Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shaika Cafe

Shaika Cafe is a really cute and trendy coffee shop in N.D.G. that is perfect for doing homework, writing and reading a good book. Located on Sherbrooke Street and Old Orchard, the cafe has an international and natural feel, decorated with dark wood tables, lots of plants and beautiful paintings. What is even more amazing about this cafe is that it serves fair trade and organic coffees. It is somewhat like a Java U but is much more unique and way more cozy. It also has wi-fi internet, like most coffee shops, which is perfect for getting essays written. They also promote and support local Montreal musicians, putting on shows various times a month. If you are bored of the regular Starbucks and Second Cup atmospheres, I definitely recommend Shaika Cafe. It is the perfect place to meet and talk with friends, read a good book or get some homework done.
As a side note, if you like Shaika Cafe, you might also like the owner's other restaurants. Also located in N.D.G. and Westmount, La Louisiane, Bowfinger and The Claremont are all amazing restaurants, each with their own unique and diverse styles and menus.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Audrey Hepburn

I have long been a committed fan of Audrey Hepburn (as you can see from the title of my blog!). Recently, I have been reading her biography called "Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn" by Donald Spoto. A New York Times Bestseller, the biography does a fantastic job of retelling Audrey's life, beginning from her childhood in Belgium and Holland, proceeding to her lessons in ballet and then her subsequent career first as a dancer and then as an actress. It outlines Audrey's life as a celebrity and spends time explaining what her life was like while she worked on movies like "Sabrina" and "Breakfast and Tiffany's" (two of my absolute favourites). It also gives a detailed account of her love life as well as her work with UNICEF and other charities helping the sick and poor in Africa. As an added treat, the biography also includes many photographs of Audrey throughout her life, my favourite being the one of her sitting on the fire escape singing "Moon River" in "Breakfast at Tiffany's". If you are an Audrey Hepburn fan, I definitely recommend this biography as it more than adequately details the life and career of one of Hollywood's most classic and beautiful actresses.

(photograph courtesy of ebooks images)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"The Choice" by Nicholas Sparks

My friends Olivia and Natasha have got me hooked to Nicholas Sparks novels! I was so excited when Olivia got me "The Choice" and "Message in a Bottle" for Christmas seeing as love stories are my guilty pleasure. Even though I am an English Lit. student and feel as though I should be reading books that are more epic and revered by the literary world, I just enjoy books like "The Choice" far too much. If you have never read anything by Nicholas Sparks, he is one of the most romantic authors out there, writing story after story about star-crossed lovers in various heart-wrenching situations. I recently finished reading "The Choice", which tells the story of Travis Parker and Gabby Holland, two neighbours who despite their rocky start as friends, end up falling in love and embarking on a both romantic and heartbreaking journey through life together. (SPOILER) Although Gabby is already romantically involved, she cannot help but fall for Travis, the athletic veterinarian who lives next door to her. As they become more acquainted, they realize they have a lot in common (including their love of animals) and share the same hopes and dreams for the future. Although it is a little bit unsettling that Gabby is able to leave Kevin, her long time boyfriend so suddenly after spending some time with Travis, their unique love, which Nicholas Sparks demonstrates beautifully, is a good enough justification. Moreover, no Nicholas Sparks novel would be complete without some form of sadness and heartbreak, so when Gabby falls into a coma after a car accident, the reader is left feeling torn as Travis does, not knowing whether he should wait for her to wake up or move on. "The Choice", although a predictable and typical love story, is one that is extremely hard to put down. If you are looking for an easy and more importantly a romantic read, then I definitely recommend this novel, as well as all of Nicholas Sparks's books.

Photo courtesy of Google Images (