Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2022/12 Moments December 2022

Toronto, Ontario; Mississauga, Ontario

The Second City Torontp
The Second City Toronto: Intermission at early Saturday show in new venue, with bumpers on television screens recalling the history of The Second City performers in previous theatres. Six cast members in extended skits involve longer stories than improv shows we’ve recently seen. Ladies may be uncomfortable in east unisex washroom with toilets and urinals; the west facilities have one room with toilets and urinals alongside another room with toilets only. (The Second City, 1 York Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20221203
One York Street
One York Street: On elevated walkway, just west of bridge northbound to Scotiabank Arena, Banksy (2010) Guard with Baloon Dog was installed in 2017 as part of PATH route. After an early show at The Second City, the family took a scenic stroll, unsuccessfully making all of the right turns to stay inside. Our sons are more familiar with the current nightlife spots than the parents. (One York Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20221203
John M. Kelly Library
John M. Kelly Library: Big splash of colour with @GinaRorai (2007) Are You There, painting 72″ x 60″ visible as soon as the door in the third floor stairway is flung open. The work of the Toronto-based artist probably gets scant attention by hundreds of students who pass by every day. The art is part of the Donovan Collection, the benefactor a professor at the university. (John M. Kelly Library, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto) 20221206
Centre for Social Innovation Annex
Centre for Social Innovation Annex: Arrived @csiTO Holiday Gathering around 7pm, the live art station for community painting had already been in progress for 2 hours. When we left at 9:30pm, unclear whether more contributions had improved aesthetics. Vegan chili, bread bar and non-dairy cheese, speeches, dance performance, conversation in a room with loud music. (Centre for Social Innovation Annex, Bathurst Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20221208


Bliss Chinese Cuisine
: Entrance of bride MY and groom JL in traditional Chinese attire, followed by dancing lions and drummers, halfway through banquet. City hall wedding in the morning, gathering with family and friends in the afternoon to share festivities. Event was put on the calendar only 5 weeks prior, lots of support gained by the circle of friends. (Bliss Chinese Cuisine, Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario) 20221210

Bliss Chinese Cuisine
Bliss Chinese Cuisine: Family weddings are a rare occasion to catch up with extended family, convening from around the province. Stories related about unfortunate scheduling, recent births, and infants sequestered away from crowds. The increased height of children is a reminder that we should visit more frequently. (Bliss Chinese Cuisine, Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario) 20221210
Bliss Chinese Cuisine
Bliss Chinese Cuisine: Honoured to share afternoon with cousin bride, and meet the groom for the first time. Banquet of 10 courses as per tradition, we observed the couple visiting table-by-table, leading toasts and chatting with guests. Lion dance and comedian were unusual, heartfelt thanks to parents closed the festivities. (Bliss Chinese Cuisine, Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario) 20201210
Mustard Seed
Mustard Seed: In downstairs atrium, Christmas Tree to celebrate the season. Short visit with DY on Movie + Pizza program, not really a participant. Afternoon walk around the neighbourhood, near freezing temperature clear of snow. (Fontbonne Ministries, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20221220
On The Rocks
On The Rocks: Reunion of the TO meetup founded by @DerailleurAgile, that I joined 2018-2020. The group went on hiatus, just before pandemic shutdowns, and meetings in person have since become the exception. The planned place for tonight was the after-meeting drinks venue Betty’s on King, but its impending shutdown has attracted swarms, leading a staff member to suggest walking south and west. (On The Rocks, Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20221220
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Holiday plans disrupted by flight delays from Vancouver. Drove to Pearson for pickups, 1:00 a.m. arrival came home at 5:00 a.m. after waiting for luggage was fruitless; 3:00 a.m. arrival is still at airport at 1:00 p.m. to file claim for lost luggage. Chinese beef stew for Dec. 23 dinner has become Dec. 24 lunch, if we can coordinate time zone shifts. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20221224
Gautama
Gautama: The lights are still bright in Little India on December 24 evening, so Indian buffet was a nice change of pace for a family meal. None of us refilled our plates as much as we used to, and the appreciation of vegetables is higher. Easy access in the local neighbourhood was appreciated, with temperatures still below seasonal norms. (Gautama, Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20221224
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Daughter-in-law and sister on first visit to Toronto, holiday season meant all of our sons are in town. Still recovering from delayed flights from Vancouver, plus jet lag. House decorated for Christmas holidays, more family events ahead. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 2022122
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Opening Christmas stockings on December 24, as Christmas Day gets busy with in-law commitments scheduling. New experience for Vietnamese nationals on diasporic Canadian protocols around holidays. Lineup on the stairs has been an ritual for our sons since they were young. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20221224
Dragon Pearl York Mills
Dragon Pearl York Mills: Reservations for 11, lunch choices included turkey, although Asian specialties seemed more popular. Opportunity for grandfather to meet up with family now mostly scattered across Toronto, extended through grandsons marriages. Many trips out to the serving queues, with notable repeat visits to stations for sashimi and for duck. (Dragon Pearl Buffet, York Mills Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20221225
Woodbine Beach
Woodbine Beach: Brightly coloured lounge chairs facing Lake Ontario, but cold winter winds discouraged a long stay. Educating a newcomer to Canada on dressing tips in a 35-degree switch drop from Vietnam last week, includes the use of a hood when a toque isn’t desirable. Winter fences have led to an off-leash area where dogs are overjoyed to be playing together, while their masters are calling for them. (Woodbine Beach, Lake Shore Boulevard East, Toronto, Ontario) 20221225


