“…beauty consists of its own passing, just as we reach for it. It’s the ephemeral configuration of things in the moment…….”
― Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Weekly Photo Challenge – Ephemeral
I’m a sucker for a museum, an art gallery or a concert. Last week, in Toronto, I managed to take in all three in one day!
It all started with a concert. Part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Lunchtime Concert Series, last Tuesday’s program was with the Humber Latin Jazz Ensamble, under the direction of the Grammy & Juno Award winning Hilario Duran. The over-capacity, standing-room-only crowd, was treated to a blend of Afro-Cuban Jazz. You can’t get THAT in Rose Bay!
From there I wandered up to Dundas Street and into the Art Gallery of Ontario. Here, I was introduced to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. I confess I’d never heard if him before, but could certainly pick up the passion and frustration in his work. I’m glad to have seen this exhibit, but was equally glad to move on to the Canadian & European collections of the AGO.
I was delighted to find the Grange, a Georgian Manor House (c1817) attached to the AGO. This beautiful building was donated to the Art Museum of Toronto in 1911, and so become the original home of the AGO. That was something else I didn’t know – and didn’t expect. Maybe I should be doing more research before heading out on these excursions?
Last week I dug myself out of the snowbank that is Nova Scotia, and followed my traveling husband to Toronto for a couple of days. He was off to work….. I was his sidekick.
Our “home-away-from-home” was the snazzy new Delta Toronto Downtown. That’s some pretty high living for a girl from the country. High indeed! Our room was on the 46th floor – the top floor. And we had access to the Signature Lounge – I could get used to this. The expansive windows of both our room and the lounge opened up to some pretty spectacular views over the city, a still partially frozen Lake Ontario and Toronto Island. We looked down on the airplanes landing at the small airport there.
From those heights, we went off to explore the PATH – that underground walkway that covers over 30 kms (19 miles) of Toronto – under Toronto. It’s pretty crazy: these tunnels connect 50 building/office towers of the financial district and provide 371,600 square metres (4 million square feet) of retail space. Thats 1,200 shops and services – looking around, I couldn’t think of a single convenience that was missing. Except, maybe a public library – but there are book stores!
The idea is that a person can get from a subway stop or the railway terminal to work, or a hotel (there are 8 connected to PATH) or any number of cultural venues and conveniently shop and eat (I can’t say “dine”) along the way. All without ever stepping out doors. Which is very sensible – Toronto is a northern city, and the PATH “provides a safe haven” from winter’s cold and snow and summer’s extreme heat and humidity.
I can vouch for the convenience – I made my way through the PATH nearly every day we were there (me, and 200,000 or more other folks). But, I can’t help but feel there is a little something “sci-fi” about it. It’s like a whole other city beneath a city – all comfortably climate controlled, but without the benefit of sunlight.
I also had a little trouble orienting myself underground. Eventually, I recognized “landmarks” and was able to move through pretty efficiently, I think. But for a while, I know I went round in circles 🙂 For me, the signage wasn’t clear. Apparently, though, there is a system. According to the website, each letter in PATH is a different colour, each representing a direction. The P is red and represents south. The orange A directs pedestrians to the west, while the blue T directs them to the north. The H is yellow and points to the east.
Now you tell me!!! Simple – When you know how. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time.
More on this trip soon…..
Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.
Anne Lindbergh (1906 – 2001)
A few forsythia branches brought inside to bloom….. because I fear it will be a very long time before they have the chance to bloom outside this year. They lift me up!
“Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.”
A photo for Macro Monday…
What perfect timing!! Those very spoiled and coddled hens of mine have finally decided to earn their keep, and have begun laying eggs again. We came home from several days away to find 8 fresh eggs in the nesting box!!! Welcome to Spring!
It is usual for hens to take a rest from laying during the darkest time of the year. But this year, they have enjoyed a nice long rest – starting two full months later than last year. I wonder if they somehow knew something we didn’t – that we were in for the harshest winter in memory…. and just decided to hold off. Your guess is as good as mine – into what a chicken thinks – or even IF a chicken thinks.
Perhaps because of the hard winter, which added another 100 cm of snow and ice to the landscape in the past week (in March!!), we were just beside ourselves with glee when we found these gifts from our “girls”. And on the first day of Spring! A very positive sign.
We celebrated the best way we know how – we scrambled up 5 of those eggs with onions and dried oregano (also from the garden). Mmmmmm! Happy Spring to You All!
WPC – Fresh
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. – Robert Frost, 1914
In the village I grew up in, there were many old stone walls left from earlier times. Most of those are now found in wooded areas. Obviously, built by the earliest settlers of the place, the walls tell of a rough landscape, where land was cleared of trees and rocks – the rocks piled to create the wall. They speak of the dreams, hopes and plans of those sturdy souls (who were mostly Irish – a people who knew a thing or two about stone walls). What stories could those walls tell, I wonder? In spite of the back-breaking work of years ago., nature has quietly, gently reclaimed what was hers.
When we built our present house, a decade ago, here – in the middle of an old pasture – I was delighted to discover an old stone wall on the land. That was the inspiration for our retaining wall. We built this last fall, between the house & garden and the driveway. Every stone is from this piece of land. Every stone placed by one of us – creating a connection.
At present, this stone wall is underneath a (slowly melting) snowbank. I pray the “frozen ground swell” hasn’t caused it damage….. only Spring will tell for sure.
This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Wall
This makes me so happy, I just have to share it with you….
One of my very favourite things to do is to make art with school children. Here, a group of 4 & 5 year olds are discovering the colour orange by mixing red and yellow and painting pumpkins. But the rule is: no mixing the paint in the pot. No, no, no! After learning how to draw a biiiiiig pumpkin, the children filled in the pumpkins with yellow paint. The magic happened when they put a little red on top of the yellow. Their reaction? Priceless!
More orange! Weekly Photo Challenge