Ever since I was a young laddie I’ve always enjoyed the look and scent of a nice tobacco pipe. My dad used to puff one on occasion and I always really liked the way he looked doing it. Very masculine and Lord like. I was never an over masculine boy so seeing him at the campfire after cutting some wood and puffing on his polished pipe made me feel safe and secure somehow. Now I know all the nay sayers with regards to smoking etc, but personally I’m really tired of the government policing our every health related decision. I do believe in moderation big time because I’m kind of a believer in live your life in moderation and your body will figure the shit out. That’s why we have a draining clarification system. Just don’t over kill on the more toxic enjoyments of life. I quit smoking officially like 12 years ago. And on occasion over the last 12 years I’ve partaken in socially acceptable smokable herbs. The tobacco pipe, though I had not thought of it for many years, showed up in a dream one summer night in 2018 and I decided I wanted to give it a try. Again I called on my buddy David to help me find a moderately priced cigar and pipe shop. Now a days when you say pipe, people think you mean pot pipe or crystal pipe and that’s just not my bag man. Well not the crystal anyway. That’s a bad bitch just waiting to gobstop you in yours! I’ve seen too many great guys fall under the spell of that demon and end up with bats up their bums. It’s a crazy world. We cruised the city and came upon Tobac Cuban Cigar. Right there on the downtown core on Yonge! It was there we got me my first corn cob pipe and some flavoured tobacco! I’ve had a few puffs since that warm summer eve with my buddy Dave but like I said moderation baby! Gotta keep those pipes clean!
Happy Freakin New Year! It feels so great to be back writing my Sunday blog. I honestly missed it so much! I missed bugging my editor every week with my stories of bad punctuation and grammar and I missed the great feedback I’d get from all of you, my registered readers! As you know I took some time off due to stress and did my best to get stronger, empower myself, and get to know myself again. I’ll be sharing that personal mission throughout 2019. I just think the more we remove the stigma of mental illness the better our society will be. I’ll speak to this later but for now Bruce is Back and I’m Eating Pie! I’m happy to announce that I’m not writing alone this week! I’ve invited my dear friend David to join me as we spent some time together in Toronto exploring the many streets and neighbourhoods and this guy has got the best historical facts about our great city. He didn’t want me to mention him but it’s just not possible as he was instrumental in reinsuring me to put my writing hat back on and blog on! David thanks for your overview on this, my pie article. Dave and I met at a local function many months ago and instantly a friendship bloomed. This guy loves to walk and I swear I lost 10 pounds the first two weeks of walking the city with him. He just loves waking. You know what else he loves, historical facts. I am always hypnotized by his references to historical Landmarks in the city. I asked if I could tag along and get my very own tour guide in a city I’ve lived in for more than a decade! Thankfully he agreed! It was on one of these foot stepping adventures that he took me to the west end of the city. We were looking for something sweet to eat and I had pretty much exhausted any dessert house on the east side of town so I was in his tour guide hands. Did I mention he’s super cute too? That was just a lucky bonus! After a long stroll we entered what is known as The Annex. It started in 1886 by developer Simeon James. The interesting aspect of The Annex is definitely the architecture. Most of the buildings in the area are the creation of E.J. Lennox, one of Toronto’s leading artchitects in the latter part of the 19th century. The style is a whimsical yet strong blend of Richardson Romanesque and Queen Anne styles. They typically have the large rounded Romanesque arches with Herculean stones on the ground floor and topped off with decorative accents such as turrets or gables and delicate wood work. It is a style that began in Toronto and copied over and over again. Many of the large homes have been broken up into flats and apartments. Others became Fraternity and Soroity houses for neighbouring University of Toronto. David narrated away as we walked along the stunning neighbourhoods of The Annex. All the while I was thinking I’d really love a piece of homemade pie. I’m so ADD but when I was able to stay focused I just loved hearing his beautiful tour guide like way he coined a phrase. I interrupted our “Tour de Annex” and asked if he could take me to a local coffee dessert house. He was always eager to oblige. We ended up at a coffee dessert house called Futures Bistro Apparently they have one on the St. Lawrence Market too. It was sort of bohemian inside and we grabbed ourselves a much needed coffee and two big slabs of pie! I love pie. I especially love my mom’s homemade pie and this place gave her pies a run for their money (sorry mom!). We sat at the window watching the passers by and made sure we judged them all accordingly. Cute! Super cute! Not in your life and thought it was chocolate! You know when you see someone from a distance you think is going to be as tasty as chocolate and they turn out to be as puckering as a sour baby? Check out this amazing chain of dessert bars when you’re visiting Toronto. The plate was totally lockable and the neighbourhood a very special piece of historical architecture. Oh my God, next we go pipe shopping!
