Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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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

2021/10 Moments October 2021

More relaxed pandemic restrictions allowed extended family gatherings, and the beginning of international travel.
Toronto, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; Brussels, Belgium

Ontario Place Marina
Ontario Place Marina: Placid lagoon with exhibition pods overhead, first opened in 1971 and now underused. North section of docks with boats still in the water, leaves haven’t yet turned to autumn colours. Exhibition Place beyond, with BMO Field a splash of colour amongst towers. (Ontario Place Martina, Lakeshore Boulevard West, Toronto, Ontario) 20211001
Delicious Shawarma & Falafel
Delicious Shawarma & Falafel: Unusually warm fall Saturday made outdoor dining on a covered patio feel like travelling to tropical climes. Fast food counter served takeout falafel wrap and beef shawarma with garlic sauce and fries in large quantity. We wore masks inside ordering, no vaccination passport required. (Delicious Shawarma & Falafel , Birchmount Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20211002
Collision Gallery
Collision Gallery: Popup @culture_to #ArtworxTO exhibition with #LauraGrier in Take Space for Self Care in Urban Centres. Wood panels smudged with ink in the performance of caring activities, staged by the windows overlooking Tembo, Mother of Elephants, and the Commerce Court Courtyard Fountain. Venue semi-hidden in the financial centre, received a personal briefing from the curator, with offers of tea and blanket for warmth. (Collision Gallery, Commerce Court Courtyard, Toronto, Ontario) 20211008
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Thanksgiving dinner with Peking Duck, since the only family member who really liked turkey is now vegan. Yee family from Vancouver now represented with one cousin a Toronto resident, and the other visiting from university in Montreal. Celebration started by writing in small handmade gratitude books, circulated around the table. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20211011
Regent Park Athletic Grounds
Regent Park Athletic Grounds: Semi-spontanous organization in a field large enough for at least three soccer games. Occasional runner around the outer track, then a couple putting down small orange cones to mark space at the sound end of the field. Dusk arriving within the hour, neighbourhood residents get a little exercise before it’s totally dark. (Regent Park Athlectic Grounds, Shuter Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20211012
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Post-pandemic, it takes my sister and brother-in-law to come in from Houston, to bring my father down from Scarborough for a visit. It’s been years since our sons used to see their grandfather every month for dim sum. Entertaining at home with takeout food allows more time for conversation, when we’re all on workday schedules. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20211013
Playter Estates
Playter Estates: Salon hosted by @redesign + @playthink, in advance of systemic design conference in a few weeks that will be centered in Delft, across the Atlantic Ocean. More social than topical, amongst colleagues who haven’t met in person in many months. As with many parties, everyone ends up in the kitchen. (Playter Estates, Toronto, Ontario) 20211016
Wellesley-Parliament Square
Wellesley-Parliament Square: Street corner wall has water babbling from top over brick and slabs, fronted by green bush, and obscuring the parking lot behind. Minor decorative amenity at the south end of a complex of high rise towers, as the densest population district in the city. Proposals to redevelop the area since 2018 would probably repurpose the surface parking lot, and presumably remove this mundane feature. (Wellesley-Parliament Square, Rose Avenue, St. jamestown, Toronto, Ontario) 20211019
Willison Square
Willison Square: Midweek evening in Spadina Chinatown, restaurants are open for business but few pedestrians. Weekly family dinner out for a change, checks at the door for double vaccination and identification. Noticed lighted art installations on the drive home, we would be more conscious tourists if this wasn’t our home town. (Willison Square, Spadina Chinatown, Toronto, Ontario) 20211020
Playter Estates
Playter Estates: Local preconference hosted by @redesign, in advance of @RSDSymposium. Last session @aupward on progress @FlourishingBiz with origin story, and challenges with publishing in academic journals. All-day meeting an opportunity to meet active researchers in person, I arrived late afternoon due to prior commitments. (Playter Estates, Toronto, Ontario) 20211023
Centre for Social Innovation
Centre for Social Innovation: First return to CSI building in almost 2 years, murals are brighter than i remember. We decided to scope out the readiness for a regular Systems Thinking Tea, in the Climate Ventures space, having continued core team meetings triweekly. Looks like community mostly hasn’t returned to shared offices, doors are locked by 5pm. (Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20211028
Maple Leaf Lounge, YUL
Maple Leaf Lounge, YUL:. Hot entrees under chrome warmers, but service to passengers seated in the lounge, quickly delivered by an app with an NFC locator. Sated, so that we might sleep on the 6.5 hour flight to Brussels. I miss the old days when the international lounge was more freewheeling. (Maple Leaf Lounge, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, Montreal, Quebec) 20211130

