“This Is Toronto”

9 March 2018 – I borrow the title and, in a bit, will show you the source.

What a good time I am having, in this visit to my old home town! Above all, for beloved friends. But also for the sheer pleasure of once again prowling the city’s alleys & streetscapes.

Enjoyment comes naturally. I don’t need this command to STOP and enjoy.

I enjoy …

Mural cat, with balloons …

and porch cat, with Jesus and a pair of cardinals …

and a pair of dogs …

a pair of caterpillars …

and a whole birdo animal fantasia.

I enjoy the long-view impact of one exuberant garage …

and the up-close impact of a love letter to Pete …

and a tribute to Baxter.

There is life guidance on offer.

Lower-right, tucked into this alley-corner mural, for example:

Here I must stop shooting photos at you and add a few more words.

The quote is beautifully lettered, and attributed to Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris. I carefully say “attributed,” because I cannot find it online. Which doesn’t disprove the attribution and, either way, I am charmed. Charmed to see the loving reference to Lawren Harris on a downtown alley corner.

Also charmed by the quote itself, which includes the lines: “It is blasphemy / to be merely moral … / to succumb to second-hand living”

Let us never succumb to second-hand living.

Less elegant, just as urgent, the guidance offered in the upper-right corner of this cinder block wall, over there in black, above the black grill and the black car.

I see a doorway tribute by someone who follows that advice, who explicitly promises never to give up on love …

and an implicit, and unexpected, message of respect.

Yes! Respect. The mural covers the wall and touches upon the parking sign, but — deliberately and carefully — does not obliterate it.

I usually curl my lip at stencil work. I make an exception for this statement, and I am delighted to run into it twice, in two days.

Later, I stand mesmerized on a street-corner, dancing my eyes around this big, bright, multi-coloured, multi-imaged proclamation of joy.

Can you read the inscription? Small letters, above the artwork, just to the left of the wooden hydro pole.

It says: “This is Toronto.”

And so it is.

Alley Eyes

14 November 2015 – City alleys, and my eyes.

Which I use to admire:

Alley Cat (Craven Rd. Veteran Division) …

Alley Cat

Alley Girls (Buck Teeth Division) …

Buck-Tooth Girls

Alley Blues (With Plastic) …

Alley Blues

Alley Guitar (With a Chorus of┬áSax) …

Alley Guitar

Alley Eyes! (Eyelash Division) …

Alley Eyes!

Alley Code (Aztec God Division) …

Alley Code

Alley Cat (Mountain Lion Birthday Division) …

Alley Cat (Mountain Lion...)

Alley Cop (Croc Division) …

Alley Cop (Croc)

Alley Cop (‘Roo Division) …

Alley Cop ('Roo)

and finally …

Alley Skyline (Drunken Hydro Pole Division)

Alley Skyline

Okay, city skyline not alley — but (I plead), but, I saw it from the corner of an alley. And I really like the swaying hydro pole, so wonderfully giddy against that severely upright crane to the south.

 

  • WALKING… & SEEING

    "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"

  • Recent Posts

  • Walk, Talk, Rock… B.C.-style

  • Post Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 85,495 hits
  • Since 14 August 2014

    Flag Counter
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,580 other followers

%d bloggers like this: