Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Helsinki; Finland; London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Toronto, Ontario; Fairfield, Iowa

Mei Lin

Mei Lin: Lunch to catch up on news with Satu in advance of teaching class at Metropolia tomorrow. Students are mid-career professionals interested in practical international experiences, as tighter university budgets mean fewer lecturers from abroad. Industrial Management program will move from historic Bulevardi building out to Leppävaara campus in 2018. Chinese cuisine from Chongqing region included cumin lamb, unusual. (Mei Lin, Lönnrotinkatu, Helsinki, Finland) 20161201

Juttutupa

Juttutupa: Meetup with some 2nd year students from the Systems Thinking 2 February class, and a few more from the 1st year of the master’s program in Creative Sustainability. Glad to hear that knowledge they gained was useful in subsequent studies, as they then explain concepts to other group team members who didn’t take this session of the intensive course. This restaurant a quieter place to talk, until an excellent band started playing after 8 p.m.. (Juttutupa, Säästöpankinranta, Helsinki, Finland) 20161201

Metropolia U., Bulevardi campus

Metropolia U., Bulevardi campus: Lectured in Industrial Management master’s program, collaborating on generative pattern language writing for an hour, after 90 minutes of lecture. Students are mostly working professionals with practical experience, so we jointly felt our way through using the format for service systems thinking. We’ve come a long way since the program was initiated in 2006. (Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Bulevardi, Helsinki, Finland) 20161202

Kiasma

Kiasma: Brian Eno (1999) Memory Flowers is 16 speakers facing upwards on stems, playing ambient music. First shown in 2000 in a solo show, brought out of storage for Kiasma Collection Exhibition. Emmi and J.P. came in late afternoon for the first Friday of the month free admission, well-timed to avoid the 5 pm crush at the coat check. (Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Mannerheiminaukio, Helsinki, Finland) 20161202

Vanha Kauppahalli

Vanha Kauppahalli: Buying salmon in the same way that Finns have since 1889 when the Old Market Hall opened. Also bought little fried vendace at the next stall, to be used in an appetizer. Saturday afternoon sees a lot of tourist visitors, many eating salmon soup facing out from the renovated stalls to become part of the scenery (Kalakauppa E. Eriksson, Vanha Kauppahalli, Eteläranta, Helsinki, Finland) 20161203

Lapinlahdenkatu

Lapinlahdenkatu: Dinner with all Finnish ingredients (unless the salmon came from Norway). Discussed 2016 as a transitional year with lots of change, released now positively towards 2017. Missu the cat hid for most of the dinner, either not enjoying the streaming jazz, or suspicious that the catsitter would take him away. (Lapinlahdenkatu, Helsinki, Finland) 20161203

Moomin Shop, Helsinki Airport T2

Moomin Shop, Helsinki Airport T2: Looked at plush toy, saw “Design from Finland” but no country of manufacture. Phoned to wake up DY at 4 a.m. Toronto time to ask if 15cm 100% polyester figure was worth the money, she said no. Suggested Moomin shopping bags hanging outside, with tags saying Made in PRC, DY declined. On walk back to T1, noticed Moomin troll toys also available in the duty free shop. Not a motivated shopper today. (Moomin Store, Gates 26-27, Terminal 2, Helsinki Vantaa Airport) 20161205

Niven's

Niven’s: From online The Ecology of Systems Thinking group to meeting in person, PJ came for a coffee, talking while watching me eat a full English breakfast. Worked through jams of orange marmalade vanilla, raspberry rose, blood orange marmalade, pear. Discussed history of science within the systems thinking community and the variety of notable figures, up to current day theoreticians and practitioners. (Niven’s, King Cross Road, London, England) 20161206

December 31st, 2016

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Markham, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; London, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; Brussels, Belgium; Woluwe Saint Pierre, Belgium; Amersfoort, Netherlands; Hameenlinna, Finland

Hilton Markham

Hilton Markham: Have apps do more work, says @gail_murphy #ibmcascon by designing more for episodic memory (e.g. recent items) than semantic memory (i.e. search). People work in episodes with many context task shifts. Different roles should get different tools, but share a team context in synchronized views. Context is the situation in which something happens. (Hilton Toronto/Markham Conference Centre, Markham, Ontario) 20161101

Factory Theatre

Factory Theatre: Masterful preview of “Acquiesce” @FuGenTheatre production @FactoryToronto David Yee playwright and lead actor. Wide ranges of characters performed by John Ng, Richard Lee and Rosie Simon. Non-linear script, inventive stage design and evocative sound design. Unexpected points of levity. Expect this play to be recognized with positive reviews in days to come. (Factory Theatre Mainstage, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20161101

Logan Ave. At Queen St. E.

