We spy, I spy

9 December 2015 – I was going to call this “Prowling Parkdale,” but Mary’s title for her post about this joint walk is too good to ignore. I’ve turned it around, & off we go again.

Four legs, two cameras, two swivelling heads as we indeed prowl Parkdale, setting off eastward from Queen W. & Roncesvalles, north of Queen & mostly in alleys.

As you might have guessed.

Street art a-plenty. As you will have guessed.

east off Roncesvalles just n. of Queen

Barely 2 minutes into the walk, and it’s all around us. With official [sic] approval.

same alley

As her post shows, Mary has a quick eye for tucked-away details, tiny vivid pulse-points in the landscape. Sometimes my eye, instead, is peering between fence slats …

lane north of Queen W in Parkdale

and sometimes it is locked in a staring contest with the eye on a garage door. (The door wins.)

Parkdale alley

If you can unlock your own eye, look right & catch the canoe tucked up on the wall, ready to sleep through winter to spring. What you can’t see — so indulge your mind’s eye — is the hockey goal-net on the yard’s opposite wall. All ready for winter!

Sometimes all my eye can do is blink in amazement. At this wild-style wall of turquoise, for example.

Parkdale alley

I didn’t even try to out-stare her eye!

detail, the turquoise wall

Quite often, street murals include a personal message to some specific person. Sometimes it is celebratory, and sometimes very poignant.

Parkdale alley

Upper left, happy birthday. Upper right (around the corner), R.I.P. You see more RIPs than happy b’days.

And we walk and we walk and finally we are back on Queen West, agreeing it is time for coffee.

Now our heads are swivelling for café signs, not street art. I ask Mary to wait a minute, I want to take a picture of this very stylish blowtorch sign.

The Tempered Room, 1374 Queen W

Blowtorch? we ask each other, puzzled, and peer in the window.

To discover it is a café! Who’d’ve guessed? The Tempered Room, it is called, prop. Bertrand Alépée, and it offers wonderful treats, some of them indeed finished with a blowtorch, as well as very fine lattes (me) and hot chocolate (Mary).


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  1. Can’t believe how much ‘street’ art you see. Certainly the hot chocolates and lattes make a good ending to a photo session/walk

  2. Wonderful and colourful as always, and that coffee sounds good😊

  3. Mary C

     /  9 December 2015

    I think I’m going to have to try some ‘through the gap’ or ‘through the knot hole’ photos!


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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