Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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
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


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