570 Comments
author

Nifty new nest news (birds shall have their vengeance)! At the click, chirp chirp: https://open.substack.com/pub/martiniambassador/p/niche-nests

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

Lovely! I understand birds' nests are considered a delicacy. I would like to say I'm not going to try the protective-spike-special, no matter how exotic it's said to be...

Expand full comment
author

In fairness, it's only the swallow's nests that the Chinese eat. It's made from bird saliva.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-Bird-Saliva-Soup-aka-Birds-Nest-Soup-made-from

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

I have a cat tree on my patio and hummingbirds pluck fur from it for their nests.

Expand full comment

OMG, fairy nests! I’ve always wanted to find one. I’m not at all surprised at the crows and magpies making ‘Game of Thrones’ nests.

Expand full comment

Ugh, I read the other day that if a person uses topical flea pesticide, that fur can be harmful to newborns.

I know, I know! Jaysus, we can't freaking get a break.

Expand full comment

I have an Australian cattle Dog who sheds 24 hours a day every day for 365 days a year. I always scratch her up and fluff her up and get that loose fur off of her outside. Over the years I've collected at least a dozen all different types of nests that have fallen out of trees in my backyard. Not a one of them has dog or cat fur in it. Maybe our domestic animals just smell wrong.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

So that's where my hair went.

Expand full comment

I was in the SD zoo hummingbird enclosure and the birds kept trying to pull my hair out .

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

BIRB TABS!

Expand full comment
author

Read about the spikey nests! You’ll love ‘em!

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

Hummingbirds hatching.

https://youtu.be/IEs3w7Jzb7c

Expand full comment

Gorgeous

Expand full comment
author

Aww, precious tiny babies!

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

Just imagine how small those eggs and babies actually are. The camera doesn't give any idea of their size.

Expand full comment
author

So smol! As per the searchy:

While the size and weight of a baby hummingbird will vary with the species, chicks are about one inch long, and weigh about . 62 grams when born. Think of a jellybean that weighs about one-third the weight of a U.S. dime, and you'll have a pretty good idea of just how itsy-bitsy these little birds are.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

We get hummingbirds in the summer and their nests are so tiny they fit in the palm of your hand. They're some of my favorite birds.

Expand full comment

If they were big they’d be dangerous. When we get the flowers blooming and they’re gathering nectar they are brutally possessive and dive bomb anyone walking thru the yard. They aren't much of a threat since they’re quite wee but if they weren’t watch out!

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

Milkweed down bedding! Softest of softies! 🥰

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

(𝒃𝒊𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆)

Alred Hitcock has entered the chat.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

Nature's helicopter.

Expand full comment
founding
Mar 29·edited Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

Watched a pair of eagles building their aerie the other day from across the lake (if I had been closer, they would have just sat there and screamed at me, they do that).

Pretty impressive things, those nests

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

Pffft. I bet they only have one bathroom.

Expand full comment

They have infinite bathrooms

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Martini Glambassador

Yeah, but Christ, what a view.

Expand full comment

I don't want to be judgemental, but if you enjoy watching eagles shitting I think that's pretty fucking weird.

Expand full comment

Don't be silly; you never see it coming when they shit on you.

Expand full comment

Fun neighbourhoods: the Junction, Ossington, Queen West, the Danforth, Roncasvalles. I'm sure fellow Torontonians can add to the list.

Expand full comment
Mar 30Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

My birthday is in May too, can I come to Medieval Times

Expand full comment

I was in a gazebo and a hummingbird got caught in a spider web and fell on the table in front of me.

I gently picked it up, zero weight, pulled the silk off it.

It sat in my hand for a moment and off it went. I felt like Cinderella

Expand full comment

So much PRO GAHD CONTENT! Many people are saying!

Expand full comment

I would be very surprised to learn that Tressie McMillan Cottom has any influence over editorial policy at the New York Times. I can't blame her for publishing her insightful commentary on that platform. If the biases we see in the NYT were to appear in her columns, that would be another story.

Expand full comment

A house finch decided to set up a nest in (fortunately) one of my charcoal starters hanging on my porch : https://substack.com/profile/964381-bruce/note/c-52745939

Expand full comment

Glad it's not your only chimney!

Expand full comment

State of California invested modestly in my education and it paid off incredibly well for them because I made a lot more money and paid a lot more taxes than I would have otherwise.

