Friday, September 25, 2009

Everything Vintage: ghosts of Hollywood past

Vintage Friday!

I am fascinated by old movie stars and vintage Hollywood.

Here are a few photos of actresses from the silent era and the early "talkie" era. These women were so beautiful and led such glamourous and romantic, but often tragic lives.

I would love to have lived a life of privilege and glamour in the 1920's and known some of these women...

Who knows, maybe I did...

Clara Bow 1905-1965

*Known as THE flapper of the 20's and America's first sex symbol
*Her mother tried to slit Clara's throat when she attempted to enter the film industry
*At height of her popularity she received over 45,000 fan letters a month
*With the onset of talkies her popularity waned due to her thick Brooklyn accent
*Involved in several court battles ranging from unpaid taxes to being in divorce court for "stealing" women's husbands
*Married and had 2 sons
*Retired at 28 - Plagued by personal crises, a weight problem, schizophrenia and bouts in psychiatric hospitals, she never made another film and died in obscurity in 1965

Merna Kennedy 1908-1944
*Star of late silents and early talkies
*Married twice
*Rumoured to have had an affair with Charlie Chaplin
*Died of heart attack at age 36

Mary Astor 1906-1987

Began her career in silent films and successfully made transition to talkies
*Oscar winner
*Three divorces, first husband died in a plane crash, struggled with alcoholism, suffered a nervous breakdown, attempted suicide, and had a persistent heart condition
*Wrote a bestselling autobiography

Lillian Gish 1893-1993

*75 year career in film and theatre
*Once talkies came into fashion her popularity in film started to die out
*She never married or had children
* "Marriage is a business. A woman cannot combine a career and marriage ... I should not wish to unite the two." (1919)

Joan Crawford 1905-1977

*Married and divorced 5 times
*Had an infamous and long-standing feud with Bette Davis
*Was named "the other woman" in at least 2 divorces
*May have suffered from OCD when it came to cleaning and cleanliness
*Disinherited 2 of her 4 adopted children "for reasons best known to them"
*Daughter Christina wrote a"tell-all" memoir, Mommie Dearest, in which she alleged a lifelong pattern of physical and emotional abuse perpetrated by Crawford

Jean Harlow 1911-1937

*Was Marilyn Monroe's idol
*Known as the "original blonde bombshell"
*Married 3 times - twice divorced and once widowed due to suicide
*Died at the age of 26 of uremic poisoning

Gretta Garbo 1905-1990

*Once voted by The Guinness Book of World Records as the most beautiful woman who ever lived
*She Popularized trenchcoats & berets in the 1930s
*Never married
*Some speculation she may have been bisexual
*"You don't have to be married to have a good friend as your partner for life."

Fay Wray 1907-2004

*Starred in King Kong
*Regarded as Hollywood's first "Scream Queen"
*Married 3 times, 3 children
*The lights on the Empire State Building in New York City (scene of the climax from her most popular film, "King Kong") were dimmed for 15 minutes in her memory 2 days after her death

Alice White 1904-1983

*Started in silent film but became famous in talkies
*Married 3 times
*Professional career ruined after a series of sex scandals involving a boyfriend and future husband

Who is your favourite actress from early Hollywood?


Images via Silent Ladies and Gents

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Latte - Starbucks style!

Tasty Thursday Feature

A huge sign of Autumn being upon us (other than the leaves turning colour) is the return of the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks!

Enjoying a leisurely stroll around the city while sipping this frothy bevvy (grande, non-fat, no whip, cinnamon sprinkles) is one of the things I most love to do during the season. In fact, it's what I did just lastnight!

However, for those of us on a budget spending around $5 a day just for a coffee may not be the best financial decision - that's $35/week, $140/month!

Thankfully, the folks over at The Kitchn have posted an alternative DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte!

You can alter the recipe to your taste and you can also be more mindful of the fat and sugar that is added. (For the nutritional info of a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks click here).

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin OR 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute - you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don't have an espresso machine.)

In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy.
If you don't have a blender, don't worry about it - just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.
Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.
Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

Enjoy :)


Images via The Kitchn and Starbucks

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Images of Queen W, Toronto

All-Things-Creative Wednesday

I am very proud to live in the beautiful city of Toronto.

Queen St. West has been my neighbourhood since moving here (besides the short stint I had in Little Italy). And in my (biased) opinion, Queen West is the BEST neighbourhood in the city. It is colourful, cultured, and eclectic. Living in it is a mix of artists, young professionals, and eccentrics. It has art galleries galore, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars - there is something here for everyone.

Every day spent in Queen West is an adventure... for you never know what you will see or who you will encounter :)

Window Garden, Queen Street West

by Lu



The Litter Guy is Awesome
by Kevin Steele


by Martin Pinker

Queen West Alley

by Redroom Studios

Queen Street West

Queen Street

by RebootYourComputer

Morning @ Queen Street West

Liberte, egalite, fraternite

Hyperfocal in the Laundromat

by mariana islands


City TV (Breakthrough)
by rpeschetz

Cadillac Lounge
by Spotmaticfanatic

Back Alley
by Marty Pinker

Almost Closing Time

In the early hours of February 20, 2008 a devastating 6 alarm blaze broke out along Queen St W; burning down a full block of much-loved homes, restaurants, and shops located in heritage buildings. A piece of Toronto history was lost that day...
by aardvark

Queen StW Blaze

by tsaiware


by Aubrey Arenas

Water Works at Queen West Fire

by Kevin Steele

Queen Street Fire

by Mute*

The Queen Street Fire (aftermath)

by Aubrey Arenas

Today just a burned out gap between buildings is left behind...

Queen Street Wreckage

by Anthony Van Pham

All images via the Flickr accounts of the cited photographer. I encourage you to stop by their photostreams to view the other beautiful images they've captured from around Toronto and elsewhere.


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