A small collection of a few of the things that I’ve noticed over the past while.
Pictures of little things that haven’t found a home yet.

 

a sign on a chainlink fence that says notice. otherwise it is blank

below: It’s not two people each riding an old fashioned bike even though that’s probably the first thing that you think of when you see it.  It’s one bike with two wheels and two riders going in different directions.  Going nowhere probably.  Seen in the front window of Tandem Coffee on King Street East.

a picture of two people riding old fashioned bicycles, in black, in a window.

below: Don’t just peer out the window, get outside and be a part of the world.  There’s so much to be seen!

the front of a grey car parked in front of a white wall in an alley where there is a line drawing graffiti of a man peering from behind the curtains of a window.

below: Love letter to a bike.

a little painting of a bike and a heart that makes it look like the wheels are eyes and the heart is a mouth

below: The mannequins on the balcony in Kensington are now gold!

two gold coloured mannequins with no clothes on are on a balcony of a blue building. one is sitting on the edge and one is standing

below: I’ve seen a couple of these images now. This one is a paste-up on a black metal box near Bloor & Borden. I’ve also seen another painted on hoardings around a construction site, possibly on Bathurst Street.  There was a similar image on the wall of Honest Ed’s but this one has a bit more detail in it, especially the hair.

 

pasteup in black and white of a man with open mouth, his eyes are attached to a black baseball cap that is blowing off his head, to the side and back from his head. he's wearing a black suit and tie.

below: A small sticker, slightly creepy, almost as if the poor girl is being stalked.

small sticker of a girl with long turquoise hair, staring straight ahead, wearing a low cut yellow dress. Behind her is pair of eyes

below: An old clock hiding under a newer sign, forgotten.  Stopped long ago.

a small round clock, old, attached to an outside wall, underneath a bright sign with red and yellow light bulbs around it.

below: It looks like Mary’s been discounted.

a statue of the VIrgin Mary wrapped in plastic, for sale at an outdoor sale, with a sign above her head that says 20% to 50 % off.

below: Always good advice!  Painted in pink on a window that catches the afternoon sun and makes interesting shadows on the blind behind.

the word breathe is painted in pink on a window, the sun makes a shadow of the wod on a blind behind the window.

below:  Take one ball, a stool, and paint and add some imagination – a unique garden ornament to brighten the day of passers by.

in a yard in a residential area, an artwork that is a large ball on a stool that has been painted in swirls of many colours with some black line drawing figures.

below: Decorative tiles on the front of a brick building on Yonge Street (two photos).

decorative tiles form a panel on the front of a brick building, red flowers, green lattice,

below: I wonder what the T stands for?

decorative tiles form a panel on the front of a brick building, red flowers, green lattice and an elaborately embellished letter t

below: Keep your eyes open and you’ll be surprised too!

two round red reflectors mounted on a wood fence, look like two eyes, a piece of green tape is also on the fence in such a way that it looks like the mouth

 Today I’m going to end with the photo below.   To me it encapsulates the idea that photographers can be a weird bunch. Somewhere out there someone has a close up photo of these pipes and dials.  It’s probably a great picture! …. because if they hadn’t been there, I may have taken the same picture.  Instead I took a picture of the photographer in action.   Never stop seeing.

the back of a person takeing a close up picture of a dial or part of a pipe system

Never stop noticing.

Is there anyone who doesn’t complain about driving in Toronto?
Does anyone have a solution that we can all agree on?
No.

Yesterday Toronto began an experiment on King Street. An experiment that CBC called a disaster on its first day.   This morning I went to check it out for myself.  It was mid-morning so there weren’t many cars.   Also, weekday drivers and Sunday drivers downtown are different.  On weekdays it’s the regulars who know the roads because they drive them all the time.   Does that make a difference? – I’m not sure.

below: At most intersections between Bathurst and Jarvis, traffic is not allowed to proceed straight through – you must turn right.  Streetcars and bicycles are the exceptions.  The traffic signals now have advanced green arrows to allow cars to turn right before the pedestrians cross the road.    Taxis are allowed to go through only between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.   You’ll notice that the left hand land has been painted with yellow stripes, i.e. no cars here!

white arrow painted on road directing traffic to turn right

below: Two more changes have appeared. First, the streetcar stops have been moved to after the intersection instead of before. Second, small barricades block the right hand lane after the intersection. These two changes have the effect of blocking cars who try to sneak through on King Street. If there is a streetcar, you’re stuck behind it. I did see a car try to pass a streetcar (on the left) but it was unsuccessful.

streetcar stopped to let on passengers, cars behind it on the street

Many cars were disobeying the new traffic signs, some out of confusion  and some blatantly flaunting the rules.   Cars would pull into the right turn lane but then go through the light anyhow.

below: I wasn’t the only ones watching the traffic.  Global TV was at King and Jarvis while CTV were stationed at King and Church.

