The best part about working in media, besides the party circuit and the odd press trip that lets us believe we have the financial freedom to travel more glamourously than we actually do, is getting to hang out with other writers. Perhaps it’s the way that we can speak as easily about the current state of Detroit as a representation of the decline of the American empire as they can the best way to live off a loaf of bread for a week, but they’re our kind of people… not that we’re biased or anything. Meet Renee Sylvestre-Williams, whose work has appeared everywhere from the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star to Forbes.com and Canadian Living. Currently the Community Manager, Digital for Global News, Sylvestre-Williams also writes for Ethnic Aisle, a publication about race in the Greater Toronto Area – as if her portfolio wasn’t diverse enough. We caught up with the multi-talented journalist to find out about her life in media and her current obsessions…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
Well, my name is Renee and I write about things for a living. So far I’ve written about clothes, careers, money, family, death, culture, people. If the topic or the person is interesting, I’ll write it. Right now I’m mulling a piece that involves sunblock and another piece about death.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My phone since I do everything on it except talk to people. A pen. A notebook. I have a lot of moleskins. They’re all black.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it is so easy to be in Toronto. Maybe too easy?
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
I live in midtown so I don’t spend a lot of time in the restaurants downtown or in the west end. Personally, I have a weakness for those divey bars that look really sketchy but serve amazing food. My first job in Toronto was at Toronto.com and it was just south of Zupa’s, which makes a mean grilled cheese. Plus you could always end up in a conversation with cops.
What’s your drink and where do you get it?
My drinks vary depending on the season. In summer it’s a bourbon sour. In winter, it’s a negroni or an old-fashioned. If not that, then red wine from Spain. The bigger the red, the better.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
I spend my day at a desk or slumped on a couch editing or suffering over a lede so my shoulders have this lovely curve and just ache. I could do more yoga but give me any massage that pounds out the soreness. The tougher a massage, the better.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
You can find me on Twitter. I talk about a combination of fashion, politics (Toronto, mostly), my nephew and niecelet, movies and sometimes comics.