The Best Of

The Best of 2016...

Compiling this shit gets harder and harder every year...


Film of the Year


Honourable mentions: Moonlight; Ghostbusters

TV Show of the Year


Rick & Morty (I was late to the party)

Honourable mentions: Stranger Things; Chef's Table; Atlanta; Westworld; Broad City S.03; Game of Thrones S.06


Documentary of the Year

Michael Pollan's Cooked 


Book of the Year


[the best of] DEAR COQUETTE by Dear Coquette


Album of the Year

Blond – Frank Ocean


Honourable mentions: The Life of Pablo – Kanye West; Lemonade – Beyonce; A Seat At The Table - Solange

Painful confession: I slacked so hard on music this year, just because I felt like I didn’t have any time to set aside and comb through what’s new. I’ve never in life been this clueless about current music and I’ve almost always managed to stay on top of that shit year after year. Did you know DIIV released a new album this year? And I love DIIV? Well, evidently, not enough if I didn’t even know they released a new album? Sheesh. But anyhow, if life doesn’t get in the way next year, I may be able to make it a fulfilled goal to get back into really loving music again.


Disappoints of the Year



Album From Way Back That I Missed, but Got Into This Year

Not so much a specific album, but I listened to Heart and Fleetwood Mac when the mood randomly struck. I didn't even know I knew so much music by Heart. YOU probably don't know you know so much music by Heart... so here...

Best Song of the Year

Work - Rihanna, f. Drake

This is most likely objectively the worst song of the year, but the one that got stuck in my head the most. I just can't differentiate the two.

Best New Artist of the Year

Solange. I know that she's been around for a while, but what she released this year is dopest and I think she really found her sound with A Seat At The Table. Also, I'm actually scared that her big sister is going to kill her in her sleep because that's how good A Seat At The Table is.

Overrated Artist of the Year



Concert of the Year

I didn’t go to any shows this year (!)


Podcast of the Year

Women of the Hour by Lena Dunham. Also, favourite podcast episode was by far and by large, The Bill Simmons podcast when he had on Chris Sacca (below is my reaction tweet after Chris Sacca thanked me for the praise I gave him for the interview)...


Website of the Year


YouTube Channel of the Year


Instagram of the Year

Jake Likes Onions...


New Addiction of the Year

For a good part of the year, it was Neko Atsume. But I got rid of the app to make more room on my phone. Otherwise, nothing really endured!  


Ride of the Year

The solo climb up Mount Seymour...

I discovered that it’s particularly maddening when you’re climbing for that long by yourself and—despite the breathtaking panoramic views during Vancouver to Whistler, I know I went a little mental when I rode that trip.  But there were no feelings of descending into madness when I was going up Seymour because everything was too beautiful. I was surrounded by the tallest firs and cedars. There was a hovering, dreamy mist. There were no city sounds. There were no cars. It smelled like what Earth is supposed to smell like. I could hear woodland creatures. It was very quiet, still, tranquil. My breath was louder than my LaPierre. I would love to have that experience again because I think it was beyond cycling, it was merely an added bonus to have experienced it on a bike. 


Food of the Year

The banh-mi sandwich - I know, I’m like five years late to this party, but up until this summer, I didn’t even know they had meatless options. People have always curbed me from even checking it out by saying that it’s a chicken sandwich so I just never bothered to dig deeper. But there’s a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese meat shop in Toronto’s Chinatown that sells lemongrass tofu banh-mi and sardines banh-mi. Most meat lovers would sneer, I get it, it’s not the same as a true banh-mi. But if Vietnamese people are making it so, then it is so. If I can hustle on my lunch break, I go over to grab both! Best lunch ever.


Best New Discovery of the Year

Two things...

ZWIFT. Acquiring a trainer was a blessing for me and I attribute so much of my my improvement in cycling to it. ZWIFT is absolutely great as it makes winter training way less painful. I tell people that it's like Mario Kart, but for cyclists!

