Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2023/10 Moments October 2023

Seoul, Korea; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Taipei, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; Toronto, Ontario

ICN Incheon Airport Terminal 1
ICN Incheon Airport Terminal 1: At 6:00am for a 7:35am flight, got into Security Line 3 before seeing the Priority entry to the left. Still annoyed that Asiana cancelled 7:35pm ICN-SGN, so we changed departure strategy to leave apartment say 4:00am to walk to Holiday Inn and all receptionist to call us a taxi. Needed 2 cars for 3 passengers with big luggage. (Incheon International Airport, Seoul, Korea) 202310001

Vincom Center:
: Periodic torrential downpour every few hours means that first week of October isn’t the nearly the end of rainy season in Ho Chi Minh City. Went for long walk from west to east in District 1, trying ATMs with a Canadian bank card unsuccessfully, finally visiting money exchange office that offered XE rates, with a slight downgrade for old bills. Cloudy conditions are preferred to inhuman sun and heat, and air pollution wasn’t noticeable until later rush hour when rain was less plentiful. (Vincom Center, Đ. Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231002

Banh Mi store, District 3
Banh Mi store, District 3: Driver took brief detour to find banh mi shop on the way to tailors, since we missed breakfast in the early morning. Roast pork sandwiches don’t have carrots in the recipe, but sweet cucumber instead. Gluten-free and vegan diets redirected away from the French baguette-style rolls, in favour of sticky rice. (Banh Mi store, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231002
Ngoc Chau
Ngoc Chau: Clerk in fabric store holds bolt of cloth in place to give impression of what a complated ao dai would look. Bride’s mother suggeted second ao dai for later in evening on wedding celebration day at end of this week. Lots of driving to tailors on Monday, giving seamstresses a week to adjust fit. (Ngoc Chau, Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, District 3, Ho Chí Minh City, Vietnam) 20231002
Phước An Hội Quán
Phước An Hội Quán: Big drum close to the entry of this Daoist temple, reflecting the military dedication to Quan Cong, a legendary army general from the Eastern Han Empire circa 220-240 AD China. Walking through District 5 Cholon, found one temple with Buddha statues, and two temples with statues not of Buddha. This quarter was founded by Chinese immigrants in 1778, some visitors to the temple were speaking a Chinese dialect close to our ancestral village. (Phước An Hội Quán, District 5 Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231003
Bin Tay Market
Bin Tay Market: By 1:30pm, food aisle vendors were closing down, so we decided to take the most local cuisine and trust the cooks. Searching District 5 Cholon on our walk towards the market, restaurants on the map were closed on Tuesday lunchtime. This market is definitely oriented towards wholesale distribution, buying one of anything would seem strange. (Bin Tay Market, District 5 Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231003
Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts
Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts: Courtyard of the city art museum seems to have lines for badminton, wondering when they might put up nets to play. On display were mostly 20st and 21st century Vietnamese artists, with special emphases for pioneering female creators. Building interior seems to have been renovated since our visit in 2013. (Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231003
War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum: Guillotine brought by the French in the early 20th century for use in the jail, and transported during the U.S. war with Vietnam for decapitations until 1960, beside a tiger cage used for inhumane imprisonment. Inside main building, compelling history of munitions used, lives lost and number wounded. Some exhibits showed reconciliation amongst war veterans, while others showing injured survivors were too depressing to watch. (War Remnants Museum, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231003
Tân Bình district
Tân Bình district: First formal meeting between the families, as the Permission Ceremony (Le Dam Ngo) where the groom’s father requests the bride be allowed to marry. Using Google Translate between English and Vietnamese, verbal agreement was made without fuss. Two families are now to be joined thorugh the marriage, and with future children. (Tân Bình district, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231004

Beirut Restaurant:
: Pause at dinner to admire belly dancing in Levantine (Middle Eastern) restaurant. Vietnamese language is optional in this expat enclave south of the twisty Saigon River, redeveloped starting in the 2010s. Family from Toronto was still in transit this evening; we chose a non-Asian cuisine foreseeing more local recipes for the next few days. (Beirut Restaurant, Tran Ngoc Dien, Thao Dien, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land: Korean-style jimjilbang spa includes doctor fish garra rufa originating from Turkey, nibbling on dead skin as pedicure. Most in family reticent to put their feet into the water, sensation is mostly ticklish, then slightly sharper above the ankles. Passed the time waiting for one-hour full body massage, heard in review that masseuse walked on the back of my legs, but I was lying face down into a hole on the bed. (Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land, Tân Phong, District 7, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam) 20231005

Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land
Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land: Completing Korean spa jjimjilbang massage, offered tea and fruit to continue relaxation. Family chose from hot sauna and refrigerated sauna rooms, most declining the doctor fish garra rufa treatment. District 7 is a newer part of the city with westernized urban planning, but our schedule didn’t permit more than taking the taxi in and out. (Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land, Tân Phong, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231005
Nhà hàng Việt Phố
Nhà hàng Việt Phố: Travellers arriving an extra day before the nuptial celebration were invited to join for dinner. Guests from Toronto, California and other cities in Vietnam introduced themselves in the noisy restaurant. Photograph only captures about two-thirds of the length of the long table. (Nhà hàng Việt Phố, Võ Thị Sáu, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231005
RMIT VN Recreational Centre
RMIT VN Recreational Centre: Touring the Saigon South campus of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, encountered cheerleading men elevating each flyer up and then transitioning to prone position. University is modern and compact in 2 buildings, with covered walkways to student centre and athletic facilities furher on. Received permission from faculty member to tour the campus, admission onsite has been tightened since the pandemic attracted non-academics and crowded out students. (RMIT VN Recreational Centre, Tân Hưng, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231006

Tân Bình district:
: Normally quiet residential street interrupted by Le Xin Dâu ceremony, asking for bride to join the groom’s family. Sidewalk coffee shop customers watched nine groomsmen bring in offerings, into apartment ground floor transformed week long table and backdrop. Many photographs and video captured. (Tân Bình district, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231007

Hotel Nikko Saigon
Hotel Nikko Saigon: Late afternoon western ceremony in hotel garden was followed by banquet for 330 guests. Theme of enchanted garden requested by groom was fulfilled by bride with wedding planner. Two masters of ceremonies for proceedings in Vietnamese and in English. (Hotel Nikko Saigon, Phường Nguyễn Cư Trinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231007

Hotel Nikko Saigon:
: A lion dance is exceptional for a Saigon wedding, and more traditional in the Chinese ceremonies familiar to the groom. Western tradition included a wedding cake, Vietnamese tradition included pouring into a champagne tower. Evening concluded with DJ and dancing on the runway and stage for the last hour of the event. (Hotel Nikko Saigon, Phường Nguyễn Cư Trinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231007

