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2020/11 Moments November 2020

Day shortening and temperatures dropping meant bundling up for bicycling.
Toronto, Ontario

Queen Street Viaduct
Queen Street Viaduct: Sunset arriving earlier, after the shift back to Standard Time. Looking westward along Queen Street East, the lit windows of bank towers on Bay Street and the CN Tower are familiar orientation points. Temperature dipped, so first day for winter wear for bicycling. (Queen Street Viaduct, Toronto, Ontario) 20201103
Russell Carhouse
Russell Carhouse: North side of maintenance facility for streetcars has painted curves marked “no parking” and “fire route”, towards exit door #1. Tracks curve around the west side, and down Connaught Avenue to the east. Facility was rebuilt in 1924, with other part of fleet housed overnight at Roncesvalles. (Russell Carhouse, 1411 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20201105
Sherbourne Common
Sherbourne Common: From the north of three #JillAnholt (2011) Light Showers towers, water isn’t flowing, probably not restarted in spring 2020 before pandemic shutdowns. The original design treated storm water, to be aerated trickled down the mesh veil southbound to the lake. Unseasonable almost-summer temperatures drew teenagers to hang out arond the playground equipment. (Sherbourne Common, Merchants Wharf, Toronto, Ontario) 20201108
Jennifer Kateryna Koval’s'kyj Park
Jennifer Kateryna Koval’s’kyj Park: Sunset view of Toronto skyline attracts photographers, couples, and friends who take selfies. Crowd lingering, I wonder what event will signal the visit is complete. Official park is a small patch of green, renamed in 1998 after a 6-year who posthumously received a citation for bravery, in trying to protect her grandmother from an attack from a schizophrenic father. (Jennifer Kateryna Koval’s’kyj Park, Polson Street, Toronto Portlands, Ontario) 20201109
Hudson’s Bay Queen Street
Hudson’s Bay Queen Street: Santa Claus still uses mainframe green screen terminals and pneumatic tube transport containers. List of names and geographic coordinates have presumably been checked twice. Animated Christmas displays in store windows have shown up by Remembrance Day. (Hudson’s Bay Queen Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201111
Ossington Laneway
Ossington Laneway: Rattlesnake sculpture mounted on second-floor alley wall for @thestrumbellas 2019 album release endures. Installation was an unexpected sight while pedalling along Queen Street West, leading to explore a route northbound. Path led to a series of murals on garage doors seeing weather, dropping temperature may see snow within weeks. (Ossington Laneway, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 2020114
Dundas Street West Chinatown
Dundas Street West Chinatown: Huron Street Square, designed by #KenLum #PennDesign, a modern alternative to traditional arches marking gates into Chinatowns throughout the western world. Modification of the original vision persists one-way street on ordinary days, convertible into a public space on special days. Only a few local residents in the neighbourhood on a cold fall evening. (Huron Street Square, Dundas Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20201116
South Central Letter Processing Plant
South Central Letter Processing Plant: Animation loop @winnietron “Interchanges” #BigArtTO inspired by seed dispersion in urban flora, and connecting with friends via tangible mail. Three large screen projectors aimed above cars in the parking lot, onto the north wall of a major Canada Post sorting station. Creative invitation to enjoy art in the evening in local neighbourhood, with minimal physical distancing issues during the pandemic. (South Central Letter Processing Plant, Eastern Avenue, Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario) 20201119
Village of Yorkville Park
Village of Yorkville Park: Clusters of red lights in the crabapple trees, and extra lights in the pergola, brighten up pedestrians walking by the dense public park. Warmer than normal temperatures have encouraged visitors to sit in twilight at the movable tables and chairs. Couple appreciate the illumination for selfies. (Village of Yorkville Park, Cumberland Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201120
Power Plant Gallery
Power Plant Gallery: Between two large screen animations @ThePowerPlantTO, #HowieTsui (2019) Parallax Neon (White Camel Mountain) is a transparency print in lightbox. Show #FromSwellingShadowsWeDrawOurBows mixes Chinese and Colonial cultures in disasporic animations of scrolls. Nightmarish, violent illustrations. (The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20201121
St. Michael’s Cemetery
St. Michael’s Cemetery: Opened in 1855, and at capacity by 1900, the Catholic graveyard originally well outside the city became urbanized with the 1954 arrival of the original Toronto subway system extended one stop further north. Approached from the south, when I noticed headstones beyond a residential driveway. Office towers and apartment buildings to the north, and commercial businesses to the east, hide the sacred grounds to the general public. (St. Michael’s Cemetery, Yonge Street south of St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario) 20201123
Yonge Street at Dundas Street
Yonge Street at Dundas Street: Sign asks “Which side are you on?”, presuming only choices are binary. Peaceful demonstration of the Shut Down Canada Solidarity Action had police on bikes redirecting traffic one major block each direction. Pandemic shutdown means the practically no disruption, with activist serving entertainment on a sleepy early evening. (Yonge Street at Dundas Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201126

Cherry Street North Bridge
Cherry Street North Bridge: First of four bridges @WaterfrontTO arrived earlier in November, now staged west of the original bascule lift bridge built in 1968. Connection from Corktown south into Villiers Island of 2024 will be linear, straightening out the east then south current routing. Expect new parkland promenades both north and south of the Keating Channel. (Cherry Street North Bridge, Lower Don Lands, Toronto, Ontario) 20201128

2009/08/30-09/05 London-Oxford-London-Hull-York

The plan for a London-Oxford-Hull research trip turned into a London-Oxford-London-Hull routing, albeit fruitful.
There can be a difference between vacation photos and travel photos.  Seven days in the UK in five cities wasn’t a leisurely plan, and business called for a few more train rides than originally planned.  For a coordinated series of research meetings, I arrived at Heathrow from Finland, and Gary arrived almost the same time from the U.S.  We took the tube to Waterloo station, and dragged our luggage to our hotel along the scenic South Bank of the Thames, seeing Westminister Abbey across the river.

