Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders


2016/08 Moments August 2016 0

Posted on August 31, 2016 by daviding

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

2016/07 Moments July 2016 0

Posted on July 31, 2016 by daviding

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

2016/06 Moments June 2016 0

Posted on June 30, 2016 by daviding

Toronto, Ontario; Pleasant Hill, California; Fairfield, California; Walnut Creek, California; Oakland, California; San Francisco, California

Palmerston casual dinner
Palmerston casual dinner Palmerston casual dinner

Palmerston casual dinner

Palmerston casual dinner: Invitees list included many active in Canasian Artists Group circa mid-1980s, and friends of the Asian Canadian bookstore of Andrew Lee. Today’s generation doesn’t know the history of Toronto 30 years ago, and we debated whether they need to know. (Palmerston, Toronto, Ontario) 20160604

Robarts Library

Robarts Library: Eleventh floor stacks, with triangular window bays protruding out facing Sussex Street. My alumnus card still gives me access to the stacks to old books, including one older than my attending university. Biked cross town, got caught in torrential downpour in the last five minutes, so entered the building dripping water. (Roberts Library 11th floor, University of Toronto, St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20160605

Riverdale Park pedestrian bridge

Riverdale Park pedestrian bridge: View south on lower Don River, at rush hour with traffic northbound practically stopped. Rode bike west on Lake Shore Boulevard, then north. Carried bike up many flights of stairs to pedestrian bridge from West Riverdale Park to East. Just a short loop around our neighbourhood, but the headwind was strong on the outbound. (Riverdale Park pedestrian bridge over the Don River, Toronto, Ontario) 20160607

Yonge Street at Yorkville Avenue

Yonge Street at Yorkville Avenue: Facades of heritage 1870s-1890s Yonge Street buildings (John Oram, #836; Moses Staunton, #838-844; James Weir, #846-848A; Charles Frogley, #850) are being preserved as incorporated into a luxury 58-storey glass and steel tower at 1 Yorkville under construction. The storefronts are empty. In the lot behind, there’s a big pit with construction machines digging. Neighbourhood was quiet on a Saturday when festivals were drawing crowds elsewhere. (1 Yorkville Avenue at Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20160611

Ryerson Student Learning Centre

Ryerson Student Learning Centre: Entered old building from Victoria Street Lane, not thinking of connection to new Yonge Street entrance. Library is open Sunday into evening, so Ryerson University students must not see summer as a special season. With eduroam, Internet access works the same as at home, so bicycling was just for exercise. (Ryerson Student Learning Centre, Yonge Street, Toronto) 20160612

The Hearn

The Hearn: For Monday, @Luminato Festival is closed to the public. Rolled up on bike, attendant said to come back tomorrow at 5pm. The Hearn is a fair bike ride from Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard, most people would choose the shuttle bus or pay the $15 onsite parking charge. (The Hearn, 440 Unwin Avenue, Portlands, Toronto, Ontario) 20160613

Factory Studio

Factory Studio: Chinoiserie play by @magicalmudge readers @R4Burning @Aranthor @pauliedat director @tara_beagan @fuGENTheatre @FactoryToronto partnered with @Shawtheatre. Story set in late 19th century, midwest America, about a mural to be created by a Chinese painter. For the WalkTheWalk National Festival of Asian Canadian Women, stage set with unwoven/weaving/comingtogether hanging knots of twine, manila rope, cotton rope and fibre piping. (Factory Studio, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20160614

2016/05 Moments May 2016 0

Posted on May 31, 2016 by daviding

Madison Heights, Michigan; Benton Harbor, Michigan; Mount Pleasant, Iowa; Salina, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Rock Island, Illinois; Windsor, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario

168 Asian Mart

168 Asian Mart: Michigan evening for Chinese groceries before driving to Iowa in the morning. Korean-style rice grown in the U.S. is something we don’t see back home. The vegetables and sauces are much the same as everywhere. (168 Asian Mart, John R Road, Madison Heights, Michigan) 20160502

Asian Grille Buffet

Asian Grille Buffet: Changing pattern from Midwest Chinese restaurants to buffets, driving westbound across Michigan towards Iowa. On last trip westbound, found price at buffet same or lower than custom orders for lunch. Trading off on driving, expecting food coma. (Asian Grill Buffet, Benton Harbor, Michigan) 20160503

Jefferson Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Jefferson Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa: Quiet Tuesday evening in town with population less than 9000 in Iowa. Over dinner in local Chinese restaurant, discussed conveniences not available, e.g. no taxis, so farmers drive tractors if a car isn’t available. Drove through campus of Iowa Wesleyan University, less than 600 students on 60 acres. (Jefferson Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa) 20160504

Salina, Iowa

Salina, Iowa: Family dog watching out picture window onto rolling landscape of fields and roads in farm country. Temperature has swung from winter to summer within 3 days, rush to planting will be underway with forecasts for clear weather. (Salina, Iowa) 20160405