Global TV car and truck parked on King street, street car about to pass them

below: CBC interviews people at King & Yonge as a black GMC goes through the intersection.

CBC reporter interviewing people on the sidewalk, traffic on King sreet, a black SUV making an illegal straight through the intersection,

below: The lighter traffic makes for easier illegal left turns!

a black car makes an illegal left turn at King and Church streets

below: Taking pictures of drivers doing illegal things was like shooting fish in a barrel. There were a couple of police cars around but so far there are few consequences to doing what you want. It’s early days yet, right? Apparently starting next week, the fine for illegally going straight through the intersection will be $100 and 2 demerit points.

traffic and street cars on King Street

I have one suggestion and that is to change the traffic lights so that the only green is a right turn arrow. The streetcars would have their own light – something like the ‘white line light’ that is used at King and Sumach as well as at Eglinton and Duplex. Having an ordinary green light is almost giving mixed signals to the drivers.

below:  Hey!  Mr. Bentley watch where you’re going!

two cars waiting for a red light. a white car and a grey Bentley, pedestrians crossing the intersection in front of them.

Take care out there!

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry,
an exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) was the 4th child of five, daughter of  Joseph and Rosetta.  Joseph, a banker, abandoned the family early on and was never mentioned again.  Older siblings Walter and Stella married and moved out while the younger three girls, Ettie, Florine and Carrie remained in the same household with their mother until their deaths.   They became known as “the Stetties”.  They hosted salons in Manhattan and lived a life of leisure and artistic pleasure.

below:  Family Portrait II, 1933, This painting has flowers, New York City references, and Florine Stettheimer’s immediate family portrayed in a theatrical setting/arrangement.  These are themes that occur over and over again in Stettheimer’s work.  Here Ettie is reading, Rosetta is playing cards, Florine is painting, and Carrie is playing hostess.

painting by Florine Stettheimer on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario

The Stettheimer children were born in Rochester NY.  Between 1906 and 1914 Florine and her mother and sisters lived in Europe before settling in Manhattan.

A portion of the exhibit features  a collection of designs for costumes for a ballet that Florine wrote while she was in Paris in 1912.  ‘Orphee of the Quat-z-Arts’ (or ‘Revellers of the Four Arts Ball’) was based on a costume parade organized by Parisian art students and in it the main character, Georgette, encounters the ancient Greek minstrel Orpheus and a parade of mythical creatures, as she and her father walk down the Champs Elysee.  The ballet was never performed.

below: One of 42 sketches and 9 relief maquettes, Georgette.

costume design mockup by Florine Stettheimer, AGO exhibit,

below: People, both men and women, were painted with elongated willowy shaped bodies.

a woman looking at a painting by Florine Stettheimer, AGO,

Florine also wrote poetry and she liked to send her poems to her friends.  In 1949 her sister Ettie published a book of Florine’s poems titled ‘Crystal Flowers’.  This is one of the poems:

And Things I Loved
a poem by Florine Stettheimer

Mother in a low-cut dress
Her neck like alabaster
A laced up bodice of Veronese green
A skirt all puffs of deeper shades
With flounces of point lace
Shawls of Blonde and Chantilly
Fichues of Honeton and Point d’Espirit
A silk jewel box painted with morning glories
Filled with ropes of Roman pearls
Mother playing the Beautiful Blue Danube
We children dancing to her tunes
Embroidered dresses of White Marseilles
Adored sashes of pale watered silk
Ribbons with gay Roman stripes
A carpet strewn with flower bouquets
Sevres vases and gilt console tables
When sick in bed with childhood ills –
All loved and unforgettable thrills.

