Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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; Scarborough, Ontario

Pape Avenue Public School

Pape Avenue Public School: Behind a preteen boy on a bicycle, a cameraman on a film dolly truck, and then maybe 20 grips and make-up artists in support. Across the street, a traffic cop was stopping commuters for 2 minutes to reduce noise during the shoot. On my neighbourhood afternoon bike rides, finding a film crew at work is not uncommon. (Pape Avenue Public School, Riverdale, Toronto, Ontario) 20160401

Perfect Chinese Restaurant

Perfect Chinese Restaurant: Family table of 12, two set orders with lobster, duck, fish, chicken, plus sides of beef, squid, grouper. Mostly finished, with good size leftover containers to take home. Restaurant surprisingly quiet for a Saturday night, leisurely conversation. (Perfect Chinese Restaurant, Scarborough, Ontario) 20160402

Dragon City Mall

Dragon City Mall: Snow returns to Toronto on April. Wet cross town to Spadina Chinatown for a casual clan dinner. Still full from yesterday’s dinner, fridge full of leftovers. (Dragon City Mall, Chinatown, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20160403

Metro Centre

Metro Centre: Winter garden inside, another snowy day in Toronto outside. Municipality buildings connect into the PATH underground walkways, also with direct access into subway University line. April so far is disappointing to most people, who haven’t recalled the record February temperatures at 15 degrees C. (Metro Centre, Toronto, Ontario) 20160406

April 30th, 2016

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Scarborough, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Thornhill, Ontario; Frankfurt, Germany; Helsinki, Finland

New Year's dinner

New Year’s dinner: Family starting off year together, before dispersing on diverse paths ahead. Lobster, Peking duck, plus lots of variety with 9 at table. Christmas was quiet, now enjoying the time together. (Perfect Chinese Restaurant, Scarborough, Ontario) 20160101

St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market: Shopping for good bread and liverwurst on a late Friday afternoon with outdoor temperature above freezing. Bakeries mostly depleted, packaged for end of day. Eastern European meat store on lower floor. Bike route is flatter going west-east than climbing up the hill northbound to Danforth Greektown. (St. Lawrence Market, Toronto) 20160108

Cayne's

Cayne’s: Selected dark roasted decaf pod for free sample coffee from machine in store. Declined on extra flavourings. Afternoon of driving around Thornhill and Markham for small errands. Not the best date for a long-married couple, but still gives us time together to talk. (Cayne’s Super Housewares, Thornhill, Ontario) 20160114

New Bilan

New Bilan: Somalian lunch with friendly chef. Short menu of 5 meat and fish choices, ordered one of each, enjoyed as a group: goat meat, chicken steak, chicken stew, king fish, beef stew. Chicken soup with spices had us guessing flavours. Five platters came with rice, we ordered chipatti bread extra, arriving hot to the the table. Casual restaurant not frequented by tourists slightly east of downtown, unconventional choice for Sunday lunch (New Bilan Restaurant, Dundas Street East, Toronto) 20160117

January 31st, 2016

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Hämeenlinna, Finland; Helsinki, Finland; Lahti, Finland; Espoo, Finland; Suomenlinna; Copenhagen, Denmark; Toronto, Ontario

Sibelius Akatemia Harmonikka

Sibelius Akatemia Harmonikka: Recital in Hameenlinna, leading up to the Coupe Mondiale (World) Accordion Competition in Turku, Finland. Noora Nyyssönen, Viivi Tigerstedt, MinnaRistamäki (Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna, Finland) 20151001

Minna Ristamäki Viivi Tigerstedt Noora Nyyssönen
Bulevardi 31, P317

Bulevardi 31, P317: Master’s students @metropolia taking a stretch after the first hour of lecture on Service Systems Thinking. Combined classes from Industrial Management and Logistics programs, for a special two hour presentation. From the instructor’s view, there was a lot of content to cover, maybe we can structure a better paced program next time. It’s the 10th year anniversary since we cofounded the Master’s program in Industrial Management. This building housed the Helsinki University of Technology until 1966. (Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu / Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Bulevardi 31, Helsinki, Finland) 20151002