Grandma Lu Bánh Mì
Grandma Lu Bánh Mì: Modest brunch order for banh mi, with vegetarian and pork fillings. French bread isn’t gluten free, so we crossed the street for some roast pork and rice for our sleeping son. Slow Sunday morning after full day for wedding, followed by visit to club to experience Vinahouse. (Grandma Lu Bánh Mì,, Phường Cầu Ông Lãnh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231008
Vinh Nghiem Buddhist Temple
Vinh Nghiem Buddhist Temple: Devout workshippers in main hall praying to Buddha, along with Bodhisattvas on left and right sides. Wasn’t expecting stacks of material offerings in front of the altars, some with cash layered between tiers. Temple completed in 1971, using modern concrete material, follows traditional style more common in ancient japan. (Vinh Nghiem Buddhist Temple, Phường 7, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231008
Việt Chay
Việt Chay: Vegan dinner with families joined up, day after big nuptial ceremonies, deferred from lunchtime because prior day fatigue called for more recovery time. Official formal Lễ Lại Mặt protocol would prescribe newlyweds revisiting parents home, to show respect that their contribution towards the bride’s upbringing would not be forgotten. This event was opportunity for farewells before depatures from the city on the next day. (Việt Chay, Phường 8, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 20231008
Rose Lounge Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN): Star Alliance Gold status allows one guest into international lounges, so sons are at food court. Easy morning with midday check-in, 2 taxis for 5 people with big luggage. On to third city, been away from home for 2 weeks, this trip feels like a long one. (Rose Lounge Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)) 20231009
Rose Lounge Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN): Star Alliance Gold status allows one guest into international lounges, so sons are at food court. Easy morning with midday check-in, 2 taxis for 5 people with big luggage. On to third city, been away from home for 2 weeks, this trip feels like a long one. (Rose Lounge Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)) 20231009
Taiwan Taoyuan Airport (TPE)
Taiwan Taoyuan Airport (TPE): Of five travellers, 3 winners in the Taiwan the Lucky Land promotion. Registered on a few days before flying, won NT$5000 on Easycard that we can use on transit and in convenience stores. Welcoming gesture for Canadians visiting Taiwan! (Taiwan Taoyuan Airport (TPE), Taiwan) 20231009

National Palace Museum:
: Children especially enjoy the Marvels within the Sea Immersive Interactive Tunnel, reinterpreting Sea Nie Huang (circa1662-1722) Rich and Varied Products of the Sea and Sea Oddities, as people observed and imagined marine life in the Qing dynasty. Found in the calligraphy and painting section of the massive collection. Bronzes and ceramics are more durable, but feel lifeless. (National Palace Museum, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231010

Linjiang Night Market
Linjiang Night Market: Vegan street food snacks recommended by friend living on the east side of the city, away from popular tourist venues. Also sampled sweet potato balls, wintermelon-pineapple-oliveoil drink, Taiwanese guava with dried plum powder, but the squid vendor was not available. Dining is more limited when travelling with vegans. (Linjiang Night Market, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231010
Houtong: A shelter for visitors overlooking the Keelung River, with small cat houses where felines can stay warm. Originally a coal production town, open train carriages show that fuel is still in demand. Confused morning routing mean slow local trains eastbound into mountainous forests . (Houtong, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231011

Bangka Longshan Temple: Misty rainfall in courtyard with waterfalls on eastern wall, with the Buddhist temple entry facing south. Built in 1740 during the Qing Dynasty, the structure has been restored multiple times following natural disasters and a bombing in WWII during Japanese occupation. Local friend advised the neighbourhood is rough, with few tourists after dark. (Bangka Longshan Temple, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231010

Shifen Taoist Shrine:
: Modest temple in the village away from the commercial vendors along the railway tracks. Statues in the centre, but no Buddha that is a different religion. A big drum seems to be a common feature, and often military weapons. (Shifen Taoist Shrine, Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231011

Shifen Waterfall:
: Rainbow Pool is at the bottom of the widest waterfall in Taiwan, with anticline (arch-shaped) rock formations above. Park is a 15-minute walk from the old town, with well-groomed paths and suspension bridge featuring upstream rapids before the big plunge. Waterway was straightened in the late 20th century, with a flood diversion channel created downstream at Ruifang to preclude torrential flooding. (Shifen Waterfall, Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231011

Jiufen Old Street
Jiufen Old Street: Gradual inclines under the covered walkways take visitors by wall-to-wall shops, while the more intrepid manage the stairs upwards and downwards. Views northward to Shen’ao Harbour are breathtaking, for which photographs are insufficient. Mountain village was established in days of gold mining during the Qing Dynasty by the Japanese. (Jiufen Old Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231011
Dihua Old Street
Dihua Old Street: Visited street of traditional Chinese herbalists, seeking luobuma with an old sample package, but was told that no one in the district would have it, as they have in Shanghai. A tea shop did have luobuma tea bags, but not bulk, so the price would have been four times what I’ve previously paid. The green leaves are available in Chinatown of Oakland California, I’ll have to rely on their importing direct from mainland China. (Dihua Old Street, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231012
Dadaocheng Pier Plaza
Dadaocheng Pier Plaza: Reproduction of a Tangshan Sailing Boat on dryland, with brightly coloured active ships dockside. The Tamsui River Basin was first colonized by Han people in 1683AD. The Huwei region became active as a commercial port by 1861. Before the end of the 19th century, silt buildup in the basin and development of the Keelung Port reduced traffic to passenger travel. (Dadaocheng Pier Plaza, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231012
Xiahai City God Temple
Xiahai City God Temple: Compact Taoist temple where devotees pray to specific gods for good fortune. In the south room, the Wife of the City God blesses married couples to have a good relationship and family. Statue was alongside a god of defence (war?) and god of wisdom. (Xiahai City God Temple, Dihua Street, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231012
ABC Mart Ximen
ABC Mart Ximen: Sympathetic shopping encouraged by Easycard charged with Taiwan the Lucky Land promotion, accepted for merchandise purchases. Found Nike Air Monarchs to replace very old New Balance soles that developed a crack. Happy to find mens 6.5 size shoes in Asia, they’re rarely available in North America. ((ABC Mart, Emei Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231012

Xingtian Temple:
: Well-fed koi sidestage right from the altar, in a contemporary building built in 1967. Said to be the most popular most-visited temple in northern Taiwan, we arrived in afternoon rush hour to many devotees praying facing the statues to the north, some facing south, and others seated facing the lecturer to the east. Order was maintained by women wearing light blue smocks. (Xingtian Temple, Minquan Road East, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231012

Addiction Aquatic Development
Addiction Aquatic Development: Arriving mid-evening, routing around the water tanks with sealife, we opted to bypass the high-end restaurants to find the takeout sushi being marked down. After paying cash at checkout, we enjoyed chutoro, scallops, tuna gunkan, ikura don and assorted nigiri at the stand-up tables. Walked along dark streets to and from the venue, the nearby Second Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market is an early morning neighbourhood. (Addiction Aquatic Development, Minzu East Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231012

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei
: In the corner room is the second floor, HUNG Sheng-Hsiung (2022) The Dwelling of Collaborators plays music to a sparse arrangement of furniture. Featured exhibition on Signal Z contemplates the qualities of being “liquid’ and ‘fluid” as a starting point, investigating contemporary social phenomena and living condition. A variety of fluid states cross the public/private and physical/virtual boundaries. (Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231013

228 Peace Memorial Park
228 Peace Memorial Park: Monument to remember the February 28 incident in 1947, where thousands of civilians were killed in the suppression of an anti-government uprising. This structure in Taipei is one of many in the country, designed by architect Cheng Tzu-tsai while in prison. Viewed on a long afternoon trek from the National Taiwan Museum to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial hall. (228 Peace Memorial Park, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231013

Daan Park Pavilion: Fortunate timing to attend the free weekend shows of Taipei Jazz Festival, with the Taipei Youth Jazz Orchestra. Tiered benches in the amphitheatre full, with more casual listeners on the grass. Venue in the midst of the forest park, in the university district. (Daan Park Pavilion, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231013

MaoKong Tea Master
MaoKong Tea Master: Tasted a variety of teas from leaves grown at this level and higher. Local preference is for intense flavour, some smokier or fruity or floral. Enjoyed the Maokong gondola ascent, and returned with the glass-bottomed floor. (MaoKong Tea Master, Wenshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231014
Shenkeng Old Street
Shenkeng Old Street: Beside the modest Shiding/Jishun Temple is a cart reputed to serve the best stinky tofu in the region, taking its time on the grill with a patient lineup of customers. This village dates back to the Qing Dynasty, on the route between the mountainous areas and the harbours in lower lands north. In the Japanese era of the early 20th century, this was a major business centre for trading the tea grown at altitude. (Shenkeng Old Street, Shenkeng district, New Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231014

