Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2021/12 Moments December 2021

Scarborough, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Vancouver, British Columbia; Oakland, California; Albany, California; San Francisco, California

Toronto Zoo: Midway through the #TerraLumina night walk is the Circle of Life field with points of light. At each of five stations, two pairs of beaters rested on top of the drums. Rhythmic music encouraged young boys to pick up the sticks and pound away. (Toronto Zoo, Meadowvale Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20211204

Dai Kuang Wah Herb Market
Dai Kuang Wah Herb Market: Visit to a neighbourhood Chinese herbalist, as symptoms of jet lag haven’t abated after a few weeks. Diagnosis via classical TCM examination with three-finger pulses, then western standard cuff on upper arm to find my blood pressure high. Prescribed mixing of herbs seemed to include a wider variety of ingredients than I remember from other practitioners, still packaged up as 3 paper bags for decoctions to be steeped at home. (Dai Kuang Wah Herb Market, Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20211208
Centre for Social Innovation Annex
Centre for Social Innovation Annex: Holiday gathering for @csiTO in cooperation with venue outdoors @randolphcollegeto , bringing community together with hot chocolate, cookies, mixed beverages and dumplings. Met some people who were just email addresses before, plus some old friends not in person since the pandemic. Vaccination identities checked at entry, warm fire pit at the centre. (Centre for Social Innovation, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20211209
Tora
Tora: Rare occasion for a team lunch, with remote members from Ajax, Markham,. Mississauga and downtown Toronto convening in person. Unable to accommodate members from Argentina, Philippines, Russia, UAE and Pakistan, who we see daily on video conference. Sushi ordered on anchored touchscreen interface, arriving via conveyor belt. (Tora, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, Ontario) 20211210
St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market: Christmas decorations on building and street median with warmer temperature, as snow has melted to leave the street bare. First bike ride for a few weeks in mid-afternoon, before the early December sunset. Vendors on the north side selling evergreen trees outside, while Monday is officially a rest day for shopkeepers. (St. Lawrence Market, Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20211213
Leslie Barns
Leslie Barns: Noise barriers in grey and TTC red hide the streetcar storage tracks and maintenance garage from passing bicyclists and motorists on the south side of the divided boulevard. Scraping of steel wheels on rails were anticipated to meet the standards of the Ministry of the Environment, alhtough residential housing would seem far away. The towers of the city centre further west seems further away these days, as Portland construction is rerouting traffic. (Leslie Barns, Lakehosre Drive East, Toronto, Ontario) 20211214
House of Gourmet
House of Gourmet: Succeeding on the challenge of serving slippery rice noodles with chopsticks, dim sum item for dinner. Came to the big city from Waterloo for dinner. appreciating the higher quality of food in Spadina Chinatown. Walked the neighbourhood in the dark, and into Kensington Market, where there were only a few signs of sociability under more cautionary pandemic warnings from governments. (House of Gourmet, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20211217
YYZ Pearson Terminal 1
YYZ Pearson Terminal 1: Early flight to Vancouver, only 8 hours on ground so that DY can visit with mother. YYZ check-in only 90 minutes within Canada, would be 3 hours if we were flying direct to SFO. Lounge had avocado toast for breakfast. (YYZ Pearson Terminal 1, Toronto, Ontario) 20211224
Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home
Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home: Short visit with DY’s mother, bringing a few treats from the Chinese supermarket, and walking a circular route inside the building. Arrived at lunchtime, residents are now served privately in the room. Skytrain via Canada Line to Waterfront Station, walked past Gastown into Chinatown, now familiar territory. (Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home, Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC) 20211224
Old Oakland
Old Oakland: Homemade vegan pho for lunch, broth based on daikon, toppings of fried tofu and mushrooms, with air-fried chicken on the side. Got to know new daughter-in-law around the kitchen counter, discussing Vietnamese techniques in preparing the meal. Added new softseat stools, arrived just yesterday. (Old Oakland, California) 20211225
Old Oakland
Old Oakland: Added some ornaments to the real Christmas tree, the first holiday season together in this apartment. Rainy weather in the Bay Area discouraging outdoor activities, we stayed inside to watch movies and play on the Oculus VR. Extended family had online video chat, our sons back home were in a theatre watching Spiderman when short notice went out. (Old Oakland, California) 20211225
Old Oakland
Old Oakland: Visit with the newlyweds by aunts and cousin from DY’s maternal Wong lineage. Some mutual confusion with the elders as our generation is out of practice with the village dialects, and the young now learn standard Mandarin. Adjourned to dim sum in large Chinatown restaurants, with iPad ordering rather than circulating carts. (Old Oakland, California) 20211226
ChinaVille
ChinaVille: Selected teapot and teacup set for serving family and friends in the new apartment. Then added a gongfu tea tray for easier transport, not for formal ceremonial rituals where ultra-premium tea is poured into smaller cups. Subsequently located luobuma leaves as a remedy for high blood pressure at an herbalist down a few doors, it’s freely available in the USA, while not imported into Canada. (ChinaVille, 8th Street, Oakland, CA) 20211227
Albany Bulb
Albany Bulb: Installation of Richmond Pressed Brick by #LouanaGarraud and #JuliaPark, part of UC Berkeley #MonumentToExtraction environmental history walking tour. Bricks on this former lanfill were repurposed from the rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake, as well as later housing developments in the East Bay where black residents were displaced. Slow stroll with views of both bridges and the San Francisco waterfront across the bay, following a recorded audioguide. (Albany Bulb, Albany, CA) 20211227
Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Frank H. Ogawa Plaza: Five hours, two trips to register and complete PCR Covid-19 test, with other local facilities booked up long past the scheduled date for our return to Toronto. We attempted to register online via smartphone browser at USA-wide covidclinic.org website that would time out, not load credit card fields and/or validate dates as correct. Back at the apartment on a laptop, replicated issues with Chrome browser, then finally succeeded using Mozilla Firefox. (City of Oakland offices, Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, California) 20211229
La Boutique Salon
La Boutique Salon: Spa day in the city, #LaBoutique Salon for lash extensions. DY is now glad to have a daughter in the family with friends into aesthetics, after decades with four sons. Rainy day led to visit to Japan Center Mall, and then a drive-by of Alta Plaza Park where the newlyweds first met and committed vows. (La Boutique Salon, Polk Street, San Francisco California) 20211229
Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt: Towards southeast edge of an hour-plus walk at water’s edge, paused by The Gold Coast (Lakeside) neighbourhood where ducks were diving for food. In the background are the Kaiser Center and The Cathedral of Christ the Light. After 5 days of cold temperatures and rain, more seasonal Bay Area weather returned, just in time for our next-day return home. (Lake Merritt, Lakeside Drive, Oakland, California) 20211230
SFO Museum
SFO Museum: International Terminal @SFOMuseum exhibition #TheVictorianPaperedWall Exoticism period 1837-1901. Turkish folding chair circa 1880s caught my eye, beside Piano Lamp circa 1875 designed by Edward C. Moore for Tiffany & Co, in front of Persian Wall Fill and Fringe 2021 by Bradley & Bradley . Arrived at airport early for 7am flight to return to Eastern Time, terminal is mostly deserted and United Club lounge isn’t yet open. (SFO International Terminal G, San Francisco, California) 20211231

Union Pearson Express
Union Pearson Express: Southbound departure from airport, train tracks are at a level above flyovers into terminal. Flight eastbound from SFO is easy, watch 2 movies and then land. Arrival was early, but immigration lines were exceptionally long, probably with flights from Europe. (Union Pearson Express, Toronto, Ontario) 20211231

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