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Having already been away from home for week, I craved Chinese cuisine.  We rode the tube to Piccadilly Circus, and wandered to find Chinatown on Gerrard Street — an easy street to remember, since the Chinatown at home bears the same name.
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With the history of the Tavistock Institute at top of mind, we rode the tube up to Swiss Cottage to look at the Tavistock Clinic.  The Institute and Clinic used to be colocated, but are now independent entities.  On a late Sunday evening, the facilities were closed.

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As a change from riding the London underground, we decided to return to the hotel on a double decker bus to see more of the city.  We rode from Swiss Cottage on a path including Wellington Road, to Victoria Station.

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The next day, I acted as scribe while Gary conducted an interview with Sir Richard Bowlby, on the ties between the research between by John Bowlby and cybernetics.  Upon learning that the Bowlby archives are at the Wellcome Library, Gary and I decided to change our travel plans to reroute back through London for one day.

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Accommodating a tight schedule, Dav and LJ met us at Paddington Station a few hours before we caught the train to Oxford.  LJ found a pub and then a restaurant nearby, after consulting Internet reviews on her mobile phone. Continue reading2009/08/30-09/05 London-Oxford-London-Hull-York

2008/05/29 Grocery shopping on bike from Riverside to Chinatown East

Chinatown East is close enough for biking to pick up groceries.
In Riverside (or South Riverdale), we live near one of Toronto’s Chinatowns. As with most Chinatowns, parking a car is annoying. It’s close enough to home for a walk, but bicycling is better: two wheels are speedier, and bike racks mean that that I can carry more than with two arms. The ride westbound takes me past the Queen-Saulter Library. When the boys were young, Diana spent a lot of time in the Queen-Saulter Parent-Child Centre behind the library.

At the northwest corner of Queen Street East at Broadview Avenue is the New Broadview House Hotel. The strip club on the ground floor marks the neighbourhood as ungentrified, although rumours of a renovation into boutique hotel sometimes appear.

On the southeast corner of Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue is a caribbean restaurant, The Real Jerk. The bright colours make it a landmark, and disguise the prior history of the building as former branch of the Royal Bank.

The 504 King streetcar comes from downtown, follows Queen Street East for a few blocks, and then turns north onto Broadview Avenue.

The Cai Yuan store at the southeast corner of Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street always has large displays of fresh fruit outside facing north, and vegetables and packaged goods facing west.

On the south side of the Gerrard Street, as the next building east, is a branch of Trinity Supermarket. This building was renovated a few years ago, and I shop here often. Continue reading2008/05/29 Grocery shopping on bike from Riverside to Chinatown East

2008/01/16 Porte d’Italie, Chinatown near Port de Choisy, Paris

I went to Paris Chinatown, and discovered that it’s dominated by Vietnamese restaurants.
While the previous trip to Paris included my colleagues, the follow-up meeting was scheduled as solo to save expenses. Since I’m not a huge fan of French cuisine, I decided to see what Chinatown in Paris is like. The closest metro stop is at Porte d’Italie.

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To the north is the typical Paris traffic circle.

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Around the corner and walking south, the street mixed residential, with a typical neighbourhood places. Continue reading2008/01/16 Porte d’Italie, Chinatown near Port de Choisy, Paris

2007/10/17 Chinatown to Canadian Embassy, Washington, DC

Chinatown is centrally located in Washington, and a short walk down to the federal buildings and the Canadian Embassy.
If I have a choice of hotel locations when I’m on business travel, I prefer one next to a Chinese “duck hanging in the window” rice-and-noodles joint. The menu is predictable, and these places survive on repeat business. In Washington, DC, one of the corporate negotiated hotels happens to be next to Chinatown, and a key Metrorail station at Gallery Place. I took the subway from the airport. Coming up from the subway platform, it seems as though the station designers took the Chinese neighbourhood theme seriously.

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Chinatown in DC isn’t more than a few blocks long. There’s probably fewer than ten Chinese restaurants there.

20071017_DC_Chinatown_gate.jpg Continue reading2007/10/17 Chinatown to Canadian Embassy, Washington, DC

2007/07/26 Kobe, Chinatown

Kobe is modern city, rebuilt after the 1995 earthquake, including the Chinatown.
The heat and humidity in Nara was wearing us down by late afternoon. Since we had a 3-day Kansai Thru Pass, we decided to take advantage of the air conditioning in the rail cars to rest up on a long ride across the region: from Nara in the southeast to Kobe in the northwest. The trip took us almost two hours, so we recovered some energy by the time we reached Kobe. The train station is the middle of high-rise towers on a flat plain. The hills to the north have prestigious residential neighbourhoods.

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The harbour is to the south, but we weren’t particularly interested in walking down to see the maritime museum.

20070726_Kobe_Flower_Road_view_south.jpg Continue reading2007/07/26 Kobe, Chinatown

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