Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2022/04 Moments April 2022

Spring sees art exhibitions opening up around Toronto, then a trip to the Bay Area in Northern California to visit family and friends.
Toronto, Ontario; Orillia, Ontario; San Francisco, California; Sunnyvale, California; Redwood City, California; Oakland, California; Albany, California; Emeryville, California; San Rafael, California

St. Matthews Clubhouse
St. Matthews Clubhouse: Exhibition opening of Doorstop Diaries @EastEndArtsTO, terminus for travelling journals progressing through the neighbourhood along an art-at-home program July through February. Diana Yee (2021-2022) collage works officially untitled, but the text reads: “My hands aren’t really that big or bumpy, I just had problems tracing them”, and “Things I enjoy”. This event is the first opportunity to meet other art contributors beyond an online web conference. (St. Matthews Clubhouse, Riverdale Park East, Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20220401
Ignite Gallery
Ignite Gallery: Water-worn bricks from #LeslieStreetSpit now @brandonceli (2020-2022) Rock Sculptures, painted with acrylic to resemble digital music players and smartphones obsoleted with time. Part of the #ElectricCircus exhibition @OcaduIgnite gallery, reflecting on imperfections in technology that might present an opportunity to change direction. Biked over late for the OCADU Gallery Crawl, missing the guided tour in favourite of a quieter visit. (Ignite Gallery, OCADU, McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20220402

Ignite Gallery: Illuminated ceiling, reflecting from #KatieKotler (2019–2022) Permanent Fixtures – Bath Tomb. Immersive exhibit behind a darkening curtain, part of the #ElectricCircus show @OcaduIgnite gallery. A little sleuthing to find a projector above, and a mirror below. (Ignite Gallery, OCADU, McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20220402

