07 April 2008

cooking up dreams

I try to picture myself walking home late at night. When an involuntary shiver runs down my spine, I know it's not the right neighbourhood for me.

After speaking to our landlord the other day, it is confirmed that we will be out of this place by the end of July. The problem is, my thesis work doesn't finish up until the end of August. So, the issue now is deciding what to do for that month of limbo.

Friday night I was at a party in St. Henri, a neighbourhood just south-west of mine. The party was at a two-storey apartment with a huge kitchen, a massive back terrace, and a spiral staircase that connected the terrace to the upper floor. I sighed, while lusting after all that counter space, picturing myself making salads* without jamming my elbows against the walls. I looked at all the wall space and thought of how many pictures I could hang. It had hardwood floors, lots of windows, and character.

All that, plus the fact that the rent is just over half of what we pay, is (almost) enough to entice me to move to that neighbourhood.

The poorly-lit walk from the metro, and the presence of men who repeatedly tried to lure other party guests into their cars, are the less attractive facets of the area.

If I were a guy, I would live there in a flash. In fact, the mass amounts of hot dog and poutine joints would really seal the deal (especially if I were a guy like Brian). But, unfortunately for just this one sense, I am female.

I resent the fact that, because I am a woman, I don't feel safe in that neighbourhood; that I feel limited as to where I should live. I wish I could just say screw it, and move there anyways. But I like being able to walk alone at night and not constantly fear for my safety. And, let's face it, some places are safer than others, especially for women.

I am making a wish list of what I want in an apartment, and safety is certainly a key factor. I just hope it doesn't come at a premium.

On another note:
*Fantastic spring salad recipe
Baby spinach
whole almonds
shaved, unsweetened coconut
feta cheese
chopped apples

Combine spinach and apples in a salad bowl. Toast almonds in a frying pan on med-high for a few minutes to intensify their flavour. Once you can smell the almonds toasting, toss the coconut into the pan for about 30 seconds until it turns golden. Add almonds and coconuts to salad bowl. Sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with dressing (below).

Whisk together, or shake in a jar:
Juice of half a large lime
1-2 tbs olive oil
ground pink pepper (to taste)
pinch of sea salt


Erin said...

Speaking from my Jane-Finch corner: I hear ya. I graduate in 6 days, and am moving to the Annex in two weeks.

Jess said...

I hear your frustration, Dallas. What a pain in the ass it is to have to add in the I-don't-want-to-get-raped-on-the-way-home factor when trying to find a place to live. If that's the case, then women should get a discount on rent! Ha.

Side note: that salad sounds delightful, and much like one I have been obsessed with - pears, feta or goat cheese, raisins, sliced almonds, and spinach. This dressing is also really tasty:
Balsamic vinegar
Dijon mustard
Start with the vinegar and add the rest to taste. Careful with the oil because too much can dull the taste.

Dallas said...

Erin I was thinking of your 'hood and parts of Baltimore when I wrote this post. I have clearly been watching too much of The Wire.

Jess, that dressing recipe is one of my favourites. I can't wait to try your salad.

p.s. I just bought a spring-form pan and have been making ice cream cake. I will have some waiting for your visit!