Salina, Iowa

Salina, Iowa: Warm and dry May day scheduled for planting on the farm. We went to the field to learn about agriculture in practice. Terrain was rolling hills, so the six row planter was steered according to the way water will flow on the ground. Moving around a little dirt surfaced a green bean buried under a little soil. We’re just tourists from the city. (Salina, Iowa) 20160506

Six row planter in Iowa: Learned about how soybeans are put into the ground with a John Deere six row planter. Smaller tractors can follow the contour of the landscape, whereas the larger 30-row planters would have problems turning around. This machinery is less computerized, relying on the experience of the farmer to a greater degree. (Salina, Iowa) 20160506

2016/04 Moments April 2016 0

Posted on April 30, 2016 by daviding

Toronto, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario

Pape Avenue Public School

Pape Avenue Public School: Behind a preteen boy on a bicycle, a cameraman on a film dolly truck, and then maybe 20 grips and make-up artists in support. Across the street, a traffic cop was stopping commuters for 2 minutes to reduce noise during the shoot. On my neighbourhood afternoon bike rides, finding a film crew at work is not uncommon. (Pape Avenue Public School, Riverdale, Toronto, Ontario) 20160401

Perfect Chinese Restaurant

Perfect Chinese Restaurant: Family table of 12, two set orders with lobster, duck, fish, chicken, plus sides of beef, squid, grouper. Mostly finished, with good size leftover containers to take home. Restaurant surprisingly quiet for a Saturday night, leisurely conversation. (Perfect Chinese Restaurant, Scarborough, Ontario) 20160402

Dragon City Mall

Dragon City Mall: Snow returns to Toronto on April. Wet cross town to Spadina Chinatown for a casual clan dinner. Still full from yesterday’s dinner, fridge full of leftovers. (Dragon City Mall, Chinatown, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20160403

Metro Centre

Metro Centre: Winter garden inside, another snowy day in Toronto outside. Municipality buildings connect into the PATH underground walkways, also with direct access into subway University line. April so far is disappointing to most people, who haven’t recalled the record February temperatures at 15 degrees C. (Metro Centre, Toronto, Ontario) 20160406

2016/03 Moments March 2016 0

Posted on March 31, 2016 by daviding

Toronto, Ontario; Tokyo, Japan; Shanghai, China; Wuhan, China; Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, DC

Chinese Visa Application Service Centre

Chinese Visa Application Service Centre: Submitted invitation letter from Wuhan U. Tech at prebooked appointment. Clerk corrected category as non-business, and said not multiple entry, but double entry same price as single entry. Tuesday drop-off, Friday pick-up as normal service. Receptionist noted I had forgotten to copy face page on passport, so photocopier in corner is $0.40. (Chinese Visa Application Service Center, University Avenue, Toronto) 20160301

School of the Environment

School of the Environment: Martin Bunch from York U. guest lecture at U. Toronto on Ecosystems Approaches originating from James Kay, evolved into EcoHealth approach with community health in coupled social-ecological systems. Presented on three cases, in Kathmandu Nepal; Chennai India; and Credit Valley Conservation Authority in Southern Ontario. I’ve lectured in Martin’s systems thinking class, sometimes it’s better to hear a formal talk to appreciate the work of a researcher. (University of Toronto School of the Environment) 20160302

The Real Jerk

The Real Jerk: Family lunch relaxed on a weekday, with sister-in-law visiting with baby. She requested some food not Middle Eastern, as she’s been living in Israel. Curried goat was popular amongst us, jerk pork was extra spicy, and the beef roti was more substantial than an appetizer to be shared by all of us. (The Real Jerk, Gerrard Street East at Carlaw Avenue, Toronto) 20160303

AC005 YYZ-HND

AC005 YYZ-HND: Flight delay of 2 hours to 3:45pm had me falling asleep in Maple Leaf Lounge, as I stayed awake and worked through last night. Mechanical problems means will arrive in Tokyo after sunset, so body schedule will probably be confused. New release movies haven’t changed since last flight, so I’m spending too much time on long hauls. (Air Canada 005, Toronto Pearson to Tokyo Haneda) 20160309

Aeon Market Granpark

Aeon Market Granpark: End-of-day clearance take-out sushi in Tokyo supermarket is better than some restaurant food on other side of ocean. Large display of Florida navel oranges is twice the price of local varieties. Full service supermarket is in basement of complex across the street from usual hotel in Shibaura district. Flight to Haneda was delayed by 2 hours, so friends went for dinner without me. (Aeon Market Granpark, Shibaura, Minato, Tokyo) 20160310

Duo Music Exchange

Duo Music Exchange: Piano-driven instrument rock by Schroeder Headz had audience bouncing in time, and waving right hands. Pianist Shunsuke Watanabe had extended pattern between songs, entertaining audience with humour. Japanese audience was more subdued with opening act ADAM At. Venue had excellent sound, no seats. We didn’t stay for third band on bill, Sono Sukimakara. (Duo Music Exchange, Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo) 20160311



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