Leslie Grove Gallery
Leslie Grove Gallery: Striking colours Sadie Compton @sadies_art (2022) A Citrus Friend, in acrylic and pesca markers. Fine Art Studio @CentennialEDU group show @TechnicolourFAS @LeslieGroveGallery. Creature resembling a lemon embodies the feeling of overstimulation and sensory overload. (Leslie Grove Gallery, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20220403
Daniels Spectrum
Daniels Spectrum: One in the series of Ripened Off the Vine paper collages of @DesignTOFest, #DavidWoodward (2020) The Memory of Dirt. Cuts from magazines and old books provide lots of details with plants in monochrome, the earth and hands in muted colours. In the hall by the ticket office and theatres, passersby should pay more attention. (Daniels Spectrum, Dundas Street East, Regent Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20220404
Small Arms Inspection Building
Small Arms Inspection Building: Terracotta tiles and containers #DanaPrieto (2022) Footnotes for an Arsenal reminds @TorontoBiennial visitors of the history of the former munitions plant of the Canadian Army. Could be a playground or a patio, except for the shape of shell casings. No crowds on a weekday morning, plus docents enthusiastic to explain the art. (Small Arms Inspection Building, Lakeshore Boulevard West, Mississauga, Ontario) 20220408
Small Arms Inspection Building
Small Arms Inspection Building: Lighthouse tower #AugustasSerapinas (2022) 5 Sheds transformed by @SawmillSid for @torontobiennial. Reclaimed wood, nails and wallpaper reassembled from an abandoned shed from Barr’d Islands, Fogo Island. Friday morning scheduling presented an opportunity for a date, on short notice. (Small Arms Inspection Building, Lakeshore Boulevard West, Mississauga, Ontario) 20220408
72 Perth Avenue
72 Perth Avenue: Wooden balls almost hidden at base of #AndreaCarlson (2022) Never-Ending Monument of 28 columns @TorontoBiennial . Sculpture related to Man Mound ancient earthework in Wisconsin, that bridges supernatural and natural worlds, and life and death. Progressive visits to contemporary art on Friday morning, sites are across town from home. (72 Perth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20220408
Union Station
Union Station: West wing #ArtworxTO @culture_to foreground #MADEYOULOOK (2022) non-monument programme Stories Edition, background #ShellieZhang (2020-2021) Facades. Brown pedestal is a cardboard shell reimagining memorials from colonial architecture. Double-sided illuminated electric sign boxes inspired by Saskatoon’s Chinatown lack words or information, functioning more like tombstones. Observed passengers on the way to or from trains pausing to circle the installations, noticing their presence. (Union Station, Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20220414
Mississaga Street East
Mississaga Street East: Bright but cool spring afternoon, short day trip north to remove the complexities of online meetings. Still early in season for tourists, storefronts exhibit enthusiasm for their businesses. Outside the bustle of urban centres, there’s more calm. (Mississaga Street East, Orillia, Ontario) 20220420
AC741
AC741: Leaving YYZ, heading to SFO. Father’s docs are better than mine, I had a secondary screening all the way to gate. Started voyage early, stress was low. (Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario) 20220422
SFO International Terminal
SFO International Terminal: We brought a plane down from Toronto to San Francisco, so that NPI and CL could fly home. Tightly coordinated visits to the Bay Area so that we don’t overload all of our California-resident family at the same time. After deplaning, another connection with one automobile headed south on 101 to Sunnyvale, the other going north to Oakland. (SFO International Terminal, San Francisco, California) 20220422
De Anza neighbourhood
De Anza neighbourhood: Dinner with grandfather visiting from Toronto, since newlyweds (of 6 months) have had deferred nuptial festivities due to pandemic. Paths crossing for Muskoka-born generation of family, with their own descendants scattered across the continent. Some in the adjoining room playing with the next generation. (De Anza neighbourhood, Sunnyvale, California) 20220423
De Anza neighbourhood
De Anza neighbourhood: Family photo in Northern California back yard, flowers blooming in spring. Father will visit with more family in Southerh California and enjoy cruise, before returning to Toronto next week. We communicate frequently online, but have a few days when we’re at least all in the same time zone. (De Anza neighbourhood, Sunnyvale, California) 20220424
Tafoni Trail
Tafoni Trail: In amongst the redwoods, @JimSpohrer assesses the probability of the Tafoni Sandstone Monolith rolling downhill as minimal. The honeycomb weathering takes thousands of years as water dissolves calcite and redeposits as crystals, resulting in craters and bulges. Five mile hike outbound on Tafoni Trail, led down to valley stream, concluding with a long incline back on the Fir Trail. (Tafoni Trail, El Corte de Madera Creek Preserve, Redwood City, California) 20220425
Old Oakland
Old Oakland: Temporary digital nomad, with family support. Shelter by son #1, second screen via portable monitor from son #3, after his visit to the Bay Area last week. Weekend was full with extended family in California, early week catching up from colleagues who I normally only see online. (Old Oakland, Oakland, California) 20220426
Solano Junction
Solano Junction: Lunch with Ian @MitroffCrisis , discussing next book on dumb arguments. He hosted in his neighbourhood on the edge of Albany and North Berkeley, and walked over. I arrived via the scenic route on AC Transit Bus 18, educational to see civic landscape northbound on MLK Way and southbound on Market Street. (Solano Junction, Solano Avenue, Albany, California) 20220426
Morcom Rose Garden
Morcom Rose Garden: As we playfully stalked the wild turkey in the rose, he fanned out his tail to look more threatening. We hadn’t appreciated that there may be 20 or 30 in the flock, with an aggressive gobbler named Gerald leading to a park shut down in 2020. Garden first opened in the 1930s won’t see full blooms for a few weeks. (Morcom Rose Garden, Jean Street, Oakland, California) 20220426
Old Oakland
Old Oakland: Bright lights in alley off Ninth Street illuminate storefront, while mural @blksiren et al. (2020) #SayTheirNames is in the shadows. Created circa the George Floyd protests, the feathers bear names of individuals killed by the police. An after-dinner stroll on a Wednesday night revealed some nightlife, with more activity expected on Thursday, and into the weekend. (Ninth Street between Broadway and Washington Street, Old Oakland, California) 20220428
Embarcadero West
Embarcadero West: Walking west on Clay Street towards Jack London Square, blocked by a long, slow-moving freight train. Discovered the elevator up to a 4th floor pedestrian overpass, crossing over to the waterfront. The history of Oakland as a transit hub accepts open rail crossings that other urban centres might not. (Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakland, California) 20220428
NIDOs BackYard
NIDOs BackYard: After ordering a beer and a horchata (yellow with tumeric) from the bar, the Tostadas de Atun came as expected, while the Aguachilde de Negro de Pescado con Chiltepin was a surprise – served in a bowl with a spoon, and tortilla chips on the side. We were laughing as the waiter capturing the photo was dodging a fern moving with the slow breeze. Sunny, but not warm enough to be wearing shorts. (NIDOs BackYard, Oak Street, Oakland, California) 20220428
The Drawing Room SF
The Drawing Room SF: Friday, 8:30pm, after dinner in the Mission District, encountered a lively art gallery, with a musician packing up after a performance. Large variety of styles in the Women Rising 2022 exhibition, connecting local artists by making their work accessible. Valencia Street has many blocks closed to traffic for pedestrians, and restaurants spill over the sidewalk onto the street. (The Drawing Room SF, Valencia Street, Mission District, San Francisco, California) 20220429
Rudys Cant Fail Cafe
Rudys Cant Fail Cafe: Brunch Dazed and Confused plate of scrambled eggs with chorizo, pasilla chiles, and house-made hollandaise sauce on hash browns. When my black bean burger arrived, the next table exclaimed “Onion Rings!” they could have had instead of fries. Local diner is well known for its name from a Clash song and part ownership by a member of Green Day. (Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe, Hollisville Street, Emeryville, California) 20220430