Logan Ave. At Queen St. E.: New fence by laneway at the top of our street as former drug store and church will soon be demolished to put in 7 storey condominium. Leslieville Historical Society had represented community interests, plans seemed to have passed through city hall. (875-887 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20161103

Riverdale Park West

Riverdale Park West: Playing field lights on, but cool temperatures see only dogs off leash running across the grass. Early evening before Canada switches off daylight savings time, the sunset time will read differently tomorrow. (Riverdale Park West, Toronto, Ontario) 20161105

Mashion Bakery

Mashion Bakery: Ample supply of Chinese sweet buns and savory pastries even in the dark early evening, on the Sunday we turned the clocks back to Standard Time. Racks of more in the back of the store, with clerks moving more up to the front. Friendly service, in and out. (Mashion Bakery, Spadina Chinatown, Toronto, Ontario) 20161106

Bulk Barn Front Street

Bulk Barn Front Street: Gluten-free pizza crust mix based on rice flour for tonight’s dinner. Dough was hard to shape, so added oatmeal flour to deal with stickiness. Baking resulted in cracker-like thin crust. Topped with pide lahmacun ground beef was dry, would have been better with a pizza tomato sauce. (Bulk Barn, Front Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20161107

Factory Theatre

Factory Theatre: Powerful story, nuanced performance of “The Enchanted Loom” @FactoryTheatre @CahootsTheatre @MagicalMudge director. Brain surgery, memory and mind, real and not real, family and war, survival and love. Bea Pizano, Asha Vijayasingham, Zorana Sadiq, Sam Kalilieh, Kawa Ada, Peter Bailey. Theatre-almost-in-the-round with audience on both sides of stage. Reminiscent of Shakespearean plays in impact. (Factory Theatre, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20161108

November 30th, 2016

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Toronto, Ontario; Richmond Hill, Ontario; Don Mills, Ontario; San Francisco, California; Oakland, California; Berkeley, California; San Jose, California; Mountain View, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Gatos, California

David Crombie Park

David Crombie Park: Two hours before @nuitblancheTO starts, still preparing for public art installation at many locations across the city. Set up and teardown for outdoor venues are easier in daylight, with most visitors attracted in the darkness of night. (Nuit Blanche Toronto, David Crombie Park, The Esplanade, Toronto, Ontario) 20161001

Kevin Cooley 2016 Fallen Water – Niagara Escarpment:
Video installation @BrookfieldPLTO @nuitblancheTO Kevin Cooley 2016 “Fallen Water – Niagara Escarpment” closing tonight.  Biking around downtown at dusk, an hour before official start of the event after night falls.  (Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place, Financial District, Toronto, Ontario) 20161001

2 St. Clair Avenue West

2 St. Clair Avenue West: View northward on Yonge Street from shows trees of Mount Pleasant Cemetery, and the towers along Eglinton Avenue and beyond. Before 1973, the subway only ran to Eglinton Avenue, called North Toronto, and Rosedale up to St. Clair Avenue was the affluent residential area. This intersection isn’t the destination that it used to be. (2. St. Clair Avenue West, Deer Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20161005

Darling Building

Darling Building: Fireside @TorontoJS with @mhartington @devgirlFL @macdonst @tazsingh hosted by @cfndrs has large screen version of flames. Answered questions on Ionic and Phonegap/Cordova, much of the audience was new to mobile development. Session started with attendees rearranging the room from computer working spaces to a seats facing the stage. (Ci. Strategy+Design, Darling Building, 96 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20161005

Premiere Banquet Centre

Premiere Banquet Centre: Not a banquet, instead reservation of dinner for 12 in the extended family calling for a larger table. West coast visitors and rest of family were uptown, so opportunity for a leisurely dinner to catch up on news. Our children have moved away, so we’re bridging information across ties. (Premier Banquet Centre, Leslie Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario) 20161009

UToronto iSchool

UToronto iSchool: Exploring polydisciplinary interests @ischool_TO @prof_lyons @duffwm @snousala, @daviding, with @jpovaska behind the lens. Lots of coincidental threads that could be tied together from Toronto to Shanghai and Europe. (University of Toronto Faculty of Information, St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20161012

