Welcome to BoBo Feed

BoBo is a French expression, short for Bourgeois Bohème, and it pretty much describes who we are.

Bobo Feed will be sharing things that inspire us or please us-
from the worlds of architecture & design, fashion & styling, food and drink, travel, urban living, whatever...

We hope you enjoy.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Escarole: Rediscovering an Old Friend

When we recently went to our local green grocer to pick up a head of frisée and couldn't find any, we were forced to do some on-the-spot improvisation. Hesitating only momentarily, we grabbed a head of locally-farmed escarole.
It had been a little while since we'd used escarole, but we knew it had the pleasant, not-too-bitter flavour that we were after, and provided the "tooth" that our dish called for.
(Technically, both frisée and escarole are very closely related members of the endive family) 

While it fit the bill perfectly well for that evening's menu, we were also re-awakened to its unique versatility- its broader leaf gives a different eating experience to frisée, it's less messy if you're prone to flinging the vinaigrette around, and it's better suited to being immersed in hot liquids such as soups.

When your menu includes predominantly soft foods,
escarole is a beautiful green counterpoint, bringing a nice subtle crunch to the palate.

Case in point: after a long day and a late-ish arrival home last week we whipped up a cheese & mushroom omelet. (OK, since you asked: A Quebec Gouda-style soft cheese with lightly sautéed Shitaki mushrooms. Only two eggs so it's almost crepe-like in the pan. The combination of flavours is like poor man's truffles!)  
Against the soft eggs the foil of the crisp yet almost waxy green with its slightly thick stalk and its mildly tart/ bitter flavour was perfect!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Festival de Otoño Bue: More Cool Art from South America

We just stumbled upon the site for the Festival de Otoño 
(Autumn Festival) that was held in Buenos Aires last April (yep, when our snow melts their leaves fall!) We were led there by a series of fantastic posters that we originally caught wind of via a Facebook friend of What's Up Buenos Aires (AKA WUBA). The WUBA link is in our Feed Bag under the TRAVEL section. 

You MUST head to the festival site. The opening page is amazing- a wild & wonderful musical piece (by the Wedding & Funeral Band featured in last year's line up) with a mash-up of video clips of the artists spliced together by some fantastic editing. Inside is a listing of the "world music" artists that were featured. All look remarkable. So much so, in fact, that we'll do a separate post on the musical side of things.

But what we really wanted to focus on here are these great '60's inspired posters:

muy groovy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New on the Toronto Waterfront: Sugar Beach

We decided last Friday to have a peek at the latest public space to open along Toronto's rapidly changing waterfront: Sugar Beach.

Sugar Beach is so-named because it sits on the opposite side of the slip from the Redpath Sugar factory. The factory is still in use with no plans to close or relocate it. The City's waterfront development agency has embraced this diversity of use in its new plans for East Bayfront, the massive live-work neighbourhoods shaping up in the former industrial lands that border the lake east of Yonge Street. And we must say that such a neighbour makes for a very striking juxtaposition!

The park is intertwined with a new public promenade which runs (& will continue) all along the water's edge. The promenade was designed by the Rotterdam- based West 8 team of Rotterdam- based West 8 and the creative local shop of DTAH, who together also conceptualized the changes in the works for the Queens Quay streetscape. It's a beautiful example of urban place-making. It is broad, with attractive maple leaf patterned hard surfaces, yet is softened with a double allée of maple trees. Voluptuous teak ipe benches invite you to stop and watch the ever-changing show in the harbour.
The "beach" itself was designed by the very creative Montreal- based landscape architects Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes. It calls across the water (or over the waterfront rooftops, more accurately) to the delightful HTO "beach" already in place near Queen's Quay and Spadina. (below)

The sand is very fine, like sugar in fact (!), and the pink umbrellas add a confectionary ambiance. We were happy to see that it was being very well used despite the fact that at the moment it's still a little divorced from the rest of the city. 

That isolation will change quickly, though- a new park is under construction one block inland at Queen's Quay and Sherbourne, as is the new George Brown College mini-campus immediately to the east of the new Corus Entertainment HQ. The Corus building is the one that provides the immediate backdrop to Sugar Beach, and it's no exaggeration to say that it has generally been considered a disappointment. We won't get into the details here, but you can read for yourself
Lisa Rochon's take from last Saturday's Globe & Mail.

Despite the boring backdrop, it's great to know that we are in the process of building ourselves a really fine public realm at the edge of the lake. We look forward to the next instalment.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A thing of beauty

From the genius of Manolo Blahnik....
These babies can be yours for $1445.00
Only through Neiman Marcus (of course.)
How could we not post a thing of such beauty?
Big thank-you to ElleElle for sharing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Nuts and Bolts and a Few Words on Bourgeois Bohemianism...