China Camp Village
China Camp Village: North of San Francisco Bay, on the west side of San Pablo Bay, is the remnants of the last of the shrimping villages dating back to 1855. Chinese immigrants would harvest shrimp, dry in the sun or oven, and then ship up to 3 million pounds of shrimp per year back to China. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, banning of exports in 1905 and then outlawing of bag nets in 1911 all but discouraged continuing industry, with the last descendant seeing the transfer of property for a state park in 1976. (China Camp Village, San Rafael, Marin County, California) 20220430

2022/03 Moments March 2022

Emergence from hibernation at home, as winter gives way to spring
Toronto, Ontario; Hamilton, Ontario

Woodbine Beach: Winter Stations art installation #CemreÖnertürk #EgeÇakır (2022) “Enter Face” designed as two dark boxes, now has two lounge chairs not in the original specification. Shorter east box has three holes where participants can stick their heads in, for a common view of a textured transparent screen while physically isolated. The taller west box textured vertical screen looks inland, with lakeside metal rails despite signs discouraging climbing. (Woodbine Beach, Toronto, Ontario) 20200306
Woodbine Beach: Winter Stations art installation #CemreÖnertürk #EgeÇakır (2022) “Enter Face” designed as two dark boxes, now has two lounge chairs not in the original specification. Shorter east box has three holes where participants can stick their heads in, for a common view of a textured transparent screen while physically isolated. The taller west box textured vertical screen looks inland, with lakeside metal rails despite signs discouraging climbing. (Woodbine Beach, Toronto, Ontario) 20200306
Commissioners Street, east of Saulter Street
Commissioners Street, east of Saulter Street: Looking west into the sunset, the Commissioners Street bridges are in place, but Don Roadway is being rebuilt at a higher elevation to protect this east bank from flooding. The westside route to the new bridge will be wider with bike paths along the north side of River Park. Construction won’t be complete until 2024. (Commissioners Street, east of Saulter Street, Port Lands, Toronto, Ontario) 20220310
Cherry Street North Bridge
Cherry Street North Bridge: New bridge for crossing the Keating Channel is in place, awaiting new north-south road and LRT routes, completion not until 2024? This is one of four bridges in the Port Lands districts, viewed from the older Cherry Street Lift Bridge. The bike route north of Lakeshore Boulevard has been closed, and the detour along Villiers Street is muddy. (Cherry Street North Bridge, Keaing Channel, Toronto, Ontario) 20220316
Harbourfront Artport Gallery
Harbourfront Artport Gallery: Esmarkbreen glacier in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard #LauraMillard (2021) Collapse shows clear image in lightbox up top, spilling out below as impermanence into a printed fabric inspired by installations of crumpled paper. Part of the Shared Terrain group exhibition in cultural exchanges between artists and designers from Canada and the Nordics. Apparel change away from winter, as a bright spring day gives optimism for the end of snowbanks. (Artport Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20220317
Jollibee Heartland
Jollibee Heartland: First experience @JollibeeCanada, international cultural tourism to @Seafood_City Missisauga without leaving the country. Battered fried chicken was good, gravy an added feature! Palabok rice noodles with pork and shrimp a larger departure from western norms. Walking supermarket aisles, we recognize a few Filipino brands, but Chinese supermarkets typically don’t have the variety or price points that expats might find familiar. (Jollibee, Heartland Town Centre, Boyer Boulevard, Mississauga, Ontario) 20210318

