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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
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