We've done a little tinkering lately here at the blog.

One of the things that always bugged us about our site was that our scope, being very broad, may have prevented readers from understanding what we are really about. In the blogosphere, you are nowhere without your niche.

To help reign things into a tighter focus we've defined five categories of Bobo interest under which all posts will fall. In alphabetical order they are: Architecture and Design, Fashion and Styling, Food and Drink, Travel, and Urban Living. We've reorganized our post labels to match those five general CATEGORIES (depicted in upper case and with a number in front- ie 04-TRAVEL) while still maintaining tags, which are shown in lower case and are much more specific in nature than a general category.

More significantly, we think, is the addition of the "PAGES" sidebar. Located at the top of the right hand column, it allows the user to go to a separate page for each category where all past posts in that category are stored in aggregate. By way of introduction, we say a few words about the appeal and the relevance of the category, then provide a link to see all the posts. We hope this will make browsing the site more pleasant and efficient.

The PAGES sidebar has also given us the opportunity to define the raison-d'être of Bobofeed. It's entitled "What the Heck is Bobo?" and if you'll indulge us, we'll share it with you now:

What the Heck is Bobo?
A brief manifesto (because who has time for long diatribes?)
If you've dug this far into our blog, you've probably read somewhere along the way that Bobo is a French term that is short-form for the expression Bourgeois- Bohème, one who is a Bourgeois Bohemian. It tends to be a somewhat derogatory term, a smirking put-down, akin to the word "yuppy". It is generally used to describe a person who at heart has middle class values and living standards, who works hard at being "in the know" and ahead of the curve, yet wishes to appear to the world as being deeply committed to egalitarianism and social consciousness and all those other good "starving artist" things.

Well, just as we long ago embraced all the derogatory terms out there to describe us as homosexuals and now use them ironically on ourselves, we are hereby appropriating the term Bobo on behalf of all of us out there who feel the same as we do!

We DO have middle class values and living standards, and we don't think that's a bad thing! We were well raised and we are law abiding and industrious contributors to our society. We truly value all that our life affords us,

...We DO work hard at staying ahead of the curve, in fact we are employed (quite happily-so) in industries that help set the trends. We believe that the world needs bread AND circuses. Embedded within our souls there is a deep lust for new and different ways of looking at the world,

...and we ARE deeply committed to improving the world we live in. We like beauty and feel it nurtures the human spirit, we support open thinking rather than reactivist entrenchment and action over complacency, we believe the planet needs us to stop abusing her, and we think that everybody has a right to be respected by their fellow man, to be able to put food in their bellies, and to have the opportunity to learn, and to participate in sharing the vast accumulated knowledge of our species.

So we urge you to rise up, Bobos of the world! Be proud of your station! Show the cynics that it is THEY who are leading hollow lives, lives without optimism or vision!

And while you're at it, go ahead, feel free to point out to them where to get the best organic free-trade shade-grown espresso, brewed by a hemp-wearing benefit-earning art student.

The name Bobo Feed was carefully chosen to represent our blog, this vehicle for sharing the things that tickle our fancies and feed our spirits, as well as to evoke the constantly changing, up to the minute nature of both blogging and the Bobo lifestyle- a continuous feed of information.

While we will not shy away from providing critical comment when merited, Bobofeed will endeavour to remain an instrument of positive force- we will not use this platform to indulge in negative rants.

Remember that we value your thoughts and opinions- we encourage you to comment on any or all of our posts.

Sorry, that ran a little longer than expected! Thanks for dropping by- we hope you enjoy your visit and that you'll find reason to return often.


Thanks for coming along with us on this journey. We appreciate the interest you've all shown, and hope you'll choose to come back again and again.

Bee and Jay

Friday, August 20, 2010

Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill, How Do We Love Thee?...

...Let us count the ways!:

1. Kumamoto from Washington State
2. Beau Soleil from New Brunswick
3. West Virginica from Washington State
4. Beach Angel from British Columbia
5. Hardy's Malpeque from Prince Edward Island
 6. Marina's Top Drawer from British Columbia

We recently spent the evening indulging our oyster addiction at Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill. 
And what a pleasure it was!
Virginica- image courtesy watermarkoysterbar.com
Hardy's Malpeque- image courtesy hardyoysters.com
Kumamoto- image courtesy Winecouver blog
Beau Soleil- image courtesy Ilovebluesea.com

Starfish is one of those really comfortable establishments- you're not really sure if you should consider it a cozy neighbourhood bar or a nice informal restaurant. Ultimately it doesn't matter in the least. If you want the bar experience, sidle up & watch the show. The shucking is done right there, and these guys know their stuff. In fact, Starfish's owner, Patrick McMurray, was the 2001 World Champion oyster shucker and the Guiness Book of World Records record holder (33 oysters shucked in a minute). 
He's passed along his know-how to the rest of the crew.
If you opt for a dining table, the atmosphere
is casually sophisticated and the table service
is knowledgeable & friendly. 