Devil’s Punchbowl: Exploring the #waterfalls of #Hamilton, wending way across the ridge of the Niagara Escarpment by Stoney Creek to find the south-facing view of a ribbon of melt water as winter turns to spring.  Impressed by coloured layers of red shale, grey shale, limestone and shale dolomite from the end of the last ice age.  North-facing outlook over Hamilton Harbour, with the Keeper of the Cross installation from 1966 a noticeable landmark.  (Devil’s Punchbowl, Ridge Road, Stoney Creek, Ontario) 20220318

111 Elizabeth Street
111 Elizabeth Street: On request, farewell speech by @Ryan_Ing, upon his coming departure from Toronto to NYC this coming week. Friends invited to parktake in food, a psychic reading, and a pro protographer creating a collage of faces for the evening. Guests asking parents about the move to the Big Apple, it’s not even a change in time zone away from us. (111 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210319
Dim Sum King
Dim Sum King: Three tables for lunch, more than originally thought would attend at the first gathering of the Lowkong Society after the pandemic halted socializing. The house on Huron Street is now in the past, so we’ll look to a new future. Met a few cousins, an era of English-first speakers now shows much grey hair. (Dim Sum King, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20220320
Yueh Tung
Yueh Tung: After years of Wedneday night takeout dinners with three sons during the pandemic, we’ll only have two on most weeks. Taking advantage of Old Chinatown location across the street from the apartment building, before clearing out kitchen appliances and lots of the little conveniences acquired to maintain a real home. Contexts packed into two vehicles for temporary storage in vacated bedroom back at the house, on the expectation of cascading down to the last son to move out. (Yeuh Tung, Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20220323

Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Arborists @TOtrees outside my window this morning, sawing at the linden tree in our front yard. Pruner in the articulated boom lift (cherry picker) with shears above, collector of branches on the ground, below. The sapling was owned by the city when we moved in so many decades ago, and has been professionally maintained mostly without our attention. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20220331

2022/02 Moments February 2022

Walking rather than bicycling in a colder winter this year, travel out of the neighbourhood by car.
Toronto, Ontario

