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David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2024/04 Moments April 2024

Return from visiting family in Vancouver BC, clan events and eldercare appointments
Vancouver, BC; Toronto, Ontario

Motoretta Gelato
Motoretta Gelato: Lazy Easter Monday, after Lebanese lunch including zataar, wandered down towards harbour waterfront. Gelato flavours of Earl Grey vanilla and mascarpone espresso; vegan dark chocolate. NTA now styles Vancouverite wearing shorts on optimism of sun, we Easterners are still bundled up for the temperature drop. (Motoretta Gelato, West Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240401


Pendulum Gallery
: Suspended from a glass ceiling, Alan Storey (1987) Broken Column is commonly mislabelled as a pendulum as it doesn’t have a clock. Aluminum metal duct of 3500 pounds has a slot on the north side, originally designed with a fan that would move warm air from the roof to ground level. Electric motor drives the duct over a stationary plinth, “sympathetic with the alpha waves our brains produce when we’re resting with our eyes closed”, in a movement that is both relaxing and terrifying when seated in a chair by the nearby tables. (Pendulum Gallery, West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240401

YVR Vancouver International Airport
YVR Vancouver International Airport: Started journey home before sunrise, passing by Reg Davidson (2016) The Blind Halibut Fisherman, beside a bentwood box where the Haida would store ceremonial gear. From City Centre Station, Skytrain on Canada Line was uneventful. Unusual alert on x-ray scan meant body patdown, second pass through scanners, and report taking down name and profession. (YVR Vancouver International Airport) 20240402
Fortune Seafood Restaurant
Fortune Seafood Restaurant: Late afternoon lab visit followed by early evening dinner. Vancouver crab was on special, as was jumbo shrimp, neither for allergic me. Grouper-tofu casserole as usual, and water spinach, enough leftovers for tomorrow. Free soup borth to start, sweet soup to finish. (Fortune Seafood Restaurant, Midland Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20240403
Brookfield Place
Brookfield Place: Indoor atrium has real butterfly boxes that would offer refurge from poor weather and predators, but fake butterflies. Narrow entry slots invite lepidoptera, rather than round holes for birds. Sunny spring day illuminates display encouraging pollinator gardens during April as Earth Month. (Brookfield Place, Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20240406
Dim Sum King
Dim Sum King: Family congregating at the spring festival banquet of the Lowkong Society, before the 10 courses started. We may now have a reputation as a karaoke group, choosing songs that bridge boomer and millennial generations. if the full immediate family comes out, we may have to book more than one table of 10. (Dim Sum King Seafood Restaurant, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20230413
Theatre Passe Muraille
Theatre Passe Muraille: Panel @beyondWallsTPM hosted by @21sungelas with social entrepreneur @vanessalingyu and journalist @annhui on set of @SilkBathTO . Discussed Chinese-Canadian “chop suey” cooking in its own legitimacy, now better in small town Canada than in the big cities. Common ties through food in lineages of Chinese heritage, even for those not brought up in Chinese restaurants. (Theatre Passe Muraille, Ryerson Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20240414
Service Canada Centre Scarborough Town Centre
Service Canada Centre Scarborough Town Centre: In-person visit, suggested after telephone call inquiry about not receiving letter about Canadian Dental Care qualifying for over-87 years of age in December 2023. One of multiple eldercare errands in the neighbourhood, the time required for the beneficiary to answer questions seems less than time it takes for the customer service to figure out the case on the computer. Helpful Service Canada agent explained she could handle everything except Canada Revenue Agency, and the public-facing websites are actually partitioned. (Service Canada Centre, Town Centre Court, Scarborough, Ontario) 20240417

Woodside Square
Woodside Square: Paused by dinosaur display outside mall, on the way to trying a different lunch spot after a short doctor’s appointment. Hand-pulled noodles were genuinely superior to the usual, but even slight spiciness varies too far away from Cantonese cuisine preferences. Will have to revert from counter service formats, to restaurants with full service. (Woodside Square, Sandhurst Circle, Scarborough, Ontario) 20240425

