21 Questions with Kristin Archer of I Heart Hamilton

21 Questions with Kristin Archer of I Heart Hamilton

So often we travel to get away from our hometowns, but I Heart Hamilton’s slogan, “Be a tourist in your own city” reminds us that there’s so much to discover in our own backyard.

28-year old Hamiltonian Kristin Archer began her blog on May 1, 2011, right after she graduated from McMaster University. If you spend some time at Hamilton’s hot spots or special events, you’re sure to run into Kristin doing her thing. She covers everything from food to sports to shops, but she has an evident sweet spot for music. Aside from writing, this busy lady hosts a radio show, organizes concerts to promote local bands, and even DJs.

Catch Kristin interviewing local personalities on the I Heart Hamilton hour-long radio show airing Fridays at 2pm on 93.3 CFMU. She has also formed the DJ duo Kristin A/B. See them next on May 1st at This Ain’t Hollywood during I Heart Hamilton: The Playlist 4.0 (Fundraiser for Food4Kids) and at more gigs throughout the summer.  We asked Kristin, the ultimate Hamilton tourist, for some of her favourites in the city.

I Heart Hamilton

My favourite place to Art Crawl is…

I just love wandering the length of James North each Art Crawl. No two Art Crawls are ever the same and it’s so much fun dipping in and out of shops and galleries. An essential stop is always Dr. Disc – each Art Crawl from May-October they have the “Raise the Roof” concert series, which I Heart Hamilton co-presents with Hamilton Magazine.

If I got to tour any other city, I would visit…

There are so many places I would love to visit one day. A major one on my bucket list would be to tour Reykjavik, Iceland. I discovered the blog I Heart Reykjavik and it actually began on the same day, month, and year that I started I Heart Hamilton. That’s unreal! I still can’t get over that and I think of her as my blog twin, across the world! So I have to go.

My favourite quiet spot to reflect in the city is…

The Waterfront. It is definitely my peaceful place.

I never leave home without…

My phone! Notebook/pen are essentials too. And snacks.

The last thing I googled was…

I don’t remember, but there is a solid chance it was song lyrics!

When I’m stressed I…

Listen to music, for sure. It just changes everything. The right song can get you back into a good space.

When I’m craving ____, I go to…

When I’m craving avocado fries, I go to WORK on James North. I’m definitely due for some of those.

I’d love to interview…

The Kids in the Hall – they are performing in Hamilton on April 27th! I’ve met them before and I am just such a fangirl.

I would also love to do an interview with Rich Aucoin sometime. He is one of my favourite artists and is such an inspiration, the way he brings such joy and positivity into the world with his music and live show.

My celebrity crush is…

Is Ryan Gosling too obvious?

My favourite place to shop for clothes is…

Girl on the Wing is the cutest. I love everything she carries; it’s such a well-curated shop. Her vintage is so sweet and affordable and I also love that she carries cool contemporary lines like Out of Print (The Little Prince sweater is a favourite item of mine!).

The best advice I ever got was…

To just follow your own path and be true to yourself.

The last book I read was…

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I can’t believe it took me until now to finally read it but it is life-changing and I was meant read it right now.

My go-to coffee shop is…

Mulberry is definitely my go-to and I also really love Democracy – just wish I lived closer! But it’s so hard to choose – Hamilton is full of amazing roasters and coffee shops.

My favourite thing about Hamilton is…

Our music scene – I’ve been going to local shows for years and getting to meet so many musicians and to be able to support them and give them exposure through the blog is so rewarding. The talent here is unbelievable. I also love how supportive the community is. People are so receptive to new ideas. When a new business pops up, people are always quick to support.

My biggest pet peeve is…

I would say negative attitudes. No time for that!

Kristin Archer

My favourite bloggers are…

So much love to local music bloggers Biljana at Cut From Steel and Luke at Extreme Nonchalance. Awesome content. And there is no bigger foodie than Chanry of The Hungry Gnome. I love her honesty and humour. Local blogger trivia for you – all of us went to the same high school, Glendale!

My first ever job was…

In high school I worked seasonally for two years at Limeridge Mall where you get your photo taken with Santa. No, I was not dressed as an elf.

If someone had 24 hours in Hamilton, they should go to…

You have to do what I do and make it a full Hamilton tour day! There are so many variations I could plan for you, but here’s one:

  • Start the day at Cannon Coffee on Ottawa Street and get a waffle sandwich (they are the best)
  • Record shopping at Dr. Disc and Cheapies
  • Stroll down James Street North and hop around to different shops. It is such a colourful street with so much to see (grab some Hamilton souvenirs at Mixed Media)
  • While on James North, keep going north and spend some time down at the Waterfront
  • Visit the Art Gallery of Hamilton – incredible gallery right in the downtown core
  • Go get a treat from Cake and Loaf Bakery
  • Dinner at Aberdeen Tavern – always a wonderful experience and the staff is so lovely
  • End the night at The Baltimore House for drinks and whatever fun thing they have going on that night (trivia/karaoke/DJs/live music). It’s so special there – that place just had my heart from day one.

Lately, I’ve been listening to…

I can’t get enough of the new Florence and the Machine songs! She is one of my favourite artists.

Also these new albums:

Terra Lightfoot – Every Time My Mind Runs Wild
Etiquette – Reminisce
Purity Ring – another eternity
Allie X – COLLXTION
Hollerado – 111 Songs
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

My favourite blog post I’ve written is…

Every year, the epic Supercrawl post is always my favourite to put together. It’s my favourite event of the year and just keeps getting bigger and better. It’s always the best time.

I would describe myself as…

I’m a positive person and am all about trying to bring those positive vibes into everything I do. People would probably say I’m very quiet, but I’m also a really silly person and don’t take things too seriously. And I always want to put myself out there and challenge myself with new experiences.

Celebrate I Heart Hamilton’s fourth anniversary on May 1, 2015 with the Playlist 4.0 at This Ain’t Hollywood (345 James Street North). Tickets are $10 in advance (available at This Ain’t Hollywood, Dr. Disc, and Cheapies) and $12 at the door.  See the Fast Romantics, Grey Lands, Aukland, Munroe, DJs Kristin A/B + pop up shop by GIRLS WITH GUNZ SHOP! Proceeds go to Food4Kids.



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