I Love a Girl

I Love a Girl

I love a girl

She lives on whims

Sometimes distorted

Yet always true

Dedicated

Emancipated

.

I love a girl

I know but for five days

She understands my soul

I feel dependent

Yes, independent

We count the raindrops

On the window

.

The pane on a lonely sill

Trying to keep insipid maggots away

I swear I saw her smile

I swear she had stopped crying

She was still rosy and thin

Like a girlfriend; just out of a coma

.

Pain while leaning on the window sill

It’s turned to mundane thoughts

Of boring tranquility

The kind that takes away creativity

That’ll keep your ear from being accidentally cut off

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I love a girl

And she loves me

We’re both living in serendipity

Our lives

Our works

Our sweet temporary madness

We paint on an empty easel-less board

We write our thoughts on a chalkboard

.

And that’s the story of our creative life

When turned off, it’s hedonistic

.

I love a girl

As much as I should

I know she loves me

Loves me for good

(C) Ted Kouretas 2018

Main post photo: Ted Kouretas — Park Bench in Autumn Leaves (Montreal, 2018)

Photo below: Ted Kouretas — Prostitute Row (Psirri, Athens, 2017)

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Marche Underground—Vintage Clothing, Art, and Furniture in Montreal

https://marche-underground.business.site

As we walked into the small, mall-like space, we were greeted by four women who looked like latter-day bohemians that had somehow “mended their ways”. Very unassuming at 3731 Notre Dame Street West in St. Henri is the Underground Market, known for its self-described retro, mid-century, kitsch, and boho offerings.

The ladies told us to feel free and look around. When you start looking at the makeup of the place, it takes the shape of a big apartment with different rooms adjoining in the narrow hallway more than a bunch of stores. In fact, it looks like a cooperative of vintage-style stores. You get this peaceful feeling of being taken back somewhere around the 1960s. It feels safe, stress-free, and as if you have a limited amount of time to let your shoulders hang.

One of the rooms (stores) was stuffed with old cheap kitsch furniture. What caught my eye here was the table. There was a plethora of mostly rudimentary old stuff that just brought me back in time. I liked that no one asked me what I wanted. The lady in charge of this store was outside the entrance leaving me be.

The pre-hi-fi area reminded me of some of the electronics of my childhood — to be clear, it was old already when I was a child. Take this mini record player, for instance. I love the added touch of CD’s in the drawer right below it. Sort of chaotic, time-fusion kitsch.

Ok. I admit it. I used to have a black phone just like this. I learned the alphabet from it, minus the Q and Z. There were enough items here to practically furnish the bedroom of a new apartment. I imagined some funky retro-coloured paint in hues that no longer existed. I thought of the mauve and then the mustard family.

Then I went into a room related to art. The lady in charge of that store came in and told me this was contemporary art depicting aboriginals. The prices were very affordable. The ones here were under $100. I almost bought one but held back not able to see them fitting in with newer “cleaner-looking” paintings I had recently purchased from.. insert laugh track here… IKEA. But I also like to buy first paintings of new and young female artists who may become famous one day. Let’s dingress from that topic, lest it overtake this article.

I walked I to a tattoo parlour. The tattooed young lady that worked there smiled and said hi.

“Is this a vintage tattoo shop,” I asked.

She smiled “no”.

“We just happened to be renting the space before all the other people moved in here from their previous location,” the tattoo artist said, seemingly half-annoyed at the thought.

He was an Asian man in his thirties or so. He was busy working on a customer who was lying flat on his stomach. It seemed most of the tattoo had yet to be finished.

“I’ve always thought of having a small tattoo,” I told the girl, not wanting the distract the artist.

“A lot of people do,” she said, “but I always tell them to think about what they want. Paint a picture in their mind. It should be something that represents them in a deep way. Something that will serve as a sign of perseverance and also as a refuge”

“But don’t come and tell me to put an exact image on you,” the artist said. “I’ll work with you and make a unique drawing.”

I was impressed. That made it very authentic. I sort of thought of the vintage theme there.

“I work by the hour. See this guy on the table here,” he asked, pointing at the body I was originally alluding to, “I allotted all day to him. I don’t know if you can see it, but he wanted Jesus on the cross.”

The artist was done talking. He sort of just turned himself out. It was surreal. The girl gave me their business card.

I asked the girl if I can take pics. She said it was up to the artist. We called his name and he didn’t answer. I was too intimidated to try again. I think my time there was up.

I should not the artist said “have a nice day, man.”

