Like most summer weekends in the city, this past weekend was a busy one.

below: There was a Thai festival at Yonge Dundas Square with dancers performing in front a screen that was showing a video, in real time, of them dancing.

a man in Thai costume and holding a Canadian flag does a Thai traditional dance on the stage at Yonge Dundas Square. behind him a video of another dancer is playing on a large screen

below: Women carving intricate floral shapes out of watermelon,

an older Thai woman is making an intricate carving from a watermelon

below: carrots, and other root vegetables.

a woman is carving carrots and another white vegetable into flowers

below: The colours of the Thai flag

yarn in the colours of the Thai flag wrapped around two sticks making a square of red, blue and white stripes

below: A small parade for the Festival of India made its way down Yonge street towards the ferry for Centre Island.  Sweepers cleared the streets while other people joined together to pull the floats.

a man, with back to camera, sweeps street in front of a float in Festival of India parade that is being pulled by people using two large ropes

below: This parade for Ratha Yatra is an annual event.  A more complete description of the parade, as well as some photos from 2016, can be found on a blog post that I wrote three years ago (how time flies!), or even older, is a post from 2015.

elaborately decorated festival of india float in a parade

a small boy stands behind his mother, he's wearing a blue t shirt and has a lollipop in his mouth

below: A parrot, belonging to one of the men walking in the parade,  perches on a policeman’s bike helmet to everyone’s delight.

a police man holds a brightly coloured parrot, or rather the parrot sits on his bike helmet

a man in long white robes holds an umbrella as he stands on the sidewalk talking to a woman in Southeast Asian clothing

below: With the parade and all the people on Yonge Street, traffic was slow.  This may not be unusual!

a man in an open jeep is driving down Yonge Street, people walking are passing him as he is stopped for a red light

below: Yes, I am 6 feet tall!

a young man stands by a maximum height 6 feet sign at the entrance of a parking garage, to see if he is 6 feet tall

below: Mellow Dee plays the piano outside the south entrance of the Eaton Centre.

Mellow Dee, a male musician, plays the piano outside Eaton Centre on Queen street as a woman gets out of a white taxi behind him

a man with no shirt and bare feet lies on the sidewalk surrounded by some of us stuff, people walking past him

below: Finding shade wherever they can… it was a hot one!

a group of older men and women in sun hats stands in a bit of shade cast by a little tree outside the Rex on Queen Street West

below: It appears that selling bras isn’t a very exciting job?

an older Chinese woman in a wide brimmed straw hat falls asleep sitting beside a table of bras that she is helping to sell

below: Some people sit and read, while others sit, smoke, and watch the world go by….

three men sitting on the steps, one unlocking a bike, another reading a newspaper and the third just sitting

… and others go skate boarding past….

man in spiderman suit, but without the mask, on a skateboard on a sidewalk

… and you’ll find it at the Aga Khan Museum.

a group of people walk past the front of the white wall of the Aga Khan museum, between the museum and the reflecting pool

The centerpiece of the latest special exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum is a large moon created by British artist Luke Jerram from detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.  It measures five metres in diameter and is illuminated from inside.

a large model of the model hangs from the ceiling at the Aga Khan museum and is reflected in the railing that separates the second floor balcony area from the open high ceiling of the first floor

Since the dawn of civilization, the moon has captivated cultures and inspired people.  Along with the large moon, the Aga Khan Museum has put together an assortment of paintings, texts, and scientific objects that have been produced over the centuries that together give a glimpse into mankind’s fascination with the moon.

exhibit about the moon and the crescent shape, museum

below: An illustrated page from “A Translation of Stars of the Legend”, from Baghdad 1590-1599 (Ottoman-period Iraq).  Watercolor, gold, and ink on paper.

illustrated page, with Arabic text, from an ancient book about stars and legends

a groupof people sit on bean bag chairs under a large model of the moon, and on a carpet that looks like the night sky with stars

below: Many Indian palaces included moonlight gardens with white marble walkways and pools to reflect the moon.  Night blooming flowers such as jasmine were grown.  The illustration below is from the 18th century, Murshidabad, Lucknow, watercolour and gold on paper.