Futures Bistro 483 Bloor Street Weat
Guest historical guide David M. for Bruce in the City
Hey registered readers and guest readers! As my blog hit a milestone of 10 amazing years. I couldn’t be more proud than to announce this years Beard Ambassador! Competing against a dozen other beards this year , he inspired manyvwity his story of fight, integrity and strength that I personally will never forget. Please take a moment to check out my article on this amazing fellow! When you are having a shit day his story reminds us that only the determined, the brave and ones big heart can make the sun shine on any dark day. Though I have never personally met this bearded fellow his story of strength is universal and I’m proud to name him my Bruce in the City Beard ambassador 2018/19! Ladies and Gentlemen please join me in congratulating Harry Wallace! What a kick ass fellow! It’s men like him that inspire others to face another day and to make the very most of it in every way!
Bruce in the City
You can follow Harry on his official Instagram @harrywallace39 Let him know you saw this article and share the love! Bearded Brothers 4ever!
Hey my amazing readers! This is our final beard contestant of 2018 and for this contest which comes to a close with this final amazing beard! Vote hard! By visiting my official Instagram @bruceinthecity This my friends is Trevor…
1- I’m bearded villain 2- I’m a major comic book geek 3- I love star wars (only the original 4- I’ve got a one eyed cat called plissken (named after the kurt Russell character in escape from New York 5-i hate coconut with a vengeance
I always enjoyed these little tidbits from these beautiful beards! It’s been really wonderful getting to know each one of you.
2019 will begin a new bearded chapter with a monthly bearded fellow chosen by me who has shown to make a difference in people’s life’s in a positive way! He will be chosen from followers on my Instagram account @bruceinthecity
I wish you all a Happy New Year! Stay tuned for the beard of the year & Beard ambassador for Bruce in the City dot com! To be announced next Saturday!
I hope over the past year every one of my readers have enjoyed my Beard contest. I will be wrapping up this contest at years end. I’m going to miss it to but I will be replacing it with a monthly Spotlight on one bearded fellow I follow @bruceinthecity Instagram account. This person will not only be chosen for their Badass beard but for inspiring others through charity or personal story of strength and resilience! The beard feature will get a new name and I’m really excited to begin my search for the twelve bearded men who will inspire us all in 2019! Of course you will get a chance to vote for them and at the end of the year 2019 a Champion will be chosen to be ambassador for one year!
If you’re wondering where my inspiration comes from with regards to this new blog segment check out this weeks Bearded fellow and get inspired!
Ladies & Gents this is Harry!
facts about me
I am married to my beautiful best friend for almost 20 years & we share 3 children as well as love for new people & adventures!
I am a hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsmen. I find my solitude in the woods.
I make handmade knives, it’s a passion and I also use any fund earned to go towards paying medical bills and saving for a surgery.
I am a cancer fighter & survivor. I was diagnosed at 26 with an in curable rare cancer Multi-System LCH and have fought some big battles along the way. I was then diagnosed with a second cancer Adrenal Cancer 4 years ago and told to make my peace, but here I stand today before you a warrior who will never give in.
I believe we each are given our cross to bare and no matter what this life is precious and worth the journey.
I have always had some type of beard only shaving my full face 2 times , 1 the wife said she had to see ha! 2 for surgery. My beard is as much a part of me as my hands. And love the brotherhood it’s brought in my life.
Thank you Harry! If this doesn’t put a fire under your ass to get up and honour your life then I have no idea what will. As this Holiday season rolls on embrace your own challenges and as Harry reminded us, all of us must be the warriors of our own beautiful life!
It’s almost Christmas time!!! Time for another great wine selection!!
Dr. Loosen Riesling 2017, Mosel, Germany – $14.95
This wine has always been one of my favourite rieslings becuase of its amazing value. but be fast! this wine fly’s off the shelf! The wine bright, clear and has aromas of lemon, peach, and apricot. On the palette it has a soft sweetness wish mouthwatering acidity to balance it out which is what makes it a classic Mosel Valley riesling. Enjoy it on its own or with a spicy Thai chicken.
Foreign Affair Dream 2015, Niagara, Canada – $29.95
So I know I try to keep the wines I chose at a reasonable price but I really want to put this wine on the table for you guys because this winery if doing some awesome things here in Canada. This winery puts their grapes through the appassimento process which means the dry the grapes out on racks for a few months befor they crush and press them. By doing this it creates a less diluted flavour and a rich wine. They use this in lots of Italian styles such as Amarone and they wanted to bring that style here to Canada. Okay no lets talk about the wine. The wine Is dark and has complex aromas of blackberries, vanilla, black cherries, figs, leather, and a sweet spice. On the palette the wine has silky smooth tannins layered beautifully with a nice acidity. Enjoy it this year but for a great experience save it for 2 years. Enjoy on its own or with some strong cheese or bbq steak.
Erik F for Bruce in the City
Check out Erik’s top 5 wine picks of 2018 Boxing Day!