Riverdale Park East
Riverdale Park East: The young at heart enjoying the bright winter day, riding sleds west of Broadview Avenue, down into the Don Valley ravine. No manmade aids to return to the top, lots of parents pulling young children back uphill. Completely natural snow, unlike the Winter Olympics in progress a continent away. (Riverdale Park East, Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20220205
401 Richmond Street West
401 Richmond Street West: Centre courtyard in arts-and-culture hub is a quiet spot in the Queen Street West district, slightly barren during the winter cold. Industrial structure originally dating back to 1899 is in contrast to the condo apartment tower to the east built in 2000. Travel crosstown took especially long on a Saturday afternoon, with police routing traffic around the Queens Park siege. (401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20220212
Abbozzo Gallery
Abbozzo Gallery: Oxygen-producing bioart, @VladimirKanic (2021) Book of Waves, Part 6 is about a foot square, mounted on the wall alongside others in the series. Sculpture is made from biodegradable bioplastics, algae lives with the carbon dioxide in the air expelled by visitors. The show lights up the front window of the gallery, slight pump sounds are audible inside when close to the piece. (Abbozzo Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20220212
Waterfront Trail
Waterfront Trail: Urban mural by @flipsbsc (2020) #torontoswirls on hoarding series @StART_Toronto Honouring Our Water endures second winter. Single day temperature swing encouraged first bike ride in many weeks. Snowbanks not completely melted, asphalt pavement shows heaving. (Waterfront Trail, Lakeshore Boulevard East, west of Coxwell Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20220216
Marina Quay West
Marina Quay West: Couples stroll along water’s edge, from Bathurst Street past HTO Park to Harbourfront Centre. Surface between slips in the marina iced over, with mysterious melted gaps in rectilinear intervals. Further east, ducks paddling around in open water. (Marina Quay West, Central Waterfront, Toronto, Ontario) 20220219

The Power Plant Gallery
The Power Plant Gallery: Exhibition “You Name It” #SashaHuber (2009) Strange Fruit Bowl inspired by poem by Abel Meenopol, later recorded by Billie Holiday. Three balls made of hemp ropes as used to make nooses, in a bowl covered with staples. In background Huber and #PetriSaarikko (2015) Prototype, a scaled geometric outline of Agassizhorn, fronting large screen projection of video (2008) Rentyhorn, protesting scientific racism of #LouisAgassiz, in favour or renaming Congolese-born Renty who was enslaved on a plantation in early 1800s South Carolina. (The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Queen’s Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20220219

2022/01 Moments January 2022

An indoor start to the year, with the combination of cold weather and pandemic restrictions coincident with writing a journal article to deadline at the end of the month.
Toronto, Ontario

Pearson International Airport Terminal
Pearson International Airport Terminal: Drop off for evening flight on Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, to meet with clients in celebration, travelling with one big suitcase. Departures area saw cars triple-parked, either for the last Sunday of the holiday season, or the first Sunday of the new year. He was at home while we were travelling for a week, now our third floor will be quite for a week. (Pearson International Airport Terminal 1, Toronto, Ontario) 20220102
Toronto Chinese Archway
Toronto Chinese Archway: Diagaonally from Hubbard Park, the gate to East Chinatown is framed by lamp posts and overhead electrical wires. Landmark unveiled in 2009 is on the northwest side of the district, so I don’t normally see it when I come shopping in the area. Bright clear winter day correlates with cold temperature, Riverdale Library was open for service. (Toronto Chinese Archway, Hamilton Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20220108

 Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Natural sculpture in back yard, with well-anticipated snowfall of 35cm overnight for 8 hours. Mayor asked citizens to stay home so that ploughs could clear roads, while planned in-person school attendance was deferred into online learning becoming a snow day. Opportunity for outdoor exercise, shovelling in back and front of house for a few hours, levelling out snowbank tops to reduce the height of peaks. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20220117

2021/12 Moments December 2021

Shorter days with earlier sunsets, holiday season, and a trip via Vancouver, British Columbia, to visit with newlyweds in Oakland, California
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

2021/11 Moments November 2021

Academic research conferences in Brussels, visiting with friends, and sightseeing smaller towns in Belgium, as we’ve visited Brussels before.
Brussels, Belgium; Leuven, Belgium; Ypres (Ieper) Belgium; Passchendaele, Belgium; Thieu, Belgium; Mons, Belgium; Toronto, Ontario