Riverdale Farm
: The sheep in the paddocks on Residence Road don’t recognize Christmas Day, so the City of Toronto Parks employees treat this as a regular day. With the sun setting, the sheep’s started bleating together, and moving towards the west fence. Attentions may have be drawn to movements over in the horses being moved indoors for the evenings, with an expectation by the sheep for equal privileges. (Riverdale Farm, Winchester Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20221225


Scotiabank Arena
: Family arrived into 9 seats, just in time to rise for the singing of O Canada. Boxing Day afternoon game between Toronto Marlies and Belleville Senators. Many more sports fans came with children, later waving to the roaming cameras to get their faces on the big screen. (Scotiabank Arena, Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20221226

Scotiabank Arena
Scotiabank Arena: Mid-game faceoff in third period of Toronto Marlies (tied for first rank in the leauge) versus Belleville Senators (last in rank) on Boxing Day. Control of the puck was with the Marlies winning 3 to 2, with 36 shots on net compared to 20 for the Senators. Special occasion with visitors new to Canada, one son commented that we’ve never gone to a professional sporting event as a family. (Scotiabank Arena, Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20221226
Scotiabank Arena
Scotiabank Arena: Family from overseas joining for the full Canadian experience, watching the Toronto Marlies defeat the Belleville Senators in a Boxing Day match, 3-2. First taste of poutine from the concession stands. Subgroup continued on to Eaton Centre to see the crowds, more than shopping. (Scotiabank Arena, Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20221226
Tim Hortons Airport Road
Tim Hortons Airport Road: One 10-pack of Timbits, please! Waiting near the airport, as one of our holiday visitors is seeking the luggage that wasn’t unloaded off the plane 3 days ago, deadheading back westward. I’m not a frequent customer of this Canadian institution, as I don’t drink coffee, and would buy donuts for others to enjoy. (Tim Hortons, Airport Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20221227
Gristmill Lane
Gristmill Lane: Spiky illuminated art installation named The Snow Family resembling the uniqueness of snowflakes on Gristmill Lane. Winter Village market on December 27 was busy with visitors on the Boxing Day observance, when most other venues were still closed for holidays. Tourist-oriented kiosks welcomed customers, regular businesses and galleries had locked doors. (Gristmill Lane, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20221227
Service Canada Gerrard Square
Service Canada Gerrard Square: The good news is that Service Canada treats every individual the same; the bad news is that on the first working day after Christmas, the line can be long. Assisted newcomer with S-1 (not an SW-1) visa obtain a Social Insurance Number, as Government of Canada has improved privileges for students, allowing off-campus work while still enrolled in school. Waited 4 hours standing in line to be assigned a chair in the queue, then 30 minutes to see an official; next time, there’s an online booking system for a timed appointment. (Service Canada, Gerrard Square, Toronto, Ontario) 20221228
Art Gallery of Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario: In the (2022) Present: Past/Future exhibition, furniture installation has signs encouraging visitors to sit and become immersed. Secondhand items were sourced from individuals in Toronto, reminiscent of the repurposing of found objects from 13 elderly members of San Agustin suburb of Havana, Cuba who were recorded and interviewed. Showing newcomer from Vietnam how Canadians share time together indoors despite the season, when inclement conditions make outdoor cafes impractical. (Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20221228
Art Gallery of Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario: In career retrospective, (1999) Virtual Incarceration is acrylic on canvas 11 feet high by 20 feet wide. After her figurative paintings in the 1990s, the artist moved towards abstraction referencing the grid as a pervasive modernist device. The monochrome of this work led into other pieces with more splashes of colour. (Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20221228
Upper Cornell
Upper Cornell: Invited for holiday season hotpot with my father’s friend’s family. One pot cooking meat, with the other pot vegan, as I wasn’t the only plant-based diner at the table. Convening family from Montreal, they reported travel past vehicles still in the ditch on the 401, from recent inclement weather. (Upper Cornell, Markham, Ontaro) 20221229

36 Lisgar Street
36 Lisgar Street: Moderating the White Elephant Holiday Potluck, with attendees contributing gifts to the pool. Each then drew a sequence to choose an unwrapped gift, or steal the gift of a prior selector. Good opportunities for catching up with friends, starting at 4pm and running through 11pm. (36 Lisgar Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20221230

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