Eglise Sainte Alix
Eglise Sainte Alix: Walked up a slow incline towards a quiet neighbourhood square for provisions, as we’re jet-lagged in suburban Brussels on the Sunday of a holiday weekend. Fruit stand, bakery and small grocery store offer the basics. Mother Alix Le Clerk (1576-1622) had a vision of education for for all girls, rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant, following the rules of St. Augustine. She was beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1947. (Église Sainte-Alix, Woluwe Saint-Pierre, Brussels, Belgium) 20211031

2021/09 Moments September 2021

Summer slowly turning int autumn, sons travelled to California, leading to more couples time and eldercare.
Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Eaton Centre
Toronto Eaton Centre: The shooting fountain opened in 1977 remains covered and silenced, alongside many signs requesting that masked visitors keep moving. Volume of shoppers was moderate for the Friday of a Labout Day holiday weekend. It could be 2 years since I’ve been inside the building. (Toronto Eaton Centre, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210903
Congee Queen Agincourt
Congee Queen Agincourt: An extended afternoon of straightening out my father’s mobile phone service led into a casual dinner out on a holiday weekend. My vegan diet wasn’t planned into their shopping for the weekend, so going out for dinner was an easier option. Followed by a few more hours of wrangling with smart devices that aren’t so straightforward for senior citizens. (Congee Queen, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20210904
Front Campus
Front Campus: Big dig project at centre of university campus started in June as the Landmark Project, with a 3-year completion date. Boreholes 240 metres deep will enable a geothermal exchange field below a new underground parking lot. I remember the days in the 1970s when the ground would be saturated in the spring, as the submerged Taddle Creek would re-emerge. (Front Campus, King’s College Circle, University of Toronto, Ontario) 20210905
Neville Park Loop
Neville Park Loop: In daylight #TheliaShelton (2021) Share the Love sculpture from March @makewavesTo Luminosity exhibition doesn’t have the red glow visible at night. Installation sees empty streetcars loop from eastbound to westbound multiple times per hour. Driftwood endures beyond the one-month official period int he spring. (Neville Park Loop, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200909
Lakeshore Boulevard East
Lakeshore Boulevard East: On weekends, the roadway eastbound from Cherry Street has been shut down, as the overhead concrete surfaces are being crushed and removed. There was an alternative not taken to remove the whole structure, so the pillars for a fixture for the foreseeable future. Weekday drivers to the east end are still getting used to alternative routes. (Lakeshore Boulevard East, east of Cherry Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210911
Art Gallery of Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario: Sculpture of formica and plexiglass bound with Everlast boxing wraps @juliadault (2014) Untitled 36, reinstalled here on November 2, 2020. Brighter colours inside the loops than I recall with (2013) Untitled 26 that I saw at #ScrapMetalGallery in 2019. Exhibits on display this visit may have more content indigenous to Canada, convenient since transcontinental shipping is likely reduced with the pandemic. (Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210915
James Canning Gardens
James Canning Gardens: Urban playground nearby benches where philosophical gymnastics with @zaid___khan extended beyond our western-dominated education. Late afternoon with no signs of children playing, cooling temperature called for a jacket on the bike ride home. Originally named Dundonald Street Parkette, there’s more greenspace in the sections of the Yonge Street Linear Park directly north. (James Canning Gardens, Gloucester Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210919
Lakeshore Boulevard East at Bouchette Street
Lakeshore Boulevard East at Bouchette Street: Looking west from the south curb, the surface of the ramps have been removed, leading nowhere up to an elevated road that has been removed and crushed. Surface traffic appears unimpeded, with daylight a welcome change to the prior shadows under the Gardiner Expressway extension. In the distance, the CN Tower is clearly visible towards the west waterfront. (Lakeshore Boulevard East at Bouchette Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210921
Ryerson Student Learning Centre
Ryerson Student Learning Centre: Late afternoon weekday, few students evident on campus, light pedestrian traffic on Yonge Street north of Dundas Street. Surprised by more bike lanes occasionally reducing automotive traffic on Canada’s main street to two lanes north and south. Unseasonably warm temperatures may see one of the last days bicycling around in shorts. (Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210927

