I enjoyed a great, if chilly, walk yesterday, exploring the huge construction site known as West Don Lands. People are already living in some of the new builds and you know, they are pioneers in what will surely become a fabulous new part of town.
When the dust clears, probably by 2015, in time for the Pan Am Games, the neighbourhood will be an exciting mix of residential spaces, shops, restaurants, parks and streets. During the Games, some of the new buildings will house visiting athletes, then go onto the market. A percentage of residences are supposed to become subsidized “social” housing.
It’s as if someone said “Go play in traffic” and some creative developers took up the challenge. Undersides of the Gardiner Expressway ramps have become basketball courts, jungle gyms and playgrounds. Large parklands are being developed to provide greenery and oxygen. Little walkways between buildings of varying heights, age and style provide interest and the riverside location is splendid. Imagine when everything is alive again in Spring. This will become a destination worth visiting and a great, urbane living space.
Of course, I had to go see if the famous “cubes” had survived all the changes. Yes. Number 1 Sumach Street still has its green icons,
I sawed off a slice, as one does, before bringing it in the house and standing it in water. We forgot to ask where it came from (Nova Scotia?) but we know it’s a Fraser Fir. Now can we find out how old it was when it went to market?
And he has good news. He and Penny have vacationed with friends on the Baja Peninsula in past years, but this year they seem to have bought into the Agua Viva neighborhood in the development south of Loreto town in Nopolo Bay. There’s paperwork still but closing is not too far off.
First, his snapshots…
Penny has the same colouring as the Emporio! Yes, that’s the Hotel California from the Eagles song.
I just received this email message from my sister Joni:
dec 6 women against violence (Salmo, B.C.)
Each year there is a tribute to the Montreal women gunned down.
This year the elder could not make it and they had me lead the closing tribute. I sang the strong woman song with great drums backing me up…. making women strong.
[Memo to self: Put on glasses when reading return addresses on packages.]
It’s fun to find unexpected gifts in the mail. Today, we opened the envelope from my brotherJack sister Joni and found a large colour photo of my mother posing beside one of her paintings. I have yet to locate the title of this one, but I like the picture because it gives an impression of the size of some of the pictures Helen painted. It also illustrates her passion for wild outfits.
Also in the envelope, a battered copy of a handsome book. This copy of The Elders Are Watching contains images of strong West Coast prints by Roy Henry Vickers and writings by storyteller Dave Bouchard. A handwritten inscription on the fly leaf reads:
Dear Les: Enjoy this please! You and Joanie would just love Roy Vickers – a lovely person.
Les was Helen’s son-in-law. Somehow he seems not to have received his book. If you read this, Les, drop me a line and I’ll send it to you.
I laughed in understanding when I read a reviewer’s remark that the Mini camera still has a measly 5 megapixels, “disappointing the dozens of people who enjoy tablet photography”.
When the light is strong results are much better…
This is a detail of one of the pillars in the Museum TTC Station. Also represented are the arts of ancient Egypt, classical Greece, China and aboriginal North America (Turtle Island).
As the sunset shot below shows, the iPad Mini camera has trouble with bright light situations, flattening out areas of interest very destructively. It’s range is very limited… good enough for reference shots or ephemeral trivia, but no substitute for a real camera.
This sky was full of character but shapes and shadows of the clouds have been completely washed out. To see what that sky really looked like, see these.
Danica is coming home with more than she contributed, which is the general idea in these fundraisers, I think. She baked a delicious loaf of pumpkin bread with chocolate and nuts, then bought a wide array of goodies made by Beach Hill neighbours. Of course I have sampled and I’m honestly shocked at how good everything is.
A bit of drizzle did nothing to dampen the turnout. I won’t be surprised to hear that more was raised than last year. The money goes to pay for improvements along our little commercial strip… flowers around the trees, benches on the sidewalks, paint spruce-ups and supplies for volunteers who build things like the new bulletin board. People around here care and it shows.