Expand full comment

There is some kind of homespun Passion of the Christ parade going up my street right now and it’s kind of adorable.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

WAAAHT, you’re coming to Toronto!? *happy dance*

Fun neighbourhoods? MINE! Mine is fun. We got the High Park, the Roncesvalles Ave with fun shops for the kids and the grownups, good collection of restaurants, a proper ice cream shop, and when you get to the bottom, the lake is right there.

The funnest way to explore all the good neighborhoods is just hop on a streetcar. Pick a direction and go. Chinatown, Kensington Market, Little Italy, Koreatown (that’s on the subway line) the Beaches (overrated IMO but people seem to like it), West Queen West, the Danforth (also on the subway line and you get to ride over the Don Valley), Harbourfront, I could go on..

The zoo is great but it’s way the fuck out on the eastern border of the city and will take hours if you’re not driving.

I would totally meet you guys at Medieval Times, it’s not too far from where I live.

Expand full comment

The Danforth is great, and yeah, the scenic view is an added bonus.

Expand full comment
Mar 29·edited Mar 29

I love this quote in particular: “If people gave up playing sports because they thought they were going to lose, we wouldn’t have a sports industry,” they said. “I love playing against people that are faster and stronger because that’s how I get better.”

Another example I love to go to is the open weight class judo competition. Even among cis women, the expectation is that a skilled featherweight can still take down a heavyweight due to the rules within the sport. The movie "Yawara, a Fashionable Judo Girl" is about that exact scenario - a tiny little slip of a thing who only does judo at the Olympic level because her grandfather has trained her to do so since she was little manages to take down her friendly rival, the heavyweight class from Canada, despite the Canadian weighing three times as much.

Existing sports have weight classes for these kind of reasons. A trans woman who has been on puberty blockers since adolescence and stayed relatively petite should be able to compete in the same weight class as cis women. (I know such an Olympic style trans weight lifter. She's shorter than I am and competes in the 132 lb weight class. But because she's trans, she is cut out of half the competitions.)

Anyway, roller derby is definitely one of those "anything goes" sports where skill, teamwork, and sheer endurance are the most important qualities, not necessarily raw strength or a specific body type. (Super tall? Guess what you're easier to knock off balance then. Super heavyweight? Guess what, you're probably slower and exhaust faster - it's hard to stay bulky in that sport for long.) I'm glad the roller derby girls are taking a stand for inclusiveness.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

For people with small kids going to Toronto there is actually a small island off the shore of downtown with a small amusement park, biking and a beach you can go to. We really enjoyed it.

Expand full comment
Mar 29·edited Mar 29

Yes! Going to Centre Island is a rite of passage for all Toronto kids. It’s a proper old-school amusement park, not a corporate beast like Canada’s Wonderland. Though it might not be open yet in May :(

Expand full comment

i love hummingbirds, that is all

Expand full comment

We have them all year around.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

I don’t know folks the article about,

“Matt Maddock who is pretty sure the Gonzaga men’s basketball team was IMMIGRANT VADERS”

only showed Twitter responses to Matt Maddock from Michigan from Maxwell White and Mallory McMorrow. Almost all M names. And what else starts with M????

MEXICO!!!

Wake up sheeple!!

Expand full comment

Some of those intersections in the Conde Nast Traveler article don't actually intersect. I would check out the Royal York (mainly for the history, although it is located near Union Station and the various stadia), the King Edward (near Old Toronto and the St. Lawrence Market), and the Gladstone House (in West Queen West, near the Drake).

The Broadview looks nice, but Leslieville is actually going to be somewhat isolated from the rest of the city, and there isn't much else to do in the East End. Both traffic and transit in the city are terrible right now.

The fun neighborhoods right now are going to be West Queen West, Dundas West, Ossington, and Kensington Market. They're all actually pretty close to each other.

King St. west of Spadina is going to be a nightmare of hooting yuppies and people who drove in from Markham on the weekends, and Queen & Spadina boasts the most dangerous McDonald's in Canada after about 1am.

Of course, there are fun museums (the ROM and the AGO, for example, although the AGO staff just went on strike, so who knows). And if you wanted to see an exhibition about food and social status in the 1820s, you could also visit historic Campbell House at Queen & University (blatant self-plug).

Expand full comment

Campbell House looks great - and a friend’s grandfather (?) used to own the building when it was on Adelaide. I think it was put to a commercial use at the time?

Expand full comment

It was a nail factory for a while, and then it was the offices of Hallmark's old card and telegram writing service.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

The Sheraton has (or at least had) an indoor/outdoor pool with a modest barrier you can duck under. Lots of kid fun. Particularly fun at 20 below F when you can feel your hair freeze in seconds then warm up with a quick ducking

Expand full comment
author

news I can use! Thanks Blanche :)

Expand full comment

Oh, there's also Casa Loma, which is not really an historic site, but it is one of those castles built by crazy millionaires from the turn of the century. There's an actual historic house near it, which is also worth a visit. They're about the only interesting things north of Bloor St.

