Kirkkonummi, Finland; Montreal, Quebec; Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, DC.
(by David): It’s one of those childhood memory things …. I haven’t read Proust, but I’ve seen enough citations of that idea.
Way back in the early 1970s, Grandfather (and Harry and Pearl for that matter) lived in the house at the southeast corner of Beverly Street and Cecil Street. The property was due for expropriation for a a hydro switching station, and Grandfather moved over to a house one block west on Ross Street. (That’s where I lived with Grandmother during university days in the late 1970s).
It’s hard to be accurate from my childhood memories, but I seem to recall people saying that the Beverly Street house was much larger than the Ross Street House. In addition, the Ross Street house was semi-detached, whereas the Beverly Street house was free-standing. (The Ross Street house had parking off a laneway, though, whereas the Beverley Street house just had a drive coming off Cecil Street). I also seemed to remember that the Beverly Street house had a reputation of a leaky basement.
As it happens, there was a neighbourhood uprising against the Hydro switching station, and the property eventually became part of the CityHome complex. This means the city is the landlord in mixed income housing. In the late 1970s, my friends Debbie and Ena used to live in a 2-story apartment on Henry Street, which is one street east of Beverly Street.
One of the strong memories I had of the Beverly Street house was that it had a pear tree. In the fall, we used to have a day when the whole family would be out picking pears. These were green pears, which weren’t too sweet, but had a great flavour. We used to have a contraption â€” like a basketball hoop with the netting bottom closed, at the end of a long bamboo pole â€” that we used to pull the fruit off the tree. It would simply fall into the netting, and after two or three pears, the end would be lowered to the ground for someone to remove the contents. Retreivals using the pole would be done first from standing on the ground, then on top of a stepladder, from the second floor window (which wasn’t that close to the tree) and then from a small roof outside the third floor window (where everyone would be concerned about the danger of falling.
Adam’s posting on Taekwon do and free fruit reminded me of this scene.
Probably around 1978 or 1979, I remember going with Paul to knock on the door of the people living on the Beverly Street house â€” tenants â€” and asking for permission to pick the pears. They said that they were waiting for them to turn yellow â€” they would have had to wait for a long time for that! â€” and gave us permission to pick. We got so much fruit that we ended up baking pear pies in Debbie’s kitchen.
Sometime later, I discovered that the pears were called Flemish Beauty pears. They’re a hardy variety of pear â€” presumably Belgian in origin â€” and I had considered planting a pear tree on Booth Avenue when the boys were young. The caution against this is that South Riverdale used to have heavy industry, so it might not have been such a good idea to grow fruit when there’s a possibility of lead in the soil. The pear tree on Beverly Street has since been removed, and there’s more parking space on that property.
Every fall, though, I’m on the lookout for Flemish Beauty pears in the markets. It’s not exactly the most popular variety. Clapp pears are close, and slightly easier to find. Last year, I posted on a question on Foodland Ontario site on pears and discovered that Flemish Beauty pears actually peak in October. When I was up in Markham this week, I made a slight detour and bought some pears
And that is why the fruit bowls in our home are all full!
Dinner hosted by houseguest first met by sons on vacation in Thailand, coming across the ocean for the first time for a new world experience. Long dialogues in Thai language with restaurant owner on food preferences and allergies. Food prepared in sauces that seems lighter than those I have recently recalled. Dessert with birthday song for RDI. (Sala Modern Thai Kitchen, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190918
Emcee Chrissie #CrazyFunnyAsians Comedy Showcase #Hellafunny standup comic @nowmusicsf downstairs, on being a 4th-generation Japanese American now totally Westernized, except her face. First of seven on stage, most living within a few blocks of the venue. Venue almost full on for an Sunday early evening show, great for audience members with a day job. (Neck of the Woods, Clement Street, San Francisco, California) 20190707
Cycle of heating glass in furnace, shaping with pliers and then applying torch @HarbourfrontTO Craft and Design studios. Curves might have been for the neck of a bird in glass, I didn't observe any blowing. Watching artists at work always a warm venue, particularly on the first day clocks return to standard time, and darkness comes earlier. (Harbourfront Centre, Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20191103
Catching up on 6 years of lives, since the last time we met was at the alumni weekend in Illinois. Children have grown up, allowing us options in our choices of how we spend our time. Enjoyed Copper River salmon in a restaurant with the Oregon style. (Seasons and Regions Seafood Grill, SW Capitol Highway, Portland, Oregon) 20190702
Family lunch in a cavern formed by volcanic activity, near the pyramids at Teotihuacan. Sampled pre-Hispanic cuisine, including caterpillars from agave plants, turkey and rabbit. Popular venue with many families on Sunday afternoon, shade welcomed after a sunny day up and down the nearby climbs. (La Gruta, Teotihuacan, Mexico) 20191223