Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Today is one of those days, when I fell like a local celebrity - a “locebrity” if you will! You see, I am featured in a new book called "The Hogtown Project".

FUNFACT: “Hogtown” is the old nickname for Toronto which came about because of a blylaw that imposed a 10-cent-per-pig fine on anyone allowing pigs to run in the street. Funny, huh?

Anyways, back to the book and me. To tell you the story, we must first rewind to 2007……I was approached by 2 lovely ladies at the Toronto Outdoor Exhibition. They were super kind and liked my work. Nadine Dolly and Kristy Macor. They said they were putting together a book of their favorite places and faces in Toronto and they wanted to possibly include me. As a free publicity maven, I was, of course, totally in. They seemed to be keen on my environmental message, and were especially taken with one of my paintings called "Speed".

It is long since sold, but it was one of my first urban landscapes, and was based of some photos I took while out around the Gardiner Expressway, and had a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "There is more to life than increasing it’s speed.” So, one October day, I met Kristy on the abandoned tracks beside the Gardiner at Cherry St., and we did a little photo shoot. Honestly at the time I thought that it was the coolest thing ever! For months, nay, even a year, I watched for any sign of the book. Alas, nothing. As the years went by I figured I was just not book worthy.

Flash forward 3 years, several grey hairs and even more pounds later, I got an email saying they were ready for the book launch. I had almost forgotten about the book, and truthfully, I figured they took pictures of a BUNCH of their favorite artists, so I didn't know if I would even make the final cut! I showed up last week to the launch party, and was delighted to find out that I was included on page 128! I would like to tell you, gentle readers, that upon seeing the book, I DID NOT IMMEDIATELY flip to the index at the back of the book, just to see if I had made the cut…..but I am a terrible liar. Here are some crappy pictures I took from the big book launch. It was  chocker-block filled with the local who's who of Torontonians - although you cannot tell from my crappy dark iphone pictures!

The book, now that I gave had a chance to study it and it's each minutia, is SUPER FABULOUS! I love it.....the lovely write-ups are a nice companion to the superb photos. I would try to explain it but I think that Nadine’s eloquent words describe the point of the book better than I ever could
"Our vision first began with the idea of capturing the places and faces we thought help give the city its character. We have traveled the well-beaten and hidden paths of this city to bring you what we consider to be a snapshot in time of Toronto as it is today.”
Here that Mr. MacDonald (my grade 6 teacher who told me I would not amount to anything!) I HELP GIVE TORONTO IT’S CHARACTER! ;-)
Ok, sorry , back to the book. The photos. OH, THE PHOTOS….seriously, can we talk about the photos?? They are so great, and they really reflect the pace and excitement of our vibrant city! Check out a little preview of the pictures here!! Personally, I was thrilled with my picture, and after I finished admiring my own photo for an appropriate amount of time, I reflected on the day of the photo shoot. In 2007, when Kristy took the photo, I was a little worried. A month early I was in a photo shoot for a magazine, and they took a terrible picture. I mentioned how unhappy I was with the unflattering photo, and that like Barbra Streisand, I had a good side and a good angle. Thank goodness for the up angle!

Ok, so the final details on “The Hogtown Project”. 200 GLORIOUS pages of delicious photos and well appointed write-ups all about this city. Very very nice. To buy a copy, you can go to the website at www.hogtownproject.com or stop by The Gladstone Hotel, or at Book City in the Annex. I strongly encourage you to buy one as a nice coffee table book! I leave you with this quote, which sums the whole popint of the book up:

“The next time you’re wandering around the city, consider making a left turn instead of a right – fascinating people, remarkable places and new experiences lie around each corner.”

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