Portugal the man – Colors

shoe-tagging on dundas st

shoe-tagging on dundas st

Five million people could not be wrong, Canada’s largest city has everything an urban person could hope for. I fell for the city right after leaving the airplane as I waited in the customs line, which was composed of hundreds of people from all over the world, speaking different languages and wearing unique outfits. This extraordinary blend of cultures, which some of them I had never even heard of, builds this welcoming city where prejudice seems to have been reduced to a minimum.

Cinco milhões de pessoas não poderiam estar enganadas. A maior cidade do Canadá possui tudo que uma pessoa urbana poderia desejar. Eu me apaixonei pela cidade assim que deixei o avião, na fila para cruzar a fronteira; a qual era composta por centenas de pessoas dos quatro cantos do mundo, falando línguas diferentes e vestidas de acordo com sua cultura. Esta mistura extraordinária de culturas, algumas das quais eu ainda nem havia ouvido falar, constrói esta cidade acolhedora, na qual o preconceito parece ter sido reduzido a um mínimo.
solar panels are a sign of a pro-active city

Solar panels are a good sign of a pro-active city

In spite of criticism and gossip from a few outsiders, Toronto is definitely the place to be in Canada. A city where 49% of its population immigrated from other countries and brought their customs, colors and lifestyle; creating this cosmopolitan and universal centre in the world. This land of opportunities, is made of hundreds distinctives neighbourhoods, and has something to offer to everyone who has an open-mind.

Apesar do criticismo e da fofoca de algumas pessoas de outros lugares, Toronto é definitivamente o lugar para estar no Canadá. Uma cidade onde 49% de seus habitantes imigraram de outros países e trouxeram com eles seus costumes, cores e estilos de vida; criando este centro cosmopolita e universal. Esta terra de oportunidades é composta por centenas de bairros característicos e possui algo para oferecer para qualquer pessoa com uma cabeça aberta.
Chinatown

Chinatown

I started exploring the city in downtown, which is filled with skyscrapers and serves as base for the country’s financial district. Street blocks are packed with people, bicycles, cars, street cars, buses and more people. One of its main streets reminded me a lot of Times Square in New York City, where people gathered for whatever reasons and were surrounded by lights, signs and information. The idea of walking around the city along with thousands of people, traffic on the streets, and a little bit of pollution was inexplicable; it just felt like home for me. The act of sharing a subway ride with a person to whom you would probably never be exposed to makes me feel alive and hopeful for the future.

Eu comecei a explorar a cidade em sua área central, a qual é cercada de arranha-céus e serve de base para o centro financeiro do país. As ruas da cidade são repletas de pessoas, bicicletas, carros, trens elétricos, ônibus e mais pessoas. Uma de suas ruas principais me lembrou muito da Times Square em Nova York, onde as pessoas reúnem-se por diversos motivos e são rodeados por luzes, inúmeros outdoors e muita informação. A idéia de caminhar pela cidade lado a lado com milhares de pessoas, engarrafamentos e uma dose moderada de poluição é inexplicável; me fez sentir em casa. O ato de compartilhar uma viagem de metrô com uma pessoa a qual você provavelmente nunca entraria em contato na vida me fez sentir vivo e esperançoso a respeito do futuro.
Ontario College of Arts and Design

Ontario College of Arts and Design

Downtown has a lot to offer, nonetheless, the real Toronto adventure starts as you walk away from the centre towards its neighbourhoods. It doesn’t take long for the tall buildings to become unique townhouses, and for each area’s characteristics starting to appear. You can walk for 5 miles on a straight line and cross over a dozen environs marked by various nations and cultures. Block after block, the sense of community and multinationalism fills the street blocks and creates this amazing city.

O centro da cidade tem muito a oferecer, no entando, a verdadeira aventura em Toronto começa a partir do momento em que você se dirige em direção aos bairros. Não demora muito para que os grandes edíficios comecem a se transformar em casas de dois ou três andares, e para que as características de cada  bairro comecem a serem notadas. Você pode andar por mais de 7 quilômetros numa linha reta e passar por mais de uma dúzia de vizinhaças claramente marcadas por nações e culturas diferentes. Quadra após quadra, a sensação de comunidade e diversidade preenche as ruas; criando esta cidade maravilhosa. 
Subway station

Subway station

Considered one of the world’s most livable cities, Toronto occupies a special place in my top 5 favorite spots. From an artist’s perspective, the city is heaven. Art galleries, museums, theatres and cinemas are plentiful across town. For the food savvy, the city offers cuisines from every possible nation, from inexpensive authentic homestyle food to the finest dining experience. Toronto is a mix of everything good from New York, São Paulo and Melbourne, and I am proud to announce that it will soon be considered the centre of my world. I promise to keep you posted with weekly entries about this outstanding place.

