Día de los Muertos

Halloween is a massive affair throughout our entire neighbourhood. There is an alley near John street (it can be accessed on Prince Edward Avenue) that gets transformed into a Halloween Wonderland of sorts every single year. This is all completely organized by the community,  and they put out a different theme every year. This year's theme is Día de los Muertos, complete with those iconic skulls, various ofrandas, and a mariachi band.

Adults clutch their plastic cups of alcohol and children ran amuck in clusters, stopping only to admire their growing loot of candy. The mariachi band had the most adorable little critters dancing to their tunes while their parents clapped along in laughter. It was a beautiful night, and the rain held off... until about 9 or 10 pm, when it started to pour torrential rain.

With Halloween out of the way... it's time to start thinking about the holidays! But for today, we will hold on to these pumpkin colours just a wee bit longer.

Story and Photographs: Issha Marie

Farewell, Summer!

It's been a whirlwind of a summer. We have barely any words to describe how wonderful all of it was, though admittedly, at times it felt overwhelmingly busy. So... when words simply won't do, there are photographs, and we took lots of them. These are just a small [visual] smattering of what our summer looked like. - I.M.

Goodbye, Summer --- until next year. Hello, Autumn!


Photographs: Janaki Larsen, Issha Marie, Kate Fearnall

An Evening Of...

We held a fundraiser for The Little Mountain Playground this past Saturday and the turn-out was absolutely spectacular! We thank everyone who came out to support the fundraiser; it truly was a beautiful Summer Solstice Eve.

Special thanks go out to all those who donated their time, energy, and resources to make this evening possible, and to our hardworking staff, who worked incredibly hard to make sure this evening ran smoothly.

To find out more about the playground, or to donate, visit People Power for Playgrounds.

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Photographs: Kate Fearnall

God Save the Queen!

Bees poop.

When people think of bees, they think of honey, pollination, flowers, the Queen Bee...

People hardly think of bees as creatures - insects - that poop. In fact, most miniature creatures - creatures as small as honeybees - are exempt from any sort of probe into how their most basic, bodily functions can be released, mid-flight, to land on your unsuspecting person.

Two Sundays ago, Richelle (Greybelle Designs) and I experienced what it is like to be pooped on by a swarm of bees.

It feels like sun showers.

-

It was Mother's Day, and the final day of the Campesino Pop-Up. It was a grey day punctuated with periodic sunny breaks. I got called out to witness the swarm of bees that followed their escaped queen to hunker down on a cherry tree branch two houses or so down from the shop. I promptly went outside armed with Janaki's camera to take photographs of the bee-wranglers from Mellifera Bees and Pascal in beekeeper-wear. They were formulating a plan to get the queen away from the cherry tree and back into their hives above the Marché garage rooftop. It was really quite the sight; the clump of bees have formed almost a sloth-like appearance on top of that cherry tree branch. Adults and children looked on in wonder and awe from a safe distance. I stared ahead at the flurry of activity above and at these beekeepers in hazmat-like suits and remembered thinking to myself just how surreal all of this was...

 Game plan...

Game plan...

 Melissa Cartwright (Mellifera Bees)

Melissa Cartwright (Mellifera Bees)

 Do you see what I mean? This clump of bees look like a sloth hanging off a tree...

Do you see what I mean? This clump of bees look like a sloth hanging off a tree...

Richelle and I watched from across the street as Pascal relieved part of the branch from the tree. The shaking of the branch caused a mad flurry of bees to fly all over the place. I kept snapping photographs with Richelle beside me watching excitedly... and then...

A pitter-patter... like raindrops.

I tore my eyes off of the camera and held my hands out to the sky. "Is it raining?", I asked Richelle. She looked as bewildered as I did. It was then we noticed tiny yellow splotches dotting our clothes and faces and arms and necks. It was a bit sticky, and at first, we thought, perhaps... pollen?

It smelled faintly of chamomile, beeswax, honey, and a melange of flowers.

We crossed the street and asked Melissa what the sticky, yellow dots were... and she said... "Oh! It could be their poop! It's bee poop!"

I looked at the yellow dots that have now solidified clear across my arm in part-horror, part-fascination. At this point, I have also become hyper-aware of how strongly I smelled of beeswax and honey and something else. I wasn't sure if I liked it... and I knew the smell wasn't entirely unpleasant... but this did not erase the fact that I have bee poop all over my person and I was stricken by the urge to wash it all off. The documentary photographer in me stuck it out, regardless, and continued to take photographs, and now, looking back, can say with absolute certainty that this has been the most interesting sensation I have ever experienced to date.

'Just another day at Le Marché St. George, I say.

Words and Photographs: Issha Marie

The End of her Roaring Twenties...

Klee turned 29 about a month ago.

The end of her roaring twenties began with a Mexican-themed party, complete with build-your-own-tacos, lots of cerveza, and a mariachi band to serenade her to the end of her second decade. It was a spectacular event - a surreal one to witness. The usual quiet of the neighbourhood was, for a few hours that evening, filled with the sounds and spirit of what I have always imagined Mexico to be. What a way to ring in the end of one's twenties!

These photographs are about a month overdue, but I post these now because Klee will be noticeably absent from the cafe as she embarks on a mushroom-picking journey for part of the summer.

I mean... Mushroom-picking. Mushroom-picking!

I've a friend who does this every single summer, and I've heard of his adventures. You are in the middle of nowhere. You have to have a few months' worth of food and supplies to tide you over during your entire journey. It's backbreaking work - hard work... but extremely fulfilling and lucrative once you get the lay of the land. Of course, I am oversimplifying this. It'll be interesting to hear of her travels when she returns, because I have romanticized the very idea of mushroom picking in the wild in spite of my dear friend's stories of the hardships one can encounter in the great unknown.

We look forward to your safe return, your stories, and your photographs, Klee! Be safe, stay fed and hydrated, and may the mushroom gods impart upon you bountiful harvests. We, at the cafe, will miss you dearly! Come back soon!

Happy Travels, Klee!!!
With love, from your family here at Le Marché St. George.


Photographs: Issha Marie