Above are things from the last room. These must have been a hundred years old.

In all the hoopla, I lost track of time and my companion.

I opened the door to leave and got this:

I decided to make a detour and joined my companion surrounded by smiling ladies. It was a cute little trip back in time.

It’s worth checking out next time you’re in St. Henri.

Brunch at L’Avenue St. Henri — Review

It was a beautiful crisp Sunday morning as I easily found parking on Notre Dame West in St. Henri. St. Henri is quickly becoming one of the IT (not I.T. Sorry tech nerds) places to be in the city. Once the poorest area in all of Canada, St. Henri has begun transforming into one of the trendiest places in the city. And its proximity to downtown makes it even more attractive. Those who took advantage of the forecasted boom a few years back can now see the chance they took was well worth it.

It was hard deciding where to go for brunch. There are so many different and varied choices. There’s anything from the typical to the bizarre, from ethnic breakfast fare to your greasy spoon, and everything in between. They’re almost all on the same street and within a 15-minute walking distance from each other. The queues were plentiful in all three of our targeted locations. We decided on L’Avenue because of it’s more centralized location, its sign, and its Google reviews.

The grungy feel amidst new condos and renovated and well-kept old apartments makes the area around the restaurant look like a Manhattan neighborhood. The apparent educated young population made it a mix between Greenwich Village and the West Village. But I shall digress with the NYC memories.

This is an example of the remnants of a dilapidated past. My mind here goes to some old areas of Krakow that tried to make it past the Communist era. This is what the old regime in St. Henri had to offer. This photo was taken just around the corner from the restaurant as I played neighborhood photographer while my dining companion waited in line (I’d say 30 people in the queue before us, but we had the 2-people advantage).

I’d say the entire waiting time was about an hour. Usually unacceptable as a wait time, I felt we could wait because it would be a new experience. I’d really be mad at myself were it not. After all, the food was secondary here. The neighborhood had a great vibe since I took classes here during my college years.

The restaurant offers free coffee for those waiting in line, albeit just the regular cheap Tim Hortons type. Still, it’s a move forward.

The first photo above is of the queue and what you can see from it. The latter photo is of a motorcycle apparently from the distant past.

Another surprising discovery was how 80% of the people in the queue and on or near Notre Dame street spoke English in what seemed to be their first language. Sure, there may be some foreign students amongst the rest in the crowd, but mostly it seemed to be young people who either had good-paying jobs, were using daddy’s car and part of his wallet for the weekend, or true artsy types. No matter which of the above categories they fit in, I wondered whether the original occupants of the neighborhood were economically forced out or given no chance but to move further north. With so-called progress came a price, and my bleeding heart was affected. The distraction of “2for Ted” quickly made that thought evaporate. I guess my mind thought it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t. Was it?

For those of you reading this strictly s a food review, let’s get to it.

The smoothie above was perfectly blended and just sweet enough to keep your sugar level at bay. It seemed, unsurprisingly, to be on almost every table. ‘Plateau West’, I thought.

I love the fruit in a skewer idea. Every customer got that as soon as they sat down at their table. Nice touch.

What endeared more to the place and the menu was that the chicken who’d laid those eggs were free-range. In y opinion, free-range eggs are much tastier. They have been proven to be healthier mainly because the chicken’s trauma while being enslaved and slaughtered goes into its premature eggs and in turn into our already-overused digestive and nervous systems. Anyway, whatever the case, it was poached and free-range all over the menu.

The French toast above was my order It was topped with your choice of ham or bacon or sausage and, of course, two poached eggs. I loved the salty flavour topped with some real maple syrup. It was simple yet unique, and the first time I’ve seen it around French toast. All in all, it wasn’t as good as it looks. But it was very good nonetheless.

My companion had the avocado toast. It wasn’t quite up to par. Two-thirds of the plate was green salad (most lettuce). The rest of the plate was fine enough, yet it was nothing special. It wasn’t bad in any way, but it could have been less bland.

The coffee was surprisingly not up to par. I ordered a double espresso lungo. Again, it was fine. But this is not a greasy spoon and the people that come here prepare for an outing per se, and they should get the best out of it.

My biggest complaint about the food was the poached eggs being overcooked. A poached egg needs to be a bit runny. Mine was a pleasant just-a-minute-overcooked light yellow to orange. Nothing wrong with the egg’s taste, but you’d figure a restaurant that almost exclusively poached its eggs would have a perfect grasp on how to make them.

