Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour Every Day

Toronto: Before 8pm

Toronto: After 8pm

(More pictures on: Flickr)

according to The Toronto Star, Toronto hit its energy reduction target during Earth Hour, as thousands of residents & businesses made a clear statement about climate change.. just before 9pm, the meter at the Toronto Hydro control centre hit a low of 2,738 megawatts - 5% below the demand an hour earlier & about 8.7% less than a typical late March Saturday night..

we had a gathering at home with our candles on.. & we still had an enjoyable sharing time..

BUT, it's more than just an event!!
u can take little steps everyday to help fight climate change by living The Good Life.. (The Good Life is an action-oriented campaign setup by WWF-Canada, mobilizing Canadians to reduce their ecological footprint..)

here r some simple steps which u can do to help at home:
(i know it's easier to "say" than to "do'.. let's just try our best to do as much as we can!)
(Source: Earth Hour)
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and reduce emissions. Lighting accounts for around 5% of household greenhouse gas emissions, and compact fluros use 75% less energy than an equivalent incandescent bulb. Although the bulbs cost more up-front, you will actually save money through the energy saved and extended life of the bulb.

  • Turn off anything that doesn’t need to be on. A good rule is to turn off anything not being used. When you leave a room or leave the house, turn off your lights or appliances like the TV or computer.

  • Use less hot water. This is not only a good water saving tip, it saves electricity too. Spend one minute less in the shower.

  • Try out our new Facebook Footprint Calculator. If you’re not on Facebook, we’ve also got a One Minute Calculator.
there r many interesting & practical ideas on the Future is man made site..
e.g. Low-energy cooking, Change your toilet roll, Re-use paper for kids’ drawings, & much more..

Friday, March 28, 2008

Countdown to Earth Hour

Earth Hour
Date: March 29, 2008 (Saturday)
Time: 8pm-9pm

if u have signed up for Earth Hour & wondering what you can do in the dark.. hope this will give u some ideas..

Earth Hour Concert
Nathan Phillips Square
Canadian singer, Nelly Furtado headlines a free, unplugged concert that is powered by green, renewable energy from Bullfrog. Hot chocolate is available for the event and people are encouraged to bring their own mugs to reduce waste.

Earth Hour at the Ontario Science Centre
Ontario Science Centre
A variety of free activities are being offered inside the Science Centre’s Teluscape, including live music, storytelling and interactive exhibitions that help demonstrate how to reduce the impact we have on the environment. Visitors can take advantage of the dimly lit city and check out stars and planets through high-powered telescopes.

Cocktails by Candlelight
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
Support the cause and get your drink on at the Royal York Hotel. The hotel’s Library Bar is serving up a trio of Earth Hour-themed cocktails by candlelight. On the menu: new versions of classic drinks aptly named Turn Your Lights Down Low, The Green Movement and Global Warming.

Prix Fixe Candlelight Dinner
Rosewater Supper Club
The restaurant is swapping electric lights for candles during Earth Hour, and offering guests a special menu that includes locally grown organic produce.

Lights Out with the ChoirGirlz
Trane Studio
The country-bluegrass trio headline an evening of live music lit by battery powered lanterns, with a lineup that includes Crabtree-Mills, Rosemary Phelan and Peter Verity.

check out more events on

City Skyline
it's so excited to know that more than 30 prominent Toronto businesses, including Eaton's Centre, Square One, & Hudson's Bay, will be turning off the lights for Earth Hour on March 29!!
Cineplex will dim their lobbies' lights in its 131 theatres across Canada.. Pearson Airport is the 1st airport in North America to sign up for Earth Hour, it plans on reducing lighting, heating & air conditioning in the terminals and suspending service on one of its LINK shuttle service trains..

Click here for a map of all businesses and organizations involved in Earth Hour

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

半畝園 Chili Secret

半畝園 Chili Secret
Address: 9021 Leslie Street, Unit 9, Richmond Hill (Hwy 7 & Leslie)
Phone: (905) 764-9119

we saw the whole process of this restaurant being built, from nothing to an actual building.. (we live nearby).. & this is the 1st restaurant the opened in that plaza.. & it's pretty big inside.. very nicely decorated..

we went there for lunch on sunday..
they have Imperial Court Cuisine (養生官府菜) on their menu.. e.g. 魚翅撈飯, 佛跳牆 etc.. but they also have Business Lunch & Dinner Combos..

for sure we didn't order 魚翅撈飯.. we just tried some of their dishes..