2024/03 Moments March 2024

More work than play for first part of month, in anticipation of trip to Vancouver to visit family.
Toronto, Ontario; Vancouver, BC

Mr. Congee Bridlewood Mall
Mr. Congee Bridlewood Mall: Followng late afternoon appointments, opted for a casual Cantonese meal at a mall storefront. Congee, beef brisket lo mein, turnip cake and barbeque pork rice at modest prices, whole duck cost a little more. Selection is small, save for the seafood set menus the would suit a grander occasion. (Mr. Congee Bridlewood Mall, Warden Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20240313
Zhang Liang Spicy Hotpot
Zhang Liang Spicy Hotpot: Pre-theatre casual dinner, each diner selecting own ingredients from the open refrigerator shelves to be given to kitchen to make soup. Unlike our experience in China where only malatang means numbing spicy soup, our Cantonese palates could opt for the non-spicy mushroom broth. Some have had more experience estimating the quantity of inputs, to the amount one can eat. (Zhang Liang Spciy Hotpot, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20240320
Hugh’s Room Live
Hugh’s Room Live: Songwriter session with @danhillmusic and @lily_frost, with stories about composing, performing, the music business, and challenges of returning to live performing after long interruption. Small venue in former church, pews in the balcony gave a better view than on ground floor. Gladly accepted free tickets offered by an acquaintance on 3 hours notice, I was a fan even before Dan Hill performed at Ontario Place Forum in 1978. (Hugh’s Room Live, Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20240322
Maple Leaf Lounge, Domestic, YYZ
Maple Leaf Lounge, Domestic, YYZ: Early for flight to Vancouver, adding salad to the meatballs and rice. Six day visit, mostly to visit DY’s mother. Planning on staying mostly in Eastern Time, up before sunrise at 7:00am. (Maple Leaf Lounge (Domestic), Pearson Airport, Toronto, Ontario) 20240327
Denny's Test Kitchen
Denny’s Test Kitchen: Brunch next door to Canadian headquarters of international restaurant chain, with menu items under consideration request feedback for inclusion into regular menus. Bridging east coast body time with west coast mealtimes, we’re jet lagged with the 3-hour time zone change. Discussed the Broadway Plan for rental housing in the neighbourhood, designed to encourage low rise construction while protecting affordability for long-time residents. (Denny’s Test Kitchen, West Broadway, Vancouver, BC) 20240328


Emily Carr University of Art and Design
: Bob (Tahitan-Tlingit) + Stan Bevan (Tahitan-Tlingit and Tsimshian) + Lyonei Grant (Maori and Pakeha) 2023 “Pacific Song of Ancestors”. Carving may be tradition of natives of British Columbia, but features on this art work aren’t limited to the province. Art university demonstrates is forward-looking ways. (Emily Carr University of Art and Design, East 1st Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240328


Libby Leshgold Gallery
: Scaffold 17 feet in height with prose-poem on Tyvek banners, Hazel Meyer (2024) Weeping Concrete fills the open space of the gallery. Sculptural installation can be used as stage, had two public performances in February 2024. We hadn’t seen a similar 2022 work in the Bentway in Toronto, underneath the Gardiner Expressway. (Libby Leshgold Gallery, East 1st Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240328

Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Emily Carr University of Art + Design: Suspending on wires from ceiling, Kevin Orloski (2024) Freedom is an epoxy resin artwork symbolizing the American Sign Language expression by Shannon Anderson. Nearing the end of the academic year, students works are on display. On a regular school day, we enjoy the energy on campus. (Emily Carr University of Art + Design, E. 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC) 20240328


Canton-Sardine
: Behind wall, a maze Xiangmei Su (2024) Here————There weaves threads around up stairs and beyond blind alleys. The artist lives been cultures, immigrating from Changshu, China to study visual art at UBC in Vancouver. Installation is found in the basement of the Sun Wah Centre used as a Chinatown community space by BCA, very quiet on a regular workday. (Canton-Sardine, Sun Wah Centre, Keefer Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240328