Considerada uma das cidades com melhor nível de vida no mundo, Toronto já ocupa um lugar especial entre as minhas cinco cidades favoritas. No ponto de vista de um artista, a cidade é o paraíso. Galerias de arte, museus, teatros e cinemas existem em excesso por todo lado. Para aqueles com um paladar afiado, a cidade oferece cozinhas de cada nação possível no mundo – de restaurantes autênticos com comida caseira aos mais contemporâneos e requintados. Toronto é uma mistura de tudo de bom de Nova York, São Paulo e Melbourne; e eu estou orgulhoso de anunciar que muito em breve a cidade será considerada o novo centro do meu mundo. Eu prometo manter-lhes informados a respeito deste lugar incrível com postagens semanais a respeito de suas peculiaridades.
Shop at Kensington Market

Shop at Kensington Market

whale wars

December 9, 2008

Despite the fact I don’t own a TV, I watch a few TV Series from Netflix or on the Internet. I know television is an essential element in people’s house, and it has always been one present in mine. Nonetheless, after realizing how much time I have spent watching bad shows or endlessly flipping through channels hoping to find something that pleases my eyes; I decided to give up. I sold my tv about a year ago and bought a projector. Now I have control over what I watch, the same way I control what I listen or read. 

My new reality addiction is a well produced show broadcasted on Animal Planet. It is called “Whale Wars”, and it is a documentary about the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s mission attempting to stop Japanese whaling. The organization was founded by the Canadian Captain Paul Watson in 1977; after being asked to leave his co-founded organization “Greenpeace”, due to his extremist behavior. 

Every year, the Sea Shepherd receives the support of activists with different backgrounds from around the globe; and leave Port Melbourne, Australia on an expedition to the cold waters of Antarctica. The controversial, unpredictable and utmost campaign uses any available ways to impede the Japanese ships from hunting whales. Because the dispute happens in high seas, laws are interpreted differently by the countries involved in the battle. The Japanese claim that the whales serve for scientific research to provide a basis for the sustainable whaling, in which the remaining parts, such as meat and oils, are processed and sold to the Japanese population. The opposition, composed mostly by Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States believe in the conservation of endangered species. 

No matter what you believe, or which side of the story you support; this is a TV Series not to be missed. It’s action from beginning to end, filled with real drama and edited in a very honest and interesting way. It’s one of those shows that make you stand on the top of your toes and cheer for those people on the screen. It makes me feel so proud of those few who are putting their life in risk fighting for their beliefs; but at the same time, I can’t help not feeling I could be doing more to make this place a better world.

If you haven’t seen it yet, give it a go and let us know what you think. The show goes on every Friday at 9pm.
You can check the schedule and more info at: http://animal.discovery.com/tv/whale-wars/

 

 

we loved sounds

June 9, 2008

It was a wet winter day by the water, as thousands filled shed 4 at the Docklands, in Melboourne.  Following the theory that any good party is hard to find, people slowly found their way there by chasing the heavy bass vibrations, being felt from far away. The shed was isolated enough in order to not effect the neighbourhood. However, It was close enough to the city which framed the landscape with the urban skyline. 


Gaiser [M_nus the experience] 

The festival had three stages, divided according to the musical genre and performance style. The main stage “we love live” held all the bands, the middle one called “hardware” was the place for most of the live acts, and the last one “one love”, had mostly dj sets. The space’s layout was interesting, nonetheless its acoustics were not appropriate to hold three dancefloors. The middle one, which had most of the minimalist performances, was overpowered by the the heavy beats reverberating from the stages on either side. Therefore, effecting artists’ performances such as Ellen Alien, Modeselektor, Marc Houle, and Gaiser.


Derrick Carter 

Despite the acoustic problem, several artists who played at the peripheral stages incredibly engaged the selective crowd with the quality of their sets. In my opinion, some of the highlights were Chicago’s house music godfather’s Derrick Carter; M_nus the Experience’s Gaiser with his minimalist live act; Deep Dish’s Dubfire surprisingly going deep into the underground, and Cassius grown-up french-disco set. 


Dubfire [Deep Dish]

Amongst the bands, The Whip, The Bravery, and Chk Chk Chk were the ones who attracted the biggest crowds, nevertheless in my humble opinion, the festival’s sound system or the space’s acoustics weren’t good enough to hold those performances. A reflection of that could be seen at the Brazilian indie-funk playback based, Bonde do Rolê. Four microphones weren’t enough even for a portuguese speaker to understand what they were saying, therefore you can imagine most of the Australian’s expressions watching their show. Anyhow, regardless of technical issues, language and cultural barriers, the four piece band got most of the crowd going during their 45 minute presentation. 


Bonde do Rolê

After listening to great quality music from several countries around the world, the one who blew my mind was, once again, from France. The country who gave us Daft Punk and Justice, brought us the experienced Ed Banger’s Mr Oizo. His disturbed yet accurate performance kept everyone off the floor with their hands in the air. Mr Oizo walked onto the stage with a stack of case-less CDs (like those you will find at a reckless junkie’s house), his headphones around the neck, and a cigarette in his mouth. As he sets up his decks, the crowd goes crazy, resulting in one of the best dj-public interactions I’ve seen before. Looking at him, all I could see was a mad musical scientist, experimenting his notes and combinations on the responsive crowd. He was an evil puppeteer controlling his freak show, which was so amazing that he nearly had to be dragged out of the stage; in order to give place to the next performer. With no more english words to describe, all I can say is Merci beaucoup, Monsieur!


Mr Oizo [Ed Banger] 

we love sounds

June 5, 2008

Miami Horror – Fa fa fa

Melbourne, the city of festivals, is hosting another party to make cities like Ibiza, Barcelona, or Berlin feel jealous about it. Due to the consistency of events in the underground music scene, Melbourne is often seen as one of the best party spots in the world. No matter what tribe or scene you belong to, you’ll find the right festival, tailor-made especially for you. 

During this long-weekend, we’ll be celebrating the Queen’s Birthday with some of the most fresh electro, techno, house, and a lot of dirty funk. In the line-up, names like !!! (Chk Chk Chk), The Bravery, Cassius, Dubfire (Deep Dish), Bonde fo Rolê, Mr Oizo (Ed Banger), Ellen Allien (B-Pitch Control), M_Nus Experience, and Modeselektor, amongst many other will make you shake it like you mean it.

With its performers coming from several countries around the world, in addition to national talents, the event which will take place in one of the sheds of the docklands, promises an unforgettable experience for those with sassy feet and/or refined ears. ‘We love sounds‘ took place in Perth last weekend, and moves on this Saturday to Brisbane and Melbourne simultaneously; travelling to Sydney on Sunday, and Adelaide on Monday. This world-class event proves, one more time, that despite geographic barriers, Australia keeps tuned to global trends, offering its residents the latest edgy performers from the four corners of the globe.

What: We love sounds
When: Saturday, 7 June 08 – 12 Midday – 10 PM
Where: Shed 4 at Victoria Harbour, Docklands (Melbourne)
More info: www.welovesounds.com.au

MelbourneLockedOut

May 29, 2008

The rise of disorder and hostility, resulted from alcohol-related violence in downtown Melbourne justifies the new regulations to be imposed by the Victorian Premier John Brumby. The 2am curfew will begin in June, prohibiting pubs, bars and nightclubs to admit people after that time. That won’t affect people already in venues nor changing their operation hours, however the new law intends to avoid groups of drunken people on the streets.

The law to be implemented doesn’t appear to be as severe as the ones found in most of the United States of America. Nevertheless, that can be the first step to ruin the notorious club scene in Melbourne. Not only will people have to change their routine and the way they party, but also clubs will have to make changes to ensure they meet the new requirements. Freedom is one of the most important factors of the club scene, and freedom of expression, as well as the right to come and go whenever and wherever are part of the human rights. Melbourne has always been known for its 24-hour character, therefore many of its tourist appeals rely on this feature. In addition to that, transports as well as local business connected to the nightlife will be affected. 

In opposition to the law’s implement, Toorak resident Andrew Ranger is organising 2am lockout protests. The MelbourneLockedOut protest will be held at the Treasure Gardens on Friday, May 30, at 5pm. According to organisers, this will be a peaceful, alcohol and drug-free event, where ignorance won”t be tolerated. So if you believe in the melburnian club scene, put a white t-shirt on, and join the crowd this Friday. More information can be found at the MelbourneLockedOut website.

