Having just recently turned 19, up and coming Toronto based photographer Alice Xue already has a very beautiful portfolio. Focusing on fashion and beauty, Alice captures the youthfulness that surrounds her. With every photo feeling as though it was taken effortlessly, on a warm summer day with a cool breeze, there’s nothing pretentious about her work.
With spring break officially over the agonizing and terrorizing 2 month cram has begun. For university kids, such as myself, these are the worst two months of every year. It is nearly impossible to pull through them without a fortress of inspiration to turn to. Clearly the following activities are the easiest ways to get through the next two months:
1. Beer Pong
3. Excessive eating
Those 3 things would all be so simple to turn to. Except for at this time of the year they all come with huge WARNING signs attached. Lets take a closer look.
1. Beer Pong mixed with term papers and final exams is basically asking for a fail. And yes sometimes failing seems like the easy way out. BUT we must push through, think of all the money you’ve already spent and the hours you’ve already wasted studying.
2. Shopping. If you’re anything like me you have about 4 different school loans to pay off. ENOUGH SAID.
3. Stress eating usually presents itself at this time of the year. Stress eating involves chocolate on top of chocolate with a side of fat. But since the end of the school year also means summer which equals bathing suit, eating at this point and time just isn’t an option.
So I’ve come up with 3 superior replacements to the first dangerous list. These inspirational findings can easily help any university kid get through the next 2 months.
I don’t cry at a commercials. This heart I own is made of PURE STEEL. Except for every time Nike and their marketing executives get together they plot against me. How can we make this little blonde girl cry, they ask themselves. And they always succeed! And the catch is…. I hate all athletics. So it’s a fact in itself that their commercials are freaking AWESOME. oh and not to mention inspirational.
(INSERT NIKE COMMERCIAL FROM YOUTUBE.) link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wIRTbY5HNM
If you aren’t familiar you probably think I’m talking about porn. I mean I guess that can be a form of inspiration but british bad asses are far more inspiring. If you don’t know what I’m talking about open up a new page, go directly to surfthechannel.com and search skins. And start watching. THIS WILL HELP YOU PULL THROUGH.
Biggest turn on: tattoos.
Biggest turn off: social climbers.
How many years have you lived there?: 22 years. A lifetime in other words.
Why do you call it home?: because all my stuff resides there and it says Ottawa on my driver’s license.
Best spot…if you’re ballin:
For a meal: Murray Street. Check out Murray Street Bistro on well, Murray Street. The menu is a tad more expensive than some places in Ottawa, but the food is top notch. Not to mention, the patio is fantastic. Definitely a great spot for a hot date.
To shop: Norml on Rideau Street. About a year ago they moved from an itty bitty boutique space into a 2 level grandiose shop. They carry plenty of the hottest kicks and clothes (i.e. Alife, Nike, Crooks & Castles, Wesc, Adidas, etc) and they throw the hottest parties.
For a date: Once again, Murray Street. Especially in the summer, the patio will set the mood on its own.
Best spot…if you’re broke:
For a meal: The Manx Pub on Elgin. Ottawa’s best kept secret, although I think the secret is finally out because they won “5 best of’s” in the Ottawa xPress Review in November. It’s located on the lower level of a heritage building and the inside is reminiscent of a small British Pub. It’s cozy and quaint and the perfect spot for a pint or a meal. The food ranges from $8-15 and is scrumptious. Manx brunch on weekends is worth waiting an hour in line for.
To shop: Milk Shoppe is a great little boutique that features plenty of great fashion finds that won’t break the bank. Check them out on Dalhousie Street.
For a date: Oz Kafé on Elgin has the perfect ambience for a hot date on a limited budget. The ratio of quality of food to price of food makes you feel like you’re ripping Oz off. And your date will never know (unless she sees the bill that is!) The menu options are delectable and unique. Oz also makes killer caesars and martinis. It’s my favourite spot in the city, date or not.
Best spot for a hangover breakfast: On weekends, definitely the Manx Pub. I inhale Manx food because I can’t eat it quick enough. So delicious. Get there either really early or really late to avoid the un-hungover people who go to breakfast/brunch at an appropriate time. During the week, Bramasole’s on Bank St. The service at Bramasole’s is a tad lackluster, but if you’re about to die and need a greasy solution, Bramasole’s is the place to go.
Best live venue: Hands down to Babylon Nightclub. Babylon typically has a couple of great shows every week as well as a few weekly/monthly dj residencies. The staff is wicked. The owner is chill. The venue is great. And I dj there every Wednesday night, so make sure you stop in on Wednesday nights!
Best late night joint: my bed. I don’t do late night joints. I do sleep.
Best kept secret: Ottawa has a plethora of talented artists, djs and bands. Here’s a quick list of Ottawa area talent that YOU (yes, you) should check out:
Jokers of the Scene (Fool’s Gold; Disorganised – First Friday of every month!)
DJ Drastik (Disorganised – First Friday of every month!)
Deejay Frame (Ritual on Tuesdays & Fridays, Grind @ Babylon on the last Saturday of every month)
Deejay NDN (The Standard every Thursday & Saturday, Brig on Fridays)
DJ Illo (Team Canada, Ritual on Saturdays)
Jennilee Murray (also a model/actress! Check out Smash Cut in theatres! Out soon!)
Jennie MacDonald (will have an art show in the upcoming months of 2010 at Oz Kafe)
Julian Garner (wicked artist and tattoo artist. Check out 5cent Tattoo on Dalhousie)
Best spot to dance your ass off: Rock & Roll Pizza Party on Thursdays at the Atomic Rooster on Bank Street is uber-fun. Plenty of punk rock classics spun by Luke Nuclear, Skid Vicious and B-Rad. Always a dance party. Not to mention “Hits & Ass” on Wednesdays at Babylon. Anything goes on Wednesday nights. Lots of dancing! Drink deals are also in effect both nights!
Tourist Trap to avoid?: Barrymore’s Music Hall. Once hailed as the best live music venue in Canada, now it’s home to popped collars, Ed Hardy, fake tans, shitty house djs/music and assholes. No promoter dares to book a show there now.
You’d have to live here to know: Bluesfest. It has hosted the likes of TV on the Radio, Fergie, Snoop Dogg, Ladytron, James Taylor, Sam Roberts Band among numerous others. This year Bluesfest will feature The National, Japandroids, M83, Girl Talk, Iron & Wine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ludacris (LUDA!), Jackson Browne, KISS and Styx, among others. Grab a festival pass and check it out.
What NOT to miss?: don’t miss my rendition of the lawnmower. Coming to a local dance party near you (in Ottawa that is).