Expand full comment
author

and OF COURSE I want to see an exhibit about food and social status. Will you be on premises?

Expand full comment

It depends on which weekend you're visiting.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

Two things:

1) As a kid from Agincourt, I take polite umbrage at the implicit critique of things “North of Bloor St”

2) this is a natural for Wonkette:

https://www.blogto.com/bars/communists-daughter/

But I believe it may be closed

Expand full comment

Actually, I realized that was unfair of me. Some of the best food in Toronto right now is in Malvern, and Agincourt, and Islington and places like that, but its all in food courts and strip malls and things, and those areas are incredibly underserved by transit and difficult to get to if you don't know the city.

Expand full comment

You’re absolutely right, of course. Wouldn’t recommend a trip to Steeles and Markham for a one-nighter.

: )

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

And - PSA - the St Regis is the erstwhile t***p tower where - as you might guess - a lotta folks ‘invested’ and either lost their shirts or laundered money.

Expand full comment
author
Mar 29·edited Mar 29Author

that was a crazy story!!!! Man I wish I could find the link now of all those poor people and all the crooks. Toronto ... Globe and Mail, is that a thing? Edit, I think it was this, I can't read it, I'm not a subscriber. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/the-law-page/court-showdown-pits-billionaire-against-ex-partners/article10624608/

Expand full comment

The G&M is the nearest thing to a paper of record - with all the good and bad implied in that term. I’m sure there are other links. And the money laundering trial (fella purchased five units?) would have been a side show - may not appear in the main articles. As I recall the link was to a country that rhymes with Prussia.

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

Toronto hotels - didn’t see an active thread so I may be duplicating things other folks have said.

Hotel X takes its name from the ‘Exhibition’ (Ex, get it?) grounds that it’s situated on. It’s definitely close to Medieval Times. It’s big and clean and new and not really near anything else other than the enormous conference centre nearby on the Ex grounds whence it gets most of its business. One day in and out - probably a good bet. A week? You’ll be taking cabs/rideshare/renting.

Someone mentioned the old railroad hotels. The Royal York (Fairmont) is it, for sure. Right in the heart of downtown (central business district), very convenient public transit, easy to get to from YYZ and YTZ. It’s old and elegant and I’ve drank here a fair bit but never stayed. Suspect it’s typical of old hotels in that they’re slightly tired and overpriced but lovely. The King Edward (Omni) is nearby and similar. People say the high tea is great. I’ve only been there …. Later in the day, for beer in an old hotel (see above).

The big chains are all represented. And if you stay in one or another it’s based mostly on cost, the other stuff you might want to do, whether you’re walking, transit or whatever, and where you collect points. Of note - The Westin on the harbourfront is a nice place to look out over the harbour from - but a bit of a hike from the stuff you might want to see. (Although the nearest cool thing is a Banksy that’s been preserved and is showcased in one of the office towers).

If you’re taking transit the subway is pretty good and most of the big chains are on the subway. For downtown purposes there are basically two subway lines - E-W and N-S - impossible to get lost as Toronto is a grid. But if you’re a walker then for the big chains you might want to think about where you’re going next. Art gallery, museum, university(s), hipster areas, food areas, markets, neighborhoods - there’s a fair bit within a 30 minute walk of - as a reference point - the King and Bay Area, which is the core of the central business district and 5-10 minutes from every major hotel chain. And - the five towers designed by Mies van der Rohe are right there. Toronto fell all over itself to tear down old buildings in the middle of the last century but there’s lots of great public art and architecture hidden away here and there. As well as the big dramatic buildings themselves.

And as for food - all the foods of the world - and a lot of very boring chain food. But that’s a whole other thread unless folks want to chip in here.

Anyway - huge city - you could write a book about it and I’m sure many have tried. Have fun.

: )

Expand full comment

The Exhibition grounds are close to Liberty Village, which has a lot of cool brew pubs.

Expand full comment

If they locked Rapunzel in the CN Tower you'd have to wait a reeeeaaalllly long time for her to grow her hair 1800'.

Expand full comment
author

lovely and perfect, thank you :)

Expand full comment
Mar 29Liked by Rebecca Schoenkopf

I have over 50 years of opinions about this city. Hit me up if want anything specific. (Except MT - never been - have fun)

Expand full comment