Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Toronto, Ontario; Richmond Hill, Ontario; Don Mills, Ontario; San Francisco, California; Oakland, California; Berkeley, California; San Jose, California; Mountain View, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Gatos, California

David Crombie Park

David Crombie Park: Two hours before @nuitblancheTO starts, still preparing for public art installation at many locations across the city. Set up and teardown for outdoor venues are easier in daylight, with most visitors attracted in the darkness of night. (Nuit Blanche Toronto, David Crombie Park, The Esplanade, Toronto, Ontario) 20161001

Kevin Cooley 2016 Fallen Water – Niagara Escarpment:
Video installation @BrookfieldPLTO @nuitblancheTO Kevin Cooley 2016 “Fallen Water – Niagara Escarpment” closing tonight.  Biking around downtown at dusk, an hour before official start of the event after night falls.  (Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place, Financial District, Toronto, Ontario) 20161001

2 St. Clair Avenue West

2 St. Clair Avenue West: View northward on Yonge Street from shows trees of Mount Pleasant Cemetery, and the towers along Eglinton Avenue and beyond. Before 1973, the subway only ran to Eglinton Avenue, called North Toronto, and Rosedale up to St. Clair Avenue was the affluent residential area. This intersection isn’t the destination that it used to be. (2. St. Clair Avenue West, Deer Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20161005

Darling Building

Darling Building: Fireside @TorontoJS with @mhartington @devgirlFL @macdonst @tazsingh hosted by @cfndrs has large screen version of flames. Answered questions on Ionic and Phonegap/Cordova, much of the audience was new to mobile development. Session started with attendees rearranging the room from computer working spaces to a seats facing the stage. (Ci. Strategy+Design, Darling Building, 96 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20161005

Premiere Banquet Centre

Premiere Banquet Centre: Not a banquet, instead reservation of dinner for 12 in the extended family calling for a larger table. West coast visitors and rest of family were uptown, so opportunity for a leisurely dinner to catch up on news. Our children have moved away, so we’re bridging information across ties. (Premier Banquet Centre, Leslie Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario) 20161009

UToronto iSchool

UToronto iSchool: Exploring polydisciplinary interests @ischool_TO @prof_lyons @duffwm @snousala, @daviding, with @jpovaska behind the lens. Lots of coincidental threads that could be tied together from Toronto to Shanghai and Europe. (University of Toronto Faculty of Information, St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20161012

OCADU RSD5

OCADU RSD5: Workshop @RSDSymposium @OCAD U Toronto led by @snousala on Design X and Systemic Design precedes Emerging Practices meeting at Tongji U Shanghai by only a day, can’t be in two places at one time. Organic approach to discussing led to five groups with different perspectives on the future of design. Further digesting into findings is taking more time offline. (Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium, OCAD U, Toronto, Ontario) 20161013

October 31st, 2016

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Toronto, Ontario (all images within bicycling distance of home)

Craigleigh Gardens

Craigleigh Gardens: West gate into city park donated by benefactor in 1926 A.D. Bicycling around residential streets of Rosedale is a good way to see huge houses at a reasonable speed. Many curved roads and ravines of Park Drive and Rosedale Valley confused me on the way to the Evergreen Brickworks. (Craigleith Gardens, South Drive, Rosedale, Toronto, Ontario) 20160903

Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario: The reality of the north @AGOToronto is Lawren Harris is part of The Group of Seven collection, so lining up for The Idea of North special exhibition repatriated from California has some irony. Outside the roped-off area, some of the larger canvases include Mount Robson from the South-East (1929); Mountain Sketch LXV (1929); Mount Lefroy (1929); and Brazeau Snowfield, Jasper Park (1924). (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario) 20160907

Art Gallery of Ontario:
Visitors freely participating @AGOToronto “How to Build a House Museum” installation.  Large screen video of “House Heads Liberation Training”, with disco-ball-like “Houseberg” inside the “Progress Palace”.  Immersive work by American artist Theaster Gates fills the 5th floor of the building.  (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario) 20160907