illustrated page of an old book depicting people sitting in a moonlit garden in India, two men on cushions

two people stand under a large model of the moon

below: “Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaykh to Earthly Kings”, painted by Bichitr, India, 1615-1618.  The Emperor’s halo combines the sun and the crescent moon – a slim crescent moon hugs most of the sun’s border and this day and night are brought together.    Mughal emperors, such as Jahangir, considered a harmonious relationship between the sun and moon to be essential for the fortunes of their kingship.  Sufi Shaykh, from the title, is the man receiving a book from the Emperor.   Small, and therefore less important, are the Ottoman Sultan and King James I of England.  The smallest man in Bichitr, the painter.  This is a large reproduction of a painting that is 18 cm x 23 cm.

old painting

below: Plaster cast of Queen Ahmose carrying a fly whisk (The original was excavated at Deir-al-Bahri in Egypt, from the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, 18th dynasty ca 1473-1458 BCE).  Queen Ahmose was the mother of Hatshepsut and her name means “born of the moon”.   In ancient Egypt, the crescent moon symbolized Isis, goddess of fertility, women, and the mother of gods.

an old stone tablet from Ancient Egypt with picture of woman's profile

below: “Tell me the story about how the sun loved the moon so much he died every night to let her breathe”

a quote is painted on a wall, with pictures of clouds

The Museum of Broken Relationships is now appearing at Harbourfront. The stories that accompany the items run the full gamut of emotions – sad, funny, mundane, strange, creepy, sweet, and, you get the picture. There are two permanent museum sites, one in Zagreb and one in Los Angeles. Toronto is one of several traveling exhibits. Zagreb is the hometown of the couple that started the collection, Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišic, when their own relationship fell apart.

below: “Given to me by an American “boyfriend” when I was 17 and inscribed “for… who charmed the savage wolf.” I didn’t know that he would eventually hound my parents for years, then eventually have a sex change and steal their name for his new persona.” I’ve never heard of this book before today and I thought maybe I’d like to read it. Curiosity. But then I googled it and discovered that it’s “experimental prose poetry” and written in a stream if consciousness style – so now I’m not so curious. 😎

A book by Bob Dylan called Tarantula on display in a museum show

below: “Not quite sure when it died really… the world just kind of works that way sometimes.”

a small stuffed loon toy on display in a museum show

a man and a woman looking at objects and reading the stories on display at the museum of broken relationships

below: “Empty bag of fortune cookies attached to a Starbucks cup. You were my first love. And I wished you would also be my last. When we got those fortune cookies and I opened mine, it read ‘You have to learn to read between the lines’. I should have followed that advice because between those lines there was you cheating on me over and over. Isn’t that ironic? “

An empty cup with an empty fortune cookie wrapper glued onto the outside of it,

below: “A Linksys router. We tried. Not compatible”. Droll. Succinct.

an old Linksys router on display in a museum show

below: “A spectrum of a star. We are both astronomers. On my 26th birthday he sent me a spectrum of a star in the Orion constellation as my birthday gift. This star, names pi3, is 26 light years away from the Earth. He said, “Look, at the time when you were born, the light left this star, passing through the endless interstellar space, the countless dust and nebula, arriving here after a 26 light year journey. So, have you. Here you meet your starlight, and I meet you.”

a small blue and white image that is a

below: What would you write? What have other people left behind in your life? What symbolic little keepsakes from past relationships do you have buried away?

The story that I don’t have a photo for is that which goes with a broken pair of handcuffs. A sample of the story: “What is left of the fake handcuffs is the result of a particularly passionate night/morning in bed…. I remember one morning when he had me handcuffed to the bed and the phone rang. It was the man who would, several months later, become my next boyfriend.”

At least that’s not as bad as one man’s account of life after breaking up with his wife… when a year later she committed suicide. There is only one side to the story presented here and it made me want to know the other side.

The Museum of Broken Relationships is also online. Here you will find the 1487 heart breaking stories that have been collected so far. Together they form a larger story about the way we love and lose. You can also add your contribution if you want. If you do read the stories, may you not stumble across something written by an ex!

This exhibit has also be described in Toronto Life and Now Magazine
It continues until 8th September.