 

below:  The painting in the foreground of this picture is ‘Self-Portrait with Palette (Painter and Faun)’, 1910s.  According to the words that accompany the painting, the faun behind her symbolizes a memory inspired by Russian ballet star Vaslav Nijinsky whom she saw perform in Paris in 1912.  After the performance, Florine wrote: “Nijinsky the faun was marvelous.  He seemed to be truly half beast… He knew not civilization – he was archaic – so were the nymphs.  He is the most wonderful male dancer I have seen”.

people at the Art Gallery of Ontario in a gallery featuring paintings by Florine Stettheimer,

below: Self-portrait, 1933

two women looking at a portrait painted by FLorine Stettheimer,

“For a long time
I gave myself
To the arrested moment
To the unfulfilled moment
To the moment of quiet expectation
I painted the trance moment
The promise moment
The moment in the balance
In mellow golden tones…
Then I saw
Time
Noise
Color
Outside me
Around me
Knocking me
Jarring me
Hurting me
Rousing me
Smiling
Singing
Forcing me in joy to paint them…”

This exhibit continues at the AGO until 28 January 2018

“Sing me a rainbow, paint me a dream.
Show me a world that I’ve never seen.”

The first Monday after the “fall back” time change is always one of my favorite days of the year.  That’s when I feel like I got an extra hour of sleep.  So I woke up feeling great but of course it’s November so there were some grey clouds.  Still, the phrase “I can sing a rainbow” was stuck in my head.  But I don’t sing, so I did the next best thing and took a rainbow of photos as I walked today.  Beat the blahs away by capturing the brightest moments.

reflections in the side of a red car

cracked concrete wall that is painted red

close up of an orange construction sign

part of a jack o'lantern carved pumpkin for halloween, triangle eyes and nose

yellow plastic cone in front of a pale yellow wall

yellowish green leaves hanging on a tree

slightly rotting wood painted bright green

part of a greenish blue poster

close up of a bright blue letter on a white background

reflections of blue sky in the window of a blue car

pint boxes of blueberries

part of a poster on a wall, shades of purple

purplish brown leaves, close up picture

below: And what goes best with rainbows? Why not a unicorn?! It looks like the work of #whatsvictorupto

sidewalk painting of a unicorn head, by whatsvictorupto

If you know the children’s song, “I Can Sing a Rainbow”, you will know that the colours in the lyrics aren’t in the correct ROYGBV order (or IV at the end if you include indigo).  It’s a cute little song so I will forgive the author.

And in case your childhood didn’t include this song, here are the words:
Red and yellow and pink and green,
Purple and orange and blue,
I can sing a rainbow,
sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow too.

Listen with your eyes,
Listen with you ears,
And sing everything you see.
I can sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow too.

 

 

It’s early November and autumn is here – I think.   Some leaves, like on the locust and maple trees below, have turned colours and begun to fall but others remain green and on the tree.  After the warm than usual October that we were fortunate to have, the weather has turned to grey and damp and all too seasonally November.   Luckily, a heavier coat and a scarf is all that is required – so off we go!

autumn street scene with locust tree with yellow leaves, sidewalk, some dead leaves on the ground, grass still green, orange leaves on the tree in the background

below: I spotted these little rusted Coke and Sprite signs on a house on Christie street.   Like the autumn leaves, the weather has changed their colours and I especially like the pale turquoise that the Sprite bottle has become.  It nicely matches the trim on the neighbour’s house.

three old rusted advertising signs for coca cola and sprite, metal signs, upper level of a building

below: Another example of the effects of time on metal.  A little less rust here but there are some interesting shapes and forms created by the peeling paint.

metal corrugated metal wall, close up detail of peeling green paint and rust

below: Looking into a shop window to see a sad and lonely cat.  Sad eyes?  or are they eyes of a cat dreaming of the outside world and wishing it wasn’t relegated to a shelf of old and empty things.

looking into a window of an antique store, a porcelain cat, sitting upright, with sad look on its face, on a shelf with empty bottles and jugs

below: More old, but certainly not sad.   It’s a bright, shiny and obviously well-loved Chrysler.

an old orangish brown Chrysler car parked in a driveway, front facing the street,

below: Advice to heed.

red words painted on the side of a white building in an alley, words say - When you love someone, let them know

below: No wise words here – just scrawls and tags.  But isn’t the orange a fantastic colour for a wall?

orange stucco wall with graffiti on it.

below: Tiny! A teensie tiny little house with a lawn that’s sparse but neatly kept.  Once you start looking for these little treasures, you realize that there are quite a few of them in Toronto.  I wonder if anyone has documented them?

very small one storey house between two large houses, green lawns, sidewalk in front,

Warning – tangent ahead!  This reminds of a children’s story called “Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball” written by Florence Heide Parry.  It’s a story of two men living in two different houses.  Benjamin was a very big man living in a very small house while Barnaby was a very small man living in a big house.  The illustrations of Benjamin squeezing into his mini sized house were wonderful (by Sally Matthews).  Of course, to live happily ever after the two men trade houses.

