A Saturday Night Lady Date : Movie, Food and Drinks

in the theatre waiting for movie to begin


A few weeks ago I received a notice from the AGO that they were screening the new documentary about artist/photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, called "Mapplethorpe : Look at the Pictures", at their in-house theatre, Jackman Hall.

Having seen an exhibition of Mapplethorpe's photographs at The Guggenheim at an impressionable age, his work, particularly his portraits and images of flowers, had a great impact on me and played a major role in the reason I got my first dslr camera back in the early nineties, beginning a lifelong passion in photography.

Also, I recently read and absolutely loved Patti Smith's book, Just Kids, about her experiences with Mapplethorpe in New York City during the late 60s and 70s, so I was totally into seeing this movie and clicked right over to get tickets. I was met with a bunch of all-caps messages stating it was "SOLD OUT" across the board. I was disappointed but, of course, life goes on.

Then, a few days later, my friend Meghan emailed to say that she had a couple of tickets for the 2pm showing on Saturday, and wondered if I'd like to go with her. "Yes, please!"

(Note : I now see that they've added more opportunities to see the movie and there are tickets still available for future screenings. It runs until February 11 - see here. Or, you can see it via HBO via their site here.)

We both thought it was an excellent documentary, and were left raring to discuss it.

robert mapplethorpe documentary look at the pictures poster in lobby


art gallery of ontario toronto henry moore sculpture outside


We went in search of a drink and something to eat. Since it was the very day for Chinese New Year celebrations, and the AGO is so close to Chinatown, we headed over there. We found a small parade on the sidewalk, winding its way southbound. Aside from that, the area looked like any other day, so we continued to walk into Kensington Market.

light post china town


bundles of tangerines for chinese new year chinatown toronto


↑ I'd never noticed tangerines bundled up and tied with ribbon like this in Chinatown before, so I looked it up. It turns out that, "Tangerines and oranges are one of these auspicious Chinese New Year symbols. Tangerines in Chinese sounds similar to the word 'luck' and orange sounds like the Chinese word for 'wealth'." ↑

china town chinese new year


toronto china town spadina avenue


We stopped at Maison Close 1888, a relatively new spot in the market and somewhere neither of us had been.

Located in one of the old Victorian houses on Kensington Avenue, it was a uniquely furnished, cosy choice, that we were happy to have checked out.

at maison close restaurant toronto kensington market


at maison close in kensington market toronto


chandelier at restaurant


looking into bar area at maison close kensington market toronto


me with frames


meegs


We ordered a couple of appetizers to share - the "Year of the Rooster Dumplings" and the "Buffalo Cauliflower" and some beer. All was very tasty.

menus


dumplings at maison close


buffalo cauliflower


food


maison close 1888 sign kensington market toronto restaurant


maison close 1888 retaurant kensington avenue toronto


Finishing up there, we did a bit of shopping in the vintage shops along there. (See a previous post here about the awesome vintage shops in Kensington Market. In fact, this evening I happened to be wearing the shirt I bought during that previous shopping trip!)

decoration out front of dancing days vintage shop kensington market toronto


kensington market at night toronto


Then, we decided another drink and snack were in order, so went into a place I'd not yet been, but that is one of Meghan's favourites -- El Rey Mezcal Bar.

el rey at night kensington toronto


Dark and rustically furnished, with a mysterious bohemian feel, I understood why Meegs likes this place so much.

at el rey mescal bar restaurant kensington market toronto


at el rey kensington market toronto


After receiving a good explanation about Mezcal (it's a distilled alcohol made from any Mexican agave plant, tequila being a common example), we started by sharing a flight of their "floral" ones, with a side of spicy popcorn.

flight of mezcal


The mezcal was interesting to taste, however, in all honesty, not being a big drinker of straight alcohol, the nuances were lost on me and I don't think I'd order that again. But if you enjoy scotch, you'd probably like this. I loved the popcorn though!

Then we sampled their Grilled Octopus Tostada, while enjoying a house cocktail, the details of which I now forget, but that was delicious. Being somewhat fixated on vintage glassware, I appreciated the pressed glass goblets the drinks were served in.

grilled octopus tostada at el rey kensington market toronto


house cocktail at el rey kensington market


m green drink


We closed out the evening by sharing a piece of chocolate pie, accompanied by softly whipped cream.

chocolate pie


menu


selfie


All in all, a great Saturday evening, spent with an open-minded, curious and fun person!

Thanks for reading,
loulou

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6 Responses to A Saturday Night Lady Date : Movie, Food and Drinks

  1. you look so pretty love your selfie! natural beauty!
    xO!
    http://www.thehautecookie.com

  2. Norma says:

    I enjoy a good biographical movie. I’ve just watched one about Francis Bacon – it made me think differently about his work. Did that happen with Mapplethorpe or were you pretty aware of what made him tick beforehand? x

    • Loulou says:

      Hi Norma. Yes, this documentary did change the way I thought about Mapplethorpe. What I didn’t realize was how much of his photographs were nudes and of a sexual nature. The exhibition I’d seen way back when had concentrated on his flowers and portraits, and in Patti Smith’s book the experiences they had together were early in his career, before he’d gotten into the sexier shots. Now I know that his real passion seemed to have been in taking those. He was very much intent on creating something completely unique, the likes of which had never been seen before.

      My favourite kind of documentary tends to be those about art and the lives of artist. I’m going to keep my eye out for the one you saw about Francis Bacon.

  3. Hena Tayeb says:

    sounds like such a wonderful time..

  4. Julie says:

    This must have been such an awesome day!! That’s so good to hear that the documentary was fascinating, and how cool to come across the Chinese New Year parade! Plus fun new restaurants and bars to check out. Hooray!

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