Worst job, best attitude

Came across this rather lovely double-Aesop the other day.  First we have the “I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet” thing, in terms of jobs – no matter how frustrating your gig, it

The Zanzibar

Lest my fellow Torontonians think I’m trying to portray a sanitized version of scuzzy Yonge St to my far-away friends, here’s a cultural landmark far more typical of the part of the downtown strip where Elm (Arts and Letters) intersects. Coming up

Purloined Aquifer

Again we have a large foreign corporation doing to us comfortable Canadians on a relatively small (but still incredibly infuriating) scale, the same sort of things that Canadian corporations have been doing overseas in poor countries where the people have way less

Time to get serious (and beautiful)

While the discussion about FB and the election (and the larger culture-war in general) is underway, I’d like to add an observation. Rightness is not the same as usefulness – and has nothing at all to do with balance – which is


Galaxy Mod

Toronto is one of those cities that has managed to flip it’s industrial core into housing comparatively successfully – that is, though it drives me half-mad, it is almost certainly more fun to complain about gentrification and rampant overdevelopment as we do,

Equally free to sleep under bridges

Anatole France (1844–1924), one of the most brilliant French men of letters, who had the heart of Zola and the wit of Wilde, said, “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges…” His point, of


The light and what it weighed to him

I hope many of my friends were able to see the incredible Turner show at the AGO. The combination of the show and the recent biographical movie made a strong impression on me.  (Two previous posts on this) Looking at his work

Some wolves prefer giraffes

Checked-in at the Ryerson image centre today, a vastly under-appreciated cultural resource in Toronto.  Not only do they put on first-class exhibitions (we’ve seen Avedon, Karsh, Goldin and more) and charge absolutely nothing for them, they are also genuine photographic keeners –

Nostalgic urban wonder

The last best hope for breakfast To list the iconic Toronto greasy spoons which are no more, or now mere sad shells of their formerly glorious selves would take ages and make everyone sad (me especially). However, this mighty stalwart, the good

Kensington cat

Came across this lovely sculpture mounted atop a pole on Spadina – and it struck me as being just about as Toronto as a sculpture could be – not only was this area (and indeed most of downtown TO) full of wacky

The picture is fruit

Or, put another way I might alternately have called this one my creative resume.  I maintain to this day that aside from wonderful time with those we love, art is one of the very few truly empirically-unwasted ways to spend a day


Merk 51

Every artist soon learns (usually by hard-knocks), that whatever estimate they make about the time and effort which a grand project will require, they are probably wrong – and not by ten or twenty percent, but by whole multiples and orders of

Not just an American story

This brave fellow (landing on a 92 foot department-store roof, to claim a prize in 1919 Paris) is Jules Vedrines – an early French pilot who spent WW1 flying spies into tight spaces (good practise for this stunt).  He was also the


I have a very special relationship with squirrels – I’m not exactly sure that they like me, or the way that I insist on trying to learn their language.  I think it entirely possible that a sneaky one taught me a horrible

Launch window

I rather like the way this shot reveals the submerged, underlying the modern – it almost feels like there’s an old shipwreck down there, doesn’t it? Just finished a fascinating book tonight, about the long-hidden origins of Australia – it’s early (essentially


Convocation hall

This is one of my favourite buildings on the old U of T campus for several reasons.  I’d rank it second only to the lovely Massey hall as a Toronto venue – not quite such immaculate concert acoustics (though still commendable) but

The sense of being staired at

I haven’t read any Rupert Sheldrake this century – but only because I always lend away my best books (and get them back, rather less-than always). He theorizes right at the edge of what I can ‘buy’ critically – one might think

Waves and Quanta

The thing I love most about any good strong argument, is how fast you can learn, when you encounter one that displaces your old, less useful and/or valid ideas.  Knowledge-turnover, like soil-aeration, is non-optional if you want to get a good fresh


Zya F

I recently mentioned my curiosity about the differences between spray and line street-artists, and as soon as I self-sensitized that way, I noticed a couple. Not only is this (one-liner?) a real stylistic treat, for it’s minimal aspect and very immediate energy,



Context really is everything – there’s not much that’s more dull and common than a dirty puddle – and while wrought-iron fire-escapes do have visual appeal and even artistic significance (from the Ashcan school through Hopper and onward), we really don’t often

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