“Benjamin Budge was a great big man,
A great big huge TREMENDOUS man,
But his tiny house was so very small,
There wasn’t room for him at all!”

below: Benjamin Budge sleeps ‘in’ his bedillustration by Sally Matthews of a picture of a large man sleeping half on the floor and half on his tiny bed in his tiny bedroom. From the children's book Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Small

below: Veering back to the subject of architecture… this style of apartment building was very common in the 1920’s.  Three storeys, no elevator and probably no parking but with charming little details in the brickwork.  If I remember correctly, this building is on Bathurst street just south of Dupont.

three storey brick apartment building with central white door entranceway

Little vegetable gardens in both back and front yards are very numerous here, probably because of the combination of the large number of Italian and Portuguese immigrants who settled here and the popularity of ‘urban farming’ – veggies instead of grass. Being November, there were only a few remnants of this year’s harvest – a few tomato plants here and some Swiss chard there.

below: One back yard still has all its wooden stakes standing on guard. A forest of stakes.

chain link fence in front of a large number of wooden stakes that were used in a vegetable garden earlier in the season, but now autumn so there are no plants

below: Another way to garden in the city!

patio outside a house is covered with plastics bins of different kinds, all of which have been turned into planters, autumn now so plants no longer alive but boxes and coolers and bins remain.

below: Xena the warrior princess still watches over Vermont Avenue. She’s faded a bit since I last took her picture two years ago. You can see her (and others) in Neighbourhood watch good guys that I posted in 2015.

altered neighbourhood watch sign, with a picture in the center,

 There are lots of lanes and alleys in Seaton village (this part of the city).   One of last year’s blog posts ‘same, same, but different‘ is about some of the lanes.  There is some street art in these alleys but not too much – here are a couple from yesterday’s visit.

below: Art follows life or is it vice verse?

red leaves on a vine growing in front of a white fence that had a mural of birdhouse and plants and flowers painted on it.

below: Flowers? Or just smudges on a pole?

smudges on a metal pole that look a bit like flowers

below: Playing basketball beside Toronto – a rather lopsided photo I’m afraid.

basketball hoop above a garage door that has a large map of Toronto, in blue and green painted on it.

white garage door with some of the rectangles painted in turquoise, orange and purple, with swirls under the rectanagles that look like G's

semi circle covering bottom half of garage door, looks like bald head with a few curly hairs growing upwards from the scalp

mural on an exterior wall outside Kos restaurant on Bathurst Street, the mural is in the front of the restaurant by the patio, no one sitting outside, blue umbrellas are down.

below: Herringbone pattern made from bricks.

chevron pattern (herring bone pattern) of bricks on a driveway, some autumn leaves on the bricks

below: A rather forlorn looking bench and seat outside the laundromat.

front of a laundromat. blue sign that says coin laundry, an old bench and an old chair sitting outside by the front door. two windows through which you can see the washing machines

below: A newspaper rack decorated with a garland of fake ivy.  Insert fake news reference here ….

a newspaper rack outside a corner convenience store, the newspapers (there aren't many) are held down with bricks, the rack is decorated with a fake ivy garland

an old chair on a porch, side view.

looking through a park to a street with a blue house and a red house, cars parked in front, autumn leaves,

below: Today I’m going to end on a dangerous note.  Keep walking and Stay safe!

construction site with a danger due to sign that has been altered to say danger due to life

candle in a pumpkin carved into a spider jack o'lantern

Another year of jack o’lanterns and giant spiders

a giant spider halloween decoration in front of a house

and other creative spooky and creepy decorations.  Clowns and pumpkin heads.

life sized skeleton in a front yard, one with a creepy clown face and one with a pumpkin head

And even bunnies can be fearsome.   Bunny with baseball bat.

three life sized skeletons in a front yard, a rabbit mask on one which is also holding a baseball bat, a pumpkin head, and one with a bear mask that is half brown and half black