Yohachi Sushi
Yohachi Sushi: Leisurely dinner catching up on more than 5 years since we’ve seen each other. They’re more retired than us, all of us are in the sandwich generation of taking care of elders, and having adult children with busy lives. Conversation ran overtime, so that we waited for the late Seabus schedule of 30 minutes rather daytime 15 minute crossings. (Yohachi Sushi Japanese Restaurant, Esplanade West, North Vancouver, BC) 20240328


Richmond Public Market
: This two-level shopping centre built in 1994 is not a tourist attraction, instead serving the local Chinese community. Near the south end of the Richmond-Brighouse skytrain station, it has the old Chinatown feeling of chaos and bricolage. Immediate neighbourhood is dense with apartment towers, could be a hub for nearby residents who don’t drive in the suburbs. (Richmond Public Market, Westminister Highway, Richmond, BC) 20240329

Gary Point Park
Garry Point Park: Sun came out for a slow stroll from the southwest shore of Richmond, westward where the Fraser River meets the Pacific Ocean, curving back eastward. Since the City of Richmond averages 1 metre below sea level, the dykes have gradually been built up to be taller. The Akebono Cherry Blossom Trees attracted many visitors at the easten edge of the park, we oped to walk and talk in the quieter areas. (Garry Point Park, Seventh Avenue, Richmond, BC) 20240329
Simon K Y Lee Seniors Home
Simon K. Y. Lee Seniors Home: Visiting DY’s mother has been a central purpose for this spring trip to Vancouver. We’ve been visiting daily in the afternoons. Elders don’t necessarily get so much variety in their meals, so she’s been enjoying the fresh fruit we bring. (Simon K. Y. Lee Seniors Home, Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240329
David Lam Park
David Lam Park: The Blossoms After Dark event drew a lot of people to a large park, with a relatively small number of features. We had dinner in Yaletown before sunset, and then followed crowds trampling the grass before finding the stairs to the upper level attractions. Relying on many espoused expert photographers is a losing game in difficult lighting conditions. (David Lam Park, Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC) 20240329
Wesbrook Village
Wesbrook Village: Honoured to receive an inscribed (2022) translation of Zhuangzi at lunch with Richard John Lynn + Sonja Arntzen, both professors emerita now residing near UBC. After 19 years of retirement, academic leisure means research continues for only 6 hours per day. We exchanged life stories on how early university studies don’t present linear career paths. (Neptune Chinese Kitchen, Westbrook Village, Vancouver, BC) 20240330
Belkin Art Gallery
Belkin Art Gallery: Hard to align foreground sculpture Elizabeth Zvonar (2006) Timing is Everything, with two mirrors facing each other with astrological birth charts of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. In background, mounted on wall, Elizabeth Zvonar (2013) Face inkjet print. Part of the Aporia (Notes to a Medium) exhibition, including works that contend with systems of belief and perception. (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Main Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC) 20240330
Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen
Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen: Local foodie with travel experience guided us to Nepalese restaurant for dinner. Food is available not spicy, we started with vegan momos with jhol sauce, and chicken momos fried. Big appetizers meant we took main course leftovers back to the apartment. (Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen, Davie Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240330
Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home
Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home: Arrived with pork siu mai and beef balls just as DY’s mother was coming out for lunch, so the staff brought a portable table to the vestibule. Had to chop down the dim sum into smaller pieces, because regular meals are now pureed. We might have slowed down serving, she really gobbles down the food. (Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Home, Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240331
Chinatown Storytelling Centre
Chinatown Storytelling Centre: A reproduction of the Yucho Chow Studio, a Chinese Canadian professional photographer serving marginalized communities from 1908 to 1949. This cultural history centre, opened in 2021, has a digital improvement enabling self-portraits to be sent as postcards. The tracing of family heritages are mostly centered on British Columbians, although we recognized the names of historians and writers from across Canada. (Chinatown Storytelling Centre, East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC) 20240331

Dunbar neighbourhood
Dunbar neighbourhood: Afternoon tea with family extended into homecooked meal, graciously early for body clocks still on Eastern Time. Exchanged details and compared experiences on recent trips to Asia. In-person time is so much more valuable than onine messaging. (Dunbar neighbourhood, Vancouver, BC) 20240331