Prairie Drive Park

Prairie Drive Park: Music @LidoPimienta @bike_music_fest #artsintheparksTO, free voice with beats and minimal sequences. Electronics powered by team of cyclists on mobile generators under the next tent. (Prairie Drive Park, Oakridge neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20160919

Prairie Drive Park

Prairie Drive Park: Singing a capella into the wind @LidoPimienta @bike_music_fest #artsintheparksTO. Bicyclists scattered on inclined lawn, most having ridden the PanAm Trail north from the Evergreen Brickworks. City streets were more direct for me. (Prairie Drive Park)

Prairie Drive Park

Prairie Drive Park: Crew generating electricity @bike_music_fest #artsintheparksTO to power amplifiers and electric instruments. Casual afternoon entertainment for a Saturday afternoon. (Prairie Drive Park, Oakridge neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20160919

Prairie Drive Park

Prairie Drive Park: B-boys @bike_music_fest #artsintheparksTO breaking tie of 6 points each. Surprised to see a head spin on the concrete surface. Deejay music powered by a single cyclist putting energy into a portable battery (Prairie Drive Park, Oakridge neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20160919

Sky Dragon Resto

Sky Dragon Resto: Invited friends for Harvest Moon Festival dinner with the family at the Lowkong Society. Bigger turnout than last year, people understanding English now outnumber the people speaking Toisanese. (Sky Dragon Chinese Restaurant, Chinatown, Dundas Street East at Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20160911

October 1st, 2016

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Washington, Iowa; Fairfield, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Toronto, Ontario

HyVee Washington

HyVee Washington: Golden maple planted 2 years ago on farm not doing well, clerk advised more fertiizer. New tree half price, so DLH decided to get the last one there, barely fits into minivan. Main purpose of trip was for a haircut, went to 5 barbers and stylists, and none were willing to give service without at least an hour wait. (HyVee, Washington, Iowa) 20160804

Dairy Bar

Dairy Bar: Hadn’t left the farm for a few days, so ice cream is a good excuse for a break. Picnic table is new, since the last time we were here. Still looking for better vegan options. (Dairy Bar. Fairfield, Iowa) 20160808

Eastern Iowa Airport

Eastern Iowa Airport: Wooden blinds in skylight providing shade to sunny Iowa heat. Drive to airport routed past fields of tall corn, alongside the gravel road, the two-lane blacktop, and then divided highway. Returning home after 18 days in the U.S. of conference, then isolated writing and reviews, seems like a European tour, but the jet lag will be minimal. (Eastern Iowa Airport, Cedar Rapids, Iowa) 20160810

Cassels Park

Cassels Park: Ravine with steep rise north towards Gerrard Street East could be close to lost Tomlin Creek, water flowing underground south towards Ashbridges Bay. Large grassy area with playgrounds surrounded by residential buildings. City consultation in June convened citizens to resolve a swamp issue, towards developing a rain garden. (Cassels Park, Upper Beaches, Toronto) 20160815

Cineplex Eglinton Town Centre

Cineplex Eglinton Town Centre: Still routing to movie theatres for 2D Star Trek Beyond, the big screen without 3D glasses is entertainment enough. Tuesday discount draws crowd for late afternoon show,. As we left, the ticket queues were really long for the evening show. Summertime somehow matches blockbuster movies. (Cineplex Odeon Eglinton Town Centre Cinemas, Toronto, Ontario) 20160816

Hubbard Park

Hubbard Park: Staircase railings leading up to Old Don Jail building bright on late summer afternoon. Grounds were renamed in 2014, with the Bridgepoint Health hospital and research centre complex. (Hubbard Park, Riverdale, Toronto, Ontario) 20160817

Twice As Nice 5 Concrete Edition:
B-boy 2 vs. 2 footwork battle @JimmySimpsonRC, concrete floor of the skating rink on warm summer evening.  Children and families observing the action.  (Twice as Nice 5 Concrete Edition, Jimmy Simpson Recreation Centre, Riverside, Toronto, Ontario) 201610819

August 31st, 2016

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Toronto, Ontario; Gravenhurst, Ontario; Denver, Colorado; Boulder, Colorado; Moline, Illinois; Coralville, Iowa