Cold Noodle with Shredded Chicken 麻辣雞絲涼麵
..from the menu, it doesn't look like it's very spicy.. but when we mixed the sauce up with the noodle, the whole dish became quite spicy.. for me, i like the taste..

Deep Fried Pig's Intestine 酥炸大腸 has green onion in it.. the pig's intestine itself is very fatty.. tasted good.. but we don't like the green onione as it has very strong flavor..

(left) General Tao's Chicken on Rice 左宗雞飯 looked like 咕嚕雞 more, with a hint of spicy flavor..
(right) Go Believe Steamed Bun (Pork) 正宗天津狗不理包子(豬肉)
..this one was good, very "juicy".. it said on their menu that "Go Believe Bun is famous throughout China & overseas for 100+ years becoz of its very tasty fillings using fresh pork & other superior ingredients wrapped in yeast dough with eighteen folds & steamed"..

Sweet Rice Dumplings in Light Syrup 洒釀湯圓 (10粒)

when LG asked for their take-out menu, the waitress said they don't have one yet.. & she gave us a 10% discount coupon in return!!

there r some pics of the interior of the restaurant at 星網..

Monday, March 24, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cheesecake Etc. @ Vancouver

after visiting Promise Piano Bar tonite, it reminds me of a place in Vancouver that we visited before..

Cheesecake Etc.
Address: 2141 Granville Street, Vancouver, B.C.
Phone: (604) 734-7704
Opening Hours: 7pm - 1am Everyday

LG & i was talking about performing live Music in public.. & we suddenly think of Cheesecake Etc. @ Vancouver.. we went there on our last visit to Vancouver & my aunt brought us there.. the owners, Michael & Edith, r good friends of my aunt.. they r two very nice & cute elders!!
Mike & Edith
this pic was taken on June 2005 (almost 3 yrs ago)..

Mike & Edith opened their own cafe, with jazz & cheesecakes in it!! so u can have both good desserts & good music there!! it's a cozy place, & relaxing atmosphere.. i really enjoyed the time when Mike played the piano & Edith sang along.. they r such a perfect couple!!

we bought their CD at their cafe.. most of the songs were written & played by Michael!! & he has a good voice too!!
LG & Mike did play the piano together that nite.. it was such a memorable nite!!

P.S. their cheesecakes taste good!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Never Ending Story 幾米創作10 年展

由《向左走.向右走》開始, 已經被他的故事感動..
他的故事很細膩, 圖畫的色彩配合得很好..
雖然我沒有機會去這個展覽, 仍然希望和大家分享..

誠意推介: 《向左走.向右走》《地下鐵》《戀之風景》《布瓜的世界》《你們我們他們

幾米創作 10 年展
日期 : 3 月 21 日 至 4 月 6 日
地點 : 時代廣場二樓大堂
內容 : 幾米經典原畫作品、大型藝術雕塑、《完美小孩》概念服飾、各類相關商品等
10 周年限量品:繪本、商品紀念冊、明信片
入場 : 免費


幾米。男。台北市人。天蠍座。吃素。已婚。有一個女兒。文化大學美術系畢業。曾在廣告公司工作十二年,現在為報紙、雜誌等畫插畫。1998 年開始首次的繪本創作,發表的《森林裡的秘密》和《微笑的魚》,一鳴驚人,連 奪多個獎項,翌年出版《向左走.向右走》,在 2003 年改編為電影。幾米的作品除了在華人社會大受歡迎,亦翻譯成英文、法文、德文、希臘文、日文、韓文和泰文等,行銷全球。

幾米品牌首本電子雜誌《幾米Spa》已經正式創刊, 可供免費下載或訂閱.. 電子雜誌的內容非常豐富, 製作亦十分精美的!

Dinner in the Sky

i got an email from my aunt b today telling me about this crazy business..
people r so creative!! 22 guests can have dinner together IN THE AIR!! & the seats can be rotated 180 degrees..
it was selected by Forbes magazine as one of the world's 10 most unusual restaurants.. & yes, it's really incredible & remarkable, esp. the price.. the cost for 8 hrs is ~US $11,444, not including catering!!