The most surprising and fun part of the whole experience were the toilets. There are three single-user toilets, just like the WC in Europe. But the similarities end there. The photos above show the funky feeling in the toilets. My favourite was the red toilet that was more like a 70s discotheque than somewhere to relieve yourself. The music is loud, the lights are funky, and you feel like you’ve been taken back in time.

All in all, quite an illuminating experience. I definitely recommend it.

Atmosphere: 10/10

Service: 8/10

Food: 7/10

Coffee: 7/10

Neighborhood:9/10

Cafe Ferlucci Villeray — Overhyped Hole in the Wall

I had a meeting with my new editor and she told me of a marvelous boutique cafe in Villeray. I looked at the website and saw rave reviews and how it was cozy and for all, and how Italian it was but with a twist. What got me was the “boutique” part of it.

I’d first fallen upon a boutique cafe over a decade ago on the world’s most captivating island —Manhattan, where else? I had decided to stay at a boutique hotel in Chelsea. It all made so much sense. You get this faux hipster feeling while feeling like you’ve achieved something higher than the average Joe just by understanding what a boutique hotel was. A boutique cafe is something different, artsy, postmodern. You know.

As I finally managed to see the entrance, I walked in. There was 20-year-old postmodern mood music playing. Boutique? Not really. The young lady at the cash looked at me and turned away quickly. I verified I wasn’t asked and went and found my editor in an adjoining room.

The main room looks somewhat normal. Passable, anyway.

This is the most attractive area of the cafe, which is where I was ignored by aforementioned lady.

The first room has very few tables. It feels very run-of-the-mill. The most unattractive part is the paper napkin case from 1970s diners, napkin cases that belong with those old quarter-for 1 song jukeboxes. No jukeboxes here. Mr. Ferlucci, or whatever your name is, a small table jukebox, even a non-functional one, would be boutique-like. There were two female university students sitting on chairs facing outside. They had their computers on a one-piece table. That looked fine, at least.

Would you sit at this table for longer than you needed to? There’s the napkin holder along with a matching ugly sugar holder. Maybe the sugar being brown makes it boutique-style? I’m trying, reader. I’m trying. I can’t help but feel like I need to eat a cheap greasy burger. But I digress.

My editor was having an Americano. Ergo, she knows nothing about coffee. I felt like ordering a cortado, but I decided to make it easy and order a double cappuccino. I started being treated well when they saw me sitting with my editor.

The cappuccino was good, but nothing to make a special stop in this hole in the wall for. The desserts, I tried three, were above average. Again, nothing like the reviews. The crowd consists mostly of female university students who are studying silently. Then you have these artsy types who are having serious discussions about something. They are more my age.

The way I would describe this would be retro-diner. Nothing artsy about it. Nothing boutique about it. It is a highly exclusive place the would make a first-time outsider feel very unwelcome.

Atmosphere: 6/10

Food: 7/10

Coffee: 8/10

Service: 5/10

Do Your Best And Don’t Worry

This must be a spiritual forecast of social media and reality TV, seeing as it was written before that.

Do Your Best and Don’t Worry

Compare the best of their days
With the worst of your days
You won’t win
With your standards so high
And your spirits so low
At least remember…
This is you on a bad day, you on a pale day

Just do your best and don’t…

Don’t worry, oh
The way you hang yourself is oh, so unfair
See the best of how they look
Against the worst of how you are
And again, you won’t win
With your standards so high
And your spirits so low
At least remember…
This is you on a drab day, you in a drab dress
Just do your best and don’t…
Don’t worry, oh
The way you hang yourself is oh, so unfair
Just do your best and don’t…
Don’t worry, oh
The way you watch yourself is oh, so unfair

Just do your best and don’t…

Don’t worry, oh
The way you hang yourself is oh, so unfair
Just do your best and don’t…
Don’t worry, oh
Do your best and don’t…
Songwriters: Alain Whyte / Steven Morrissey

Αφήστε την Ελλάδα ήσυχη — Leave Greece Alone

The destruction of Greece has been underway for many years now. And every elected Greek government has been part of the destruction. First it started off as greed and, as we saw in the last bailout, it was just sheer impotence as the of SYRIZA “Coalition of the Radical Left” (very worthy of quotations) was held hostage and threatened to acquiesce to further heart-palpitating slavery. The government of Alexis Tsipras was turned from saviour of the masses to a little neo-modern even weaker marionette than the previous governments. But truth be told, he had no choice because he says it was either accept the bailout or turn into a third-world country.