Fort York

Fort York: Installation of Bruno Billio (2016) Tri-Mirror Sculpture @FortYork, view eastward into quiet downtown on Canada Day. Families and tourists wandering around historic site late afternoon, watch pipe and drum corps with soldiers marching. Rain earlier in the day left the air clean. (Fort York, Garrison Creek, Toronto, Ontario) 20160701

Mill Street Beer Hall

Mill Street Beer Hall: Expected @ESLTrio @MillStBeerHall @TorontoJazzFest, found quartet with the addition of keyboard. Venue full of patrons, but much of audience convened for football game, raising cheers as goals scored. Otherwise, relaxed gig with set list modified for the mood? (Mill Street Beer Hall, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20160702

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square: Under concert tent @JoeJacksonMusic piano Graham Maby bass @TorontoJazzFest @NPSToronto could be the last musicians still touring and recording from days before we had kids. Have seen them many times, once near stage within spitting distance. This time, DY and I opted for stools on the plaza, outside the reserved seats. On the cover song for the day, DY recognized Knowing Me Knowing You by the second line, I didn’t know until the chorus, as I’m not an ABBA fan. (Toronto Jazz Festival, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Ontario) 20160702

Canadian National Exhibition grounds

Canadian National Exhibition grounds: Shrine Peace Memorial presented in 1930 to Canada by Shriners, with 1958 surrounding fountain and gardens created by Toronto Parks Department. Faces Lake Shore Boulevard, southeast of the Bandshell and southwest of the Better Living Centre. I’ve been going to the CNE since the 1960s, and this fountain was never on the route between sights. The Shell Tower is in the background. CNE is active only in the last 2 weeks of August. (Shrine Peace Memorial, Canadian National Exhibition grounds, Toronto, Ontario) 20160707

McGill Granby Parkette

McGill Granby Parkette: Tent over @WeAreCairo @DowntownYonge via @CMincubator, but no shelter for audience. Performance cut short after 15 minutes for rain, organizers cautious of water around electrified instruments. Sun came out 30 minutes. Band is writing, not touring, this summer, said next show could be in August. (McGill Granby Parkette, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20160709

Toronto Sculpture Garden

Toronto Sculpture Garden: An Te Liu (2015) Animal Vegetable (I) on top of Vegetable Mineral (I), part of six bronze castings in the Sold State installation. First installed with Nuit Blanche 2015 last fall. Waterfall on east wall cooling on a warm summer day. (Toronto Sculpture Garden, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20160711

Glorious Chinese Cuisine

Glorious Chinese Cuisine: Early dim sum, food consumed slowly when I’m the youngest one at the table. Extended family convening on weekday, sister visiting town gives reason for everyone to get together. Our sons have their own lives. (Glorious Chinese Cuisine, Kennedy and Denison Centre, Markham, Ontario) 20160713

July 31st, 2016

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Toronto, Ontario; Pleasant Hill, California; Fairfield, California; Walnut Creek, California; Oakland, California; San Francisco, California

Palmerston casual dinner
Palmerston casual dinner Palmerston casual dinner

Palmerston casual dinner

Palmerston casual dinner: Invitees list included many active in Canasian Artists Group circa mid-1980s, and friends of the Asian Canadian bookstore of Andrew Lee. Today’s generation doesn’t know the history of Toronto 30 years ago, and we debated whether they need to know. (Palmerston, Toronto, Ontario) 20160604

Robarts Library

Robarts Library: Eleventh floor stacks, with triangular window bays protruding out facing Sussex Street. My alumnus card still gives me access to the stacks to old books, including one older than my attending university. Biked cross town, got caught in torrential downpour in the last five minutes, so entered the building dripping water. (Roberts Library 11th floor, University of Toronto, St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20160605

Riverdale Park pedestrian bridge

Riverdale Park pedestrian bridge: View south on lower Don River, at rush hour with traffic northbound practically stopped. Rode bike west on Lake Shore Boulevard, then north. Carried bike up many flights of stairs to pedestrian bridge from West Riverdale Park to East. Just a short loop around our neighbourhood, but the headwind was strong on the outbound. (Riverdale Park pedestrian bridge over the Don River, Toronto, Ontario) 20160607