(Source: Dinner in the Sky, USA TODAY)

Dinner is served - 50 meters up

if u don't like to have dinner in the sky, maybe u can try lunch in the sky or breakfast in the sky.. u name it! =P
next time when u look up to the sky & see a suspension platform with people eating above.. don't be surprise!

let see how it actually works..

thx aunt b for sharing!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Zucca Trattoria

Zucca Trattoria
Date: March 13, 2008 (Thursday)
Address: 2150 Yonge Street, Toronto (Eglinton & Yonge)
Phone: (416) 488-5774

i've been searching for cuttlefish risotto/pasta since i came back from Venice.. & thx marz for telling me that there is squid-ink noodles on the fall menu of Zucca..

we arrived at ~7:15pm & we still managed to find a very close parking spot just outside the restaurant.. but just ~15 mins later, the traffic was getting busier & no more parking nearby..

when we all set, the waiter bought us some italian "bread".. not sure what it's called, but it tasted good.. it's like the pizza pastry with lots of herbs on it..

menu could be found on their website..

(left) Soup of the Day.. Cream of Peas, with broccoli & tomatos..
..LG & ZA liked it.. the mixture of tomato & peas gave a good flavor.. not very rich.. good for starter..
(right) Insalata di Radicchio e Pera..
it's salad of radicchio, sliced bosc pear, toasted walnuts, aged balsamic vinegar, shaved parmigiano reggiano, extra virgin olive oil
..the parmigiano reggiano were in big pieces.. very strong flavor.. u'll love it if u like cheese..

Special Appetizer of the Day.. Grilled Calamari, with oranges & salad..

for main course, i definitely tried their squid-ink noodles..
Troccoli al Nero ai Frutti di Mare
it's squid-ink semolina noodles with gulf shrimp, sea scallops, mussels, calamari, white wine, tomato, extra virgin olive oil..
..the noodles were made in house & the "texture" was good.. but the sauce couldn't be compared to the one i had in Venice.. it's just tomato sauce here..

Bistecca di Manzo alla Griglia, Fagioli Cannellini in Umido, Topinambur Arrostito
it's grilled dry-aged cumbrae farms NY steak with sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, fresh white bean & tomato stew, roasted sunchokes..
..very tender.. cooked for just the right amount of time..

Trancia di Pesce al Piacere del Capo Cuoco
Today's Special.. it's red snapper (boneless fillet) wrapped with prosciutto..
..this combination was a good fit.. the prosciutto added some salty flavor to the red snapper..

we have been looking forward to desserts ever since we saw the ladies next to us having that martini glass dessert..

(left) Affogato di Caffe
it's vanilla-bean & dark chocolate gelato ‘drowned’ in hot espresso
coffee, fiorentino wafer, shavings of white chocolate
..the espresso came in a separate container & the waiter poured it into the martini glass in front of us.. it was GREAT!! i love the espresso+dark chocolate taste!!
(right) Meringata di Nocciola e Cioccolata con Zabaione di Caffe
it's hazelnut meringue layered with bittersweet chocolate mousse & whipped cream, espresso zabaione sauce, shavings of chocolate

LG was very satisfied with the food.. i love their desserts too.. but i'll keep looking for cuttlefish risotto in toronto.. & thx ZA as she already forwarded me a list of restaurants, which all have cuttlefish risotto!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

12 Days Greek Isles Cruise - Day 6 Athens

Date: November 14, 2007 (Wednesday)
Place: Athens, Greece (雅典, 希臘)
Day 6

we were docked at Piraeus, ~11km southwest of Athens.. as we were told, there's not much to do in Piraeus.. so we decided to go straight to the city of Athens..
we saw a sign with "indicative" Taxi Charges when we passed the Customs at the port.. it said 8 euros to go to Acropolis.. but when those taxi drivers approached us, they were asking for LOTS more.. & we heard that it should be ~30 mins walk to the nearest metro station.. since it's early in that morning, we decided to walk.. unfortunately, it rained, & quite heavily raining!! we walked along the marina but had to stop several times becoz of the rain.. & it took us a while before we found a newspaper booth for buying an umbrella.. & i guess it took us ~45 mins to walk to the Piraeus metro station..

(left) on the way to the metro station..
(right) when u see this escalator, the metro station is just right there.. on your right..

the entrance of the Piraeus metro station..

here's the machine for buying tickets.. it cost 3 euros for 1 day pass..

the renovated Piraeus metro station.. very bright & looked clean..

we had to punch our tickets into those grey box below as we entered the platform..

here's the metro route.. we were on the green line.. going from Piraeus to Acropoli, we had to get to the blue line & then to the red line..

