Just before Christmas I spent an afternoon with a friend from university, who was visiting from California. One thing she wanted to do was shop, so after having lunch with another friend we knew from school, at The Queen Mother Cafe on Queen Street West, she and I walked along that stretch of the street, popping in and out of shops that looked interesting to her, as she was the guest after all.
I’m glad I let Cyndy select the stores, because one of her choices was Tribal Rhythm Vintage and Accessories (located at 248 Queen Street west, across from Much Music.) They carry an extraordinary selection of vintage clothing for men and women, and also some new accessory items.
I’ve lived in the Queen West neighbourhood for most of my adult life, in four different places, in fact … I just kept coming back to this area and plan to stay here for a long time. But even before moving here, it was my favourite part of Toronto, and as teenagers, my friends and I would take the bus and subway to Queen West, when we went shopping downtown. However, although Tribal Rhythm has been there for over 15 years, I’d never been inside this terrific store.
I should preface that by saying that Queen West, which is undoubtedly the best street for shopping in this city if you’re looking for something cool and unique, is a very very long shopping strip. There are so many great stores along the street that someone would have to shop a lot, in order to visit all the places there are to go. It would be impossible to walk the full length of it, never mind check out every store.
That said, if I had known what awaited me through the yellow doors, and down the set of stairs at Tribal Rhythm, I would have certainly have gone before now.
When we were there, Cyndy bought herself a beautiful blue velvet evening dress, while I looked around in awe of the excellent collection.
And then I kept thinking about the place, and some things I’d seen there. So after Christmas, armed with some money I’d been given by my beloved in-laws, I went right back to buy a few little gifts-for-myself that I’d left behind on my previous trip, when I was out shopping for others.
I got to talking to the friendly women working there, and took these pictures.
Here’s what I got …
A couple of charming cast-iron gnomes, that are small enough to stick into my house plants. Not a necessity but very cute. (That’s my rosemary plant that I brought in from outside in the fall, in an attempt to get it to live through the winter. So far so good!)
And a silver-tone metal heart-shaped locket, on a nice long chain.