Boulevard Anspach
Boulevard Anspach: On All Saints’ Day, exited De Brouckère metro station and started walking south. Looking back northward, surprised to see so many people out enjoying the clear skies on a public holiday, with many large retailers open for commerce. Historically a street built covering the River Senne between 1868 and 1871, it was only in 2012 that the road was closed on Sundays from vehicular traffic, finally become car-free in 2015. Electric scooters seem popular, nimbly weaving around pedestrians. (Boulevard Anspach south of Rue Grétry, Brussels, Belgium) 2021110
Restaurant Zain Al Shaam
Restaurant Zain Al Shaam: Healthy Syrian-Lebanese plates of (i)mixed kebabs and (ii) vegetarian, in central Brussels, complemented by appetizer of pickles, pita stuffed with a spicy filling, and a coconut-pistachio flan. Restaurant was busy when we arrived, leading us to the table by the door where many takeout orders were picked up. Could be the best meal that we’ve had in months, freshly made and served in person. (Restaurant Zain Al Shaam, Bouldvard Anspach, Brussels, Belgium) 20211101
Les Riches-Claires Centre Culturel
Les Riches-Claires Centre Culturel: CD release for “About Time” with #MartinSalemi on piano,#BorisSchmidt on bass, and #DanielJonkers on drums (reflected on the piano). We walked up to this small venue by the community library without tickets, and found almost the last seats in the house in the front row. Great show with live jazz, all acoustic in a traditional trio. DY and I might have been the only non-Francophones in the audience, it’s hard to pick up the jokes with only 50% comprehension. (Les Riches-Claires Centre Culturel, Rue Riches-Claires, Brussels, Belgium) 20211101

Parc du Cinquantenaire: At #Bright.Brussels CUBE^³ by #OferSmilansky + #AntoineGoldschmidt, unnatural object with transparent sides lit from exterior, and then internal streams of light. Pensive soundtrack accompanies color changes in a 10-minute cycle. Moderate crowds of visitors in the dark, unfortunately rainy, but we equipped for winter. (Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels, Belgium) 20211104