…along with coloured doors,  very big aliens, and a photography exhibit, all outside at the Distillery District.

below: “What’s That?” by Parer Studios. One of three ginormous inflatable aliens that have taken over the Distillery District but apparently they come with messages of peace, love, and creativity. Together they form the “fantastic Planet” series.

large white inflatable alien creature that appears to be getting from a crawling position, distillery district

below: “Over”.  At night they are illuminated from within.

large white inflatable alien creature, leaning over the rooftop of a building and looking down at a blue door

In the recent past, all of the doors in the Distillery were dark green (like most of the door and window frames still are).  A while ago, they were transformed with colour.  Many different colours in fact, and perhaps you could say a rainbow of doors.

a purple door on a grey limestone wall, distillery district

below: One of many photographs that adorn the brick walls of the Distillery District that showcase the works of photographers from around the world.  Collectively they are, “Pride at the Distillery, More than Just Rainbows”.

a large picture pasted to a brick wall, the backs of 6 drag queens each in a different colour outfit, making a rainbow when seen from the back

a large fake sunflower

pictures on a brick wall, above a table with empty chairs, outdoors,

below: I am not sure of the title of this one.  What I do know is that the alien’s hand is the perfect height to pat people on the head as they take selfies.  Check instagram for examples?  I noticed on instagram that there were photos of the aliens without the barricades.  My timing was wrong?

large white inflatable alien creature, lying down

below: Yellow doors (at least on the outside)

open double doors, yellow on the exterior and white on the interior

bright lime green window with dark green window frame, brick wall

a father and daughter playing a piano, outside, piano is painted bright yellow and the words Once you choose hope anything is possible

distillery district, brick building with doors painted in light green and light blue

large peace symbol outside as public art, with bright coloured artificial flowers attached to it

below: “Gay Pride Parade Participant in Costume, 1983”, New York City.  Available on Getty Images, where the large resolution image will set you back $575 (at least it’s in Canadian dollars).   All the Pride theme photos on display at the Distillery were purchased through Getty Images.

a large picture attached to a brick exterior wall, a person in lavender coloured dress and big grey wig holds a sign that says God save American queens

double doors, painted pink, with planters full of bright colour flowers outside the doors.

I will fudge it a bit and claim that this is a “Thursday Door” blog post.  It’s Thursday and there are a few doors included, right?  If you’ve been following this blog, you might know that I am but one of many bloggers who share door photos and stories.  For more door posts, see Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors (with more door posts linked in his comments section).

This is the fourth year of the Brain Project.  Forty five sculptures in the shape of a brain have been decorated by different artists. They are on display at Nathan Phillips Square for the month of July.

brain shaped sculptures on display, with the 3 D Toronto sign and Toronto city hall in the background

below:  “Silver Bloom” by Carson Teal.  Complex, random, and fragmented.

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture by Carson Teal, with white chicken eggs, broken mirrors, three fingers, crystals, and other random objects

five brain shaped sculptures in plexiglass display boxes standing in the pool at Nathan Phillips Square

a girl and her mother, looking at brain shaped art sculptures on display at Nathan Phillips Square

below: Here, pac man from the 1980’s arcade & video game, gobbles up yellow dots that represent brain cells.   It is artist Orit Fuchs’s way of illustrating the destruction of brain cells in Alzheimers.

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture, red, made to look like a pac man arcade game, yellow pac man gobbling up yellow dots by Orit Fuchs

2 girls and a man looking at sculptures shaped like brains

brain sculptures on display at Nathan Phillips

below:  Brand Emsley’s “From Making to Thinking”, from the Brain Project website: “Toronto’s unprecedented building boom is reflective of the economic shift from the manufacturing economy to the knowledge economy. It is particularly acute in the area known as the railway lands and surrounding area.”

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture, covered with realistic, detailed, drawing of Toronto railway lands with CN tower by Brad Emsley

below: On the left, “The Routine Ride” by Antonio Caballero and on the right, “Beautiful Mind” by Romero Britto

two brains on display, public art, sculptures, one by Antonio Acabbero and the other by Romero Britto

A description of all the brains, plus information about the artists, can be found on The Brain Project website.
#noblankbrains

Slaps, stickers and paste-ups in Kensington.

below: Stickers on a pole

slaps on a pole in Kensington, people on bikes in the background.

below: Ohhhh, Portland is burning

slaps stickers on a pole, top one is Portland is burning with man pasting sign to wall, another has a man with a fat chin and mouth open in O shape.

