What do you love about your city?

April 19, 2017
by Lindsay
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Postcards: Bodegas and donut shops and carousels

A postcard to the Riverbank State Park Carousel in New York, where the animals are made from children’s drawings

Have you looked at a twirly wire display of the postcards for your city recently? They all are the same: the skyline with a setting sun, the skyline with mid-day sun, an iconic building, a famous statue (Hello, Statue of Liberty!), but do they really show off your city, the one you spend your days in? Chances are, probably not. The geographical places that make up our days are usually far less photographed, and usually nowhere to be found in tourist guides, but isn’t that the best thing about our lived-in cities?

This spring, I asked a bunch of New Yorkers to draw postcards to their favourite places in the city, and there was not a single Empire State Building to be found. Instead, check them out:

MARTINEZ GROCERY

I get limes and candy from the local bodega only from time to time, but Mr. Martinez says hello to me every single morning. Then every single evening, Mars, the friendliest bodega cat in the world, says hello. He meows, he purrs, he shows me his belly. He gets his fur all over my pants. If it’s nice out, he might be asleep in his basket behind the tomatoes, but he lets me poke him to wake him up so I can get my daily greeting.

PETER PAN DONUTS

I lived in Greenpoint for years before trying Peter Pan Donuts. People would say, “Oh! You live in Greenpoint! Don’t you love Peter Pan?!!?” Honestly, I didn’t think there could be anything special about a donut. I was so wrong! These donuts are something to write home about and the character of the place makes them taste even better. It’s full of 80-year-olds, the coffee is terrible, and the cashiers are surly…but at least they’re forced to wear these adorable old-fashioned uniforms. An excellent way to spend a Sunday morning.

Aren’t they amazing???

What are three local landmarks that anchor your day? You don’t have to be an incredible illustrator to turn the familiar into something to be lauded and celebrated. A few quick lines on a piece of paper or cardstock, with a description on the back is enough! Post them to Instagram and Twitter with #loveletteringproject and #happyhere!

March 26, 2017
by Lindsay
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Floraffiti: plants + placemaking + community engagement

Photo courtesy of Floraffiti

Green is just starting to reappear here, tiny tips poking through the occasional morning frost, making their appearance through the oak leaves we forgot to clean up last fall. There is one lone yellow crocus in the backyard that is the embodiment of all of my hope and belief in the sun and the return of warmth and spring (and eventually, SUMMER!)

And so imagine my deep delight when scrolling through Instagram and stumbling on Floraffiti: a gardening + placemaking + community engagement project based in Portland, Oregon and this spring, in North Carolina. Such amazing, inspiring community engagement work!

March 6, 2017
by Lindsay
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So much love at Honest Ed’s final farewell

Honest Ed’s is such an iconic building – the Vegas-style flashing light marquee, the cheap wares, the free turkeys given away at Thanksgiving, the bizarre Elvis busts filling the basement. It was an honour to be able to head back inside for one last visit during Toronto for Everyone’s An Honest Farewell event and chat with folks about what we love about Toronto (and hear so many stories about Honest Ed’s!)

Check out some of the letters penned during the Community Hub:

This is one of my very favourite love letters of all time.

Writing love letters to parks with wee Clara!

(Isn’t this printing exceptional!?!?!)

TADA! So! Much! Fun!!!!

Farewell, Honest Ed’s!

xo

February 22, 2017
by Lindsay
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Feb. 25, 2017: Toronto 4 Everyone’s Community Hub

This city is full of amazing community organizations, and a bunch of us are coming together for a drop-in fair at the Town Hall for All: Community Hub, as part of An Honest Farewell, on Saturday, February 25 from 1-3pm (AND IT’S FREE!). I seriously can’t wait to be back in Honest Ed’s for one last time. What an iconic place!

Come and write a love letters about your neighbourhoods with me, learn to make signs like the Ed’s classics with Ligatures, test your skills with CultureLink, see a talent show organized by Clarissa Magalhaes, hear spoken word from theToronto Centre for Community Learning & Development (CCL&D), speak with Passages Canada, and even participate in an improv workshop withBad Dog Theatre Company.

There will be no place like this space, any place!

Produced and presented by:

February 15, 2017
by Lindsay
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An inspiring Valentine’s Day at the library

On Valentine’s Day, I had the great pleasure of hanging out with an English conversation circle  at York Woods Library. I cannot imagine a more perfect way to spend Cupid’s Day than talking about what we love about where we live. The participants came from all over and had such insight into what makes Toronto Toronto. It was really inspiring.

This woman was from Iran — and her note about clean water made me pause — I take that for granted. It reinforced for me how important it is to reflect on (and share!) what we love about our homes.


A hidden letter in the stacks!!

What do you take for granted about where you live that could use a little spotlight?

xoxo

February 12, 2017
by Lindsay
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NYC Pop-up

A love letter to the Strand Bookstore, hidden in the basement stacks!

New York City is, as you read this, being papered with love. Love letters to its bookstores and bodegas and coffee shops and graffiti and everything in between…

Last weekend, The Love Lettering Project headed down to NYC for a pop-up event with Artery – a performing arts series that brings incredible art to unconventional spaces (because, as they believe, every space is a stage!) Man oh man – SO! MUCH! FUN!!!

One particular letter ended up at the Strand Bookstore, one of the most incredible bookstores every (there are 18 MILES of books!)

From the letter writer/hider: To be walking around a place I love, with books I love, with the love letter in my bag, waiting for a moment, to tuck it away in just the right corner…..what a gift. 

There’ll be many more NY letters to come! Follow along on Instagram: @loveletteringproject

I know love letters aren’t going fix what’s going on in the world at the moment, but I truly do believe that connecting with our immediate surroundings, our homes, our neighbourhoods, and our neighbours matters, especially now. And talking about and sharing that love, that compassion, that goodness in the face of such fear and hatred matters even more.

All set for the letter writers…

More about Artery: Artery lets anyone bring creative experiences to life, in places you may not expect. More about the project and how to host/perform at events) here!

February 9, 2017
by Lindsay
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LA LA Love

Photo Jan 28, 4 16 36 PM

These days, my daydreams are made of palm trees and bare shoulders and warm, warm sunshine. (Can you tell it’s chilly today. -19 celsius with the windchill…that would be -2 Fahrenheit. COLD!)

And so, I’m living vicariously through these love letters created at an L.A. Love Lettering Project pop-up event and pretending I too am hanging out on the beach…

 

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Photo Jan 28, 4 18 38 PM
Photo Feb 08, 1 28 42 PM

Photo Jan 28, 4 22 15 PM

Photo Feb 08, 1 30 18 PM

Photo Feb 08, 1 31 16 PM

January 29, 2017
by Lindsay
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Writing The City: Parkdale Library + The Love Lettering Project

Such exciting news in this grey, grey January – I’ve received funding from the Ontario Arts Council to bring my city-based Love Lettering Project-inspired writing workshops to Parkdale Library this fall! I’m so excited! There will be a few drop-in sessions, and an 8-week workshop for adults and an 8-week workshop for youth. I promise to post more details (dates, times, etc) as we figure them out.

For now, three cheers for community arts funding!!

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