2024/02 Moments February 2024

Chinese New Year celebrations, both public and family, extended over two weekends, due to busy social schedules.
Toronto, Ontario

Collision Gallery
Collision Gallery: Two pieces in the 2024 To Love series @greenisch.tint in memory of her Korean grandmother: The Portrait is a traditional Korean knot made of red crochet yarn, The Reflection is a reminder of dishware and sculpted cabbage in the making of kimchi. Part of the @DesignTO Youth: Touchbase exhibition. (Collision Gallery, Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20240210


Chinatown Centre
: Songs to welcome Lunar New Year with @SanthaTsang on the afternoon stage. Not only selections in Chinese dialects, I heard some Abba was I was leaving. Attendees scattered around the mall in crowds around calligraphy and other crafts. (Chinatown Centre, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20240210

Don Valley Auto Centre
Don Valley Auto Centre: Unanticipated guided tour of vintage 1920s Supertest gas pump in the waiting room of our local garage. Gas jockey would manually pump fuel into the glass measuring vessel on top, and then transfer to vehicle. Also in the back room, shown a more utilitarian compact pump that could be installed in a sidewalk location. (Don Valley Auto Centre, Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20240213
May Yan Seafood Restaurant
May Yan Seafood Restaurant: Since Chinese New Year runs 15 days from new moon to full moon, we deferred our family lunch on weekend after Super Bowl and a son’s birthday. Double lobster and braised duck arrived after we finished the steamed bean curd and scallops in black bean sauce, and while still working through beef bricket bean curd hotpot, eggplant ground pork hotpot, sweet and sour fish fillets, mustard greens with conpoy scallop sauce, and king mushroom with pea leaves. Hand-picked order successfully achieved greater variety than the prescribed set menus. (May Yan Seafood Restaurant, Sheppard Avenue East, Scabrorough, Ontario) 20240217
Mon Sheong Court
Mon Sheong Court: Third son turning over winning hand in first round of mahjong, still learning the rules of the game. Grandfather then easily won the next three hands, with second son taking the last, as fourth son and grandfather blocked each other waiting for the same tiles to turn up. This new experience was described as more dynamic than poker, where the skill is in everyone counting cards visible to all. (Mon Sheong Court, McNicoll Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20240217


Zhong Hua Men Archway
: Six days before full moon ending Chinese New Year season, Lion Dance celebrating the Chinatown East neighbourhood around Gerrard Street East and Broadview Aveue. Drumming was preceded by photographs with local politicians, police officers, and children who enjoy posing for pictures. Parade proceeded east and then south, spitting out lettuce to spread wealth and good fortune at small businesses, maybe dodging the adjoining cannabis shops. (Zhong Hua Men Archway, Hamilton Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20240218

Centre for Social Innovation Annex
Centre for Social Innovation Annex: Book Launch for Strategy to Action by @kdemming interviewed by @tonyasurman at Six Degrees event @csitoronto. History of coming from Trinidad to work at @sigeneration, and then getting two endorsements for PhD to enter @OISEUofT. Most challenging question could be: what is the strategy for raising your child (who was present). (Centre for Social Innovation Annex, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20240229

2024/01 Moments January 2024

Hibernated with work for most of January, with more activity towards the end of month with warmer termperatures.
Toronto, Ontario