Celulas – Less is more 
 

It was by accident that we found this cozy little breakfast place in our neighbourhood. Every time we walked by we would say “that place looks cute, we should go there sometime”, so we finally went. The place is one of those family-owned establishments, where you are received with a sincere smile and your food is cooked with love, and by love I mean real love. Fandango has become house of our weekly saturday morning ritual. It is that type of event which you spend all week waiting for; when you wake up that morning you can’t stay in bed any longer, because you know what’s waiting for you down the street, even though it’s saturday. 

The place has two tables on the sidewalk, only a few tables inside and a couple more in the backyard. To get to the backyard you walk through the kitchen, where the staff greets you as if it were your own kitchen, and you were just going to have your morning coffee outside. In a friendly and inevitable way, you are invited to see how your food is being cooked, at the same time witnessing the cleanliness as the place is always spotless. The crowd is predominantly local, regular neighbours and friends who go in for a inevitable ‘good time’, and the music played is always something alternative yet ambient pleasing your ears since you walk in.

On the menu, amongst several traditional breakfast savory dishes, is the mouthwatering ‘french toast’. The artisan bread is covered with maple syrup, accompanied with big chunks of maple butter. It’s layered with oven-baked apples, mixed with back bacon. Nevertheless, if you are a vegetarian they will substitute it for fresh strawberries and bananas. To finalize the stunning appearance, icing-sugar is sprinkled all over it. Although the dish seems slightly bigger than It should be, as you start eating you wish it would never end. It just melts in your mouth, and the best part is as you think all the fruits are all gone, you’ll find extra layers hidden between the bread. It’s doubtless the best french toast I’ve ever had, therefore this might have been my favourite breakfast experience so far. 

However, the consequences of trying it can have a negative side. After you try the best of something it’s hard not to become critical about it. Consequently, I have ruined two breakfasts at other places by ordering their french toast. Fandango is a delightful experience, and definitely one of the reasons I’ll come back to Melbourne whenever I can throughout my life.

Fandango. 97 Errol St. North Melbourne, VIC 3051. 
Tue – Sat | 7:30am – 3:00pm
+61 3 9329 0693 

trough faggot party

April 6, 2008

 Mylo – In my arms 

After being invited by a local friend to go to an underground party in downtown Melbourne, on a saturday night I realized that could be one of ‘those nights’, which we would be talking about for ages. As we get close to the venue, in an area where sex is the main business, and alcohol, the currency; the high level of testosterone fills the air, resulting in fights, blood, and confusion. After turning into a dark alley, we see the usual little door and a bouncer. As we queue to get in, we inhale the strippers‘ cigarette smoke sitting next to us. They all wear the same baby blue robe, heavy make-up and red lipstick, while waiting for their next performance upstairs. As we walk in, and realizing the venue is the basement of a strip club, the idea of ‘underground’ grows step after step.

The place has very low ceilings, dark lighting and a very trashy decor. Plastic rubbish bags and surgical gloves filled with air are hanging all over the place. The dance floor has two stripper poles, surrounded by stacks of cardboard paper cones(?) It’s 11:30pm, the warm-up soundscape echoes its anger against the walls. The speakers play hard, dark, grindcore. A few out of ordinary looking characters create a contrastive environment. By that point I was sure that was going to be a good night. 

The party was called Trough Faggot Party, and happened once a month for the past two years. Last night’s was its 21st and final edition, taking place at Geddes Lane, in Melbourne. The decks were controlled by Adam Askew, Bryan Freeze and Rowhie Hypnotic, which played anything and everything from electro to the dark beats, always throwing in some old school funk and disco in betwixt. The crowd was a mix of scenesters, hipsters, clubbers, indie-rockers, and overall party-goers. In a place where gays and lesbians, bissexuals, straights, transgenders, and imprecise, an alternative atmosphere was created, yet without the pressure constantly found in many subcultures. With a boiling dance-floor, the party went on through the night, and thanks to the very flirting, smiling and electrifying crowd, there was sweat on the walls

The highlight of the night goes to the pole performances. That brought me some vivid memories from a few parties in Las Vegas, NYC, California and Sao Paulo. It was an amazing experience and discovery; though, at the same time, a sad good bye. But that doesn’t end here! The promoters promise a new club night emerging from the underground again very soon. I’ll keep you guys posted! 

(The images used in this post belong to the “Trough Faggot Party” Website)

 

Los hermanos – Garota de Ipanema  

 

After exporting bossa-nova, samba, soccer, caipirinha, beauty, and carnaval, Brazil sets a new trend that quickly spread around the world. I’m talking about the classic everyday rubbery flip-flops, found in an infinite variety of colours and styles. 