We chose the latter and sat in the window
watching the Saturday night traffic slide by.
As a starter we shared the"Shucker's Choice" dozen,
which included two of each from the list at the top of the post.

We paired them with
a 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Appleby Lane in New Zealand.
What a knock-out combo! The oysters were succulent and extremely fresh. It always amazes us how easily you can taste the differences between various types of oyster and their places of origin. We're not saying we can spot a Kumamoto by its flavour (not yet, anyway, but we're practising!) but when slurped side by side the differences are readily apparent.
And that wine!! We think New Zealanders are the perfect match-up with oysters and this baby delivered. The flintiness was just what was needed to marry with the minerals & brine from the shellfish liquor and the acidity kept things light & fresh.

We moved on to mains- one of softshell crab, the other of roast Ontario pork. Both were really good and did not disappoint in any way as followers of the opening act.

But this post is all about our love affair with the sweet little bi-valves, so we'll just leave it at that!

Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill
100 Adelaide Street E.
(416) 366- 7827

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The City Sleeps

Don't you love it when you find little local shops & services that have survived decades of change, and still look the way they likely did on the day they opened? The best are those that reflect a specific culture, or are really representative of a bygone era. Sadly (and logically, we suppose) they're getting harder & harder to find.

We also love looking at storefronts after they're closed. If the shop is interesting enough, or evokes some kind of emotional response, it's like seeing a still life art piece, or a curated museum installation. Its soul is laid bare, without all the people and their flurries of activities to cloud the imagery.

We feel especially lucky when we happen upon these two conditions simultaneously- 
a unique Mom & Pop shop closed up tight for the night.

We recently stumbled upon such a gem and are presenting it as a way of introducing
a new semi-regular feature here at Bobofeed:

"Sorry- We're Closed"

"Sorry- We're Closed" will feature the places that still manage to draw us in even though the sign in the window says "please call again..." 

So without further ado here is Corrado's Barber Shop
located on Bathurst Street just south of Queen St W.
We're convinced the addition of the words "Men's Hair Stylist" is the only concession to changing times this place has ever tolerated!

We'd like to think that Sr. & Sra. Corrado still live upstairs!

Tell us about the little treasures you've found hiding in your neck of the woods...
(all cities & towns welcome!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Balcony Farming

Over the years we've tried growing a few things on the balcony. Tomatoes (so-so luck),
lettuces (good success, but short season), etc.

The one thing we always seem to have roaring good luck with is peppers.

We're still eating the dried hot peppers from last year, so we didn't need any more of those.
This year we decided to try banana peppers, and as you can see
the results have been rather good (if we do say so ourselves)

Although we seem to have let them get well beyond the 'banana' stage!

Of course, herbs are a given!
Here's the parsley, being overwhelmed by the Thai Basil & the Basilico Gargantua
(don't you just love that name?!)

Buried off to the right are the Thyme & Rosemary

Pesto, anyone?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Favela Painting- Rio Still Rocks It!

We've been following the Favela Painting guys for a while now on Facebook. (Check them out here)......but with their recent sketchbook posts, we just had to share the word (and the visuals!!)Amazing and beautiful

The artistic duo Haas&Hahn (aka Jeroen Koolhaas & Dre Urhahn) went into one of Rio's notorious favelas (shanty towns) in 2006 and engaged the local community in painting two awesome murals, one of a boy flying a kite (a popular & inexpensive pastime in the poor but breezy hilltops)...

...the other being this sensational Japanese river painted onto a concrete hill-stabilizing structure.
Check out this page from favelapainting.com here. (There are some great little vids on that page) Since the completion of these projects they've garnered some sponsorship and have gone on to more ambitious works.

Below are shots of the Praça Cantão in the Santa Marta favela, where they took on all the buildings facing into the plaza. Read about the project here.

photo above courtesy formatmag.com
below courtesy ontfront blog

Next up is their plan to paint an entire hillside favela. Check it out here.

Called the "O Morro" (= 'hillside' = 'slum') project, they are seeking donations from around the world (via the independent Firmeza Foundation) to get it going. Looks truly amazing! If you wish to help sponsor the project you can connect with them here.
Head back to the top of the post & click on the link to their Facebook page so you can stay updated on their latest moves.