Scarborough Hospital Birchmount Emergency Room
Scarborough Hospital Birchmount Emergency Room: HKI fell backwards on the top of the up escalator, on top of DY. Her side hurt, so five hours in the ER uptown for X-rays, plus a CT scan of her head. Released after blood pressure came down from a spike, to a higher-than-normal level. Got a doctor’s certificate to take a few days off, but she’s determined to go to work tomorrow. (Scarborough Hospital Emergency Room, Birchmount Road, Scarborough, Ontario) 20240101
Architecture and Design Gallery
Architecture and Design Gallery: In lower level of building, Asinnajaq + Tiffany Shaw (2022) Nuna is printed fabric draped over maple dowels in a structure like a home with fewer walls, so that the occupant could read a book or watch a screen, and the sunshine and brush of wind aren’t blocked. A steel hearth Asinnajaq + Ludovic Boney + Tiffany Shaw (2022) Qulliqu has a neon flame. In the background, larger than life projection of aboriginal women in conversations. (Architecture and Design Gallery, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landsccape and Design, University of Toronto, Spadina Circle, Toronto, Ontario) 20240110
The Royal Chinese Restaurant
The Royal Chinese Restaurant: Interior view of neon lobster and fish in front window is reflected in the side mirror, below typical strips promoting Chinese menu specialties. The darkness of early evening outside, into the parking lot of the strip plaza, doesn’t reveal the rush hour traffic beyond. Lanterns hanging from the ceiling more reflect a diaspora consistent with a restaurant with 40-year heritage, not of contemporary immigration. (The Royal Chinese Restaurant, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20240124
The Royal Chinese Restaurant
The Royal Chinese Restaurant: Steam rising off a grouper tofu casserole, minutes after pork belly had arrived. Chinese restautant is further west than Agincourt proper, in a strip mall with fast food options of Japanese, Indian and Mexican cuisines. A 4:30pm dinner is early even for seniors, but after completing appointments and errands, stopping by the apartment would have just led to winter undressing and redressing. (The Royal Chinese Restaurant, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20240124
The Sidekick
The Sidekick: Talkback following premiere of @gaston_poon (2024) short film Sunshine Kitchen, at monthly community Living Room Sessions. Ten minutes with three characters left the audience wanting to continue to the next chapter. Inspired by frequently observing a Asian man in his neighbourhood, and then surmising him as precariously-housed, with a richer back story. (The Sidekick, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20240125
C'est What
C’est What: Casual social gathering of the Systems Thinking TO group led by @DerailleurAgile with pre-pandemic meetings, complemented by Systems Changes Learning Circle members. Updates on learning since 2019 on rhythms, textures and propensity, and how ideas might be expressed for audiences in augle development. Some appreciators of varieties of beers, with non-drinkers scattered within. (C’est What, Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20240126
Stackt Market
Stackt Market: Walls labelled by @franceshilaryhahn (2024) This Side, That Side with two classic beach identical beach chairs for @DesignTOFest. Designed as interactive, the difference comes from the person expressing a preference. Somehow feels wrong to sit on an art object as fragile as summer furniture. (Stackt Market, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontariio) 20240127
Stackt Market
Stackt Market: Exiting market complex of shipping containers, the 120-foot Tunnel of Lights is on the south edge by the railway tracks. Looking eastward, the CN Tower was illuminated at dusk. Feature was installed for the Christmas season, not yet removed at the quieter time in January. (Stackt Market, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20240127
Circular Living Lab
Circular Living Lab: Waste wood can be converted to biochar, and used to increase soil heath, while sequestering carbon to mitigate climate change. Otherwise salvaged 40,000 board feet of old growth lumber in deconstruction of 9 bedroom, 31 room, 9850 sq ft house in Erin Ontario. Exhibition in downtown Toronto is on the site of a planned material reuse project of the former Wellington Destructor, a century-old garbage incinerator that will become a community space. (Circular Living Lab, Niagara Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20240128


The Bentway
: Skating trail busy on Sunday afternoon, ice seems firm at 3 degrees Celsius. Couples and individuals weaving around parents guiding children with skate aids. Colourful green, blue, violet, and magenta paracord of Yi Zhou and Carlos Portillo (2023) The Gateway installation may better evoke the Northern Lights after the sun goes down. (The Bentway, Fort York Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario) 20240128

2023/12 Moments December 2023

A month of birthdays and family holiday events, with seasonal events at attractuions around town.
Toronto, Ontario

