James Street North Art Crawl

Art Crawl gets bigger and better every month! The warmer months are the most fun for Art Crawl, and everyone was out and about, taking full advantage of the hot summer night. I also realized this was our second Crawl this year that fell on the superstitious Friday the 13th (the last one being in April) and thirteen is proving lucky.

First I have to mention my pre-Crawl stop during the day to Green Smoothie Bar. I heard about GSB through Carly, who knows owner Joe Acardi. I got to meet manager Danielle Height and her sister Melissa who were behind the counter creating the smoothies and zeroed in on the Pineapple Banana for my first Green Smoothie experience. After choosing a flavour, you can select one “kick” or three, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Many people opt for an energy boost! I chose the Maca, after the girls explained something about back in the day, warriors would take it for strength. They also mentioned it’s a libido-enhancer, and that never hurts, now does it?

With all kinds of kicks to choose from, like coconut, matcha, wheatgrass, cocoa, flax seed, and more, I know I’ll to be back to experiment with some different combos. Danielle and Melissa are super friendly and take the time to explain the benefits of each smoothie while they are whipping it up in a very high-tech blender. I enjoyed my chat with them and taking in the modern, bright green and white space. It’s definitely a spot I’ll be stopping by again when strolling along James North.

After a brief flicker of a thunderstorm between my time on James and heading home, the evening cleared up and I set back out to meet Avi at Art Crawl. Although we didn’t get to pop into too many locations this time around, we were on a mission to hit specific spots. Before meeting up, Avi hit up Tourism Hamilton to check out the mouth-watering Beanermunky chocolate display, and I checked out the newly opened Art Gallery of Hamilton Design Annex, right next to CBC Hamilton. The space is absolutely gorgeous and I loved admiring all the artwork and pieces that would look great in the home. I recognized the work of Andy DeCola on the walls, which we saw on display at Mulberry’s De Facto back at March’s Art Crawl. I also got to meet Lindsay, another Twitter friend, who was working away during the busy Crawl. James North is the perfect spot for the AGH to open their new space, and their main location is still on our to-do list!

Andy DeCola’s work at the Design Annex

From there, it was over to CBC Hamilton to check out their photo booth and speaker’s corner. Arriving early, I got to sort through the props, and with Roger Gillespie’s help, opted for some giant pink glasses. I got to be the first to test out the booth, and when Avi arrived, we put on a few more accessories and filmed a little promo for The Playlist 1.0 – coming up on July 28th! Watch the video and check out their writeup about our show. Thanks to Roger and the folks at CBC for having us be part of this month’s Art Crawl activities, and for the shout out the next day!

Next door to CBC, the girls from Sweet Ice Snow Cones were set up, right next to some acrobats! That’s right, acrobats! This is why I love Art Crawl. Fittingly, the Sweet Ice commercial was playing on loop at CBC, and the video and my entry about it were featured on CBC’s digital round up the next day. And thank you, Linds, for the cute Sweet Ice buttons!

We also made it down the street to check out the new salon, The Ten Spot. The chain has a couple of salons in Toronto, with this being the first in Hamilton. It seems like a great fit for the street and I’ve been seeing tweets from happy customers after getting their mani-pedis! We spoke with Janet and Kathleen and got a nice tour of the salon. I was eyeing all of those gorgeous nail polish colours, thinking about how indecisive Avi and I would be about choosing just one!

Photo courtesy of CBC Hamilton

Then it was time for the main event we came for – Dr. Disc’s 21st anniversary festivities! The concert series Raise the Roof kicked off with The Great Machine, The Dirty Nil, New Hands, and The Rest. We unfortunately missed the first band, and came partway through Dirty Nil’s. I was excited to finally see them play. They were just as wild and crazy as I expected, with birthday boy Luke coming down from the roof at one point and continuing to belt out a song, acapella, when there was some technical difficulties with the sound. Those boys go hard! I like to think I made a good first impression, yelling a Happy Birthday to Luke later on as he whipped by, hanging out the passenger seat of a car.

We were then joined by friends Vanessa and Sarah, and we moved up closer to the building to get a prime spot for New Hands. What can I say that I haven’t already about this band? I love these guys; they impress me every single time. Seeing them up on the roof made me think of their recent Southern Souls video, a rite of passage for any artist, which they filmed on the very top of Dr. Disc. The heights would have made me slightly nervous, but all the bands were total pros.

The Dirty Nil

New Hands

After a quick sprint down to Mulberry, where lovely artwork by Clarence A. Porter was featured in De Facto, we hurried back to Dr. Disc for The Rest. I can’t say enough about this band, either. They are amazing! The seven-piece filled out the rooftop space and Adam’s voice soared, carrying through the air and down the street. It was a treat to be able to see them play again so soon. They are simply the best (better than all the rest?) Their band name lends itself to a good pun. But I mean that! One of the best bands in the City, for me!

The night raged on with me, Sarah, and Vanessa hitting Casbah Lounge for the official Dr. Disc Birthday after party. The fellas of San Sebastian were holding it down on the decks and spinning the best selection of tunes. I may have requested some Soul Decision. I love those guys; it’s always a party when they’re involved. We arrived fashionably early, which is how we roll, and the rest of the bands (pun intended, again) soon joined in. We had an absolute blast and can’t wait for another night like that one.

Yet another fantastic Art Crawl and Friday the 13th for the books!

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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