Daan Park Pavilion: Starting their tour of Asia at the Taipei Jazz Festival, the Tomasz Chyla Quintet has just released a new album. Violinist lead shows a democratic style with band members weaving solos into intros, outros, and in-between. The Polish musicians spoke English, giving us a greater understanding than the speeches by the local Chinese master of ceremonies. (Daan Park Pavilion, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231014

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park: Booming music led us to the courtyard in early afternoon, with Les Petites Chose Productions in dance rehearsal for performance in evening. Theme relates to The Garden of Early Delights, with Chuang Che-Wei. Rooms in the former tobacco factory filled with art installations and crafts vendors. (Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231015

Taiwan Design Museum
Taiwan Design Museum: Exhibition on Designs For The Next 100 Years by design firm NOSIGNER looks into solving ecological problems. Follows the approach of Evolutional Creativity from Eisuke Tachikawa of mutation and selection in biological evolution to create astounding beauty and function. Award-winning book written in Japanese was translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan. (Taiwan Design Museum, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan) 20231015
Eva Air Star Lounge TPE
Eva Air Star Lounge TPE: Signs of travelling through an advanced Chinese airport: fried gluten with peanuts and vegetarian floss with morning congee. High service in a Star Alliance lounge, including staff to help find seats. Awoke at 4:15am for first leg to Tokyo Narita, theoretical 3h40m connection. (Eva Air Star Lounge, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Dayuan District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan) 20231016
Narita Airport Terminal 1:  A 3 hour connection isn’t long enough to even get close to Tokyo, but the bright lights of commerce welcome visitors. Gate 46 is closer to the United Lounge, but we opted to walk over to the ANA lounge for more local flavour. More accustomed to flying to Haneda then Narita these days, but I haven’t actually been to Tokyo in a few years. (Narita Terminal 1, Japan) 20231016
Narita Airport Terminal 1: A 3 hour connection isn’t long enough to even get close to Tokyo, but the bright lights of commerce welcome visitors. Gate 46 is closer to the United Lounge, but we opted to walk over to the ANA lounge for more local flavour. More accustomed to flying to Haneda then Narita these days, but I haven’t actually been to Tokyo in a few years. (Narita Terminal 1, Japan) 20231016
McCleary Playground
McCleary Playground: Towards constructiion of the future Riverside-Leslieville Station expected 2041 on Ontario Line, trains are running on the west tracks while the east bridge ihas been demolished. Heavy machinery has temporarily taken over the playground that will be enlarged as new retaining walls are put into place. Inconveniences on streetcar routings in the short term are in the promise of benefits in future. (McCleary Playground, McGee Street, Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20231022

Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Ready to greet visitors calling trick-or-treat. Not yet dark, but sometimes parents bring the really young while it’s still daylight. Weather is clear, temperature should still be above freezing for the evening. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20231031

2023/09 Moments September 2023

Toronto, Ontario; Seoul Korea

Nathan Phillips Square:
Nathan Phillips Square: Chinese dancers posing for photographs after performances are done for the day, for Toronto Dragon Festival. Large crowd convening to see dancing, martial arts and variet show organized by the Canadian Association of Chinese Performing Arts. Most of the plaza filled with food stalls, with smelly tofu at the farthest southeastmost corner, causing pedestrians along Bay Street to cover these noses at the mystery scent. (Nathan Phillips Square, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20230903
Princess of Wales Theatre
Princess of Wales Theatre: First TIFF event for two residents of Toronto, courtesy of brother flown in from Los Angeles to assure no technical glitches with the premiere of Quiz Lady. Unfortunately no Sandra Oh or Awkwafina attending, due to actors strike, but director Jessica Yu recorded video of crowds cheering in the post-show Q+A . King Street is full of crowds, ticket holders lined up around the block. (Princess of Wales Theatre, King Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20230909
Congee Queen Don Mills
Congee Queen Don Mills: Family dinner out, on father’s schedule for late afternoon, with brother having the day off from TIFF. Coming from four different locations, the two public transportation travellers arrived first. Familiar Cantonese dishes, some arriving with unexpected spiciness. (Congee Queen, Lawrence Avenue East, Don Mills, Ontario) 20230915
Edwards Gardens
Edwards Gardens: After dinner stroll with the family amidst the flowers starting to look tired at sweater-weather temperatures. Near the end of the golden hour daylight, as sun was low in the trees. Surprised that the parking lots were almost completely empty at our arrival, the tourists are less attracted to the suburbs. (Edwards Gardents, Lawrence Avenue East, Don Mills, Ontario) 20230915
Very Fair Seafood Cuisine:
Very Fair Seafood Cuisine: Sunday morning early dim sum, before the table filled up with a large variety of plates. Last day of TIFF, brother said the 10-day stay felt more like a tourist experience. Family conversation made me realize we had four sons before brother had his two kids. (Very Fair Seafood Cuisine, Milliken Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20230917
Victoria University Chapel
Victoria University Chapel: Pews on the second floor full of boxes of books for the annual booksale, the late afernoon sun light up the southwest-most stained glass window. Only browsed non-fiction hardbacks, most of my time is now spent reading softcopy on tablet or computer screen. Felt that I need the bike ride over, I’ve been focused on writing to a deadline. (Victoria University Chapel, Queens Park Circle, Toronto, Ontario) 20230923
Maple Leaf Lounge Domestic
Maple Leaf Lounge Domestic: First leg, Toronto Vancouver Seoul. Up before 5;00 a.m., it’s going to be a long day into tomorrow. Still on domestic flight, will transfer to international at YVR. (Maple Leaf Lounge Domestic, YYZ, Toronto) 20230925
Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver International Airport: On way to gate, paused at Vancouver Aquarium 114,000-litre kelp forest exhibit housing marine plants and animals. Scheduled connection of 2h34m shaved down to 75 minutes including a long walk through security gates. Did dine and dash in Maple Leaf Lounge before boarding 11-hour flight. (Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia) 20230925
Sinchon Ro
Sinchon Ro: Late evening at a modest noodle house, converging from Toronto and NYC. Cold buckwheat and rice noodle soups, with a side of mandoo dumplings for the non-vegans. Ha doriginally planned for gimbap across the street, but that venue was closed by the timewe arrived. (Sinchon Ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 10230926
Noryangjin Seafood Market
Noryangjin Seafood Market: On open public space on 5th floor, (2015) Full of Blue Light is polycarbonate little fish on a stee frame outlining a whale. Sculpture celebrates the 2000 employees and mechants in the building below. Mid-morning walk saw retail section in the east part and the wholesalers in the west part, but it was too early for most restaurants to be open. (Noryangjin Seafood Market, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230927
Seoul National University Museum of Art
Seoul National University Museum of Art: Long bus ride south to visit university art collection in building designed by Rem Koolhass circa 2005. Works exhibited seem to tell stories that may not be appreciated by visitors outisde of Korean culture, some reminders that we’re in a Christian country. Hilly journey revealed large campus in the midst of forest, reflecting 21st century rise of Korean economy. (SNU MoA | Seoul National University Museum of Art, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230927
Sungnyemun: Approached the north side of this Namdaemun (Gate of Exalted Ceremonies) as the south entry closest to the river. Built of stone and wood in 1398, the morning market was just inside. Strolled through Namdaemun Market and had gimbap rice wrapped in seaweed, nokdujeon mung bean pancakes, tteokbokki spicy rice cakes, standing in the alleys. (Sungnyemun, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230927
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul: Member of Korean Avant-Garde Art Association,matured into Kim Kulim (1998) Ying and Yang 98-S 191, painting inspired by Eastern thought after returning from NYC. Part of special exhibition taking up multiple galleries in this museum. Contemporay art in a modernist bulding, across the street from ancient palaces. (MMCA | National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230927