OCADU RSD5

OCADU RSD5: Workshop @RSDSymposium @OCAD U Toronto led by @snousala on Design X and Systemic Design precedes Emerging Practices meeting at Tongji U Shanghai by only a day, can’t be in two places at one time. Organic approach to discussing led to five groups with different perspectives on the future of design. Further digesting into findings is taking more time offline. (Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium, OCAD U, Toronto, Ontario) 20161013

October 31st, 2016

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Toronto, Ontario (all images within bicycling distance of home)

Craigleigh Gardens

Craigleigh Gardens: West gate into city park donated by benefactor in 1926 A.D. Bicycling around residential streets of Rosedale is a good way to see huge houses at a reasonable speed. Many curved roads and ravines of Park Drive and Rosedale Valley confused me on the way to the Evergreen Brickworks. (Craigleith Gardens, South Drive, Rosedale, Toronto, Ontario) 20160903

Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario: The reality of the north @AGOToronto is Lawren Harris is part of The Group of Seven collection, so lining up for The Idea of North special exhibition repatriated from California has some irony. Outside the roped-off area, some of the larger canvases include Mount Robson from the South-East (1929); Mountain Sketch LXV (1929); Mount Lefroy (1929); and Brazeau Snowfield, Jasper Park (1924). (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario) 20160907

Art Gallery of Ontario:
Visitors freely participating @AGOToronto “How to Build a House Museum” installation.  Large screen video of “House Heads Liberation Training”, with disco-ball-like “Houseberg” inside the “Progress Palace”.  Immersive work by American artist Theaster Gates fills the 5th floor of the building.  (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario) 20160907

Prairie Drive Park

Prairie Drive Park: Music @LidoPimienta @bike_music_fest #artsintheparksTO, free voice with beats and minimal sequences. Electronics powered by team of cyclists on mobile generators under the next tent. (Prairie Drive Park, Oakridge neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20160919

Prairie Drive Park

Prairie Drive Park: Singing a capella into the wind @LidoPimienta @bike_music_fest #artsintheparksTO. Bicyclists scattered on inclined lawn, most having ridden the PanAm Trail north from the Evergreen Brickworks. City streets were more direct for me. (Prairie Drive Park)

Prairie Drive Park

Prairie Drive Park: Crew generating electricity @bike_music_fest #artsintheparksTO to power amplifiers and electric instruments. Casual afternoon entertainment for a Saturday afternoon. (Prairie Drive Park, Oakridge neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20160919

Prairie Drive Park

Prairie Drive Park: B-boys @bike_music_fest #artsintheparksTO breaking tie of 6 points each. Surprised to see a head spin on the concrete surface. Deejay music powered by a single cyclist putting energy into a portable battery (Prairie Drive Park, Oakridge neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20160919

Sky Dragon Resto

Sky Dragon Resto: Invited friends for Harvest Moon Festival dinner with the family at the Lowkong Society. Bigger turnout than last year, people understanding English now outnumber the people speaking Toisanese. (Sky Dragon Chinese Restaurant, Chinatown, Dundas Street East at Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20160911

October 1st, 2016

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Washington, Iowa; Fairfield, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Toronto, Ontario

HyVee Washington

HyVee Washington: Golden maple planted 2 years ago on farm not doing well, clerk advised more fertiizer. New tree half price, so DLH decided to get the last one there, barely fits into minivan. Main purpose of trip was for a haircut, went to 5 barbers and stylists, and none were willing to give service without at least an hour wait. (HyVee, Washington, Iowa) 20160804

Dairy Bar

Dairy Bar: Hadn’t left the farm for a few days, so ice cream is a good excuse for a break. Picnic table is new, since the last time we were here. Still looking for better vegan options. (Dairy Bar. Fairfield, Iowa) 20160808

Eastern Iowa Airport

Eastern Iowa Airport: Wooden blinds in skylight providing shade to sunny Iowa heat. Drive to airport routed past fields of tall corn, alongside the gravel road, the two-lane blacktop, and then divided highway. Returning home after 18 days in the U.S. of conference, then isolated writing and reviews, seems like a European tour, but the jet lag will be minimal. (Eastern Iowa Airport, Cedar Rapids, Iowa) 20160810