The only person to comes out of there with his honour intact was Yanis Varoufakis, who had the Grexit possibility planned by going towards the old overworn drachma currency. Sure, it would be a banana republic currency but, unlike legitimately poor nations, Greece would rebound after a few years of severe poverty.

Now, according to Tsipras’ thinking, we are suffering less by choosing to stay with the Euro and further bailouts. What more needs to be done? In the referendum preceding the bailout, the people voted over 60% to get out of the Euro. These were not stupid people. On the contrary, all I remember in the Greek media was unfounded fake news about how bad Grexit would be for Greece. Even the public broadcaster seemed to be handcuffed. But still, the people voted overwhelmingly for Grexit, with the finance minister (Yanis Varoufakis) being 100% thorough and open about it. A big part of it must have been the Greek elite cringing and the working class finally having a chance to get out of the clutches of said elite.

Nothing happened. Bailout forced on Tsipras. Varoufakis forced to resign. And Greece will be poor for even longer.

.

Greece has turned into a colony. The culture has turned into a diaspora of the worst kind. Diaspora work when the country that is converting into it is economically strong and stable. You can’t give your hungry masses to a country in financial turmoil. And no one can complain about this without being called anything from a racist to, God forbid, a Nazi. What these idiots making the accusations don’t do is credit the good heart of the Greek people. It is Greece that was forced to take on Syrian refugees when the surrounding countries were closing their borders. It is the Greek people who understand the diversity of the illegal immigrants and still show love and understanding towards them. That’s what being Greek is about. It is not naivete that makes them living people but rather a genetic penchant to help.

So how can you leave Greece alone? Let them be autonomous. Don’t put forced rules on the populous. Let their current well-meaning government get their manhood back. Let them run the country for the betterment of every Greek citizen. Let them keep their promise of restoring dignity to the masses. Let them build their economy as they see fit. Let them settle their internal corruption because, quote frankly, your ways are causing even more corruption.

Let Greece exist. As Greece. Let the people stop suffering, dying, being depressed, waiting in line for cold soup. Let them use their strength of dignity and pride as they have for centuries. Shame on you for being ready to commit genocide to some of the most peaceful and harmless people in the world. Open your frozen hearts and have some compassion. By destroying Greece, you’re destroying yourself. And don’t think you’ll succeed. The Greeks will vote in any party that can help them. Think long and hard of the consequences.

Depression: Never Forget How Much It Hurts

” Sometimes it takes a very bad day for me to remember where I came from and where I am now. I nudge myself and shake my head. But if the pain doesn’t come out I then need to take more and more drastic measures. Usually, I manage to overcome it naturally. It makes it hard to know that there is a ‘magic’ solution in a pill that would make this disappear in 30-45 minutes. And I know they need to be in my medicine cabinet. But no, I haven’t taken one in a very long time,” Erica admits and smiles happily, her left eye wet but the tear refusing to roll down her cheek.

The rock band The Smiths had lyrics that said “it takes strength to be gentle and kind”. Let these words be your mantra. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Then you’ll notice how this power will emit positivity from others and from nature, that thing some call “God” and others call “spirits”, etc…. You know you’ve gone through it and you remember the pain.

To the many many suffering: know you’re never ever alone and that you can open up the pain. Know that there is a network and, if you have overcome once, you shall persevere again.

To those who don’t understand: imagine a big pain in your chest that feels like a heart attack or a sense of lack of control of your brain to help you function healthily. Imagine having 50 pounds of weight on your head and unable to shake it off. Imagine getting sick because of your thoughts. That’s just the beginning. Let’s be open to mental illness. We all deserve that.

A Word from the Moribund

A Word from the Moribund

(C) Ted Kouretas 2018

Beautiful day

Got away again

Even the salty sea smell of a cool Mediterranean June morning

can’t help these aching overused joints

Tombs

That’s the only sure thing in life

From Pharaohs

Greek gods

Some bigger, some smaller

But tombs are the only sure thing in life

No havens for them

Even the oligarchs won’t breathe or dream in them

She walks ahead of me

Patient yet frustrated

The humidity blinds me

The heat on my shoulders renders me slower

I never liked the heat

Now I loathe the sun

I look for clouds

I look for shade

Taxes paid

Worries gone

If I were 40 now, I’d……

Fucking cherries from the sky

Alas, it’s no use

Little boys and littler girls

The wind hitting their backs

The stamina

As they run here and jump there

I exist as a body

As space taken

Full of wisdom

Intact

Compact

Wisdom tells me I’m evaporating

Being sucked up

Even if I drink 2 litres of water a day

She’s back with our snacks

On nice chairs we sit

Big umbrellas

Red bikini with little material on her hairless body

She says something and I smile, feign understanding

I’m a pathetic old fool

Smiling like a child with a yellow lollipop

I look at even younger women than her

She notices and feels bad

I continue punishing the beautiful young woman that loves me

Because I’m an old creep

With no morals

Clinton Mafia Acolytes (CMA)