Bongeunda Gangnam:
: Arrived to first hear drumming, and then saw Buddhist priest swinging log into bell for a big bong. Climbed up stairs to find a big Buddha. After visiting the shrine, crossed street south into Starfield Coex Mall, a haven for shoppers. (Bongeunsa, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230927

Samilgyo Bridge, Cheonggyecheon Stream:
: Took elevator down from street level above to rest by urban stream, on a long walking route from Seoul Museum of Art, through Myeong-Dong, then towards Insa-Dong. Forecast for rain didn’t come true, weather was sweaty and a sun hat would have been a better plan. Second full day following afternoon arrival, still battling jet lag. (Samilgyo Bridge, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea) 20230928

Gwanjeong Pavilion, Huwon Secret Garden, Changdeokgung Palace
Gwanjeong Pavilion, Huwon Secret Garden, Changdeokgung Palace: Visitors in the shade of mulberry trees by the pavilion with the no entry sign. Stream was at the end of the tour of the private rear garden constructed by King Taejong of the Joseon dynasty, who ruled from 1400 to 1418. Original palace buildings and grounds were destroyed by centuries of war, and have been restored or improved. (Gwanjeong Pavilion, Huwon Secret Garden, Changdeokgung Palace, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230929
Hyangdaecheong, Jongmyo Shrine
Hyangdaecheong, Jongmyo Shrine: Reproduction depicting a spirit chaumber (tomb) like the many for royalty onsite the shrine. On each side of the rear table are cabinets, where the urns would be stored. This building was originally used for storing ritual utensils. and now provides a view that commoners won’t normally see. (Hyangdaecheong, Jongmyo Shrine, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230929

Samilgyo Bridge, Cheonggyecheon Stream:
: Took elevator down from street level above to rest by urban stream, on a long walking route from Seoul Museum of Art, through Myeong-Dong, then towards Insa-Dong. Forecast for rain didn’t come true, weather was sweaty and a sun hat would have been a better plan. Second full day following afternoon arrival, still battling jet lag. (Samilgyo Bridge, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea) 20230928

National Folk Museum of Korea

Gwangjang Market
: Cooks in stalls with piles of raw foods ready to assemble, responding to customers seated at the perimeter. Aisles packed with visitors struggling to walk through crowds, some pausing to eye selection. We opted for a sit down restaurant, where the adventurer tried sannakji young octopus cut into pieces with nerve action continuing posthumously. (Gwangjang Market, Jongno-ku, Seoul, South Korea) 20230930

DDP Design Lab:
: Curtained-off section of Design Dream Land: Fall in K-POP exhibition, showing how design, fashion and illustration come together to develop a musical group. Foil walls, colored lights, video screens and mannequins give visualization with reality. We’re not the target audience, so unfamiliar to the K-pop groups. (Dongdaemun Design Plaza Design Lab, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230930

DDP Dongdaemun Design Plaza:
: Arrived at dusk at the cultural hub in the traditional fashion district, this Metonymic Landscape replaced a stadium in a major urban development project completed in 2014. The entry into the Dongdaemun Design Museum was hidden on the B2 level, with a bank of elevators towards enclosed parking. The Design Lab had an exhibition to experience how K-Pop is nurtured into a larger societal pheonomenon. (Dongdaemun Design, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea) 20230930

2023/08 Moments August 2023

Toronto, Ontario; Fairfield, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Salina, Iowa; Ames, Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa; Sackville, New Brunswick; Parrsboro, Nova Scotia; Amherst, Nova Scotia; Shediac, New Brunswick; Moncton, New Brunswick

Ralph Thornton Centre
Ralph Thornton Centre: Sunday afternoon Break Draft event by @ensemblesession, led by longtime members in the Toronto community. Round-robin event for 4 hours, ending with two tie-breaking faceoffs for cash prize. Welcoming to observing audience, relaxed atmosphere. (Ralph Thornton Centre, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20220806
Pape Village
Pape Village: Family dinner backyard BBQ extended with adopted uncles, reflecting on the recent wedding. Reminisced of early days hosting the sons when the parents went on vacation to London. Grilled burgers, chicken and vegetables, alongside Japanese curry with rice. (Pape Villiage, Broadview Avenue, East York Ontario) 20220809
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Mobile bike mechanic rolled up to our garage on the back laneway with a trailer carrying a stackable toolbox, collapsed bike stand and some supplies. Requested tuneups for the newer fun Miyata and the older Raleigh beater, both with drivetrain issues. The Miyata is missing one of 6 speeds due to a plastic tooth broken in the shifter, the Raleigh has a chain stretched so far that a replacement might be considered next year. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20230811
Tinuno Downtown
Tinuno Downtown: Satisfied a sense of adventure for two experienced globetrotters by dining on kamayan (Filipino boodle fight) with hands in plastic gloves and no serving utensils. Snagged outdoor patio table, that servers covered with banana leaves, spreading garlic rice then topped with squid, shrimp, fish, mussels and pork. Guests had a tiring drive around the lake from Rochester, should have have a good night’s rest before the in-person Systems Thinking Ontario meeting next evening. (Tinuno, Howard Strreet, Toronto, Ontario) 20230813
Canadian Tire Woodstock
Canadian Tire Woodstock: Westward towards Iowa, more rest stop than charging needed, so suburban plaza is on route. Originally planned internal combustion engine had coolant issue, so alternate vehicle is Mercedes electric vehicle. Learning about user interfaces while in motion. (Canadian Tire, Norwich Avenue, Woodstock, Ontario) 20230816
Maharishi International University
Maharishi International University: Leisurely tour through Fairfield Iowa included stop by the Maharishi Tower of invincibility, and peek into windows of the Maharishi Pantanjali Golden Dome not open to public. Signs in the Argiro Student Center say fall session starts with lecture tomorrow, while the campus was quiet today. Moving slowly after previous day journeyl that took over 20 hours in the maiden long journey of a new electric SUV. (Maharishi International University, Fiarfield, Iowa, 20220817
Dairy Bar
Dairy Bar: Late afternoon pause at local institution for ice cream sundaes and slushies. Sitting at picnic table, casual conversation led to creative possibilities of approaches to conducting workshop to awaken non-rational thinking. Rural pace in the small town enables open mindspace away from urban rush. (Dairy Bar, West Burlington Avenue, Fairfield, Iowa) 20230817

Stanley Museum of Art:
: In the lightwell, from the ground floor up to the third floor, Nnenna Okore (2023) Spirit Dance reflects the Nigerian notion that change can be enacted by non-human, humans and spirits. The sculpture is made of wire boning, dress in burlap, cheesecloth and jute in browns, reds and oranges. Just revealed at the beginning of August 2023, the installation is exposed to rain and snow that will weatherhe materials, through its showing into 2024. (Stanley Museum of Art, Burlington Street, Iowa City, Iowa) 20230818

Stanley Museum of Art
Stanley Museum of Art: In gallery opened in August 2022, Giorgio De Chiirico 1947 Le Muse Inquietanti (The Disquieting Muses) was a verifalsi (true fake) copying his own work in 1916. The original is in a collection of italian futurists in Milan. Allusion to the muses of tragedy and comedy, with industrial buildings in the background. (Staney Museum of Art, Burlington Street, Iowa City, Iowa) 20230818
Salina, Iowa
Salina, Iowa: Dynamically planned dinner with ingredients mostly local on hand: dried trumpet chanterelle mushroom from Finland into soymilk for vegan soup; homegrown tomatoes for caprese salad, wild keta salmon with ginger and soy sauce, stir fried eggplant zucchini + peppers, corn on the cob. Discussion on dry summer with current rise of heat, the crops may not survive. Neighbours have become more unfriendly in the past few years, wondering why. (Salina, Iowa) 20230819
Main Street, Ames, Iowa
Main Street, Ames, Iowa: On street corner, Steve Reddell (2022) Riding High sculpture on a hot August day. Opted to enjoy ice cream inside the shop, and visit the bookstore with air conditioning. Drove around the Iowa State University campus, with signs that classes start tomorrow. (Main Street at Douglas Avenue, Ames, Iowa) 20230820
Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Pappajohn Sculpture Park: In foreground, Keith Haring (1989 design, 2009 fabrication) Three Dancing Figures, version C, is number 3 from an edition of 10, inspired by the graffiti in NYC. In background, Jaume Plensa (2007) Nomade first shown in Antibes, then Miami, before current siting, with human figure outlined with individual letters. City centre park is compact with 9 installations, some by familiar famous artists seen in other cities at different scales. (Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa) 20230820
Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Pappajohn Sculpture Park: In foreground, Yayoi Kusama (2014 design, 2018 fabrication) Pumpkin (L) represents a form of radiant energy. In background, Tony Smith (started 1962, completed 1981) Marriage originally didn’t have the opening visibile in three-quarter view, so the top box was made 2 feet longer. Late Sunday afternoon, few visitors to the park in rising summer temperatures. (Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa) 20230820
Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel: Recharging stop of 5 homeward bound, not including the false stop in Davenport that wouldn’t connect to vehicle. Optimized routing leads to suburban plazas, where food choices are local to a 30 minute stop when output is 200 kWh, and 60 minutes+ when real rates are less than 100 kWh. Restaurant offering southern cooking hasn’t been at the top of my list, but passable for a vegan falling off to fish. (Cracker Barrel, Commercial Drive, Lansing, Michigan) 20230821
Woodstock OnRoute Service Centre
Woodstock OnRoute Service Centre: Oasis at 11:30pm Monday night barely has Tim Hortons open, with no other EV drivers lounging. Charging station posted with 150kWh capacity is pushing 45 kWh. This should be stop of 5, we expect to arrive in Toronto after 2am ET, having left Fairfield Iowa at 7:00am CT. (OnRoute Service Centre, Highway 401 eastbound, Woodstock, Ontario) 20230821
Edwards Gardens
Edwards Gardens: Annual ritual repeated for the 38th time, we reflected on a busy year packed with family activities. Discreet change of angle on the fountain, to hide the yellow tape around the pit dug behind. Attended by a single son, we appreciate the regular event can get bumped by overbooking. (Edward Gardens, Lawrence Avenue East, Don Mills, Ontario) 20230824
Wilson Heights
Wilson Heights: Convened for relaxed dinner with friends since undergraduate university days, schedule months ahead on busy calendars. Catching up on careers and family changes since our last dinner together, 4 years ago, before the Covid shutdown. Creative dodging of dietary constraints with cedar-planked salmon, broccolini, Portuguese pastry, mochi, non-dairy ice cream, and the first Sauvignon Blanc wine i’ve tasted in many years. (Wilson Heights, North York, Ontario) 20230826
Maple Leaf Lounge Domestic
Maple Leaf Lounge Domestic: Coordinated meeting for meal before boarding on eastbound flight. Airport seemed chaotic at domestic check in, our taxi slowed by 4-vehicle pileup on highway, their train was faster. Our family usually flies to west coast, is the closer east coast departure more delayed? (Maple Leaf Lounge domestic, Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario) 20230828
Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts
Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts: Collection of sculptures at the front atrium clearly signals entering an art school. Walking tour of Mount Allison University, by a retired staff member, routed us through back doors. Well maintained campus for a top liberal arts university in Canada. (Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick) 20230829
Owens Art Gallery
Owens Art Gallery: Triptych mural Alex Colville (1961) Athletes now resides in gallery, after 50 years in the lobby of the Athletic Centre at Mount Allison University. Swimmer is starting, high jumper and javelin thrower are in mid-action, sprinter is crossing the finishing line. Geometric structure across the three parts was planned out after the artist has done renovations on his Sackville house. (Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick)
Colville House
Colville House: Studio of Alex Colville recreated on first floor of house where he lived with his wife and four children1949-1973. Original working space was in third floor attic, but climbing through a narrow trapdoor would be too hazardous for visitors. Arranged for tour guide while we were at Owens Art Gallery, she opened the door and turned on the lights for us. (Colville House, York Street, Sackville, New Brunswick) 20230829
Minas Channel
Minas Channel: Arrived at low tide to see the water marks on the exposed pier, with the lighthouse across the Minas Channel. The Minas Basin has some of the highest tidal ranges recorded, as a sub-basin of the Fundy Basin, an inlet of the Bay of Fundy. Enjoyed local seafood at the restaurant with the Harbour View, named accurately, but without expected elevation. (Minas Channel, Pier Road, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia) 20230829
Hawkes Blueberries
Hawkes Blueberries: Stacks of colourful blueberry transport crates on a rainy day, with windmill electricity generators in the background. Road signs pointed to delivery station with a retail store, but we were too late in the day. In Nova Scotia just by the border with New Brunswick, the region is farms with a few towns, all near salt water. (Hawkes Blueberries, Amherst, Nova Scotia) 20230830
Duncan’s Pub
Duncan’s Pub: Reunion with past colleague and friend, who moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia escaping pandemic pressures in winter 2020. First time in years that I’ve stayed in a pub past last call, but hours are shorter in a small town. Reawakening socializing together, after work-from-home routine has become too comfortable a habit. (Duncan’s Pub, Victoria Street, Amherst, Nova Scotia) 20230830
Le Plus Gros Homard du Monde
Le Plus Gros Homard du Monde: Popular tourist stop, with many families visiting even on a cool cloudy day at end of August. Noticed a predominance of Francophones, New Brunswick might be a favorite for monolingual Canadians. Leisurely route from Strait Shores to Moncton, return flight already rescheduled an hour later than original plan. (Le Plus Gros Homard du Monde, Rotary Park, Shediak, New Brunswick) 20230831
Galerie d'art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen
Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen: In gallery celebrating Acadian Renaissance, Emily Philips (2021) Hexaptych, Brother’s Brook large oil on canvas. Arrived at university museum 10 minutes before closing, didn’t see cultural history. Flight home further delayed. (Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen, Universite de Moncton, New Brunswick) 20230831

Transportation Discovery Centre:
: Hands-on exhibits not just for kids. Light attendance on late Thursday afternoon, so adults play unimpeded. Grownups may interpret the science differently. (Transportation Discovery Center, Resurgo Place, Moncton, New Brunswick) 20230831

2023/07 Moments July 2023

Toronto, Ontario

Bakery Lane
Bakery Lane: Canada Day urban pseudo-lumberjack trimming back the neighbour’s tree growing over our garage. Way overdue for maintenance, debris from many years had become soil in the eavestroughs, rich with earthworms. Elders now more cautious about taking on risky activities. (Bakery Lane, Riverside district, Toronto, Ontario) 20230701
Aki Studio
Aki Studio: Improv @Toronto_Fringe @mahjongmafiacomedy with @hello.anson , interviewing on life history for content without scripts. Stories of Thai father Malaysian mother working in restaurant with English as common language, expressing love through food. Second act was based on prompts of secrets hidden away from Asian parents, back-to-back scenes with rapid dialogue. (Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, Dundas Astreet East, Toronto, Ontario) 20220711
Godspeed Brewery
Godspeed Brewery: Couple to be joined officially in about 2 hours, in fun pose for photographer with brothers and cousins from California, Texas, Virginia, British Columbia. Lighting and available space was better in the parking lot than inside the brewery. The large Ing and Yee families participated in the traditional Chinese tea ceremony before other guests arrived. (Godspeed Brewery, Coxwell Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20230715
Godspeed Brewery
Godspeed Brewery: Bride and groom entering the tank room of the brewery, to ascend the stairs and meet the officiant to take their vows. Relaxed venue for a marital ceremony, reception offered smoked fish, oysters, sausages and charcurerie to accompany Czech-style beers, sake and iced tea. Brief speeches and dancing into the night, with performance of break dancing from the crew members, as well as a toddler showing up the elders. (Godspeed Brewery, Coxwell Avenue, Toronto, Onrtario) 20230715
King Spadina District
King Spadina District: Family dinner with special recognition for successful PhD dissertation defence earlier in the week. Reflection on 6 years living in Toronto, will be moving to Hong Kong for a professorship in a few weeks. Watched newly transferred videos of childhood cottage visits, as well as delivery in the hospital at childbirth. (King Spadina district, Toronto, Ontario) 20230726
Jimmie Simpson Park
Jimmie Simpson Park: Afternoon meetup with @cdnorman, since he walks past my street practically every day. Catch-up conversation for OCADU-affiliated faculty who haven’t been on campus so much recently. Last occasion on the same bench was almost 3 years ago, physically-distanced with pandemic disruption, we really should meet more frequently. (Jimmie Simpson Park, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20230727

Kew Beach
Kew Beach: Overenthusiastic passerby captures nonsharp image of walk on boardwalk at dusk. Visitors from Finland enjoying Toronto, except a warm day for us is a hot day for them. Happy that they’ve felt comfortable in our city, they said there’s more urban walking neighbourhoods than in Montreal. (Kew Beach, Toronto, Ontario) 20230728

2023/06 Moments June 2023

Toronto, Ontario; Vancouver, BC

Jimmie Simpson Park
Jimmie Simpson Park: Maze of white tents for @ArtistsNetwork1 annual event in early June. Came for a stroll in the last hour of the two day event, somewhat overwhelmed by the scope and variety of artistic styles and materials. Clear weather this weekend, prior years have seen unfortunate rainy periods. (Jimmie Simpson Park, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20230604
Rogers Centre
Rogers Centre: First visit to ballpark in section 521 with @codeforca social event, where the ball in flight is easy to see with good lighting. Toronto Blue Jays advanced runner to second base, and eventually defeated Houston Astros 5 to 1. Enjoyed meal of plant-based beef kofta bowl more than the vegan field roast hotdog, discovered elevators less tiring than walking ramps to tour the variety of stadium concessions. (Rogers Centre, Blue Jay Way, Toronto, Ontario) 20230607
Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto
Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto: Green screen of Imposter Cities that was shown at La Biennale dii Venezia 2020 chroma-keys subjects into a subway station, with an armed assailant emerging from behind a pillar. Movie audiences may feel like a TTC subway train should arrive soon, but it’s probably the unused Lower Bay station. Ordered tickets to the exhibition a few hours before going, advantages of living in downtown Toronto. (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sterling Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20230609
Little Portugal
Little Portugal: Serious Filipino grillmaster @DoWestFest cranks fan to stoke flames from charcoal, wearing gas mask to filter out smoke. Some irony, given the air quality alert based on wildfire smoke was just reduced from high risk to moderate. Slow stroll for three in our family, we elders feel a little out of place with the hip, younger attendees dominant on the west side of town. (Little Portugal, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20230609

David Crombie Park
: Appearance by @walkwithamal in St. Lawrence neighbourhood, on weekend of @Luminato, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year old Syrian girl looking for her mother and a new home. Visiting multiple venues in town each day, children gathering to the sound of drums and music ahead. Message of hope and solidarity has already visited 13 countries since 2021, will tour the USA in fall. (David Crombie Park, The Esplanade, Toronto, Ontario) 20220610

The Theatre Centre
: Slowed down to listen to stories @iankamau interactive installation curated by @oddsidearts @LuminatoFestivalTO in the upstairs space. The couch welcomes visitors to hear experiences of Trinidadian diaspora in Canada, and their heritage families on the big screen, with a subtlety of slow movement on some small video screens amongst the pictures. Doilies and pens are offered, should some want to share similar journeys on the Clothesline Memory Wall. (The Theatre Centre, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20230613

Fortune Seafood Restaurant
Fortune Seafood Restaurant: Saturday night dinner early for Father’s Day, to accommodate busy schedules. Paused to take photo after Peking duck, lobster, pork chop, chicken and eggplant we on the table, yet before the whole fish, scallops, mushroom with greens, and two friend noodle dishes arrived. More leftovers taken home than usual. (Fortune Seafood Restaurant, Midland Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20230617

Little Italy
: Latin trio @micheldequevedo drums, @Ericstlaurent guitar, @YoserBass bass, @TOLittleItaly encouraging couple to engage in close dancing. Many onlookers at the street festival at dusk, some recording selfies. Much more action on the street than one year ago, even as street lights came on. (Little Italy, Montrose Avenue at College Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20230618

White Spot Richmond Centre
White Spot Richmond Centre: Visitors flying into YVR for a midweek visit were hosted for lunch by two working professionals sneaking out on work. We’ve reached that age where debriefings on family health status has to be cleared before substantive conversation ensues. Venue chosen for proximity to the Skytrain terminus station, with easy access for us to continue to the West End. (White Spot Richmond Centre, No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC) 20230620
Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home
Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home: With 2 years and 8 months since DY last visited her mother, we squeezed in a midweek run to the west coast with this primary agenda item. Arriving just before dinner was served, we spoiled the nutrional balance of the meal by offering fresh strawberries first. Cool day in Vancouver, 10 degrees C lower than Toronto, so visiting in the garden was ill-advised. (Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home, Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC) 20230620
Sushi Aboard
Sushi Aboard: Last minute coordination for early dinner with nephew, when original plans to visit Vancouver Art Gallery were squashed by them changing their schedule to close on Tuesdays. Restaurant reduces human contact when ordering is done on the overhead tablet, and sushi is delivered from behind the wall via the little boat on the conveyor belt. Conversation graduaally eroded as the easterners who woke up at 5:30am ET were dealing with 7:30pm PT jet lag. (Sushi Aboard, Denman Street, Vancouver, BC) 20230620

Emily Carr University of Art and Design
: Overlook onto machines for Great Northern Way – Emily Carr segment of Broadway Subway Project due to open in 2026. We came to view the art, and inadvertently crashed the Summer Patio Party sponsored the the Emily Carr Students’ Union. Hospitality was shared with the offering of gourmet popsicles, we enjoyed one mango and one lime, in addition to viewing the Student Exhibition The Show 2023. (Emily Carr University of Art and Design, East 1st Street, Vancouver, BC) 20230621

False Creek Ferries
False Creek Ferries: The shortest route to Granville Island Public Market from our hotel on Robson Street west was to walk south to the dock by the Aquatic Centre, and take the short ferry ride. The multiple ships are small and cozy, with frequent arrivals for the 5-minute jouney. The stroll along Beach Avenue was unfamiliar to me, as only DY lived in the West End in the early 1980s. (Aquatic Centre Ferry Dock, False Creek, Vancouver, BC) 20230621
YVR Airport Canada Line Station
YVR Airport Canada Line Station: On the bridge from Canada Line into the terminal, (2009) Cedar Connection represents the Musqueam view the great rainforest and the Fraser River. Human face is on this side, the owl is on the other side. Return to Toronto barely 2 days after arrival, visited DY’s mother and a few family members. (YVR Airport Canada Line Station, Grant McConachie Way, Richmond, BC) 20230622
Galata Restaurant: Family dinner enjoying boru kebabı (Turkish pipe kebab), as well as grilled combo and two orders of pide without cheese. Staff bring their own lighting wand to snap photos, we may end up on their web stream. Son #2 arrived late, crosstown traffic on weekend with Pride celebrations, and Toronto Jazz Festival. (Galata Restaurant, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20230623
Galata Restaurant: Family dinner enjoying boru kebabı (Turkish pipe kebab), as well as grilled combo and two orders of pide without cheese. Staff bring their own lighting wand to snap photos, we may end up on their web stream. Son arrived late, crosstown traffic on weekend with Pride celebrations, and Toronto Jazz Festival. (Galata Restaurant, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20230623

Gardiner Museum
: Standing on a stool on a raised plaza for big stage, the Royal Ontario Museum was much easier to see than . Crowd scene isn’t my style, I prefer less commercial musicians. Biked past two concert stages for Pride 2023, wending around Toronto Metropolitan University on the way home. (Gardiner Museum, Queens Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20230624

Victoria University
: Dreamy moody performance @jonahyano @torontojazzfest Main Stage on university quad. Audience of young adults, the categorization of music as jazz is loose. Bike route to venue evaded Pride Parade route on Yonge Street, but didn’t account for barricades on Bay Street by Nathan Phillips Square. (Victoria University, Queens Park, University of Toronto) 20230625

Village of Yorkville Park
: Rainy day cleared to sunshine for @nickyschrire singing selections from Nowhere Girl release @torontojazzfest, with sax, @ChrisDonnelly99 piano, @DangerHerring bass, @ErnestoCervini drums. Cheerful tunes, and the band was laughing at jokes onstage. Closing singalong encouraged, “Everyone can sing. Bob Dylan is a living testament”. (Village of Yorkville Park, Cumberland Street, Torotno, Ontario) 20230626

Village of Yorkville Park
: Scheduled to record first album next week, @andrewmarzotto guitar @torontojazzfest leading @ewenfarncombe piano, bass, drums. Rain delay was 30 minutes, stage still partially covered after crew swabbed the stage. Crowd accumulated after the sun came back. (Village of Yorkville Park, Cumberland Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20230627

Victoria University
: Attentive audience for @MarkGuiliana drums @torontojazzfest with @JasonRigby sax, piano, @ChrisjMorrissey bass. Commented that 10 minutes before taking stage, the band saw a large lawn of open grass. Speaking with a volunteer, a large contingent from the Humber College music program anticipated the talent. (Victoria College, Queens Park, University of Toronto) 20230627

2023/05 Moments May 2023

Toronto, Ontario; Markham, Ontario

Ignite Gallery
Ignite Gallery: Coinciding with opening, (2023) Nomadic Homestead is recognized as a Sculpture & Innovation outstanding talent for a month. Trailer with single bed was constructed with a no-blueprint approach similar to settler-built architecture, including salvaged materials such as a washing machine door and hydro pole arms. Second floor venue buzzing with visitors. (Ignite Gallery, OCADU,l Mc;Caul Street, Toronto) 20220503
OCAD University
OCAD University: Amongst the many works, (2023) Across the Way acrylic on canvas caught my eye. Landscape of a ferry ride out west, recollection of ocean, mountain and sky, with wind blowing on the top deck. Overwhelmed by the flood of art and design in a wide variety of techniques and materials across 6 floors, plus the party outside in the park to the south. (OCADU, McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20230503
Milliken Square
Milliken Square: Burst of greenery in interior hallway of strip mall with difficult-to-find entry door. Focused entirely on Chinese clientele, many units still vacant from failed businesses during the pandemic shutdown. Signage outside suggested taking a peek, a brief exploration after my father’s appointment across the parking lot. (Milliken Square Shopping centre, Milliken Boulevard, Scarborough, Ontario) 20230509
Costco Scarborough
Costco Scarborough: Not a trip to outer space, but an assessment in a soundproof chamber in a hearing centre. Tympanometry test found eardrums moving as normal. Speech discrimination excellent in right ear and good in left, but tone testing showed moderate to severe slope in hearing loss. A hearing aid would mostly increase volume to make listening easier, but the patient declined for now. (Costco Hearing Centre, Warden Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20230510
Waterfront Innovation Centre
Waterfront Innovation Centre: Open house @WaterfrontTO featuring model of Play Garden planned as a desetination venue on Villiers Island, west of Cherry Street where Commissioners Street ends. Scheduled to start construction February 2024 and open in spring 2026, foreground shows Fireboat Splash Zone, Black Bear Campsite, and Learning Centre. Arrived late to see panel with seated audience, I took the liberty of wandering around displays while listening. (Waterfront Innovation Centre, Queen Quay’s East, Toronto, Ontario) 20230512

Varley Art Gallery of Markham
: Lion dance at opening of Longing Belonging & 100 Years exhibition extending the community works from Spadina Chinatown downtown in 2021. Recognition of 100th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act in Canada, and the Williams Treaties (1923) surrendering lands by seven First Nations in Southern Ontario. Photographic installations inside extended participation to Scarborough and Markham ethnic Chinese Canadians, and newer immigrants. (Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Main Street, Unionville, Ontario) 20220513

Varley Art Gallery of Markham
Varley Art Gallery of Markham: Kwoi Gin (2023) Finding Beauty Among Ashes of Ancestors Pain and Sorrow, reflecting the effects of the Chinese Exclusion Act on family history. In the middle of the room, person items within a caged bed, evoking claustrophic isolation experienced by Chinese sojourners. Three walls with images of elderly mother’ preparing food, head tax snapsots, and poetry etched into walls of the Canadian Immigration Detainment building. (Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Main Street, Unionville, Ontario) 20231513
Dim Sum King
Dim Sum King: Spring Festival dinner with the Lowkong Society started with karaoke before the meal was served. During dinner, more karaoke was invited from the audience, drawing a variety of Cantoneese and English lanugage selections. Our family joined in, both with less-than-harmonious vocals and hiphop dancing. (Dim Sum King, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20220513
Cherry Street South Bridge
Cherry Street South Bridge: Touring southbound on bike lane on new Port Lands bridge, got a friendly wave from a three-wheel cyclist northbound. At late afternoon, the two-wheeled vehicles are almost as popular as four-wheeled over the divider. Construction still has temporary winding route north and south of the bridge. (Cherry Street South Bridge, Port Lands, Toronto, Ontario) 20230516
Lambert Lounge
Lambert Lounge: After first round with question, @redesign suggested getting up to stretch. Led to @playthink capturing proceedings on wall poster sheet, while participants wandered around room thinking about questions related to question by about How We Live Together. First in-person meeting since January 2020, next month may schedule not on Wednesdays, anticipating some other past regular attendees. (Lambert Lounge, OCADU, McCaul Street, Toronto) 20230517
Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: First of four stops across two cemeteries for family qingming tomb sweeping on Victoria Day. Plants from previous years in good shape, we added three flowers, and dug an extra hole for an found potted plant left by another unidentified extended family member. We noticed that grandmother’s final date was finally chiselled into the tombstone, Uncle had said he would handle that. (Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20220522
Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: Time pressure on family qingming tomb sweeping, with only one of four sons in town on holiday weekend. To burn hell money, we forgot to bring a lighter, and were fortunate that another Chinese family leaving nearby were generous in lending us a box of matches. Dad completed pouring out three cups of spirits, we took the picture, and then remembered to bring out the BBQ meat from the car for a quick lunch. (Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20220522
Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: Added a plant to the gravesite for the Lee side of the family, tomb doesn’t look to have been visited by anyone this year. Lit incense and burned hell money. In the rush to leave, DY singed her finger on the hot can, before it cooled. (Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20220522

Pine Hills Cemetery
: By the monument on high ground at the north end of the cemetery, the elders of the Lowkong Society gathered to remember ancestors. Planted flowers, read a proclamation, distributed oranges. Our family has been regular attendees since our sons were children, we noticed new directional signs added by grounds management. (Pine Hills Cemetery, Birchmount Road, Scarborough, Ontario) 20230522

Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: Reading honoring ancestors by the clan elders of the Lowkong Society, on Victoria Day. Briefer ceremony this year, with flowers planted and oranges distributed. Good turnout with favourable weather. (Pine Hills Cemetery, Birchmount Road, Scarborough, Ontario) 20220522
Pine Hills Cemetery
Pine Hills Cemetery: As the clan ceremonies wound down just east of mom’s plot, we started digging a hole to put in new plants for this year. The large number of worms in the earth suggests a fertile ecosystem. More leisurely grazing on lunch, as the last of four stops for qingming tomb sweeping day. (Pine Hills Cemetery, Birchmount Road, Scarborough, Ontario) 20230522
Thorncliffe Park Community Hub
Thorncliffe Park Community Hub: After getting booster Covid-19 shots, DY strikes the manner legs pose popular in Korea, to lower herself into the frame of childrens’ illustrations that must have been completed to pass the time up to the 15-minute wait for release. She mentioned to the nurse that her last shot hurt, and was given an ice pack to relieve symptoms. Late afternoon weekday visit, yet no wait, and the patient’s option for either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. (Thornecliffe Park Community Hub, Overlea Boulevard, East York, Ontario) 20230523
Chinatown Centre
Chinatown Centre: Looking through window into second floor exhibition space, @badasscrybb solo exhibition including couch in front of old television reminds me of growing up in a 1970s pre-digital era with optimism. Opening reception of from:future to:past saw hallway busy with visitors, entry into the small unit beyond a welcome mat surrounded with shoes removed, following Asian manners inside. Arts bringing grassroots community together in Spadina Chinatown. (Chinatown Centre, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20230525
Bosnian Islamic Association
Bosnian Islamic Association: Nikah Islamic wedding ceremony conducted following afternoon prayers. Gathering included some familiar faces in the local systems thinking community, including an individual who wasn’t specifically invited, but happened to come to his local mosque to pray. Honoured to be included in the traditions of another culture. (Bosnian Islamic Association, N. Queen Street, Etobicoke, Ontario) 20230527

Beaches Lodge
Beaches Lodge: For @Doors_OpenTO, official meeting of are not in progress, so visitors were permitted to view the large chambers. Cabinet with three doors shows the tools of the craft: (i) entered apprentice, of 24-inch gauge, common gavel and chisel; (ii) fellowcraft of square, level and plumb; and (iii) master mason of skirret, pencil and compasses. Spoke with a member with 4 years experience, this lodge has about 90 members, with 30 regularly attending meetings. (Beaches Lodge, Millwood Road, East York, Ontario) 20230528
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    • What Systems Thinkers Can Learn From Historical Synthesis | Dr. Michael Bonner | Systems Thinking Ontario 2023-11-13
      For the November 2023 Systems Thinking Ontario session, historian and policy advisor Dr. Michael Bonner was invited for an interview by Zaid Khan.  In organizing the sessions, we’re trying to avoid the trap of systems thinking becoming a discipline, through learning with a sweeping-in process. The session opened on a map of The Sassanid Empire […]
    • The Sweep-In Process of Systems Science (Churchman)
      It the systems sciences are an open system, then learning more and more about systems of interest are foundational.  This was called a sweep-in process by C. West Churchman, in the heritage of Edgar A. Singer. Jr.  A concise definition is found in the entry on “Experimentalism” in the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics: […]
    • Explaining Systems Changes Learning | RSD12 | 2023-10-14
      For the Relating Systems and Design RSD12 symposium on October 14, 2023, members of the Explainers subgroup of the Systems Changes Learning Circle conducted an in-person workshop on “Explaining Systems Changes Learning: Metaphors and translations” at OCADU in Toronto. RSD12 included both in-person sessions and online sessions. In the planning phase for the symposium, our […]
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      Judith Rosen agreed to give an online presentation for the Systems Thinking Ontario meeting in October 2023, after we converted her in-person meeting at OCADU in August into a discussion circle.  Channelling the anticipatory systems approach of her father, mathematical biologist Robert Rosen, Judith has been extended those ideas in her own continuing observation of […]
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      An article related to the ISSS plenary talk of July 2022 has now passed the peer review process, and is published in early view for Systems Research and Behavioral Science.  It should shortly be printed in the November issue of SRBS that serves as the General Systems Yearbook. Update on Nov. 22, 2023: A full-text, […]
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      In a return to original Systems Thinking Ontario format, we reviewed an (old) systems thinking paper from 1998. Mohammed Badrah served as reviewer. Kelly Okamura was the discussant. The author, David Hawk, was available during the discussion period for extended knowledge. As compared to prior Systems Thinking Ontario sessions with the word “entropy” in the […]
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    • 2021/06/17 Keekok Lee | Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 2
      Following the first day lecture on Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 1 for the Global University for Sustainability, Keekok Lee continued on a second day on some topics: * Anatomy as structure; physiology as function (and process); * Process ontology, and thing ontology; * Qi ju as qi-in-concentrating mode, and qi san as qi-in-dissipsating mode; and […]
    • 2021/06/16 Keekok Lee | Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 1
      The philosophy of science underlying Classical Chinese Medicine, in this lecture by Keekok Lee, provides insights into ways in which systems change may be approached, in a process ontology in contrast to the thing ontology underlying Western BioMedicine. Read more ›
    • 2021/02/02 To Understand This Era, You Need to Think in Systems | Zeynep Tufekci with Ezra Klein | New York Times
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    • 2019/10/16 | “Bubbles, Golden Ages, and Tech Revolutions” | Carlota Perez
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    • 2020/07/13 “Making Growing Thinking” |Tim Ingold (web video)
      For the @ArchFoundation, #TimIngold distinguishes outcome-oriented making from process-oriented growing, revisiting #MartinHeidegger “Building Dwelling Thinking”. Organisms are made; artefacts grow. The distinction seems obvious, until you stop to ask what assumptions it contains, about the inside and outside of things…Read more ›
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    • Introduction, “Systems Thinking: Selected Readings, volume 2”, edited by F. E. Emery (1981)
      The selection of readings in the “Introduction” to Systems Thinking: Selected Readings, volume 2, Penguin (1981), edited by Fred E. Emery, reflects a turn from 1969 when a general systems theory was more fully entertained, towards an urgency towards changes in the world that were present in 1981. Systems thinking was again emphasized in contrast […]
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      In reviewing the original introduction for Systems Thinking: Selected Readings in the 1969 Penguin paperback, there’s a few threads that I only recognize, many years later. The tables of contents (disambiguating various editions) were previously listed as 1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings. — begin paste — Introduction In the selection of papers for this […]
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      In a recording of the debate between Michael Quinn Patton and Michael C. Jackson on “Systems Concepts in Evaluation”, Patton referenced four concepts published in the “Principles for effective use of systems thinking in evaluation” (2018) by the Systems in Evaluation Topical Interest Group (SETIG) of the American Evaluation Society. The four concepts are: (i) […]
    • Quality Criteria for Action Research | Herr, Anderson (2015)
      How might the quality of an action research initiative be evaluated? — begin paste — We have linked our five validity criteria (outcome, process, democratic, catalytic, and dialogic) to the goals of action research. Most traditions of action research agree on the following goals: (a) the generation of new knowledge, (b) the achievement of action-oriented […]
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      After 90 minutes on phone and online chat with WesternUnion, the existence of the canton of Ticino in Switzerland is denied, so I can’t send money from Canada. TicinoTurismo should be unhappy. The IT developers at Western Union should be dissatisfied that customer support agents aren’t sending them legitimate bug reports I initially tried the […]
    • Aesthetics | Encyclopaedia Britannica | 15 edition
      Stephen C. Pepper was a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, on the entry for Aesthetics.
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