The Beaches Cinema
The Beaches Cinema: Arrived just in time before screening of #ShangChi at the local cinema. Unintended private screening for two, by consciously paying full price for 7pm show on a Monday. Inspection at front door for verification of double vaccination, with matching photo ID, masks on while in motion. (The Beaches Cinema, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20210927

2021/08 Moments August 2021

Easing into a more regular schedule, enjoying seasonable summer afternoons, with extra couples time on the weekends.
Toronto, Ontario; Kawartha Lakes, Ontario

Cherry Street at Lakeshore Boulevard
Cherry Street at Lakeshore Boulevard: Looking south towards Port Lands, red-and-white Cherry Street North Bridge is in place, thoroughfare to ramps are under construction. Chain link fence with dark shroud temporarily channels bicycle traffic ialong Martin Goodman Trail. Could take up to 3 years before cycle tracks are restored, the alternative could be on Mill Street, north of the CN Rail tracks. (Cherry Street at Lakeshore Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario) 20210801
Victoria University
Victoria University: Between Emmanuel College and Northrop Frye Hall, #MaryonKantaroff (1983) Anadyomene sculpture donated by Senator #NancyRuth in honour of the women who walk here. Crabgrass flourishing as university landscaping has been reduced both due to the pandemic and summer break. United Church theological school now federated with the University of Toronto in 1890, and moved to this location in 1892. (Victoria University, Queen’s Park Crescent East, Toronto, Ontario) 20210803
Kew Beach
Kew Beach: Unexpected elevation on the beach, with dune ecosystem project @TRCA_HQ to curb shoreline erosion and provide a habitat for shoreline waterfowl. Sand south of the boardwalk, fenced mound, and then sand beyond to Lake Ontario. Unaccustomed to seeing girls in bikinis in the urban setting. (Kew Beach, Eastern Waterfront, Toronto, Ontario) 20210805
Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto
Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto: Scheduled a Friday night date @MoCAToronto, including #MichaelLin (2020) Archipelago painting installation of florals inspired by Taiwanese, Indonesian and Hawaiian textiles. Relaxed couples time in a large venue with timed entries. Upstairs video installations are thought-provoking and entertaining, but too much like staying at home watching big screens. (Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Sterling Road). 20210806
Sorauren Avenue Park
Sorauren Avenue Park: Off-leash fenced area is larger than than the baseball diamond directly west. Big dogs overjoyed to be bounding across the open space with their brethern. Canines seem to want to cluster around their masters, presumably trained as to who is the alpha. (Sorauren Avenue Park, Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario) 20210812
Gardiner Museum
Gardiner Museum: Garniture Remix in the north window facing the next building, an ensemble of porcelain objects in the tradition of 1600s European arrangements of vases. Date night to see the ceramics collection for the first time. Strong focus on provenance, viewed large collection manufactured in Britain 1600s-1700s, influenced by bowls and dinnerware first produced in China 1000 years earlier. (Gardiner Museum, Queen’s Park Crescent, Toronto, Ontairo) 202010813
