Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Car Seat Headrest, Crying & Chowhound

Weekly Update 2018-25: Everything you wanted to know about emotional release. Car Seat Headrest belts out emotional lyrics as we explore the changing the stigma of public crying and eating your feelings using recommendations from Chowhound.

Music: Car Seat Headrest
If you ever wanted to shout some lyrics over really powerful guitar licks, look no further than Seattle-based indie power rock quartet Car Seat Headrest. There's something magnetic about their music, filled with catchy rhythms and the melodic, ambitious vocals of Will Toledo (the sole creator of the band). Their moody and introspective lo-fi pop tunes are at once melancholic and uplifting, which is sort of what this week's update is about.

My favourite track is definitely Destroyed By Hippie Powers (I've been listening to it on repeat for a couple of weeks now), but they have a bunch of awesome tracks.

The band is touring a 2018 re-release of their 2011 album Twin Fantasy in Toronto on September 11.

Along another note of emotional release, my feminist book club met earlier this week to discuss our latest read, Jessica Bennett's Feminist Fight Club. The book acts as a manual for women to navigate workplaces (specifically offices) that are controlled by men. In a setting where women are forced to work twice as hard as men to achieve the same goals, the book is a great tool for anyone to read for better understanding of how and why misogyny strikes in the workplace.

It was truly enlightening to hear some of my comrades speak about their experiences working in law (incredibly sexist environments for two women specifically). Unsurprisingly I have come across my share of sexism in the workplace, but nothing on the level of what these two women discussed. It reminded me that there are still paths to be carved, and the women carving them deserved to be championed and supported in any way we can.

As we wind down Bike Month, I am going to try to get one more group ride in tomorrow. It's a female-focused ride down the Don Valley Bike Path which I've always wanted to explore, so why not with a bunch of new friends?

Bloor Cinema is also offering a free small popcorn for anyone who bikes to the theatre to watch a movie, so I will try to check out Design Canada early next week.

This weekend is the Uxbridge Garden Tour, a.k.a. my mother's favourite event of the year. So we'll be visiting the gardens of strangers and judging their green thumbs.

Random Thought: Crying in Public
The act of shedding a tear or two has certainly been held in a vice grip by stigma for many generations, especially so for men. Many consider crying to be a display of weakness or something reserved for children who don't yet have an emotional handle on on their maturity.

This is all rather unfortunately backwards, as Jessica Bennett states in her book Feminist Fight Club. Crying can be extremely cathartic, steadying, and even sensible in some situations. Bennett suggests that there is no inappropriate place for a little public crying.

While I do agree with this sentiment and have certainly indulged in a good cry (yes, even in a public place), I probably don't cry nearly enough. It would seem that others agree, since the Tumblr Crying New York exists. If you ever need a good suggestion for a place to publicly cry in New York, this guide is for you.

And that's not all, my favourite Facebook Group New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens agrees as well. Public transit is not only a great place for a public cry, but it's pretty efficient because you can do it while you're on your way to somewhere.

Names have been blurred to preserve the owners' dignity, though I'm sure they would be proud to tell you they cry in public.

Inspiration: Chowhound
This past week marks a very special Father's Day for my dad. Between a couple of our favourite Chinese food restaurants closing down (after 60+ years in business) and our recent-ish trips to China leaving something to be desired in the authentic food category (I suspect we were treated as non-adventurous eaters on these tours), I knew my dad was searching for a new restaurant to fill the big hole in his heart.

After much trial and error of asking friends, colleagues, Lyft drivers (I met a very nice one in Toronto who was born in one of the Chinese cities I visited) and walking into restaurants by chance, I finally found the right answer. Somewhere in Richmond Hill, there lives a man named Charles Yu. Born in China, having travelled the world of Michelin stars, he has now settled down in the suburbs of Toronto as the GTA resident advisor on all things Chinese gastronomy.

Yu's realm is a wonderful website called Chowhound that allows users to post questions, opinions and pictures of restaurants, supermarkets and everything in between. Yu can be found in many of the forum posts regarding Chinese food in any of the GTA's seven Chinatowns. And so, in honour of Father's Day 2018, I chronicled every recommendation that Yu has listed on the site into a custom Google Map.

Not only can it be extremely challenging to find good, authentic restaurants (which usually look like holes in the wall - so do the bad ones), but once you're face to face with a menu, what the heck do you order? Many of these places offer hundreds of dishes. So, my map includes over 40 of the best Chinese restaurants in three Chinatowns, along with recommendations of what dishes to order in each.

We used the map to do a restaurant hop around the downtown Chinatown this weekend, and I think my dad really enjoyed it. Amongst all of this, I consider myself really lucky to live in such a multicultural city that can provide something even more authentic than the meals I ate in the country of China.

And a bonus for you: if you got all the way to the end of this blog post, breathe a cleansing sigh of release with me and check out the map.


  1. Did you do all of the downtown stops in one day?
    Which were favourites?
    Great maps for sharing. Thanks Chloe!
    Auntie Marilyn

  2. We just did about 4-5. Too many for one evening! Thanks for reading :D