Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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

Pho House

Pho House: Casual Canada Day dinner out in neighbourhood resto, at leisure. Sons used to eat lunch at this location in high school days. The business across the street moved in, when the other Viet business moved out. (Pho House, Gerrard Street East, Toronto) 20170701

Wong's Ice Cream

Wong’s Ice Cream: Took home vegan coconut mango sticky rice ice cream + vegan lemongrass lime sorbet, after we sampled a variety of flavours. Wanted to take a packed pint of the former, but small daily production lots meant two scoops of two flavours instead. New business only opened in neighbourhood in the past few months. (Wong’s Ice Cream, Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20170701

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square: Universal Breaking League on the Pond Stage for Battle for the North two-on-two competition, as part of Canada Days celebration. Big screen alternating with musical acts on the Main Stage. Large crowds out for Sunday evening, statutory observance will be on Monday. (Nathan Phillips Square, Bay Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20170702

August 1st, 2017

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Fairfield, Iowa; Iowa City; Iowa; Coralville, Iowa; East Moline, Illinois; Chicago, Illinois; Evanston, Illinois; Kerwood, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario

Fairfield, Iowa

Fairfield, Iowa: Mock duck with spinach, mock abalone curry with coconut milk and avocado, successful experiments with canned Chinese vegetarian glutens. Rainy day with everyone falling into afternoon naps in the house by the farm, recovery from long travel yesterday. (Fairfield, Iowa) 20170501

Visual Arts Building, U. Iowa

Visual Arts Building, U. Iowa: Striking central atrium with ramps spiralling multiple levels upward. Arts installations still in progress, with end of term nearing. Walking tour of campus on a clear spring day. (Visual Arts Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa) 20170502

Coralville Center for the Performing Arts

Coralville Center for the Performing Arts: Iowa City Girls Choir spring recital in an opulent venue. Our block of seven sent upstairs to the balcony, as ground floor space was packed. Experiencing the American lifestyle, as foreign visitors. (Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, Coralville, Iowa) 20170502

Maharishi University

Maharishi University: Collection of instruments in the Maharishi Vedic Observatory, to observe and align with natural law. Walked around campus with a local resident who has friends who studied in the school, providing some explanations of the contrasting belief system. (Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa) 20170503

Deere & Co. World HQ

Deere & Co. World HQ : Combine has 14-foot wide wheelbase, so can be legally driven on the road, if the corn header is removed. Impressive front entrance display for a Fortune 100 company. (Deere & Company World Headquarters, East Moline, Illinois) 20170504

Deere & Co. World HQ

Deere & Co. World HQ : Henry Moore (1973) Hill Arches, on island beside water fountain, in landscape designed by Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche. Crossing on small bridge over koi pond, swan approached as threatening, mate on other side nesting. (Deere & Company World Headquarters, East Moline, Illinois) 20170504

May 31st, 2017

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Toronto, Ontario; Shanghai, PR China; Kalamazoo, Michigan

Pearson Airport T1

Pearson Airport T1: Between Gates E77 and E78, colorful glass cylinders enclosing light bulbs, suspended from overhead arches. Design by Norr Architects for OTG, a company operating high-end restaurants at the airport, including Hemant Bhagwani’s Marathi Indian. (Terminal 1, Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario) 20170401

Shanghai Pudong Airport

Shanghai Pudong Airport: Whimsical rooster themed installation​ on middle of airport, lightens the spirit on the long walk from the airplane, through immigration, to the Maglev train. Impressed on short ride hitting 430 km/h peak, before slowing down at western terminus. (Pudong International Airport, Shanghai, PR China) 20170402

Zhangwu Sichuan

Zhangwu Sichuan: Dinner for Qingming Tomb-Sweeping Day, since public holiday on a Monday still has most people off work. Chose Sichuan resto near Tongji University, left half of dishes filled with red peppers too spicy to eat. (Zhangwu Sichuan, Shanghai, PR China) 20170403

People's Park Pond

People’s Park Pond: Father with small net skimming somethings from top of pond, and placing into small bucket for son. Game players involved in own activities in the background. Tuesday is still an extended Qingming weekend holiday, the park was popular with families. (People’s Park, Shanghai, P R China) 20170404