L'Amoreaux neighbourhood
L’Amoreaux neighbourhood: Couldn’t find my chain tool, got a hand to repair a break from a bad shift on the bike I bought in the spring. Research paper deadlines and job change had the wheels hanging n the garage for months. Tuning up the drivechain, couldn’t get the full range of gears, but this ride should be an improvement over my winter bike. (L’Amoreaux neighbourhood, Scarborough, Ontario) 20210815
Greenwood Yard
Greenwood Yard: With a capacity for 328 cars, half of the subway trains for the city are stored here overnight. Site is 61 acres on the eastern branch, surrounded by residential houses on three sides, and intercity rail to the south. Curious about the wye triangular junction underground between Donlands station to the northwest, and Greenwood station to the northeast. (TTC Greenwood Yard, Greenwood Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20210817
Casement Island
Casement Island: Water is warm in Upper Stony Lake. Full day, driving from Toronto to Petroglyphs Provincial Park, cottage on lake for lunch, Trent University campus, Trent-Severn Waterway Lift-Lock 21, conversation in Peterborough as a private garden party, then back home after dark. Not very familiar with the Kawartha Lakes, with a childhood in Muskoka, but the granite geology looks familiar. (Casement Island, Upper Stony Lake, North Kawartha, Ontario) 20210821
Edward Gardens
Edward Gardens: Returned to the fountain for the 36th time, reflecting on our time together since the last visit, and committing for another year. Annual visit is timed well, I can’t remember any rain except for the day of the wedding so many years ago. Seems like fewer people enjoying the park this year. (Edward Gardens, Lawrence Avenue East, Don Mills, Ontario) 20210824
Edward Gardens
Edward Gardens: Following the annual ritual, slow stroll down the hill and over the brook. Fences diverting pedestrians away from the north bank, construction in progress. Plants unfortunately looking a little stressed with the summer heat alert. (Edward Gardens, Lawrence Avenue East, Don Mills, Ontario) 20210824
Merchants Wharf
Merchants Wharf: Looking southeast into the inner harbour, the schooner from the east headed for the Eastern channel, as smaller craft sailed west towards yacht clubs on Toronto Island. Water’s edge in the East Bayfront neighbourhood is still under development. Residents from the high-rise towers lounging on the walks and small green spaces as the heat warning abates. (Merchants Wharf, East Bayfront, Toronto, Ontario) 20210829

Gardiner Expressway East
Gardiner Expressway East: August 31 will be the last day the ramp at Logan Avenue will be open. First opened in July 1966, this spur route was part of plan to connect to the Scarborough Expressway that was never built. In July 2015, Toronto City Council voted to not bring the junction of the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway down to grade, in favour of a hybrid option continuing part of the elevated roadway. After 3 years, the drive west will be on Lakeshore Boulevard, for an onramp at Jarvis Street. (Gardiner Expressway East at Logan Avenue, East Harbour, Toronto, Ontario) 20210830

2021/07 Moments July 2021

Summer in the city with temperate weather, without the usual crowd scenes for summer festivals.
Toronto, Ontario