Rue Maria Malibran: Sidebar crafting break became full participation at CSRP Institute meeting. Friend at distance in Finland had asked travelling friend to act as courier for butterfly rubber stamps to Brussels, since physical points of connection are so rare these days. DY typically keeps occupied as systems research meetings continue, and casual crafters are welcomed. (Rue Maria Malibran, Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium) 20211105
Rue Maria Malibran: Sidebar crafting break became full participation at CSRP Institute meeting. Friend at distance in Finland had asked travelling friend to act as courier for butterfly rubber stamps to Brussels, since physical points of connection are so rare these days. DY typically keeps occupied as systems research meetings continue, and casual crafters are welcomed. (Rue Maria Malibran, Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium) 20211105
Place Dumon
Place Dumon: Shopping for artisinal white boudin (pork sausage with raisins) and black boudin (blood sausage with truffles) at the Saturday market, amongst the larger variety of vendors than Tuesdays or Fridays. Walked by more stands to find Chinese cabbage, and then looked into the “dead bird” store with partridge and quail in the window. (Place Dumon, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Brussels. Belgium) 20211106
Rue Maria Malibran
Rue Maria Malibran: Wrapping up first #CreativeSystemic Research Platform Institute Symposium and Annual General Meeting. In-person attendees in Brussels, virtual attendees in Shanghai, Singapore, UK, Italy, and on a train in the Netherlands. The first year of starting up a new institution is a lot of learning, processes should be ironed on in future years. (Rue Marie Malibran, Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium) 20211107
Heilige Geestcollege
Heilige Geestcollege: In foreground, work bike for delivering kegs of beer. In background, a historic site of the #EuropeanPhysicalSociety, including the office of #GeorgesLemaître who first in 1927 developed the theory of the Big Bang, consistent with an expanding universe. Wth the history of the University of Leuven dating back to 1425, and closures during period of French and Netherlander rule, the Catholic University from 1835 was French-speaking, until a split in 1970 changed the institution to a Flemish (Dutch) language institution. (Heilige Geestcollege (Holy Ghost College), Naamsestraat, Leuven, Belgium) 20211108
M Leuven
M Leuven: Featured show @M_useumLeuven of British land artist #RichardLong , with multiple sculptures inspired by his walking along the landscape of Bristol. From foreground, Quiet Skies Circle (2020), Basalt Ellipse (2000), Black White Green Pink Purple Circle (1998), and on the wall Hands of Clay Circle (2021). Spent most of my time with the temporary exhibits in the modern wing, lost track of my fellow travellers while exploring the extended permanent collection since the 1800s in the older neoclassical building. (M Leuven, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat, Leuven, Belgium) 20211108
Menin Road South Military Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery
Menin Road South Military Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery: In advance of Remembrance Day, visited the graves of WWI soldiers identified and recognized at Ypres. Found a row of headstones with a maple leaf insignia for a group of Canadian mounted riflemen. Signed the visitor’s registry, the preceding signature was 2 days ago from someone more local. Drive was 90 minutes west of Brussels, approaching the border to France. (Menin Road South Military Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Ypres (ieper) Belgium 20211109
Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917: Experienced a replication @MMP1917 of a bunk room in the dugouts burrowed underground by WWI British soldiers, after the Belgian terrain had been totally denuded of trees and buildings from bombing from 1914 to 1917. The museum route later led us outdoors into trenches, where the variety of construction styles varied earliest from simple wooden planks to later corrugated iron from the British corps. The more contemporary historical descriptions of the war show reconciliation, as the death toll from all sides was so great. (Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, Zonnebeke, Belgium) 20211109
VUB - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
VUB – Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Neon lettters for “Ab Chao – LaMouseion’ @VUBrussel by @KoenVanmechelen (2021) refers to “From Chaos” plus Mouseion in ancient Alexandria, encouraging the young to thing about systems and laws in a new society. Egg on top of building has a sibling hatching across the courtyard. Signs read “Fertility comes from outside” and “Le Bonheur du monde”. Wooden planters host a flower meadow to encourage pollinations by bees. (VUB – Vrije Universiteit Brussel Humanistic Sculpture Park, Ixelles, Belgium) 20211110
Abbaye de la Cambre
Abbaye de la Cambre: Duck pond south of the chapel, in the Maelbeek valley, with the site originally founded in 1196. Buildings were destroyed in the religious wars of the 1600s and 1700s, and rebuilt in 18th century. Repressed during the French Revolution, the buildings after the abbey closed were used for a military school, and occupied by Germans in WWI. In 1921, a group moved to preserve the abbey, and started reconstruction in 1924. In 1953, the property was designated a historic site. (Abbaye de la Cambre, Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium) 20211110
Strépy-Thieu Boat Lift: The 73-metre difference between the Meuse and Scheldt rivers led to the world’s tallest lift in 2002, before the Three Gorges Dam was built at twice the height. We also saw one of the four heritage Boat Lifts on the Canal du Centre, at Thieu from 1917, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. A boat lift has a chamber containing water than is elevated up or down, as compared to a canal lock where the water level rises and falls. (Ascenseur funiculaire de Strépy-Thieu , Thieu, Belgium) 20211111
