Category Archives: Art & culture

What a ride!

(Written the weekend after Labour Day but held back for video and images – and then we didn’t have time to sort these whilst concentrating on Paul’s parents’ visit – much more important!)

The last three weekends have overwhelmed us with their rich texture of experiences!

An encounter with Charlie, the Black Crowned Night Heron at Toronto Harbour (a great urban legend) on my way to Japanese Taiko drumming at the Toronto’s Music Garden; the incredible physicality of the drumming blew me away.

Then, on Friday with dear friends Steve and Paul,a last minute decision to take in  Buskerfest; beat-box, contortions, giant ants, music – another great Toronto street party.

Swimming at seven pm on Saturday evening after shopping and chores –  Lake Ontario is always bracing, but so beautiful to swim off a glorious beach as the sun sinks.

Then, on Sunday, brunch at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (home of the Toronto International Filmtection – Festival) before heading for Toronto Islands to try out our new hi-tech Frisbees (driver, mid-range and putter each) on the 18 hole course. Next time I will wear long sleeves and trousers for probeing very much beginners, much of our time was spent scrabbling in the bushes searching for our stray shots (hoping not to encounter poison ivy!). On the plus side, by the end of the course, we had gained two Frisbees.

Last Friday we headed north out of the city for our home from home in the Blue Mountains (a chalet owned by my ski instructor, Richard, for whom we have been doing some web consulting, creating a new website for his company, Eagle Adventures).  On Saturday evening were behind the scenes at Georgian Downs racetrack, watching a friend, Sabina,  take blood samples from a selection of the horses before climbing into the starter car for a unique view of harness (buggy) racing.

Wreck of the Mary Ward in Georgian BaySunday’s adventure was a trip on a Zodiac four kilometres out into Georgian Bay to the wreck of the Mary Ward – sadly a storm was brewing and we couldn’t snorkel as planned, but it was certainly a great taster for a future expedition. With the simple but effective tool of a glass bottomed washing-up bowl, we were still able to get a great view of the wreck.

On Monday (Labour Day) we had a lazy paddle down the Nottawasaga  river, trying out what will shortly be our own Kayaks.

This weekend the focus has been a BBQ, trying out the versatility of our Big Green Egg (everything from the cornbread, to pizza and steak) for Paul’s 50th birthday.  How amazing to be able to sit outside in shorts, with not even a cardigan, until nearly 2am (OK, we do have a patio heater)! We felt blessed in so many ways, but particularly by the beginnings of a shared sense of ‘history’ with our closest friends, something that is a potential casualty of uprooting midlife.

I can’t remember another time in my life quite like this, filled to the brim with such a range of unique experiences, some exhilarating, some poignant, many of which just seem to find us! It truly is an amazing ride . . .

The perfect day–Christmas starts here!

Yesterday was one of those glorious days that nourish you to the core. Our first snowfall – really just a long flurry of motes mixed with the occasional feather dusting the ground – then blue skies; The AGO – Henry Moore (early works, full of the anguish of his response to his war-time experiences) and the Maharajas (fabulous, especially the Rolls Royce and the tabla player and Kathac dancer; too many pancakes (crepes) with delectable fillings (we ate the sweet followed by the savoury!); then on to Nathan Phillips Square for our first skate of the season, this year’s sole Cavalcade of Lights (the square is being refurbished) to launch the Christmas season, with live music, the lighting of the tree and some of the best fireworks I’ve ever seen – City Hall is a fabulous backdrop, the window reflections augmenting the show.

This was also the occasion of our first skate in Canada last year and looks set to be an enduring tradition – I felt the total pleasure and wonder of a six year old for much of the day – what a great start to Christmas!

Hot town, summer in the city . . .

Beaches Jazz vignettes;

three guys wield corn-cobs in impromptu funky dance routine, ‘come buy’ . . .
salseros so tuned to each other that they almost dance as one . . .magic harp, now vividly blue, now pink – the coloured light cuts through the falling night . . . a watery halo behind darkly silhouetted trees as the moon clambers through the clouds . . . young couple dance close – in what the singer aptly describes as a ‘jazz love-in’ – but one hand rocks the stroller, connecting with their wide-eyed infant.

Continue reading Hot town, summer in the city . . .

The Danforth in Art

‘What is this place?’ This was the question posed by Art of the Danforth during the last week of April.

Organized by an independent group of locally based individuals, this new community art walk between Greenwood and Woodbine is rooted in a belief in the power of art to cut across divisions and draw people together.

East Danforth’s population includes an above average percentage of artists and Art of the Danforth certainly showcased some amazing talent. But it also provided a potent reminder that creativity and art belong to all of us.

(Excerpt from an article I have just written for Local Magazine)

We have both been very involved in Art of the Danforth as volunteers since November – it’s been fabulous to be part of something like this that really is conducive to neighbourhood regeneration through the arts. And we’ve met so many amazing people!

Here are my photos from the event that I uploaded to Flickr  – you can see more on the Art of the Danforth Group Flickr page or read about specific artists and installations on the Art of the Danforth website.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Art of the Danforth

With the art walk looming at the end of the month, we seem to have fingers in lots of lovely pies! Looking at the Art of the Danforth site, I’m increasingly excited at being involved in what I think is going to be a wonderful coming together of creativity and community.

Yellow on the DanforthWe have both contributed a set of photos for the photo mosaic. This was a great excuse to change the lens through which we were viewing our surroundings, focusing most on colour (we were asked for sets of predominantly red, blue, green and yellow shots).  We spent an absorbing sunny morning drifting down the Danforth, welcoming the warmth after an earlier chilly sunset session the night before.  Paul hasn’t got around to this yet, but I have uploaded some of my shots to Flickr. Tonight we are going to help sort and trim the mounds of photos submitted in preparation for assembling the mosaic.

On Sunday I’m going to take notes from the history group to go alongside some wonderful old photos – what a great way to become rooted in our new surroundings! We are so lucky to be part of this.

UPDATE (April 27):

The speeches from the formal launch of the first Art of the Danforth on Saturday April 24, 2010 – all the indications are that the event really is creating a sense of energy and enthusiasm along the strip! (I’ll post a proper report after the event).

,

Part 1

Part 2