Xawaash Courtneypark
Xawaash Courtneypark: Cuisine of Somalia was the most unique for this district west of the airport, delivered to table in two segments: lamb fatayer, fish mandi, beef adana, eggplant stew, salad and rice; then chicken suqar, roasted lamb and fried chicken. Had phoned in a reservation, not appreciating the quiet, casual setting of the restaurant. (Xawaash, Courtneypark Drive, Mississauga, Ontario) 20231203
Illumi Mississauga
Illumi Mississauga: Farm scene was early in the 60-minute walk through 13 universes with 20 million lights. Temperature was still above freezing, drizzling rain manageable in the last hour before the venue closed for the evening. Attraction might have been more fun if with children who were younger. (Illumi, Derrycrest Drive, Mississuaga, Ontario) 20231203
Centre for Social Innovation Annex
Centre for Social Innovation Annex: Annual holiday gathering @csiTO featuring program with @AvenueRoadArts to create monoprints. Pattern on scratch foam plate, brayer roller with gelatin pain to create the master, then pressing with a batten to produce the print. Glad to see some familiar faces, met a few new members and plus-ones standing at cocktail table enjoying the buffet. (Centre for Social Innovation Annex, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20231207


The Well:
: At west end of @CondoWell , music resounding to north, looked east and then down to see @jeffeager on ground floor stage. Main floor and second floor retail spaces still unoccupied or with installation in progress. Warm 10 degrees C encouraged many visitors to sit in benches, or with table service under outdoor patio heaters. (The Well, Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20231209

The Well
The Well: Across the Grand Atrium running east-west through @CondoWell , the Starbridge Bridge of iridescent crystal curtains attracts snapshotters composing images of friends or family. Three levels of pedestrian sidewalks covered by glass canopy may still see snow blowing in from either end if winter is long. Complex of seven buildings includes commercial, office space and residential seems only half occupied, with a few spaces showing moving-in underway. (The Well, Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20231209
Mandarin Barrie
Mandarin Barrie: After the drive north for a 30-minute business meeting, buffet lunch with the first of three modest main course plates, then desserts. Preferences centered on Chinese selections, he declined on the roast beef and salads. For a pescatarian, still many choices available, struck by the too-generous sashimi cuts of salmon and tuna, each more than a mouthful. (Mandarin Restaurant, Fairview Road, Barrie, Ontario) 20231212
The Penrose
The Penrose: On east side of a 30-floor apartment tower, environment sculpture @CatWidgery (1999) Liquid Echo has three stands of spiral cut columns giving the impression of a waterfall, with two boulders cut and reassembled as seating during warm weather. Onthe pavers, stainless steels sections of circles suggest the way that light reflects off disturbed water. Late afternoon with a warmer than normal temperatures for mid-Dedember. (The Penrose, Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20231215
Centre for Social Innovation Spadina
Centre for Social Innovation Spadina: Congee bar @csiTO as special occasion of noontime Coffee Chat ritual, vegan with options savory (yaotiao fried bread sticks, peanuts, cilantro, green onions) or sweet (red bean paste, coconut milk). Good occasion to meet some new social entrepreneurs and share experiences. Despite venue in central Chinatown, amused that jook was unfamiliar to many. (Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20231220
Cafe Landwer
Cafe Landwer: Birthday celebration on Christmas Eve led us to choose an Israeli cafe downtown, in a reverse of the Jewish tradition of dining in Chinese restaurants during holiday season. Casual, buzzy atmosphere, with many dishes shared by the family. Table eventually became too small for all of the orders, we had to rearrange platings. (Cafe Landwer, University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20231224
Nathan Phillips Square
Nathan Phillips Square: City hall plaza is one attraction guaranteed to not close on Christmas Eve. There were fewer people north of the skating rink, where people were in line to rent skates, or taking photos in front of the Toronto sign. Temperatures above the seasonal average below freezing, we’re not expected to see snow even into the New Year. (Nathan Phillips Square, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20231224
May Yan Seafood Restaurant
May Yan Seafood Restaurant: Christmas lunch foregoing turkey in favour of double lobster, beef brisket hotpot and noodle soup with mushrooms. Had confirmed in advance that restaurant would be open on the holiday, they said they’ll rest on Boxing Day. Took leftovers home so that we won’t have to cook, anticipating more family meals together this week. (May Yan Seafood Restaurant, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20231225

May Yan Seafood Restaurant:: Menu for double lobster says at least 2.5 lb in weight each, so careful selection and checking on weigh scale ensures consistency. Christmas Day lunch busy with a regular stream of crustaceans from the front room into the kitchen, the number of pick-up orders seems greater than dining in. Two styrofoam cases on the floor suggest that seafood may bypass the tank, with the potential of depleted stock later in the day. (May Yan Seafood Restaurant, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20231225