Yonge Street at Yorkville Avenue

Yonge Street at Yorkville Avenue: Facades of heritage 1870s-1890s Yonge Street buildings (John Oram, #836; Moses Staunton, #838-844; James Weir, #846-848A; Charles Frogley, #850) are being preserved as incorporated into a luxury 58-storey glass and steel tower at 1 Yorkville under construction. The storefronts are empty. In the lot behind, there’s a big pit with construction machines digging. Neighbourhood was quiet on a Saturday when festivals were drawing crowds elsewhere. (1 Yorkville Avenue at Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20160611

Ryerson Student Learning Centre

Ryerson Student Learning Centre: Entered old building from Victoria Street Lane, not thinking of connection to new Yonge Street entrance. Library is open Sunday into evening, so Ryerson University students must not see summer as a special season. With eduroam, Internet access works the same as at home, so bicycling was just for exercise. (Ryerson Student Learning Centre, Yonge Street, Toronto) 20160612

The Hearn

The Hearn: For Monday, @Luminato Festival is closed to the public. Rolled up on bike, attendant said to come back tomorrow at 5pm. The Hearn is a fair bike ride from Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard, most people would choose the shuttle bus or pay the $15 onsite parking charge. (The Hearn, 440 Unwin Avenue, Portlands, Toronto, Ontario) 20160613

Factory Studio

Factory Studio: Chinoiserie play by @magicalmudge readers @R4Burning @Aranthor @pauliedat director @tara_beagan @fuGENTheatre @FactoryToronto partnered with @Shawtheatre. Story set in late 19th century, midwest America, about a mural to be created by a Chinese painter. For the WalkTheWalk National Festival of Asian Canadian Women, stage set with unwoven/weaving/comingtogether hanging knots of twine, manila rope, cotton rope and fibre piping. (Factory Studio, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20160614

June 30th, 2016

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Madison Heights, Michigan; Benton Harbor, Michigan; Mount Pleasant, Iowa; Salina, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Rock Island, Illinois; Windsor, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario

168 Asian Mart

168 Asian Mart: Michigan evening for Chinese groceries before driving to Iowa in the morning. Korean-style rice grown in the U.S. is something we don’t see back home. The vegetables and sauces are much the same as everywhere. (168 Asian Mart, John R Road, Madison Heights, Michigan) 20160502

Asian Grille Buffet

Asian Grille Buffet: Changing pattern from Midwest Chinese restaurants to buffets, driving westbound across Michigan towards Iowa. On last trip westbound, found price at buffet same or lower than custom orders for lunch. Trading off on driving, expecting food coma. (Asian Grill Buffet, Benton Harbor, Michigan) 20160503

Jefferson Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Jefferson Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa: Quiet Tuesday evening in town with population less than 9000 in Iowa. Over dinner in local Chinese restaurant, discussed conveniences not available, e.g. no taxis, so farmers drive tractors if a car isn’t available. Drove through campus of Iowa Wesleyan University, less than 600 students on 60 acres. (Jefferson Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa) 20160504

Salina, Iowa

Salina, Iowa: Family dog watching out picture window onto rolling landscape of fields and roads in farm country. Temperature has swung from winter to summer within 3 days, rush to planting will be underway with forecasts for clear weather. (Salina, Iowa) 20160405

Salina, Iowa

Salina, Iowa: Warm and dry May day scheduled for planting on the farm. We went to the field to learn about agriculture in practice. Terrain was rolling hills, so the six row planter was steered according to the way water will flow on the ground. Moving around a little dirt surfaced a green bean buried under a little soil. We’re just tourists from the city. (Salina, Iowa) 20160506

Six row planter in Iowa: Learned about how soybeans are put into the ground with a John Deere six row planter. Smaller tractors can follow the contour of the landscape, whereas the larger 30-row planters would have problems turning around. This machinery is less computerized, relying on the experience of the farmer to a greater degree. (Salina, Iowa) 20160506

May 31st, 2016

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