Cassels Park

Cassels Park: Ravine with steep rise north towards Gerrard Street East could be close to lost Tomlin Creek, water flowing underground south towards Ashbridges Bay. Large grassy area with playgrounds surrounded by residential buildings. City consultation in June convened citizens to resolve a swamp issue, towards developing a rain garden. (Cassels Park, Upper Beaches, Toronto) 20160815

Cineplex Eglinton Town Centre

Cineplex Eglinton Town Centre: Still routing to movie theatres for 2D Star Trek Beyond, the big screen without 3D glasses is entertainment enough. Tuesday discount draws crowd for late afternoon show,. As we left, the ticket queues were really long for the evening show. Summertime somehow matches blockbuster movies. (Cineplex Odeon Eglinton Town Centre Cinemas, Toronto, Ontario) 20160816

Hubbard Park

Hubbard Park: Staircase railings leading up to Old Don Jail building bright on late summer afternoon. Grounds were renamed in 2014, with the Bridgepoint Health hospital and research centre complex. (Hubbard Park, Riverdale, Toronto, Ontario) 20160817

Twice As Nice 5 Concrete Edition:
B-boy 2 vs. 2 footwork battle @JimmySimpsonRC, concrete floor of the skating rink on warm summer evening.  Children and families observing the action.  (Twice as Nice 5 Concrete Edition, Jimmy Simpson Recreation Centre, Riverside, Toronto, Ontario) 201610819

August 31st, 2016

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Toronto, Ontario; Gravenhurst, Ontario; Denver, Colorado; Boulder, Colorado; Moline, Illinois; Coralville, Iowa

Fort York

Fort York: Installation of Bruno Billio (2016) Tri-Mirror Sculpture @FortYork, view eastward into quiet downtown on Canada Day. Families and tourists wandering around historic site late afternoon, watch pipe and drum corps with soldiers marching. Rain earlier in the day left the air clean. (Fort York, Garrison Creek, Toronto, Ontario) 20160701

Mill Street Beer Hall

Mill Street Beer Hall: Expected @ESLTrio @MillStBeerHall @TorontoJazzFest, found quartet with the addition of keyboard. Venue full of patrons, but much of audience convened for football game, raising cheers as goals scored. Otherwise, relaxed gig with set list modified for the mood? (Mill Street Beer Hall, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20160702

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square: Under concert tent @JoeJacksonMusic piano Graham Maby bass @TorontoJazzFest @NPSToronto could be the last musicians still touring and recording from days before we had kids. Have seen them many times, once near stage within spitting distance. This time, DY and I opted for stools on the plaza, outside the reserved seats. On the cover song for the day, DY recognized Knowing Me Knowing You by the second line, I didn’t know until the chorus, as I’m not an ABBA fan. (Toronto Jazz Festival, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Ontario) 20160702

Canadian National Exhibition grounds

Canadian National Exhibition grounds: Shrine Peace Memorial presented in 1930 to Canada by Shriners, with 1958 surrounding fountain and gardens created by Toronto Parks Department. Faces Lake Shore Boulevard, southeast of the Bandshell and southwest of the Better Living Centre. I’ve been going to the CNE since the 1960s, and this fountain was never on the route between sights. The Shell Tower is in the background. CNE is active only in the last 2 weeks of August. (Shrine Peace Memorial, Canadian National Exhibition grounds, Toronto, Ontario) 20160707

McGill Granby Parkette

McGill Granby Parkette: Tent over @WeAreCairo @DowntownYonge via @CMincubator, but no shelter for audience. Performance cut short after 15 minutes for rain, organizers cautious of water around electrified instruments. Sun came out 30 minutes. Band is writing, not touring, this summer, said next show could be in August. (McGill Granby Parkette, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20160709

Toronto Sculpture Garden

Toronto Sculpture Garden: An Te Liu (2015) Animal Vegetable (I) on top of Vegetable Mineral (I), part of six bronze castings in the Sold State installation. First installed with Nuit Blanche 2015 last fall. Waterfall on east wall cooling on a warm summer day. (Toronto Sculpture Garden, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20160711

Glorious Chinese Cuisine

Glorious Chinese Cuisine: Early dim sum, food consumed slowly when I’m the youngest one at the table. Extended family convening on weekday, sister visiting town gives reason for everyone to get together. Our sons have their own lives. (Glorious Chinese Cuisine, Kennedy and Denison Centre, Markham, Ontario) 20160713

July 31st, 2016

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