Centennial Park Conservatory
Centennial Park Conservatory: Open on Christmas Day, indoor greenhouse of exotic plans is operated by City of Toronto on northwestern edge of municipality crosstown. Season features poinsettias, with a pair of cardinals taking residency in the warmth escaping winter temperatures. Pond central in the building seems to be missing koi, the fish have been moved or were hiding. (Centennial Park Conservatory, Elmhurst Road, Etobicoke, Ontario) 20231225

High Park Zoo: Herd of llamas in the pen more interested in grazing than the humans peering through the fence. Indigenous to the Andes in South America, they appeared comfortable in their fleece with temperature still above freezing. Exotic animals are more interesting than the decorated holiday trees by the roadway. (High Park Zoo, Deer Pen Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20231225

Dragon Pearl York Mills
Dragon Pearl York Mills: Paused in front of holiday season decorations in front lobby, after 2 hours in Chinese buffet restaurant. Grandfather’s preferred style of dining, with an opportunity to meet with all of the grandchildren in town. He’s still generous with red envelopes, receipients are debating whether that’s still necessary after we’re married. (Dragon Pearl Buffet, York Mills Road, North York, Ontario) 20231227
Gibson House Museum
Gibson House Museum: Local excursion to site of 19th century farmhouse, now surrounded by high rises as the northern district of Toronto has been developed. Fire was stoked with logs, and homemade gingerbread following traditional recipes were offered. Glad for the assitance of the friendly staff, with the addition of the elevator so that the elderly don’t have to climb stairs. (Gibson House Museum, Yonge Street, North York, Ontario) 20231227

Upper Cornell
Upper Cornell: We were invited to join father’s friend’s family in celebration of holiday season. More people than would fit around one table, the younger set overflowed into the next room, rejoining for refills on dishes. Three generations together, many visiting the Toronto area from Montreal, (Upper Cornell, Markham, Ontario) 20231227

2023/11 Moments November 2023

Dayliight hours getting shorter encouraged more indoor events, unanticipated cracked furnace block led to replacement of air conditioner with heat pump, too.
Toronto, Ontario

The Power Plant Gallery
The Power Plant Gallery: Color in mostly black ink drawing by Abdelkader Benchamma (2023) Trees – Comastesque (where Comastesque is a style of geometric decorative inlay stonework in church floors and walls of Medieval Italy). Part of the major solo exhibition Solastalgia: Archaeologies of Loss (where Solastalgia is distress in a lived experience of negatively perceived environmental change, compared to eco-anxiety that is anticipatory). Abstractions of a fragmented landscape becoming an interwoven topography. (The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Harbourfront, Queen Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20231104

Power Plant Gallery: One of two east galleries for solo show of Abdelkader Benchamma (2023) Solastalgia: Archaeologies of Loss (where Solastalgia is distress in a lived experience of negatively perceived environmental change, compared to eco-anxiety that is anticipatory). Pan of (i) Engramme, 2020, (ii) untitled ink drawings on wall (2023), (iii) Engramme – Souterrain, 2023, (iv) more untitled drawings on wall (2023, and (v) two. Untitled (2023) framed works. (The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Harbourfront, Queen Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20231104

Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: New natural gas furnace and heat pump installed, 4 days after technician found a cracked block on the old one. Attached red tag mean fuel shutoff for 4 days, cool inside as outside temperature dipped to freezing at night. Old furnace was 20 years old on an expected 15 year life, we switched out air conditioner in year 10 of a 13-year life because cooling and heating are now integrated as a system. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20231113
Propeller Art Gallery
Propeller Art Gallery: Elements of Nature show @encaustic_art (2023) Four Elements -12 has small encaustic pantings arranged four rows by three columns. Unsure whether the themes, top to bottom, are fire, water, sky and ground. Noticed a little red dot beside the upper right painting, could mean that this set may not again be seen together as a collection. (Propeller Art Gallery, Abell Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20231116
Union Station
Union Station: Floor-to-ceiling mural @blakeangeconeb (2023) Sharing, about transmission of knowledge through storytelling to the young, the third of three in the Eighth Fire series. The Oak Room used to be a restaurant at the northwest corner of the railway station, removed to provide a throughfare to the Skywalk and Union Pearson Express. Thousands of people must walk by the painting every day, hard to judge if the people sitting in the collection of chairs further west if they’re waiting for someone, or eluding the late fall cold. (Union Station, Front Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20231119
Grand Opera Lane, Scotia Plaza
Grand Opera Lane, Scotia Plaza: Lighted outline sculpture of cervid (deer) species in late November might bring reindeer to mind, but life size and shape of antlers identifies moose indigenous to Canada. Open setback is by the former site of the Grand Opera House (1874-1927) before the financial district overtook the neighbourhood. Locale was largely unoccupied on a Sunday evening, with major construction having closed the street to vehicular traffic. (Grand Opera Lane, Scotia Plaza, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20231119
May Yan Seafood Restaurant
May Yan Seafood Restaurant: Mangled understanding of order led to 2 lobsters delivered to table, plus expected beef tenderloin and fish fillets, with scallops on tofu with black bean sauce and pea shoots on their way. Enough leftovers for senior’s lunch and maybe dinner tomorrow. Arrived for dinner later than expected, after rush hour traffic, shopping for rolling walker, and switching mobile phone providers for my father. (May Yan Seafood Restaruant, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20231122
Onsite Gallery
Onsite Gallery: On floor of southwest edge of gallery, @EsteyDucuara (2020-2023) Black Hole, mineral coal of 282 cm diameter. Atmosphere of fear associated with open-cast coal mining in Colombia, the lines this version of the installation were inspired by aerial views of the roads east of Toronto. Part of the On Americanity and Other Experiences of Belonging exhbition, bridging Global North and Global South. (Onsite Gallery, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20231123
Berczy Park
Berczy Park: Illuminated stack of presents of the Old Town Cavalcade of Lights topped by giant white bone continuing the fun of the (2017) Dog Fountain that is unlit for the winter season. The 27 dog statues looking up at the golden bone on top of the fountain have water turned off from November through April. With chilly temperatures, many pedestrians crossing through the park at the end of the work day. (Berczy Park, Wellington Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20231123
SDM Lake Share Blvd E.
SDM Lake Share Blvd E.: In left shoulder, 7th Covid vaccination (Pfizer BioNTech Comirnaty XBB.1.5), then in right shoulder, annual flu vaccination (Standard-dose quadrivalent (QIV), either FluLaval Tetra or Fluzone Quadrivalent)). Routine injection by pharmacist with booked appointment, no ill effects later in the day. Bike over to this pharmacy branch, because the one in walking distance from our home is booked into next week. (Shoppers Drug Mart, Lake Shore Blvd E., Toronto) 20231124
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery: Hanging from the wall, (2014) Hallelujah I is horizontal lilac branches with an umbrella handle suspended into vertical branches, gallery lighting casting shadows down. Part of the The Performance of Shadows exhbition, in the bridging of material and spiritual experiences. Not at this show is (2015) Hallelujah II that looks similar, with a glass cane instead of the umbrella handle. (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto) 20231125
University of Toronto Art Centre
University of Toronto Art Centre: Inside a glsss case, Barbara-Ann Watso (2009) Panier de Marriage [Marriage Basket] woven of ash splints and sweetgrass. Historically, Abenaki Basket-Making Industry flourished 1870–1920, by the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Baskets continue to be part of the Abenaki tradition passed down through generations, as the community has migrated along the Saint-François River, extending from Quebec into Maine. (University of Toronto Art Centre, University College, University of Toronto) 20231125

Lambert Lounge
Lambert Lounge: Conversation for Possibilities theme hosted by @redesign saying farewell after 15 years of mostly-monthly sessions. Strong turnout, with participants having attended since 2008, to someone coming for the first time. Sticky notes posted on flip charts on the wall, in response to questions about what was learned, and value of semi-structured dialogue. (Lambert Lounge, OCAD University, McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20221129
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