Riverdale Farmer’s Market
The summer harvests are now in full swing and the Market has lots of fresh produce every Tuesday afternoon.  This week, there were blueberries from Sudbury, lavender from Niagara, veggies from Port Hope, Long Point, Picton and Rice Lake.  Suppliers from Toronto provided organic, vegan and gluten-free desserts. The guy selling ricotta, feta, yogurt, fresh eggs and olive oil was happy to explain why his life had become so much better after he left the restaurant biz!  My top prize for a name went to “Relish Yo’ Mama” – a project of the Composte Council of Canada, proud sponsors of Soupilicious.  Riverdale Park, Sumach and Winchester, every Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 7 pm until October 31.

Last minute announcement
Cabbagetown South Residents are hosting “Champagne & Strawberries” tonight, June 28 from 7:30 to 9 pm at 203 Seaton Street.  It’s a triple-header - your chance to enjoy your neighbours, to munch on fresh, in-season strawberries and to launch the Canada Day weekend in style.  $10.  To learn more details and to register, click here.

Football at The Ben Wicks
Robert invites you to drop by The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) to enjoy the Euro championship.  The game starts at 2:45 pm on Sunday.  At the Wicks, you can sit outside and watch the game on their new patio screen or wander inside for regular viewings.  Lots of good football-friendly snacks and cool adult beverages available as well.

Summerlicious is back
It’s time for the summer’s city-wide food festival.  Reservations are now open. The event itself takes place from July 6 to 22.  Over 180 restaurants are participating and four are nearby – in Cabbagetown, Stonegrill $35 dinner (51A Winchester, 416-967-6565, click here for the menu) and in the Distillery, Archeo $35 dinner (Bldg 45, 416-815-9898, menu here), Boiler House $35 dinner (Bldg 46, menu here) and Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill $20 lunch and $35 dinner (Bldg 62A, 416-361-5859, menu here).

Spencer West climbs Mount Kilimanjaro
Spencer lost his legs below his pelvis when he was a child because of a genetic disorder.  Today, he works at Free the Children (233 Carlton) and he’s a familiar sight in Cabbagetown.  His climb up Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro is itself a remarkable feat.  He’s combined that accomplishment with a fundraising effort to raise money for fresh water supplies in Kenya – so far, he’s earned $500,000 and he still hopes to get $250,000 more.  The National Post did a story this week about his adventures, his achievements and the ideals that motivate him – click here to read about him.

Regent Park School of Music
Kids from the School performed before 40,000 people last Saturday at the Rogers Centre during Roger Waters’ The Wall – a repeat of their appearance with him in 2010.  Waters himself told them “You were great!”  You can read a review from the Toronto Sun here.  The School will be moving into the new Arts & Culture Centre on Dundas Street in August.  The Toronto Star has written a nice summary of their programs and plans for the future (click here).

Sunday nights at Cranberries
Cranberries (601 Parliament) is one of Cabbagetown’s most comfortable restaurants. They attract a loyal clientele who enjoy both the specials and the welcoming atmosphere.  You can also book their private room for smaller family and group functions – it comes with its own lounge area and the staff provide personal service for the occasion.  Sunday evenings are now a roast beef night – gazpacho or mixed salad to start, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding. seasonal veggies and mashed potatoes for your main course and homemade bread pudding with Irish Whiskey sauce for dessert, all for $17.99.

Step classes at the CYC
Brenda Brown McNee is holding her first-ever early morning sessions at the CYC (2 Lancaster) this summer. It’s an experiment to see whether people want to exercise at an early hour.  Classes will take place from 7 to 8 am from Tuesday July 3 to Thursday August 16. She takes you through aerobics and then some stretching and strength exercises.  These are very sociable neighbourhood events – highly recommended.  $2 per session.  Call the CYC to get info about registering: (416) 960-1032

Students demonstrate on Parliament Street
It’s nice to have Bob Rae and Glen Murray located at 514 Parliament.  Our elected rep’s are readily available there and their office staff do a fine job welcoming us and hearing about our views.  They also attract the wider world into our little Cabbagetown corner.  Last week, a group of students showed up to oppose high tuition fees and to write slogans on the wall and the sidewalk.  And they expressed their solidarity with Quebec students who have so strongly organized on this issue.

Burlesque at Jet Fuel
Chris Hutcheson’s photos will be shown at Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) from July 2 to 31. The show is called “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. It includes images of burlesque legend Satan’s Angel as well as Tiffany Carter who was Miss Nude Universe in 1975 and local and international “Neo-Burlesque” performers from Toronto and Montreal.  Chris describes it as a departure from his work with landscape photography.  Once he started the project, he found that he wanted it to continue, “it’s just a different kind of landscape.” Check out more on the exhibition at http://blog.chrishutcheson.com  and of course, drop in to Jet Fuel.

Riverdale picnic report
The Riverdale Farm picnic (held last Thursday in the Paddock area) was a roaring success.  Early estimates indicate that over 600 tickets were sold and a considerable number of  people who couldn’t be there bought tickets anyway to contribute to the new Farm fundraiser. Those who attended enjoyed themselves immensely.  There were kids everywhere playing games, checking out the animals and wolfing down picnic dinners.  Grown-ups gossiped.  It rained but nobody cared.   Congrat’s to everyone involved.