It’s a time for dressing up in costumes and having fun….  for kids

kids in Halloween costumes laughing together

…. and for adults (night time photos taken on Church street)

below: What’s scarier than Donald Trump?  Three Trumps! Thrice the thrills.

three men in suits and ties with large cardboard Donald Trump faces

a group dressed up for Halloween, night time, street party, 2 women, 2 men, toy guns, gangsters and burlesque.

woman in black with large black antlers stand against a wall, an older man is looking at her

a large inflatable dinosaur costume, a death ghoul costume, and many people standing around them posing for photos at a night time halloween party on Church St., toronto

posing for photos in Halloween costumes

Not everyone was scary – look at these cute and cuddly animals!

a group in full animal costumes pose for a photo, a walrus, a shark, a cat, a leopard,

a man wearing a cowboy hat with a sheriff's bagde, and a skull mask checks his phone while standing outside pizza pizza, window lit up and people inside including a man making pizza

two men in gruesome halloween masks and baseball caps

Smurfs!

two people dressed as smurfs for Halloween, a large smurfette and a smaller male smurf with a red hat

Even Marilyn stopped for a picture.

a man dressed in drag as Marilyn Munro with blond wig and white dress, posing with an Asian woman

 

a young man in purple jacket and white face with the word damaged written across his forehead

a young woman poses as a black faced zombie between two men with creepy clown masks on

an Asian woman with black cat ears poses with a man in white boa and very large day of the dead head hat

close up of a person in a furry, hairy monstrous mask with bloody fangs

a boy with his arm made up to look like his hand is fallen off

black and white realistic drawing of a sneering woman with a hat on looking out of a window on the second storey of a brick building.

What did we see on Sunday was we walked along Roncesvalles?  There’s lots to look at here, it’s worth a stroll.  We decided to keep our eyes open for little details, the ones easily missed.  This blog post is a collection of some of the smaller graffiti we found.

below: Drooling is a sign of affection not of infection…. warning, I’ll probably not take this advice to heart if you start drooling in my face.

sticker on a black wall, black writing on white, drooling is a sign of affection not of infection, drawing of a man's head drooling

below: The Uber 5000 little yellow birdie has big dreams, perhaps even supreme dreams.

two stickers on the side of Bell telephone booth one just has the word supreme and the other is an uber 5000 yellow birdie holding two words in red letters,

below: Dreaming’s done, time to eat.   Even birds get hungry.

an uber 5000 yellow birdie sticker on the back of a street sign, he's holding a knife and fork

below: I can’t decipher the writing over the head – cracklyaid? cracklyard? crackbyard? So we have a mystery artist who drew a cute green alligator with something in his hand and something green on his head.

a sticker on the side of a grey metal box, a green alligator like character, walking on two legs, with a green head on top (two heads), drawn on white background that had words printed on it.

below: Look! Urban Ninja Squadron has put on a shirt and tie.  He’s looking almost respectable in those glasses but he can’t fool us, that pooh hat gives him away!

a large tbonez pasteup of an urban ninja squadron character, head and shoulders, but wearing a shirt and tie and blue rimmed glasses, also a brown pooh hat on his head.

below: Ah! Now this is more like the Urban Ninja Squadron that I know.   Here he is taking flight with the help of a drone (droning on?).  Beside him (and running away?) is a little guy from slole.

two pasteups on a plywood board on hoardings, one is an urban ninja squadron character holding onto a drone in flight and the other is a simplistic man with a frowny face, an its all over character, both are in black and whtie

below: Many stickers and paste-ups from slole (slole-slaps) have appeared around Roncesvalles.   Here is one on a bench.  The pumpkin head seems appropriate for the season.  “It’s all over” appears on most of his/her work.

sticker on a bench, it's all over, with pumpkin head

A few more from “it’s all over”.  (Does the title of this blog post) make a bit more sense now?

two it's all over stickers on a poster on a wall. one sitcker is a blue circle and the other is a girl with a green face and glasses looking towards the sky

stencil, black on white, pasteup, black man in silhouette with his arms out, with words that say Enimem believes it's all over, slole

a small pink square sticker with a stick drawing of a man's head and shoulders, with words that say It's all over

below: What? The Toronto Sun is all over?  

on the side of a red Toronto Sun newspaper box is a large paste up by slole of a person in grey hoodie with a pumpkin head, holding some papers,

And now this blog post is all over too.