’s a fact that many gay men prefer a masculine boyfriend as a crutch- for their insecurities, to fit in, as a hollow effort to make themselves more acceptable to society. It is as if they are trying to say: I’m gay but I’m no faggot. It is a peculiar experience to see someone revel in the fact that their partner doesn’t ‘look gay’. Still, some of the usual suspects are not helping at all. An immense hoopla was made in the gay community not long ago when ex-Nsyncer Lance Bass outed himself. Said Bass on this phenomena: “I call them the SAGs – the straight-acting gays.” Yet later he affirms that “We’re just normal, typical guys. I love to watch football and drink beer,” defining his homosexuality in terms of what he is not. Through careful wording, Bass is associating himself with what should be considered ‘normal’, even though, through his sexual preferences, his norm is- whether he likes it or not- not a straight one. I will pause all proceedings to clearly state that I am not against specific preferences, after all, we are all label obsessed in today’s society. And us gays boast more than our share of subcultures and sub-communities: from bears, twinks, lipstick lesbians to daddies and everything in between. Being gay does not hold one specific meaning or image. But when gay men brand themselves as straightlooking, revere it as an idea, and use it as an excuse to distance themselves from the LGTB community, that is just false self-acceptance. Don’t pee-pee on my purse and tell me it’s raining; how straight you act is determined by what you put in your mouth, not the angle you flip your hand.
July/ August 2008 Horoscopes
Words by Lady Nox Cadaver Illustration by Nizar Shorbagi
Cancer (June 21 – July 22) Your interests fluctuate too much for you to keep a static list of who your allies and enemies are. Keep up this mistrustful and suspicious attitude and even those individuals who feel they can safely call themselves your friends will tire of your ambivalence and end up on your enemies list.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19) If you are going to shoot down the hill at that speed please be conscious enough to wear a helmet and for fucksake take off the heels! You move quicker than you think, and excuse me if the bubble wrap/ foam idea is an overreaction but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. No fun waking up in a hospital bed with a butt-less gown and plastic tubing running through your nose.
Leo (July 23 – August 22) You may feel that lately your life resembles that of a superhero. Living in two worlds and attempting to balance work and normal life could end up causing you to develop a mild case of schizophrenia. Try not to worry. Think of it as practice for future multiple dilemmas. Virgo (August 23 – September 22) No use crying over spilled milk, especially if it’s passed the expiration date. You should be glad that some freak karmic force knocked over that stale, rotten beverage or else you’d be drinking textured cream. So dry your eyes, wipe up the mess, and make your way to the nearest supermarket to ogle the cute cashiers/baggers. Libra (September 23 – October 22) I will advise you to not underestimate your gut feeling, but at the same time consider any advice or counsel given to you by any reliable sources. In time, whatever has been will reappear. In the case of thievery or dishonesty, be prepared to catch the fiend red-handed. It will be blatantly obvious. Scorpio (October 23 – November 21) There is a little vice called gluttony that holds 2nd place amidst the roster of 7 deadly sins. In relatively simple terms it is called being a pig, but this has nothing or very little to do with eating a lot. Take care not to overindulge yourself and build up dependence with whatever it may be. Once it is viciously pulled away, the deprivation could make you sick. Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) You may be experiencing a certain disjunction with a motherly figure or anyone who you feel holds a nurturing place in your life. These things happen. It is natural to have adopted certain views from individuals who have had a deep impact on you. Once you realize you can make up you own mind though, be mature about it and tell them which style of pull-ups you really want them to buy. 76
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18) Focusing hard enough will actually turn that vision into a reality. Just make sure not to burst a vein in your eye, for I will not be held responsible. You have the determination and ambition to pull through. Be decisive, and be patient. What starts off as a mediocre project will have the chance to transform into something even bigger. Pisces (February 19 – March 20) Anything you kickoff now will be a test at conquering your maturity and will. If this takes the form of a new venture, study, or project, you will have the chance to prove to yourself and to others what you are capable of. You may even surprise yourself with your sense of renewed energy. You aren’t the lazy bum everyone thinks you are! Aries (March 21 – April 19) Aladdin is not only a classic film with one of the best soundtracks I have come across, it also serves as a decent guide on “How to be a Genie,” in those times conflict. We all need a little bit of magic in our lives, right? Along with these phenomenal powers comes a responsibility to stay out of reach from the powers of darkness. Beware, for your very neighbour may be Jafar incarnate. Taurus (April 20 – May 20) Overturning your garden for a few cents may lead you to discover something a lot bigger and more important in the scheme of things. Just keep in mind, finding those prehistoric dinosaur fossils could drain you mentally and physically when you end up in a tug of war between who owns the rights to the artifacts. Do you really want to wear yourself to the bone? Gemini (May 21 – June 20) If you are beginning to lean towards using physical force to get your way over the more civil way of words, then let me remind you of the warm and cozy residence in conjunction with such actions: PRISON. Start ordering some soap on a rope in bulk.