The West Side

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Just as last year, my exams once again ended on the last day. Luckily though, I had a bit more time to linger in Toronto this time. So this post, and the next few, are essentially visual records of my adventures with some awesome humans in the past week or so. Hope you enjoy this potpourri of photographs.

Toronto is known for a lot of things: CN Tower, Raptors, Drake, TIFF, Rob Ford, to just name a few. Did you know though, that last year Vogue rated the Queen West area of Toronto the second hippest neighborhood in the world! After doing some exploring there myself, I can say that the neighborhood truly lives up to its reputation. Queen Street West is filled with  independent boutiques, adorable stationery stores and countless highly Yelp-rated cafes and restaurants.

We strolled down to Trinity Bellwoods park where we relived our childhood on the playground and talked about how we used to swing a lot higher and climb the monkey bars a lot better… sigh.

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Outfit details: Sunglasses: F21; Top: Dynamite; Sweater: Gerry Weber (thrifted); Boyfriend jeans: Style & Co. (thrifted); Flats: China; Tote bag: MUJI

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Tote bag: MUJI (New York City map edition)

As we were in the neighborhood, we decided to go a bit more west to the notoriously spectacular ice cream joint called Bang Bang. Google maps said it would take approximately 6 minutes from the park to the ice cream shop but we almost an hour to get there because there were just too many cute little shops we couldn’t help but to visit.

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On top of that, our spontaneous photo shoots took up some time too.

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I think one thing that qualifies Queen West as ‘hip’ is the strong presence of artistic expression in the neighborhood. People have really come to accept graffiti as an art form rather than just plain vandalism.

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‘Abbey Wall’

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And finally, how cute is this ice cream shop?

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There were so many choices that we took 15 minute to decide. The shop lets you sample before making a final decision so we narrowed down to three flavors to try: orange cardamon, peanut butter and concord grape jelly and totaro (ube + coconut).

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You also have the choice to get your ice cream between two homemade cookies (half or full), a cream puff, an egg waffle, or just on a good ol’ cone.

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Two of my friends got a full-sized ice cream cookie sandwich to share – the London Fog flavor tastes just like the original flavored bubble tea – delicious!

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I shared a scoop of PB&J and another of totaro in an egg waffle with another friend. I wished I had gotten a photo of the totaro scoop – it was this beautiful shade of lavender purple, most likely from the ube, which is purple yam, as the girl who worked at the shop told us. The egg waffles are made on the spot so it took a while, but trust me, the wait was so worth it. The crispiness of the waffle goes perfectly with velvety ice cream, and the hot & cold combination is simply fantastic. We agreed that the PB&J flavor was really tasty because of the savory notes from the peanut butter but the richness does become overwhelming after a while. The totaro flavor on the other hand was less ‘in your face’ – the yam and coconut worked really well together.

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Summer is just around the corner and this is how I’m starting my summer. How about you? As Kahlil Gibran says, be like a flower and turn your face to the sun. So get out there and get your daily dose of vitamin D!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I can’t wait to share more with you in the next few months! 🙂

x.

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