Tag Archives: Loblaws

Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws: Smart Hockey

Yesterday the new Loblaws in Maple Leaf Gardens building had their grand opening. There were massive lineups when I drove by in the afternoon so I decided to save my trip for today.  Smart hockey, as my friend, Michelle, would say. Everything that you do that is strategically advantageous is “smart hockey.”  It was smart hockey for her to go to teachers’ college and smart hockey to buy that amazing couch from Biltmore that will last forever and go with any decor. I hardly ever pull a smart hockey move as my timing is always off.  My life is a series of mis-steps, misguided decisions, and poor planning.  Which is why I get so many parking tickets.  I have a totally different life in a parallel universe where I am a successful cartoonist slash animal rescue foster parent, and wife of Vince Vaughn.  The smartest hockey trick I have pulled in recent years was wearing a Tena pad to the beer festival last summer. And again today, that was totally smart hockey move to avoid the opening day frenzy and go mid-morning so I actually got a parking spot in the lower level.  Free parking when you spend $18 or more!

Personally, I’m not attached to Maple Leaf Gardens as a hockey temple since the only time I have been inside was for a Midnight Oil concert back in 1989.  Torontonians find that odd but I’m not from here!  I have been inside the Montreal Forum, also an ex-temple of hockey to The Habs.  Okay, I have never been to a hockey game.  I have seen the Beach Boys and David Bowie.  But I have paid my hockey dues sitting in local civic centre arenas all around the province of Quebec, watching my older brother play Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget or however long it went on before he broke his leg and discovered girls.  Whenever I smell Thrills gum, I think of hockey arenas.  And when I think of hockey arenas, I think of one of the moms on my brother’s team that used to sit in the stands, with her bouffant black beehive, smoking a cigarette, yelling with her booming, raspy voice every expletive known to mankind.  She taught me half my vocabulary. My mentor.

I can’t think of a better way to preserve the memory of the Gardens than to build a giant supermarket where people can go every day and breathe new life in that great building. I think Loblaws did an amazing job setting this up. There is a giant installation of the actual seats on the side wall by the escalators and a mural by the carts.  There are little areas for specialty items, and place for eating, and then the regular aisles.  I always wondered where people who lived downtown went to get groceries.  Did they go to Rabba or Mac’s for Fruit Loops and milk and then have to trot down the street to Shoppers Drug Mart for Axe Body Spray?  How tedious.  Now the auto-less central urbanites can shop in one spot and go to the LCBO upstairs. Because of the layout, it still feels like a bunch of different shops so it doesn’t seem so Big Box-y. Gay villagers, the target consumer, don’t like box. Smart hockey, Loblaws, smart hockey indeed.

And with that, I leave you with my only Maple Leaf Gardens memory, Midnight Oil…did I really like this band?  _That_ I don’t recall, here they are anyway:

Kristin’s Quest for Organic-ness

I was watching Oprah the other day and she had Alicia Siverstone on via Skype trilling about her new book and her vegan diet.  There is so much to analyze about that sentence starting at the beginning:  I was watching Oprah the other day….Yes, I watch Oprah and I am always going on about how she has jumped the shark * but I still like to watch it, 4 o’clock is pre-cocktail cocktail hour, I’d probably even watch The View if it were on at 4….and she had Alicia Silverswtone on via Skype…what the hell, why are all her guests on via Skype nowadays?  If I were invited on Oprah you better bet yer arse I’d be there in person, why are her guests so lazy?  or is she too cheap to fly them out there and pay for their stay at the Marriot?…anyway Alicia trilling about her new book and her vegan diet…First, I am sure Alicia (Clueless) Silverstone probably didn’t actually write this book, most likely she had a ghost writer.  I’d like to be a ghost writer if anyone has a boring story that needs embellishment, call me…and she’s a vegan…ugh, vegans.  The first vegan I ever met in my life was a woman who was friends with some people I knew and she would bring her own millet burgers to their barbeques.  She would have a fit if her sawdust patties touched the grill that a steak touched. Why was her millet trying to mimic meat? I murmured to myself.  She put it in a bun and put ketchup on it.  It made no sense to me that she demonized dead animals on a grill and then eat food with the texture of cremated gym towels.  Dumbo….anyway, fast forward 15 years and  back to Alicia Silverstone on Oprah…she had some points, maybe it’s a good idea to eat less meat, and more organic produce.  Actually I think “organic” is a misused term, everything is pretty much organic, even a fruit loop.  I think they should specify “pesticide-free” but I will just say organic but just know that I am not fooled.   Anyway, she seemed happy and sparkly(my eyes are whiter! she proclaimed) and most importantly, not bloated.  She had me there.  Bloating should be tauted the new black and I will be Miss It.  So why not try to eat more mindfully? So I started at the grocery store.  Even Loblaws has a millet section as well as the option for organic dairy and meat.  I got rice that took an hour to cook and made scraping marks on the pot after I cleaned it.  I made vegetarian chili out of beans and more beans.  So far my daughter is liking it, teenage girls all seem to go through a vegetarian phase.  Not the boys though, they are always pepperoni-centric….my son’s friend came to sleep over for a few days and he brought some underwear and a baggie of luncheon meat. After a week, I have to admit I noticed some improvement, a little less bloated, clearer skin.  So I decided to finally pay a visit to the mecca of organic eating in the east end, otherwise known as The Carrot Common on Danforth near Chester.  In all my years of east end living I have never actually been in the The Big Carrot, which is the grocery store in the square.  I have heard rumours of $30 free range chickens.  I needed to see if it was true.

Thankfully there was no need to be frightened.  The store itself was like any other grocery store with aisles and checkouts and cash registers.  For some reason I was expecting the floor to be made out of dirt and hay with goats running around.  It was nice and clean and the free range chickens were all plucked and covered in plastic (and NOT $30, between $8-$12).  There was a bulk section with bins of millet (!) and other organic grains.  Organic bananas were 99 cents a pounds, which is kind of high.  I’m not really sure all things need to be organic though, bananas have peels so who cares if they are sprayed?  Eating Well website gives a list of items that are good to get organics and others that don’t matter so much http://www.eatingwell.com/.  I didn’t buy anything there though….it all seemed so beige.   I like the colourful aisles of Loblaws with boxes of poptarts, chips ahoy, and flourescent orange sports drinks.  I did like the atmosphere at The Big Carrot though.  It’s very quaint. There was a Community Board full of posts about colon cleansing…. it’s like what it would be like going into Ike Godsey’s General Store in the Walton’s.  I know when I’m old and delusional I’m going to be confusing my real life memories with episodes of the Waltons and Happy Days….and speaking of Happy Days * the term “jumping the shark” comes from that episode of HD where the Fonz water skis over some shark in a desperate attempt to keep the ratings up.  I think any time Oprah mentions or has Tom Cruise on her show, she is jumping the shark.  Anyway, this healthier eating is best done a little at a time but one thing for sure, I will never eat a millet burger!