Queen’s Park
Queen’s Park: If Queen Victoria (reign 1837-1901) looked over her shoulder, she would see J. Sandfield Macdonald (first premier of Ontario, 1867-1864). Government offices are closed on the public holiday, visitors can enjoy the green space on bright summer day. City has started to open up from pandemic shutdown, optimistic for more social time. (Queen’s Park, Wellesley Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210701
Leslie Grove Park
Leslie Grove Park: Tai chi group would seem to convene at 10 a.m. in this east end green space. Those presuming the Chinese commmunity centered on the west side around Spadina Avenue may not have appreciated residential property was more affordable on the east side, even in the 1970s and 1980s. Outdoor ping pong table was in use, slightly to the south. (Leslie Grove Park, Queen Street East at Jones Avenue, Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario) 20210702
FedEx Ship Centre
FedEx Ship Centre: In the Port Lands district, dropping off laptop computer return, with job change. Original Thinkpad carton fits exactly in the large shipping box, must be more than a coincidence. Distribution centre has tall grasses indigenous to the Toronto Harbour marshes, better than a lawn. (FedEx Ship Centre, Commissioners Street, Port Lands, Torotno, Ontario) 20200706
Toronto-Dominion Centre
Toronto-Dominion Centre: During the heat warning, the shadow on #JoFafard (1985) The Pasture cools the seven bronze cows on the lawn. The installation was originally south of Wellingston Street, when I worked in that tower in the late 1980s. Looking between the TD North Tower and E&Y Tower in the Mies style, in the distance, are the Commerce Court South Tower by I.M. Pei and Scotia Plaza modern tower with parallelogram floorplan by WZMH Architects. (Toronto-Dominion Centre, Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210706
The Bentway
The Bentway: Roller skaters on southern branch of loop, through cross-court installation #EsmaaMohamoud (2021) Double Dribble, past basketball nets oversized and undersized, at impossibly high and child heights. Without rules to guide participants, play is negotiated interactively at this underpass under the Gardiner Expressway West. Varying levels of proficiency on wheels suggests that most have rented equipment from the pop-up store, rather than bringing their own. (The Bentway, Fort York Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario) 20210710
Charles Sauriol Parkette
Charles Sauriol Parkette: Modest green space with benches facing west, with only dense forestry as the scenic view. Just beyond the trees is the sharp drop to Pottery Road. History says the old Pottery Road roadbed used to end here, but the south end was moved a few hundred meters south (by the Dairy Queen) in the 1960s, to reduce the gradient for automobiles. New landscaping and seating area renewed this patch of land in 2015. (Charles Sauriol Parkette, Hillside Drive at Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Onrtario) 20210715
Craven Road at Gerrard Street East
Craven Road at Gerrard Street East: Travelling eastbound through Little India, bright splash of colour reveals itself down the side street. With Leslieville School of Dance and Music now occupying the space, the solid beige was boring, and a potential target for tagging. Along the main street, restaurants and cafes have extended over the sidewalk onto the curbside lane. (Craven Road at Gerrard Street East, Little india, Toronto, Ontario) 20210717
Bellair Street
Bellair Street: Public space has been reallocated into curbside patio, with the restaurants taking over the whole street. The brick lane only runs two short blocks, and can easily be circumnavigated by cars on a slow one-way loop. Businesses were active with customers, but not like the usual summer festival seasons for the city. (Bellair Street, Yorkville, Toronto, Ontario) 20210718
Hong Shing
Hong Shing: Family dinner at restaurant in Toronto Old Chinatown, updated by a second generation owner. Cantonese cuisine with northern options featuring numbing Sichuan peppers, background house music might be better appreciated by late night crowd. Guests visting in city swap with son #3, they’re in Vancouver liviing in Eastern Time. (Hong Shing, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210721
Crothers Woods
Crothers Woods: Long stroll with @redesign from Broadview Avenue down through Todmorden MIlls, around Cottonwood Flats. Is this an old CP Rail line towards Belleville? We encountered two acquaintances and said hello, dispersed social interactions still under pandemic distancing. (Crothers Woods, Broadview North, Toronto, Ontario) 20210722

Lisgar Park
Lisgar Park: Sculptural playground climber of logs may be better than artificial materials, planned as a safe place for toddlers. In the plaza beyond, trees sparsely ring the open space, yet it seems unlikely that children would attempt ascending. Park is a former 1900s warehouse site, constructed between 2014-2016, with the rise of apartments in the district. (Lisgar Park, Abell Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210723
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