Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Toronto, Ontario; Trudeau Airport, Montreal; Brussels, Belgium; Antwerp, Belgium; Bruges, Belgium; Stockholm Arlanda; Vantaa, Finland

AGO, Before and After the Horizon

AGO, Before and After the Horizon: Bonnie Devine, 2014-2015 “Battle for the Woodlands”, part of the Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes exhibition. Reproduction of pre-Confederation (1867) map of Canada. New sculptural element 2015 “Anishinaabitude” in foreground. (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto) 20150902

Late 30th anniversary portrait

Late 30th anniversary portrait: With AHI visiting in town for the holiday weekend, DY requested an official family picture with everyone together, wearing matching ties. Occasions for all of our sons to be at home at the same time are getting rarer. (Don River at Lakeshore Blvd., Toronto) 20150906

Yonge-Dundas Square

Yonge-Dundas Square: Labour Day early evening, no formal events, but buskers draw their own audience. Crowds dissipated a few minutes later, with another performer announcing the next show. Stores mostly closed, many restaurants dark in celebration of labour. (Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto) 20150907

Don Landing

Don Landing: Bike path route though underpass gives credit to PanAm Games funding. Event was last month, maybe the signs will come down when the Athlete’s Village becomes a residential district. Short cut from Lakeshore Blvd around Corktown Commons towards Front Street still underdeveloped. (West Don Lands, Toronto) 20150909

Greek hot table

Greek hot table: Old style casual dining has moved north up Pape Avenue. Cooks on open kitchen behind warming trays including specials of the day, in continual Greek conversation. Sunday lunch away from the crowds, and so much food that we took half of it home. Must be a neighbourhood institution, as guests are asked whether they’ll be dining in our taking out. (The Greek Grill, East York, Toronto) 20150913

Sacks of rice

Sacks of rice: In awe of varieties of basmati rice and flour at Iqbal Foods. Definitely a South Asian superstore, did find patna but not milagrosa/jasmine that appeals to East Asians. Butcher counter had large supply of lamb, so a potential alternative source to Greektown on the Danforth. Unfamiliar foods and brands may call for a serious adventure shopping trip. Store has long hours. (Iqbal Foods, Thorncliffe Park, Toronto) 20150914

Systems Thinking Ontario

Systems Thinking Ontario: Debriefing of #RSD4 with @playthink plenary sketches complements videos by Systemic Design Research Network newly on YouTube. Peter Jones reviewing the background of prior Relating Systems Thinking and Design symposiums, and prospects for next year’s meeting scheduled for Toronto. (Systems Thinking Ontario, Lambert Lounge, OCAD U, Toronto) 20150916

Ryerson Student Learning Centre

Ryerson U SLC: Free education @BigDataU meetup, @polong_lin presenting on Clustering with Hierarchical & Density-Based Algorithms in hands-on seminar bit.ly/bduclustering. A laptops-open session with exercises on bigdatauniversity.com, also being live streamed and recorded. Thursdays are the advanced track, Tuesdays are for beginners. (Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, Toronto) 20150917

Sky Dragon

Sky Dragon: BBQ meat appetiser plate starts Harvest Moon Festival dinner with the Lowkong Society. Saturday night is unusual, as sons usually get invited on Sunday nights after grandfather’s monthly board meetings. Table has clear window view of the rooftop terrace, attracting only the occasional smoker. (Sky Dragon Restaurant, Spadina Chinatown, Toronto) 20150919

Backpack selection

Backpack selection: Long visit @mec_toronto, evaluating alternatives. Came to see Fast-Track Daypack, but no interior pockets. Liked Darwin 22L, but side access laptop sleeve is bigger than I need for 12″. More fashionable Connector too small, Gridwalk has no interior pockets. Decided on smallest Book Bag, it will fit better into my new smaller carry on luggage. Could be a decade since I last shopped at MEC for a backpack. (Mountain Equipment Coop, King Street West, Toronto) 20150920

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square: Ordinary fall work day @NPSToronto, plaza relatively quiet in afternoon. View from north of Henry Moore (1964-65) Three Way Piece No. 2: Archer, with reverse view of 3D Toronto sign from the PanAm Games legacy remaining on the north side of the reflecting pool, facing Queen Street West. The towers of the financial district are beyond. (Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto) 20150921

Trudeau Airport

Trudeau Airport: Not yet in Brussels, French language announcements on terminal. Brief stop in Montreal, booked loose connection so no stress on flight departing late. Moose, hockey and maple syrup are enduring symbols for Canada. (Trudeau Airport, Montreal, Quebec) 20150922