 

 havaianas11.jpg 

 

The comfortable, stylish, and practical sandals, which often seem to have impossible pronunciation by foreign speakers, have a very interesting story. The original design was inspired by the japanese flip-flop sandals “Zori” , created in the sixties using rubber,  which increased its durability, comfort, while decreased the price. In 1970, the brazilian comedian Chico Anysio, was starred in a publicity campaign, nicknaming Havaianas as “The Genuine ones”, while distinguishing them from the cheap imitations produced after the sandals. 

 

havaianas31.jpg 

 

For three decades the flip-flops were only produced in two colours: black, and faded blue; both having the white colour on top. Back then you could purchase them at any supermarket for a couple bucks. They were a classic “must have” item  for everyone in the middle and lower classes. I remember we would reverse its soles, so It would look all black, or blue, as a tentative of turning it into a distinct product. Looking to prevail over a crisis caused by its sales and profit decline; in 1994, the company launches a single colour sandal: Havaianas Top. Using a good marketing campaign, the company successfully reaches the upper classes. Two years later, a new campaign rejuvenates the brand, while rates havaianas as an elegant and unique product.  

 

havainas21.jpg 

 

At this point the sandals have reached a massive part of the brazilian market; however, the big event that puts the company’s name out there, was the french edition of the world cup, in 1998. In consequence of that, global top celebrities started being photographed wearing the product in their daily lives, as well runway fashion shows and catalogues. These days havaianas are exported to the most remote places in the world. It’s on everyone’s minds and feet. The sandals are commonly found in everyone’s wardrobe, independently of nationality, social class, or style. Havaianas is a good example of an ordinary product hyped into a must have fashion icon, having the same value around the globe. The pictures used for this post were taken on the streets of Melbourne, on a hot saturday afternoon.

 

 havaianas41.jpg

 

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It starts on wednesday, 5 March, the 18th edition of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. It will be eleven days of shorts, feature, documentaries, and panels, where hundreds of films will be played over 90 sessions. The festival, which is the largest queer film festival in Australia, and one of the oldest queer film festivals in the world, will be de approaching human rights, discussing immigration issues, HIV education, as well as current expansion in the legislation relating to queer rights in Australia. 

 

The festival will show a variety of films from all over the world, approaching homosexuality in several different ways. The opening night will be held at the Astor Theatre, in St Kilda. However, most of the films will be screened at the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), located in the Federation Square, on Flinders Street, in Melbourne. No matter what your visions are, or what you would like to know more about the subject, I guarantee that you will find something to please your eyes and mind during the festival. The tickets are being sold on-line at the festival’s website, but hurry, because just like any other cultural event in Melbourne, tickets are selling quickly!

 

mqff_08_program_icon.jpg    mqff_08_planner_icon.jpg

2008 Program                                     2008 Planner                          

lo-res PDF, 7MB                                  hi-res PDF, 200k (A4)                  

  

(all the images used in this post are copyrighted, and belong to the Melbourne Queer Film Festival)

 

the big issue

February 28, 2008

bigissue.jpg

Thursday evening, seating at the Gipsy Bar in Fitzroy, sipping a ginger lime tea, after having a nice dinner with a local friend. A well behaved homeless man, with a great sense of humour, walks into the restaurant, selling some sort of magazine. My friend shows excitement while quickly gets $5 out of her wallet and buys one. People around wave their arms to that same homeless man, which by now is the attraction in the restaurant, while collecting money in exchange for copies of the magazine. I watch the scene, speechless, and finally ask my friend what have just happened there. She proudly smiles and says: “Oh, It’s the big issue!”

 

The Big Issue is a magazine that mixes an unsparing journalism and clever entertainment coverage. The fortnightly magazine is sold on the streets of Australia by well trained homeless people who keep half or the cover price. With its independent character, The Big Issue approaches relevant subjects while preserving its personal comical aspect. Their main purpose is “to provide a mechanism to assist homeless, ex-homeless and long-term unemployed people to participate in society as independently as possible”. The magazine can be found in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, and Canberra.

 

After hearing everything about the magazine, still astonished, I found myself staring at the door wishing that he would come back to sell me a copy. Once that didn’t happen, I came home with that stuck in my mind. For now then, I’ll be enthusiastically waiting for a homeless person to approach me on the streets, offering me a magazine.

 

For more info: the big issue

(the image was extracted from The Big Issue’s website)