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Julia Breckenreid
Kensington Market
posted:
Living on the east side of Toronto is very nice, with all the green space, great restaurants, vintage furniture, killer coffee houses and other precious places to visit south of me in the Leslieville neighbourhood...

However, this weekend, more than ever, I miss my old hood - Kensington Market & Chinatown. Headed there for some huevos rancheros at El Trompo with friends, ended up wandering around for a couple of hours, then went back today to walk off some dim sum. I can go there anytime, but it's not quite the same as when I lived on Brunswick Avenue (for eight years) and it was all two seconds away.  

If I had cabin fever while working in the studio, or just antsy because the ideas weren't coming - heading down to the market to sit at Louie's to sketch and drink espresso amongst the noise and bustle always seemed to jog whatever was stuck inside my head...

I like the cacophony of the place; it's where cyclists and pedestrians rule, I love the variety of people and their style, the scents and tastes of amazing food from every country, the friendly banter with strangers, the occasional arguments/debate and fights, tourists and students with their cameras, the anarchists, the strange happenings, patchouli and weedy smells, street folk, grocery shoppers, the hipster douche-tards with their outfits and fixies, musicians (see below), underground everything, Ronnie's pub - art, graffiti and band posters on every surface, a certain energy or buzz that's hard to name, car-free days & nights, and bumping into friends - which almost always led to spur of the moment potluck dinners or barbecues.  And although some soapy clean places with carefully curated stock have come into view, Kensington is still the amazing dirty beating heart of the city.
And I miss it.  
Winter Solstice in Kensington Market
Here's 'The Haret'... Ryan recorded them while we stood there, so listen to what he sounded like here.
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Breckenreid is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!