below: Feelings boi hanging out on a wall with a morose pot belly poop

feelings boi pasteup beside a pot belly pop pasteup on a wall

below: Riding zebras in pairs

two copies of a small pasteup of a yellow figure riding a zebra

below: The words flow. “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara

pasteup on a wall, of a skull looking down at a man's head, who is looking up at skull, Letters are between the two mouths. words written below the man

below: Four urban ninja squadrons and a couple arguing

5 black and white paste ups on a wall in Kensington, four are urban ninja squadron and the the fifth is of a couple arguing, him on the left and her on the right, in the middle between them dark angry figures come nose to nose

below:  Even aliens check their phones.

sticker on a grey box on sidewalk, little figure, martian alien like, with head mostly one eyeball, human shape,

below: An ad, a drawing, and some knowledge

parts of a few different posters and drawings on a wall, a man in a red shirt on blue background which is part of an ad is on the left, a drawing of three naked women is in the middle (but is faint and hard to see), and a drawing on yellow labelled knowledge

below:  Black and white photos of people’s faces with the eyes missing.

black and white photos of faces, cut and manipulated to remove the eyes, i.e. forehead lowered to cover eyes

below:  More missing eyes, but this time some of the faces have eyes.   For the latter, the faces are composites

black and white photos of peoples faces. Some have eyes from a different person inserted, others have eyes removed by lowering of forehead

below:  One is blind and one is the merging of three.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out if it’s three different people, or the same person photographed three times.

large black and white faces on grey metal box on sidewalk, one side has person with eyes missing and the other side is a face made of a composite of at least three different faces

below: Urban ninja with Grey Owl and its large (and very sharp looking) talons

urban ninja squadron sticker with hooded ninja character with arm up, and owl on forearm, owl has face of Donald Trump

below: Go vegan for her. A pig’s eye?

sticker on a pole that says go vegan for her, shows one eye of a pig, on pole near drawings of other eyes

Those are what I saw today.  You could probably walk Kensington and see others.   Many are hard to miss but keep your eyes open for the little things in unusual places!

Happy Canada Day!

below: Canada Day merchandise for sale at Yonge Dundas Square

on a table outside, piles of Canada Day merchandise for sale, hats, cowboy hats, flags, etc

front of Queens Park buildings, parliament buildings, on the grass a couple stand by a tree, looking at group under a tent, Canada Day celebrations

below: Great sign!  We’re on a picnic because Doug Ford is out to lunch!

a group of people on the grass at Queens Park, with a sign that says we are having a picnic because Doug Ford is out to lunch

a young girl runs with a kite that her father has just let go of

below: A Canada flag in a heart, face paint to celebrate the day.

a woman in a purple and yellow clown hat apples a red maple leaf Canadian flag face paint on a girl's cheek

a mother and son pose in one of the o's in 3 D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips. Mother is dressed in red and white and is holding two small Canadian flags

one woman takes another woman's photo with an ipad in front of the Toronto 3 D sign

a balding black man sits on the edge of the pool at Nathan Philips square, taking a picture of his dog who is in the water. Dog has Canada flag bandana on

a red head girl in a large advert on a building beside a man in red adjust a microphone on the top of a red double decker tourist hop on hop off bus

below: Under a red umbrella.  There were quite a few performances at Yonge Dundas square, all of which were celebrations by different ethnic groups.

three women in red under a red umbrella watching a Canada day celebration

two womenin national costume, or traditional clothes of another country, walk through Dundas Square, an Asian man is looking at them with a strange look on his face

a group having their picture taken at Yonge Dundas Square, one Asian man and four women. Three women are in costume as they are about to perform on the stage in that square, Canada Day celebrations

two black women walk past a man sitting in a chair with a large red and white Canadian flag umbrella. he is giving away free quran books on the sidewalk by Yonge street, traffic passing by on the street behind them

a woman weth pinkish hair carried a half watermelon with a straw and a little green paper umbrella in it, she is the middle of three people standing in Yonge Dundas square

a young woman in a red and white Canada t shirt holds a small white dog with a red leash and red outfit

a small dog with a red scarf around its neck stands on a man's shoulders as he talks to another person

four people walk past a man sitting on a stool, all dressed in red and white with flags and Canadiana

a crowd of people at a TTC stop on Queens Quay

cyclists and pedestrians on Queens Quay

people in a yellow plastic paddle boat on a man made pond near the waterfront, a fountain is spraying them, they are paddling past a group of people on sitting on the edge of the pond

the CN Tower peaks out between two tall buildings, in front are Canadian flags and flags from all the provinces