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Sweet Young Thing Seeks Star Job
Like crows trying to snag the choicest flesh off a dead squirrel, we crowded around the program head hoping to snag the choicest assignments for our first week.
By Shelley Page
Does it matter more who we were then or what we went on to do?
Graduates from my summer reporting program at the Toronto Star became Editor-in-Chief of the Globe and Mail; a best-selling author of crime fiction; a prominent columnist; foreign correspondents; a journalism professor; a rock critic; and a Pulitzer Prize winner.
But almost three decades ago, we sized each other up around a long table in the Print Room, the bar on the ground floor of the Toronto Star building at One Yonge Street.
There were 18 of us, mostly in our twenties. Four were women. Two others were from Carleton; both were guys, one a very good friend.
At 21, I was the youngest, but one of the few who had daily newspaper experience.
Amid us mostly scrappy j-school graduates, was a summer ...
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People: Rahmin Bahrani
The writer-director of Man Push Cart returns with 99 Homes, another story about social justice and an economic system that he says creates Donald Trumps, rewards greed and fails to protect families
By Katherine Monk
After directing Man Push Cart a decade ago, the late great Roger Ebert described director Ramin Bahrani as one of the most important new voices in cinema, hailing his ability to see the outsider and sympathize with those silently struggling to find their way.
His low-budget dramatic debut focused on a former Pakistani rock star who ended up selling food on the streets of Manhattan, and his more recent At Any Price starring Zac Efron took on the reality of genetically modified crops and their effect on America’s family farms.
He is unapologetic about his interest in themes concerning social justice, but Bahrani’s most recent feature, 99 Homes, may be the most trenchant piece of social commentary he’s made so far as it brings us ...
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Yukon Gold and Sweet Potatoes Anna
The fancy potato cake first made famous by Julia Child is a tasty alternative to the standard holiday mash slathered in gravy
By Louise Crosby
Thanksgiving in my extended family has become a huge affair. That’s because we now number 25 people, plus any others who happen to be in the picture. The brave household that offers to host must find enough tables, dishes and cutlery to seat everyone, and usually cooks the main event, in this case a turkey. The rest of us bring appetizers, mashed potatoes and other vegetables, and a few desserts, typically involving pumpkin or apples. Pot luck, it’s the only way to go with a crowd like this.
Notice I said mashed potatoes. Feeling like a change, I offered to make Duchess potatoes this year. Admittedly, these are labour intensive. You start with mashed potatoes but then add egg yolks, cream and butter. This mixture is spooned into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and piped into swirly mounds, ...
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Dinner at Number 4 Patchin Place
Voltaire said ‘the finest system would be democracy with the occasional assassination,’ and New York's established mob families couldn't agree more
By John Armstrong
Don’t ever get Joe started on his apartment, if you can still call it that.
Every time he buys a few more paintings or sculptures he ends up buying the next unit over and knocking out a few non-essential walls. It’s more art gallery and warehouse now than it is living space. It’s beautiful though, don’t get me wrong; just that I wouldn’t want to dust it.
Number 4 Patchin Place is in a gated cul de sac in the Village just off West 10th between Sixth and Greenwich, 10 or so three-story row houses in red brick and black wrought iron in close proximity to the coffee bars and galleries of the bohemian district. That would have been enough for Joey to buy it but it’s who lived there before him that sunk the hook. The poet e.e. cummings lived at No. 5, long ...
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We met the Goombah
The date with the lovely Vanessa continues, but after surveying a history of violence, she asks her suitor some tough questions
By John Armstrong
I’ll leave out the details of our trip to the Museum of American History. Everyone’s seen the wing devoted to the Big Takeover a thousand times anyway, either in person or onscreen. That said, I still get choked up when I stand before the towering statues of the Great Outlaws – Dillinger gleefully burning the mortgage records after emptying a bank vault, or Pretty Boy Floyd delivering Christmas dinner to a starving family on welfare - and then the massive 20-foot painting that summarizes the Second Revolution, starting with the Bank Crash and Depression and then the breadlines, the Hooverville riots, and the government troops firing into hungry, unemployed, desperate crowds.
I’m always drawn to one section that shows union busters clubbing men and women on a picket line while fat, cigar-smoking politicians ...
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The performance artist, composer and electronic musician hit the stage accompanied by dancing labia then took a walk over the crowd encased in a gigantic condom
By Katherine Monk
October 6, 2015, VANCOUVER, BC -- Katy Perry has dancing sharks. Peaches has dancing labia.
There’s a good argument to be made for the merits of each mascot sidekick – an uncoordinated shark made Perry’s Super Bowl performance a viral sensation, and Peaches plushy vulvas have brought the Toronto-raised, Berlin-based performance artist international acclaim as a gender activist with a sense of humor.
But even without the shock value of gigantic stuffed genitalia prancing around the stage, there’s a clear difference in showmanship and intent that makes a Peaches show more than a night of entertainment.
The woman born Merrill Beth Nisker is able to straddle disparate worlds through her weird mise-en-scene that uses the tricks of arena rock theatrics while mocking their phallocentric ...
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Meet the Goombah
Looking to impress his new lady friend, Jack takes her on a ride in his boss's deep purple Packard before giving her a tour of the family business, where the faces of dead dons hang on the wall and a counting room the size of a school gym sloshes over with cash
By John Armstrong
I stood outside on the sidewalk smoking and double and triple-checking my reflection in the doors, compulsively smoothing the brim of my hat and adjusting the knot of my tie like a teenager. I was considering a quick polish of my spats on the back of my trousers when I heard the horn.
Horns, I should say. Somehow Frank had gotten instructions out for them to use his pride and joy to taxi Vanessa, his 1933 Packard Touring Sedan, a great 12-cylinder beast of a thing whose massive chrome prow makes it look more like an ocean liner than an automobile, as if one had sailed up to the docks and then just said, “the hell with it, what did you say the address was?”
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Unpretentious, homey, rustic, yummy...
Upside-Down Polenta Plum Cake is a concoction without affectation but plenty of taste thanks to caramelized fruit and just enough crunch from cornmeal to complete the caky texture
By Louise Crosby
Let me say right off the bat that I’m not that fond of fancy cakes layered with fillings and covered in sweet icing. Nor am I mad passionate crazy about chocolate, in a cake or otherwise. I prefer plain, simple buttery cakes fragrant with vanilla or citrus or spice, possibly containing poppy seeds, nuts or fruit, possibly with a nice caramel glaze. Unpretentious, homey, rustic, delicious.
This Upside-Down Polenta Plum Cake, from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now, is one such cake. A batter with a touch of crunchy corn meal is spooned over a syrupy plum compote, then baked to saturate the two layers together into a kind of pudding cake deliciousness. Once out of the oven and cooled slightly, it is flipped over onto a plate, a thick jammy layer ...
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A member of The Ex-Press skeletal staff happened to be looking out the window just in time to catch a glimpse of a grey whale surfacing outside the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in English Bay, Sunday, October 4. We apologize for the short video. We were just happy to get it.