@ the platform..

our 1st stop was to Acropolis..
it was the religious centre of Athens, & in various times it's served as the seat of a king & the home of gods & goddesses..
the admission fee was 12 euros.. there was an ongoing restoration work at the Acropolis..

The Theater of Herod Atticus.. it was built by the Romans in 161 A.D.

The Parthenon.. it's the most recognized Greek monument, dedicated to Athena..

The Theatre of Dionysos

The Temple of Olympian Zeus.. 16 of a total of 104 columns (17m) have been preserved..

view from Acropolis, Athens

The Temple of The Athena Nike was built in the 5th century B.C. & restored in the 1930s.. this site was the location of a sancturary in the prehistoric era..

The Erechtheion.. honored by Athenians as the tomb of Crechtheus, a legendary king of Athens, & noteworthy for its delicate carving.. Caryatids (the Porch of Maidens) supporting the roof of the southern balcony of the Erechtheion sanctuary, which is the most sacred ancient Greek building on the Acropolis..

Acropolis is a high, rocky hill in the middle of this ancient city.. & we had to climb 80 steep steps before reaching the summit..

after leaving Acropolis, we wandered in the streets of Plaka.. & we passed by some tourist centres (e.g. INFOTE).. we asked the staff where we could do some shopping in Athens, & they seemed surprised.. i guess they never could have imagined visitors wanna do shopping in Athens, instead of going to those sight-seeing places..

we didn't really have a choice.. our target was to do some shopping on that day, as Athens was the "biggest" city among all ports.. if we don't seize the change to get ourselves some "decent" clothes (all we've seen so far r "souvenir" clothings), we would still be wearing that same T-shirt day after day (given that we still haven't got our luggages back)..

the staff told us the way to Ermou Street & The Mall in Athens.. so we then head to Ermou Street, as it's just 5-mins from there..

Happy Train in Athens
it cost 5 euros for adult (3 euros for kids) & the ride is about 40 mins long.. it travelled through Athens, beginning at Monastiraki Square & will pass through most of the tourist sites.. for more info, check out Greek Dream Rentals (scroll down to the bottom of the page)..

Ermou Street.. it's a very busy street most of the year.. it's the location of a multitude of well-known shops.. i guess it's like Bloor Street in Toronto..

a store called Octopus @ Monastiraki, selling some trendy stuff.. we bought a set of coasters from there too..

after that, we took the metro & went to "The Mall", while everyone else were visiting those historical sites..

The Mall @ Athens.. which was next to Athens Olympic Stadium.. its name is really called "The Mall".. i guess that's the one & only one mall in Athens..

there were many choices in the foodcourt.. & we decided to have lunch at one of the restaurants, Palmie bistro at The Mall..

(left) Penne Carbonara (Penne sauteed with smoke bacon, mushrooms & fresh cream)
(right) Stroganoff (Pork fillet pieces sauteed with mushrooms & fresh cream. A spicy taste coming from the worcestershire sauce. Served with french fries)
..both were great! i love the mushrooms one.. the sauce tasted good!

LG had the Capriccioso.. which was Espreeso & cold chocolate blended with cream & cookies ice-cream.. served with cream & caramel syrup..

we bought some clothes in The Mall after lunch.. & when we were heading back to our ship, we took some pics on the road..
the street in Piraeus.. a policewoman directing the traffic..

Day 6 Dinner "Greek Dinner"

Garides Kastellorizo (Aegean Shrimp Cocktail with a Light Lemon-Flavored Mayonnaise & Capers)

(left) Hortosuppa (Vegetable Soup with Beans, Eggplant & Fresh Diced Tomatoes)
(right) Soupa Avoglemono (Chicken Broth with Angel Hair Pasta, Julienne of Chicken, Lemon Juice, Cream & Egg Yolk, Flavored with Bay Leaves & Cloves)

(left) Rhodes Mixed Grill (Combinations of Minced Veal Adana, Marinated Chicken Filets & Lamb Chops, Piquant Sauce, Sauteed Fresh Spinach Leaf & Almonds Croquette Potatoes)
(right) Moussaka (Tasty Lamb Stew Flavored with Cinnamon, Onions, Garlic, Tomato, Eggplant & Combined with a Cream Sauce & Cheese)

(left) Yiaourtini (Orange-Flavored Yogurt Cake with Vanilla Sauce)
(right) Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

i guess we were not fans of Greek food after all.. =P

& here comes the highlight of the day.. we got our luggages back after our dinner!!! FINALLY!!