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David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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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

2016/11 Moments November 2016

Markham, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; London, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; Brussels, Belgium; Woluwe Saint Pierre, Belgium; Amersfoort, Netherlands; Hameenlinna, Finland
Markham, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; London, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; Brussels, Belgium; Woluwe Saint Pierre, Belgium; Amersfoort, Netherlands; Hameenlinna, Finland

Hilton Markham
Hilton Markham: Have apps do more work, says @gail_murphy #ibmcascon by designing more for episodic memory (e.g. recent items) than semantic memory (i.e. search). People work in episodes with many context task shifts. Different roles should get different tools, but share a team context in synchronized views. Context is the situation in which something happens. (Hilton Toronto/Markham Conference Centre, Markham, Ontario) 20161101
Factory Theatre
Factory Theatre: Masterful preview of “Acquiesce” @FuGenTheatre production @FactoryToronto David Yee playwright and lead actor. Wide ranges of characters performed by John Ng, Richard Lee and Rosie Simon. Non-linear script, inventive stage design and evocative sound design. Unexpected points of levity. Expect this play to be recognized with positive reviews in days to come. (Factory Theatre Mainstage, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20161101
Logan Ave. At Queen St. E.
Logan Ave. At Queen St. E.: New fence by laneway at the top of our street as former drug store and church will soon be demolished to put in 7 storey condominium. Leslieville Historical Society had represented community interests, plans seemed to have passed through city hall. (875-887 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20161103
Riverdale Park West
Riverdale Park West: Playing field lights on, but cool temperatures see only dogs off leash running across the grass. Early evening before Canada switches off daylight savings time, the sunset time will read differently tomorrow. (Riverdale Park West, Toronto, Ontario) 20161105
Mashion Bakery
Mashion Bakery: Ample supply of Chinese sweet buns and savory pastries even in the dark early evening, on the Sunday we turned the clocks back to Standard Time. Racks of more in the back of the store, with clerks moving more up to the front. Friendly service, in and out. (Mashion Bakery, Spadina Chinatown, Toronto, Ontario) 20161106
Bulk Barn Front Street
Bulk Barn Front Street: Gluten-free pizza crust mix based on rice flour for tonight’s dinner. Dough was hard to shape, so added oatmeal flour to deal with stickiness. Baking resulted in cracker-like thin crust. Topped with pide lahmacun ground beef was dry, would have been better with a pizza tomato sauce. (Bulk Barn, Front Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20161107
Factory Theatre
Factory Theatre: Powerful story, nuanced performance of “The Enchanted Loom” @FactoryTheatre @CahootsTheatre @MagicalMudge director. Brain surgery, memory and mind, real and not real, family and war, survival and love. Bea Pizano, Asha Vijayasingham, Zorana Sadiq, Sam Kalilieh, Kawa Ada, Peter Bailey. Theatre-almost-in-the-round with audience on both sides of stage. Reminiscent of Shakespearean plays in impact. (Factory Theatre, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20161108

Continue reading2016/11 Moments November 2016

2015/09 Moments September 2015

Moments, September 2015: Toronto, Ontario; Trudeau Airport, Montreal; Brussels, Belgium; Antwerp, Belgium; Bruges, Belgium; Stockholm Arlanda; Vantaa, Finland
Toronto, Ontario; Trudeau Airport, Montreal; Brussels, Belgium; Antwerp, Belgium; Bruges, Belgium; Stockholm Arlanda; Vantaa, Finland

AGO, Before and After the Horizon
AGO, Before and After the Horizon: Bonnie Devine, 2014-2015 “Battle for the Woodlands”, part of the Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes exhibition. Reproduction of pre-Confederation (1867) map of Canada. New sculptural element 2015 “Anishinaabitude” in foreground. (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto) 20150902
Late 30th anniversary portrait
Late 30th anniversary portrait: With AHI visiting in town for the holiday weekend, DY requested an official family picture with everyone together, wearing matching ties. Occasions for all of our sons to be at home at the same time are getting rarer. (Don River at Lakeshore Blvd., Toronto) 20150906
Yonge-Dundas Square
Yonge-Dundas Square: Labour Day early evening, no formal events, but buskers draw their own audience. Crowds dissipated a few minutes later, with another performer announcing the next show. Stores mostly closed, many restaurants dark in celebration of labour. (Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto) 20150907
Don Landing
Don Landing: Bike path route though underpass gives credit to PanAm Games funding. Event was last month, maybe the signs will come down when the Athlete’s Village becomes a residential district. Short cut from Lakeshore Blvd around Corktown Commons towards Front Street still underdeveloped. (West Don Lands, Toronto) 20150909
Greek hot table
Greek hot table: Old style casual dining has moved north up Pape Avenue. Cooks on open kitchen behind warming trays including specials of the day, in continual Greek conversation. Sunday lunch away from the crowds, and so much food that we took half of it home. Must be a neighbourhood institution, as guests are asked whether they’ll be dining in our taking out. (The Greek Grill, East York, Toronto) 20150913
Sacks of rice
Sacks of rice: In awe of varieties of basmati rice and flour at Iqbal Foods. Definitely a South Asian superstore, did find patna but not milagrosa/jasmine that appeals to East Asians. Butcher counter had large supply of lamb, so a potential alternative source to Greektown on the Danforth. Unfamiliar foods and brands may call for a serious adventure shopping trip. Store has long hours. (Iqbal Foods, Thorncliffe Park, Toronto) 20150914

Continue reading2015/09 Moments September 2015

2010/04/15-23 Seeheim, Darmstadt, Rhine River, Brussels

The volcanic ash cloud event of 2010 led my journey to visit Seeheim and Darmstadt in Germany, experience the Rhine River route, and see the Schaerbeek commune in Brussels.
I was a volcanic ash refugee for eight days. In the minivan with a group leaving Pernegg en route to the Vienna airport, we received a mobile phone call telling us that flights were being cancelled. When we arrived at the Vienna airport, the UK airports were in the process of closing. Jennifer and I thought that motion towards Manchester was better than just staying in Vienna, so we boarded the first leg to Frankfurt. When we arrived at FRA, we discovered that the UK airspace had completely closed. Then we discovered the EU rule that once a passenger is taken on as a carrier, that airline is responsible for accommodations for the passenger until he or she arrives at the final destination, or negotiates an alternative routing.

This began an unexpected adventure of an extended European tour.  On the first night, the airline sent us on a long taxi ride to Seeheim.  The destination turned out to be the Lufthansa Training and Conference Centre, a wonderful facility that tourists are unlikely to see.

di_20100415-145318-seeheim-lufthansaconf-bedroom.jpg

The coupons for dinner gave us the breadth of choice of continental cuisine from experienced chefs.  After the meal, Jennifer and I walked around as much of the building complex as we could find.  I read that there are bowling alleys at the facility, but we never found them.

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We might have liked to extend our stay at this facility, but we were told the conference centre was booked full for that evening.  We took a shuttle back to Frankfurt airport.

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At the airport, the airline then sent us to Darmstadt. This town is the home of the Technische Universität Darmstadt, a research institution with strong ties to German industry.  From just west of the city centre, we walked to Ludwigsplatz.

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The city centre, such as Ernst Ludwig Strasse, has only pedestrian traffic going through it.

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The Luisenplatz is centered on a fountain, and ringed by buildings with sidewalk cafes. Continue reading2010/04/15-23 Seeheim, Darmstadt, Rhine River, Brussels

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