I’ve been asked many times what I mean when I put #ClintonMafiaAcolytes on some of my social media posts. I personally thought it was self-evident. After all, it is meant to be a literal little catch phrase.

Clinton Mafia is perhaps too broad-ranging a term and therefore is in need of further explanation. “Clinton” starts with Bill Clinton and continues to Hillary and beyond. “Beyond” in this case refers to post-Hillary — a perhaps postmodern brainwashing storm. But let’s digress for now. The last elite member of the clan was Barack Obama. He governed with the blessing of Clinton and was allowed to be president for 8 years as long as he opened the road for the morally inept and shortsighted Hillary to serve her 8 years. Obama wasn’t perfect, but he was undeniably a genius next to Hillary. But even the biggest of geniuses couldn’t hold up the facade that hid the sheer hypocrisy of Hillary. She was a walking catch phrase. More on that later.

Meanwhile, Obama was not just a mere member of the mob. He was given a special position within it as long as he followed certain rules and criteria. I would think that he would have been skewered like Bernie Sanders had he held on to his morals and spoken out about them.

FACT: Obama is no fucking Bernie Sanders, ladies. Bernie is a man of character while Obama — I’ll take the hate mail later — was akin to an Uncle Tom. At a time when political correctness served the well-established, he continued building more walls against people who needed his help. He went against the wishes of his voter base. At the end of his 8-year reign, people were confused as to where they stood and to whether they were better off. He was made into a hero for trying to pass Obamacare, but it was a failure — mainly because there was really no chance of it working. It could have been better structured. But it wasn’t, because they need to use it as a hook to vote Hillary in. He let all the people who voted for him down.

I write this article today, in a hot cafe in Montreal, because I was attacked by a bunch of people who believe all of the above is bullshit. They even answered my posts with #feelthebern. I forward people articles and they don’t believe them because they come from a biased source. Well, sadly, CNN will never criticize the CMA because they are part of it. Long gone are the days of fair reporting because big conglomerates are replacing the ruling class. The ruling class being in charge was bad enough, but now it is the politically correct big corporations that control advertising dollars. The ones who are not backed by big Corp are public entities with almost no power. These entities, poor and desperate for funding, have to be careful how they tread the political landscape.

The result of the above general synopsis is a national, even a global, political correctness forced upon citizens that makes some Stalinist regimes look tame. This is politically taboo to mention, but it is a fact. And the more we deny or, worse, are afraid to mention it, the deeper we go into the quicksand. Then comes the making of a system without free thought. Because free speech is being suppressed, we finally forget how to think freely.

pop·u·lism
ˈpäpyəˌlizəm/
noun

1.

support for the concerns of ordinary people

2.

the quality of appealing to or being aimed at ordinary people.

Logically, the populist governments come to power, as they have in the USA. Populism has been defined very negatively. In essence, it is a “movement” that the people have veered towards in fear of the system they’ve been coerced and manipulated under. See definition above.

So, what is a Clinton Mafia Acolyte? It is akin to a headless chicken that runs around spewing false epithets because it is all it knows. It is void of life, moribund. It serves the purpose of a parrot. It pulls people apart. This person, this acolyte, has a copy of the “Clinton bible” pasted in their brain. They have lost the ability to think objectively and are, like their esteemed Hillary, walking catch phrases.

I am a democratist— one who believes in truth and fairness and equality — that has taken it upon myself to report the truth a I objectively see it. I don’t choose sides. I report facts. Sometimes, I give opinions because they don’t need to be supported by articles. I cannot support with an article the fact that Donald Trump detaining the queen is not a big deal. I cannot support with an article that Trump is speaking for most of the people — can you support otherwise? So, acolytes, spare me your holier-than-thou attitudes and stop seeing the non-acolytes (I’d say most Democrats and all Republicans) as lower than you. Accept defeat. Accept that the future of your neoliberal wantonness is done. You have failed. Open yourself to new ideas.

To the majority, let’s popularize this: #ClintonMafiaAcolytes.