Shanghai Gallery of Art

Shanghai Gallery of Art: Yin Xiuzhen 2005 TVT-Rocket installation of three cloth towers, extends from third floor in light well up to 6th. Gallery is open to public, and closer to the Bund, but maybe the Whampoa Club upstairs enjoys less traffic. (Shanghai Gallery of Art, Three.on the Bund, Shanghai, P R China) 20170404

Rockbund Art Museum

Rockbund Art Museum: Song Dong 2017 Back Image, screen plus 50 benches. Extensive show covering long career over 6 floors. Well curated contemporary art venue, building walls show a sense of humour with dimensions marked everywhere. (Rockbund Art Museum, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai, P R China) 20170404

April 30th, 2017

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Helsinki; Finland; London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Toronto, Ontario; Fairfield, Iowa

Mei Lin

Mei Lin: Lunch to catch up on news with Satu in advance of teaching class at Metropolia tomorrow. Students are mid-career professionals interested in practical international experiences, as tighter university budgets mean fewer lecturers from abroad. Industrial Management program will move from historic Bulevardi building out to Leppävaara campus in 2018. Chinese cuisine from Chongqing region included cumin lamb, unusual. (Mei Lin, Lönnrotinkatu, Helsinki, Finland) 20161201

Juttutupa

Juttutupa: Meetup with some 2nd year students from the Systems Thinking 2 February class, and a few more from the 1st year of the master’s program in Creative Sustainability. Glad to hear that knowledge they gained was useful in subsequent studies, as they then explain concepts to other group team members who didn’t take this session of the intensive course. This restaurant a quieter place to talk, until an excellent band started playing after 8 p.m.. (Juttutupa, Säästöpankinranta, Helsinki, Finland) 20161201

Metropolia U., Bulevardi campus

Metropolia U., Bulevardi campus: Lectured in Industrial Management master’s program, collaborating on generative pattern language writing for an hour, after 90 minutes of lecture. Students are mostly working professionals with practical experience, so we jointly felt our way through using the format for service systems thinking. We’ve come a long way since the program was initiated in 2006. (Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Bulevardi, Helsinki, Finland) 20161202

Kiasma

Kiasma: Brian Eno (1999) Memory Flowers is 16 speakers facing upwards on stems, playing ambient music. First shown in 2000 in a solo show, brought out of storage for Kiasma Collection Exhibition. Emmi and J.P. came in late afternoon for the first Friday of the month free admission, well-timed to avoid the 5 pm crush at the coat check. (Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Mannerheiminaukio, Helsinki, Finland) 20161202

Vanha Kauppahalli

Vanha Kauppahalli: Buying salmon in the same way that Finns have since 1889 when the Old Market Hall opened. Also bought little fried vendace at the next stall, to be used in an appetizer. Saturday afternoon sees a lot of tourist visitors, many eating salmon soup facing out from the renovated stalls to become part of the scenery (Kalakauppa E. Eriksson, Vanha Kauppahalli, Eteläranta, Helsinki, Finland) 20161203

Lapinlahdenkatu

Lapinlahdenkatu: Dinner with all Finnish ingredients (unless the salmon came from Norway). Discussed 2016 as a transitional year with lots of change, released now positively towards 2017. Missu the cat hid for most of the dinner, either not enjoying the streaming jazz, or suspicious that the catsitter would take him away. (Lapinlahdenkatu, Helsinki, Finland) 20161203

Moomin Shop, Helsinki Airport T2

Moomin Shop, Helsinki Airport T2: Looked at plush toy, saw “Design from Finland” but no country of manufacture. Phoned to wake up DY at 4 a.m. Toronto time to ask if 15cm 100% polyester figure was worth the money, she said no. Suggested Moomin shopping bags hanging outside, with tags saying Made in PRC, DY declined. On walk back to T1, noticed Moomin troll toys also available in the duty free shop. Not a motivated shopper today. (Moomin Store, Gates 26-27, Terminal 2, Helsinki Vantaa Airport) 20161205

Niven's

Niven’s: From online The Ecology of Systems Thinking group to meeting in person, PJ came for a coffee, talking while watching me eat a full English breakfast. Worked through jams of orange marmalade vanilla, raspberry rose, blood orange marmalade, pear. Discussed history of science within the systems thinking community and the variety of notable figures, up to current day theoreticians and practitioners. (Niven’s, King Cross Road, London, England) 20161206

December 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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