Strépy-Thieu Boat Lift: The 73-metre difference between the Meuse and Scheldt rivers led to the world’s tallest lift in 2002, before the Three Gorges Dam was built at twice the height. We also saw one of the four heritage Boat Lifts on the Canal du Centre, at Thieu from 1917, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. A boat lift has a chamber containing water than is elevated up or down, as compared to a canal lock where the water level rises and falls. (Ascenseur funiculaire de Strépy-Thieu , Thieu, Belgium) 20211111
Beaux-Arts Mons
Beaux-Arts Mons: In the style of the #FernandoBotero exhibition, concave mirrors show a situational portraiture that is proportionately exaggerated. We were amused at the rounder, fatter figures shown for humour or political criticism. One Colombian satire reinterpreted the double portrait of the Duke of Urbino and his wife, by Piero della Francesca. (Beaux-Arts Mons, Rue Neuve, Mons, Belgium) 20211111
Square Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Square Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Map of outdoor art works didn’t prepare us for the height of #DavidMesguich (2019) #LucieEtLesPapillons in stainless steel, of a young girl with broken scissors in her hand that will not harm the butterflies. Arrived in this French-speaking town on Armistice Day, with carillon bells ringing from the Belfry of Mons every 15 minutes. Passed by the Collégiale Sainte-Waudru, an uncompleted church dated back to 1450, considerably quieter than the Foire d’Automne carnival on the Granc Place. (Square Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mons, Belgium) 20211111
Museum of the National Bank of Belgium
Museum of the National Bank of Belgium: Tour with audioguide in building originally designing in 1872 for Union du Crédit de Bruxelles (UCB), with glazed canopies in the style of the nearby Saint-Hubert galleries. The architecture was restored in 2007, and the museum was closed from 2017 to 2021 to move from a building one block away. Learned that exchange trading first started in Brugges circa 1415 at an inn of the van der Beurse family, that derives to the word Bourse in modern-day trading. (Musée de la Banque Nationale de Belgique, Rue Montagne aux Herbes, Brussels, Belgium) 20211112
Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert
Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert: The earliest covered shopping arcade dating back to 1846 now features many chocolate shops and high-end retailers. No security detail in sight, as a crew of children clambered aboard the art installation of @MiaFlorentineWeiss of “Love & Hate, 1+1=1” that has toured more than 20 countries in Europe and the USA in 10 years. The ambigram sculpture reads as Love on one side, and Hate on the other side. (Galeries Royales Saint Hubert, Galerie du Roi, Brussels, Belgium) 20211112
Comics Art Museum
Comics Art Museum: Smurfs originated in Belgium circa 1958, but only crossed the ocean into animated features in the 1980s. We have previously visited these characters, as well as Tintin and Nero. This visit was to the Slumberland bookstore, to check out the broader selection of comics available. (Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée, Rue de Sables, Brussels, Belgium) 20211112
Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport: Saturday is a long travel day. Woke up at 6:30am for 10am flight, will have a connection in Montreal around noon, should be home mid afternoon with a 6 hour time zone change. After 2 weeks in Belgium, just started getting used to time zone change. (Brussels Airport, Belgium) 20211113
Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport: Long travel day got longer, as pilot reported cracked windshield as plane was taxiing for takeoff. No gates available, so boarded bus back to terminal. As an experienced flyer, I phoned Air Canada and spoke with a nice agent who has confirmed our seats for tomorrow. EU rules should cover lodging, so we’ll be in line to ask about vouchers. (Brussels Airport, Belgium) 20211113
Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport: Next day, second try to fly Brussels – Montreal – Toronto Island. Had restful night in Sheraton on Air Canada vouchers, easy check-in this morning. (Brussels Airport, Belgium) 20211114
Alexander the Great Parkette
Alexander the Great Parkette: With the sun setting at 4;46pm, sights after work are mostly in the dark. Businesses on the Danforth illuminate sidewalks, and this public fountain is not the hangout popular as in the summer. Dry weather allows bicycling, but near-freezing temperatures discourage long rides. (Alexander the Great Parkette, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20211123
South Riverdale Community Health Centre
South Riverdale Community Health Centre: Self-portrait on last day of @MGHToronto @ETHPnews walk-in Covid-19 Outreach Centre @SRiverdaleCHC for booster Pfizer vaccine, followup from 2 Astra-Zeneca jabs just over 168 days ago. Short stroll from home, no wait to enter the building at the rear entrance. Supply is widely available, a pharmacy could have been an alternative source. (South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20211127

Lakeshore Boulevard East at Booth Avenue
Lakeshore Boulevard East at Booth Avenue: Stand of oak trees in Tree Protection Zones boxed by @TOtrees with orange plastic fences, Leaves still on the branches, plants may have been surprised by snow in the 4th week of November. Optimism in the permanence of trees, while the East Harbour Flood Protection Landform continues, just to the north. (Lakeshore Boulevard East at Booth Avenue, East Harbour, Toronto) 20211129
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