Linna Bike Cafe

Linna Bike Cafe: Celebration by Kata and Emmi @LinnaBikeShop Cafe, new business partnership. Family and friends came to wish well, enjoy in cameraderie. Mud cake a big hit in chocolate richness. A few days ago, observed much activity in preparing the space and scrubbing the kitchen. Now ready for customers. (Linnan Pyöräverstaan Kahvila, Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna, Finland) 20151003

Kariniemi Park

Kariniemi Park: Pikku-Vesijärvi pond is famous for largest musical fountains in the Nordics, but after dark, not on a fall Sunday afternoon. Friend has moved to small town Lahti, commuting 3 days a week to Helsinki, enjoying the quiet after 5 years in busy London. Re-establishing previous university ties to share intelligence on how times have changed (Kariniemi Park, Lahti, Finland) 20151004

Arabiakeskus

Arabiakeskus: Red berries on trees, approaching the Hämeentie Factory Block of the Arabia district, known for its long history in design. Are those rowan (mountain ash) trees? Attended the “Creating the Mindset of Sustainable Societies” class, one of the core courses in the Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability at Aalto University. Caught afternoon student presentations on final day of class. Challenged to be critical when prior context of assignments wasn’t fully explained. Will see the students two more days this week. (Arabiakeskus, Helsinki, Finland) 20151006

October 31st, 2015

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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

September 30th, 2015

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Toronto, Ontario (including Panamania Arts and Culture Celebration, PanAm and ParaPan Games)

Basketball court mural

Basketball court mural: Solo player shoots hoops in front of @JamiiEsplanade mural led by Elisa (Shalak Attack) Monreal and Julian Periquet, supported by StreetARToronto. Project was unveiled last month before PanAmGames, colours enduring even on a rainy day. Jamii is Swahili for “community”; the Esplanade was a product of the urban reform movement of the early 1970s, with influences by Jane Jacobs. (David Crombie Park, St. Lawrence neighbourhood, Toronto) 20150804

Astro Stage

Astro Stage: Greek dancing by @LevendiaX Hellenic Folklore Assoc @Taste_Danforth, near Jones Ave. Pedestrian traffic seems denser at the east end of the street festival, with kiddie rides and more community tents. Since we live within biking distance, the neighbourhood, we can visit when the crowds aren’t there. (Taste of the Danforth, Greektown, Toronto) 20150808

Landlocked green space

Landlocked green space: Discovered Cairns Avenue Parkette, a filled-in ravine where Cairns Creek used to flow south into Small’s Pond before 1935. Surrounded by back yards of houses, it’s a ditch with higher grassy areas enjoyed by dogs and their walkers. Entrance on the west side, no exit any other direction. Historical research explains the strange routing of roads in east end Toronto. (Highcroft Road, Upper Beaches, East Toronto) 20150809. “A brief history of Small’s Pond, used then abused” | Chris Bateman | April 21, 2014 | BlogTO at http://www.blogto.com/city/2012/04/a_brief_history_of_smalls_pond_used_then_abused/

Summer at 10pm

Summer at 10pm: Thousands hear @jannarden claim @allisoncornell playing with her favourite musician @npstoronto on stage at #panamania. Relaxing songs and good humour have audience enjoying the time together on a cool August evening. Big screen on main stage has fans across the pond spacing out the crowd. (Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto) 20150811

Electronic music

Electronic music: Synthpop @AustraTalks @npsToronto @to2015 #panamania pumping bass feels like inside a club, yet the band started on the plaza before the sunset. Haven’t heard so much sequencing live since my university days. Entertaining to watch for times when none of three keyboards had hands on keys. Even most drums were electronic. My greying hair was not representative of the audience. Austra is Ryan Wonsiak (keyboards), Maya Potestski (drums), Katie Stelmanis (vocals and keys), Dorian Wolf (bass and keys). (Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto) 20150812

Escorted transport

Escorted transport: Ontario Provincial Police motorcycle brigade clears way for buses with ParaPan athletes. Must be on their way to closing ceremonies. Uniformed police at Front Street intersections holding back pedestrians. Buses looked empty, so spectators probably went downtown early to get good seats. (Front Street, east of Jarvis Avenue, Toronto). 20150815

August 31st, 2015

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