Random Notes from Mid-Summer

News here has been light of late, mostly because I partially blew out my right hand in an binge of late-night work last week, and I’ve been trying to keep typing to the absolute minimum required. But you can only shut up for so long, so here are some random notes from the middle of the summer.

There’s nothing like a Strawberry Sunrise from COWS on a hot summer night to cool you down. It’s the lower-fat alternative to the Iced Cowpuccinno, which is so much better than the Tim Horton’s alternative that it should really have a better name.

Speaking of COWS, I’ve never been a big fan of the “parody of the moment” style of T-shirt making that they’ve turned to in recent years (witness Amooican Idol). While I’m sure that these shirts sell well, they don’t have the wit of the classics (and I notice that even “Common Cow pays homage to local literary hero” has been rebranded as “Anne of Green Stables”). That all said, I must admit a weak spot for Moora the Explorer (not sold online, so no link).

The general consensus on Cora’s Breakfast and Lunch seems to be: excellent service, good food, a little pricey. I had a bad solo dining experience there last week — basically felt invisible to all wait staff for the duration — but two other visits have been fine. The fruit shakes are very good, as is the mushroom/swiss burger.

Both Atlantic Superstore and Sobey’s (at least in West Royalty) have fresh sushi counters now. After extensive testing, I come out in favour of the Superstore variety: we’ve had too many experiences where the Sobey’s variety is dry and bland. The Superstore has a wider variety, it’s always fresh, and they’ve a good assortment of Japanese accessory foods too (the wasabi dressing is very good).

Interlude, the new cafe on Kent St., has an annoying habit of closing right in the middle of the day on Saturdays. If you’re going to locate mildly off the beaten path (and I admit, it is only mildly off), you have to have consistent, reliable hours. I recoiled to the Formosa on Saturday, and will probably think twice before I Interlude on a Saturday afternoon again.

And finally, after twenty-four hours to think about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that The Russian Ark, which played last week at City Cinema, may be the most boring movie every made. I find going to art galleries a boring and lifeless activity at the best of times; here was a movie that largely consists of film of people walking around an art gallery. So the experience of watching the movie involves watching people watch art. And they’re speaking Russian. And 5 or 6 people are speaking at once. And there are vast and important themes of Russian History being alluded to (well over my head). Call me a plebeian, but after a while I just wanted to shout out. Or hit my head against the wall.

More news once the hands heal…


Mandy's picture
Mandy on July 22, 2003 - 06:05 Permalink

Nah, although not a fan of the show, I have to say I do love the Bob The Bovine

Oliver B's picture
Oliver B on July 22, 2003 - 18:01 Permalink

Aw. I liked Russian Ark. Don’t think of it as a movie. You have to channel your inner passive and sullen twelve year old dragged to a party by his parents. In that category, I think it’s about the most interesting ever. It felt unusually real to me knowing that it had been shot in one take, and I was impressed with that technical aspect of it as I watched it unfold.

dave moses's picture
dave moses on July 22, 2003 - 22:43 Permalink

i have to agree with oliver, pete. i’m not saying it was an easy movie. and i can’t pretend to have understood a fraction of all the stuff that was going on… but from i could understand (the incredible way the camera, costumes, characters, and setting were used to jump back and forth in time without so much as a blink) i knew i was watching a great feat of film-making… even if i couldn’t appreciate the story-telling.

Derek M.'s picture
Derek M. on July 24, 2003 - 13:49 Permalink

Russian Ark was definitely an audience polarizer in a way I don’t often see. Some people left or napped, others were enraptured. A surprising number (5 or 6) told me they had been or were going to the Hermitage.