We sat down with Jo Dickens, photographer and communications manager for Jamie Kennedy's Gilead Cafe in Corktown and asked her what she loves about the east side...
As a photographer, the thing I love most is exercising my powers of observation, and also finding beauty everywhere and in everyone. In my job as a communications manager and assistant to Chef Jamie Kennedy, I love working with a fun and talented person who also enjoys and appreciates the creative process. Plus he’s really contributing so much to the community, and to culture, and it’s a privilege to help out with that.
How do you stay balanced with life, career, family, friends & health?
I don’t really feel balanced, I’m still trying to find a way! It’s such a learning process and as soon as you figure a little bit out, the playing field changes! I’m trying to learn to live in the moment as much as possible. The kids are 9 so they really come first.
Favourite place to visit in Corktown?
Gilead of course! I do come with my girlfriends outside of work. And body blitz! The kids love the Underpass park.
What do you love about this neighbourhood?
I love that it’s rich in history but is also experiencing a renaissance. I love that it’s central but feels tucked away. I live in Leslieville, work in Corktown, and am very happy to be an east-ender.
How has this neighbourhood changed since you have been here?
It’s bursting with development and there seems to be creative minds at work behind the design, thank goodness.
Describe your perfect day.
I’m not going to get too into the food side of it! But a perfect day would be summery and involve taking in some art or fun event with the kids, doing something creative, reading in a big comfy chair with my feet up, sunlight and breeze coming in from a nearby window, and kids reading their own books too, an hour or so of playing tennis, doing some yoga with my hubby, a family meal al fresco, meeting girlfriends for drinks and dancing to live music. Pretty full day!
Top 3 pieces of advice you would give to other women?
Hmmm. Be yourself. Believe in yourself. Treat yourself as you would like others to treat you.
Favourite place to eat in the city?
I’m pretty excited about Tabule on Queen. I love the look and ambiance, and I love Middle Eastern food.
What’s playing on your iPod right now?
I’m really enjoying internet radio – funk/ r&b /soul stations, ambient and electronica sometimes. I have discovered Wilco (about 10 years late?) and love them. I listen to jazz a lot. I adore John Mayer’s music.
Tell us about your first experience with body blitz?
I enjoyed the water circuit with my friend Rebecca, and it felt very cleansing physically and mentally.
How do you do the water circuit?
Well I like to go with the “recommended procedure” the first few times I do something, before venturing off or rebelling, so I do it like the poster says to, even though the cold water plunge is tough for me!
Finish this sentence: a visit to the body blitz waters makes me feel …