The Bunz Community - What a wacky, colourful community of Toronto. We've come to realize that we all struggle, we all suffer hardship, and it's made our giving, empathetic hearts swell bigger than ever. I have nothing to offer to anyone really, but I try to listen and understand every Bunz-tagged story that splashes across my Facebook news feed. You really do see Toronto in another light when you start to deeply understand the people who inhabit it.


Memorable Death of the Year

DAVID FUCKING BOWIE. I woke up that morning, flipped my phone over, read the headline, and felt the wind knocked out of me. I just died and cried. I truly believe that him no longer existing punched a big hole in the universe and left behind such a cosmic imbalance of things that that's why the whole world became especially fucked this year. 

Right after him is Phife Dawg.


Word(s) of the Year



Worst Word of the Year



Man of the Year

J. Trudeau

I reluctantly give him this title since he recently came out with that ridiculous eulogy to Fidel Castro, not following through with reforming Canada's election process even though he said he would (I know, candidates running for any type of big political office who window-dress their objectives throughout their campaign is par for the course, but this is still disappointing all the same), and approving the  Trans Mountain pipeline project. These blunders committed so closely together make me wonder if he's still the same Prime Minister that we all fell in love with the first day. Only time will tell.


Douche(s) of the Year

Donald J. Trump. He made my list last year under the same category, but he shared the title with Martin Shkreli. At that point, his presence was hilarious and relatively benign and I remember precisely chuckling to myself and 100% believing that while he was a fucking anal fissure of a man, Trump was very obviously not technically fit to be president and the people and system would recognize this and therefore wouldn't dare allow him to rule a country. Now we’re here, in the upside-down, at the beginning of a very dark and real President Trump era and it’s fucking surreal and staggering and dissonant. Now Shkreli has faded into cultural irrelevance and is nothing more than an apple core on the street compared to the gigantic orange dumpster pile of wet, hot garbage that Trump is. I honestly can’t believe this one megalomaniacal madman is now responsible for so much, seemingly wielding the direction of the tides with as much power as the moon. It's unfathomable. I’m filled with such dread when I think about it and I never thought I’d have to live through a period that’s been eerily compared to living in Nazi Germany. Ever.


Woman of the Year

I can’t say. I don’t believe I can single out one person to take all the credit. 

Woman We Don't Want Playing For Our Team Anymore

The ones who put their white privilege before their gender (particularly the ones who voted for Donald Trump)

Influence of the Year

Chef Sarah Fortunato, my chocolate chef. It's beyond chocolate here. When I have felt cast out at sea without a raft, this woman has told me to keep treading, to keep swimming. I really wish there was a Chef Sarah in every person's life :) 

WTF Moments of the Year

-Bowie's death

-Prince's death


-The Panama Papers (and how disturbingly quick the media was to stop covering it)

-Donald Trump winning the 2016 presidential election


“Holy shit” Moment(s)/Realizations/Awesomeness of the Year

-Cycling in B.C.

-All my moments with Matt... too many to count... but one of my favourite ones from this year was us lying in bed and listening to the live broadcast of The Tragically Hip's last concert this summer. 


Friend(s) of the Year

A photo posted by ALLY (@_chenzhili) on

A. Chan - The best thing to happen to westside cycling, for real <3

P. Diez - thanks for being present :) 


Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2017

-More chocolate :)


-Matt moving back to the city :) :) 


Year-End Note

I don't even know what to write here. I thought I had something....

Hmmm. Okay, a list of vague and quasi-nihilistic life mantras I've repeated to myself this year...

-"Give no fucks."

-"No one, not even the people in places of (seeming) authority, has the authoritative word on how to live life, especially the authoritative word on how to live YOUR life"

-"1,000,000 pastry chefs are still making 1,000,000 goddamn French macarons. Stop doubting and just do the thing."

-"You have it so good." (I do, I really fucking do, and I count my blessings every single day)

-"Perfection is myth."

-"No one knows what they're doing. One quarter admits to not knowing what they're doing, one quarter truly believes they know what they're doing, and the last half is only pretending to know what they're doing."

-"In the end, none of this will matter."

-"Know thyself."


Know thy fucking self.