Hamilton Art Crawling

This is an out of date post. That’s how behind I am on everything. On a positive note, in part it’s because I’ve been adventuring more and not sitting editing at my computer.

I love the Hamilton Art Crawls. They take place on James Street North on the second Friday of every month, and they’re ideal for people watching. All the artists, hipsters, hippies, and gypsters show up in full force and full-fashion, and it’s wonderful to mingle in the crowds on a warm summer evening.

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I took less photos this time, I’m not sure why. I do remember I was really tired. For more Art Crawl scenes, see my post here and check out the big art event Super Crawl too!


Love: Places

“I was in love with the place
In my mind, in my mind
I made a lot of mistakes
In my mind, in my mind”

My blog theme for this month is LOVE, which may seem a little obvious for February, but sometimes as you as well work with a situation. The first post for the month though is about my love for a place (and my friends). I was born in Hamilton, and spent a lot of my childhood there, but that’s not why I love it now. Hamilton has such a unique vibe. It’s sort of dirty and sketchy sometimes, but all around are these old, beautiful buildings. And the Art (oh the Art!)… it’s everywhere. Art is part of the fibre of the city, and the creative community has played a central part in re-building the reputation of Hamilton.

For my birthday, I asked my friends if we could go on a book store crawl in Hamilton. It was a Sunday, so most of the bookstores were closed, but we did check out Epic Books on Locke Street. Locke has quirky street art in every alleyway, and a number of really cute, “artsy” shops, including Quills.

After Locke Street, we went over to James North to see if Mixed Media was open, since it’s one of my favourite stores. It wasn’t, but we tried out Hotti Biscotti while we were there.

We walked around to King Street to hit up old favourites after that.

The Hamilton Art Gallery is open to the public for free right now, because part of it isn’t open for renovations, so we stopped there too. I had never been before and really enjoyed it.

Then we went for sushi and ate too much, so all in all, an amazing day. Explore the city (or town) you’re in and try to do it with your eyes open for small details you might otherwise overlook.



Super Crawl 2015

Anyone who went to Super Crawl this year will remember one thing, it rained EVERY DAY of the festival. Every month James North in Hamilton, the Art District, hosts an Art Crawl, for galleries and crafters and buskers, and anyone who wants to set up on the street on a Friday evening. It’s busy but still sort of low key. Super Crawl is a whole separate event, despite the fact that it’s still an Art Crawl. There are food trucks everywhere. Some people just go for the food trucks. There are also free live concerts of a pretty epic proportion. We saw Hayden, (and not trying to brag or anything, but National icon Fred Penner was also there). There are fashion shows, with designs, not just apparel, from local designers. This isn’t the kind of fundraising fashion show that you see with PTAs or in small towns. They’re legitimate fashion shows. I will probably stick to the Art Crawls in future, unless there’s a really great band playing. It was unfortunate too, because Sarah and I had some Art showing at Baltimore House, but of course, we went on the day that there was a paid event and we couldn’t in. Oh well, the show runs into October, so I’m sure we will get down there at some point.

And…. because I take more photos on my cell phone these days apparently, here are a few more Super Crawl (Sunday) moments.

Downtown Hamilton Shops

There are tons of small shops in downtown Hamilton that are worth visiting, but my favourite, by far, is Mixed Media on James North. It’s full of Art prints and back issues of Bust magazine, and books by Beci Orpin and other designers. The prices are reasonable and there’s always something interesting to look at, in the realm of media.

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James North is Art central in Hamilton, and hosts monthly Art crawls, plus the Super Crawl. Little galleries and Artsy shops line the street and I’m not going to go in detail on them all. My other favourite though, is the White Elephant. It’s just so pretty inside. Admittedly, this time I noticed it was more expensive and only had jewellery and clothing. It use to have paper crafts – masks, magazines, that sort of thing. white elephant 02 white elephant 03

white elephant

I guess the point is, the sellers are independent and very talented. I loved the jewellery, and it really wasn’t over-priced, I just couldn’t afford it.

We always spend time on King Street as well… down around Catherine Street. I’ve blogged about it before, but I’ll post new photos.

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Cheapies music store

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Out of the past

And finally, Ottawa Street. Ottawa Street is actually the fabric district, as is demonstrated by not only the many fabric shops but also the street signs that look like buttons and a giant needle and thread. Mixed among the fabric shops, are antique stores, some of them pretty high end. I like the junkier places though. Steeltown Pickers isn’t junkier, it’s really nice, but more affordable.

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Apparently these are my only photos from that shop.

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I don’t remember the name of this place and I can’t find it on google. I think it was Aunt Tilly’s Trunk or something. There’s place called Molly’s Back Porch, that might be it… only I thought for sure there was the word “aunt” in it. Anyway, it’s a small shop, just a room really, but very visually interesting (as you can see).

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I love this costume shop too. It’s either really tiny or just really crammed full of costumes though, so there’s not really room to move around or look at things at leisure… be prepared for awkwardness (if that kind of thing makes you feel awkward).

At last but not least, and I’ve blogged about it before, Antique Avenue. I still really love looking around the store. There is just so much to see and it’s all so quirky and interesting. That being said, it’s also gotten more expensive. I still go though, because they’ve had old Dunnville photographs twice now and in my price range! Also, I’m NOT into taxidermy animals. This store has a huge collection of them. They never use to, so I guess it’s a newer addition. antique alley 01 antique alley 02 antique alley 03 antique alley 04 antique alley 05 antique alley 06 antique alley 07 antique alley 08 antique alley 10