BOZAR

BOZAR: Installation in progress @BOZARbrussels Victor Horta Hall, wonderfully lit by skylights. Wandered in via BOZAR Architecture galleries, pleasant surprise with the richness of space given to the works. Belgian sense of humour in calling the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels as BOZAR, as Francophones will recognize the derivation from Palais des Beaux-Arts (with the Flemish name of Paleis voor Schone Kunsten not so easy to connect). Arrived in Brussels on overnight flight this morning, we’re dragging ourselves around town, looking forward to an early bedtime. (BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts Brussels, Belgium) 20150923

 

Antwerp Chinatown gate

Antwerp Chinatown gate: Day trip results in finding Chinatown gate in Antwerp, with Central Station just a little south beyond. Stone lions at the ends of block both north and south on Van Wesenbekestraat. At 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday night, surprised that the majority of restaurants are closed, as are Chinese supermarkets. Found a reasonably priced noodle shop that just opened a month ago, so super-clean with earnest service. Wending way back through through diamond district, all storefronts were closed up securiely for the evening. We arrived at station two minutes before return train to Brussels scheduled to leave, so no waiting time. (Chinatown and Central Train Station, Antwerp, Belgium) 20150924

Lawn mushroom top
Lawn mushroom underside
Lawn mushroom: Is this mushroom edible? Overnight, mushroom sprung up in back yard in east end Brussels. Newlywed bride could serve mushroom in spaghetti sauce tomorrow night, but we wouldn’t want a tragic ending. (Woluwe St. Pierre, Belgium) 20150925
Tour Noire

Tour Noire: Watchtower from the first walls of Brussels, constructed during early 13th century Roman times, which were outgrown so that by 1356 the second larger walls were built. The superfluous first walls were dismantled between the 16th and 18th centuries, except for the Tour Noire (Black Tower), which the mayor insisted was to be retained, and surrounded by shops. The tower was recognized as a listed landmark in Brussels by 1937. When the district around the Place Sainte-Catherine was targeted for redevelopment in the late 1990s, the Atelier d’Art Urban replaced the shops with a new hotel designed to accommodate the tower. The hotel became to be managed by Novotel. (Tour Noire, Brussels) 20150925

La Tour d'An Tiem

La Tour d’An Tiem: Lunch reception for wedding of graduate school roommate of 1981-1982 from Kellogg School at Northwestern University. He came to our wedding in Toronto in 1985, and we reciprocated in Brussels in 2015. We’re now both working on our first marriages. (La Tour d’An Tiem, Woluwe Saint-Pierre) 20150926

St. Salvador Cathedral

St. Salvador Cathedral: Song Dong installation @TriennaleBrugge “Wu Wei Er Wei” or “Doing Nothing Doing” is a miniature mountain landscape, made of windows recovered from a demolished neighbourhood in Beijing. One in a series of contemporary art pieces over summer-fall 2015 scattered around the medieval town of Bruges, which had its golden age between the 12th and 15th century. (St. Salvador Cathedral, Bruges, West Flanders, Belgium) 20150928

Photobooth @FineArtsBelgium

Photobooth @FineArtsBelgium at end of #expo2050 “A Brief History of the Future” allows entering wishes. We were inarticulate, so our first series of photos timed out, and we took a second set without much creativity. Enjoyed the series of art installations, but found the procedure of assembling our own exhibit guide was annoying in practice, as the 14 pages don’t follow the exhibit numbers sequentially. (Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium / Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels) 20150929

Brussels Chinatown

Brussels Chinatown: On street with Asian supermarket with a strong reputation in central Brussels, shopping for Chinese vegetables and sauces to prepare a dinner for our hosts over the past 6 days. With wedding celebrations of many days meeting bride’s and groom’s families and friends, domestic kitchen preparations are a welcomed return to normalcy. (Kam Yuen on corner, with Chinatown along Rue Ste. Catherine, Brussels, Belgium) 20150929

ARN T5 Pier F

ARN T5 Pier F: Climate Portal @Arlanda airport Stockholm gives three choices of weather simulators: Go Hot, Go Big (cities) or Go Cold. I chose to Go Cold, and got a large screen blast of downhill skiing. Interesting promotion of travel, while reminding visitors of the variety of weather choices we implicitly make. (Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Terminal 5, Pier F) 20150930

Tikkurila Station

Tikkurila Station: New Ring Rail Line to Helsinki Airport means a connection at Tikkurila to commuter service to Hämeenlinna, rather than taking the bus as on previous trips. Buying tickets from machine was easy. Disoriented when scheduled train displayed destination of Riihimäki, when expected routing towards Tampere. After boarding, we were informed that the front few rail cars detach from the series at Riihimäki, to continue towards Tampere. A helpful conductor told us that we could chill, and would have enough time at Riihimäki to take our luggage off, and move to the front of the train. (Tikkurila Station, Vantaa, Finland) 20150930

September 30th, 2015

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