Tell me a bit about yourself.
Karin: Detroit born and Windsor raised, I’ve been living in Toronto for almost 8 years. I moved here to study journalism at Ryerson University and met my dear friend Nina there. We bonded over pasta Sunday dinners in the cafeteria at Rye High. I now work for a sports network where my extensive knowledge of figure skating and gymnastics has surprisingly proven to be useless.
Nina: I grew up in Rexdale, but finished my last year of high school in Aurora. Missing the hustle and bustle, I moved to Toronto in 2004 to study journalism at Ryerson. Short (“5) and almost always clad entirely in black, I move around the city by foot as often as I can. I’m an editor at a magazine that covers contemporary architecture and design, which means I get the jokes in Helvetica – a film about a widely used typeface.
Tell me a bit about your roommate; why did you decide to live together?
Karin: I previously lived with Nina during university and it worked out so well we thought we’d try it again. We’re both clean freaks, enjoy impromptu Cher-themed dance parties and share similar opinions on politics, social issues and pop culture. Also, we find the same shit funny.
Nina: Our respective leases were expiring and we both wanted to reduce our living expenses. Having lived together before, I knew that Karin and I wouldn’t have any issues. We enjoy the same food (pasta – cheap and easy), taste in music and television shows. For instance, when watching Law & Order SVU, we reminisce about Ice T’s legendary rat tail. More importantly, Karin knows not to talk to me before I’ve had a sip of coffee.
Have any house traditions?
Karin & Nina: A Halloween party & Oscar party EVERY year. We provide booze, food, prizes and entertainment. It’s a go big or go home type of shindig. We’re in our mid 20s now, none of this BYOB crap.
What’s the hardest part about living with someone else? Any roommate pet peeves?
Karin: I think the hardest part about living with someone is that you’re combining two different personalities and approaches to life in a very small space. Luckily, Nina and I share similar values and respect each other’s differences. My biggest pet peeve is NINA’S CURLY HAIR! Coming from a family of mostly pin-straight haired individuals, I was unaware of the amount of shedding that would occur when I took up residence with this curly-haired Italian. That, and Imelda Marcos (as I like to call Nina) likes to leave 7+ pairs of shoes at the front door. Oh, and let’s not forget about THE TOWER of New Yorkers that I trip over when I walk into her room.
Nina: For me the hardest part about living with another person is that because I work long hours, I don’t spend very much time at home. Sometimes I feel like I’m not pulling my weight when it comes to maintaining the apartment. Pet peeve: Karin is always re-organizing the hallway closet and has made several attempts to tackle mine.
What’s your favourite thing about the neighbourhood you live in?
Karin&Nina: What we like about Yonge & Eglinton is the combination of chain stores (ie: Shoppers Drug Mart, The Body Shop) on Yonge Street and small family owned restaurants and shops that line Mount Pleasant. There’s a great little gelato place that we hit up in the blistering summer heat (Il Gelatiere) and a very small movie theatre (Mt. Pleasant Theatre) that plays three-month old Blockbuster movies to an often sparse crowd.
What’s the best part of the apartment?
Karin: The cottage culture in Toronto was something I had never experienced before. Many people I meet often have a family cottage or visit one on long weekends. While some Torontonians take to the 401, Nina and I have dubbed our sliver of a balcony our “summer home.” For us, it’s the best part of this apartment. We can spend hours out there drinking, reading, laughing, playing music, people watching and exploring nature (our plants).
Nina: I love our floor-to-ceiling windows. They allow a flood of natural light in and offer expansive views of the northeast corner of the city. On Canada Day and Victoria Day, the fireworks at Ashbridges Bay are visible from the comfort of my bed.
Share a happy/fun memory from your time in your apartment.
Nina: Picture it : The Victoria Day long weekend and we’re hanging out on the balcony. Karin decides she’s going to be the bartender for the day and decides to make mojitos. After three or four, I notice a hockey puck-sized slab of sugar at the bottom of my drink. Needless to say, Karin no longer makes mojitos.
Karin: I think a lot of my favourite memories revolve around our sarcasm-riddled conversations. I also love negotiating with Nina over the appropriate time to put up our Christmas decorations. I usually decorate by myself because Nina doesn’t like Christmas. (However,I have convinced her to hang up her collection of Disney villain ornaments.) Instead of using a traditional star on top of our tree, we actually put A STAR on our tree (Cher and Madonna so far have shared that glory).
~ Monica Heisey