This is another Graffiti Alley post to accompany yesterday’s hearts and love post.  This time, I want to share some photos of the latest large mural in the alley, Uber 5000’s Toronto themed mural.  There are lots of references to things found in the city!

below: A pair of CN towers.

Graffiti alley, large building covered on both sides with murals by Uber 5000, marine life facing the alley and a new Toronto themed mural on the west side, partially obscured by garages in the alley, and behind a chainlink fence.

below: Looking in windows with a black cat looking back out, some fish and an owl in a tree.

part of Uber 5000 Toronto mural in Graffiti Alley, houses, cat, orange fish, apartments, owl in a tree,
below:  That Toronto Maple Leaf fan isn’t looking very happy – I hope that he’s not about to jump off the roof! Perhaps the Blue Jay is there to console him?  The Leafs last won the Stanley cup in 1967 (it ‘s the 50th anniversary!).  As for the Hubbo dog reference, I have no idea what that is about.

blue jay with yyz baseball cap, baseball bat, a maple leaf fan dressed in hockey shirt with large blue maple leaf painted on his face, sitting on a roof

below: A shout out to Canada’s 150th birthday.   An Uber 5000 yellow birdie flies a helicopter – with a couple of happy looking passengers!

part of a large mural, blue sky painted background, the underside of an airplane as it passes overhead, painted with 150 and a red maple leaf, flying beside it is a red helicopter with a Uber5000 birdie flying it.

below: The IKEA monkey in its sheepskin jacket is climbing the CN Tower.   Look closely and you’ll see that someone has already made it to the top.   Another little figure is on the crane!

part of a larger mural, a monkey in a sheepskin jacket is climbing the CN tower. A small black figure is sitting on top of the tower.

below: One of the “nicknames” used for Toronto is YYZ which is the airport code for Pearson, Toronto’s largest airport.  The YTZ in the mural is the airport code for Toronto’s other airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.   Also in the mural is the old Sam the Record Man sign that used to be hang over the store at 357 Yonge Street, a record/music store that was in business from there from 1961 to 2007.  The building has since been demolished to make way for the Ryerson University Student Learning Center.  There has been talk of installing the sign somewhere near Yonge Dundas Square but as far as I know, that hasn’t happened yet.

part of an Uber 5000 mural, yyz, condo building with balconies, a woman sitting on the roof with a yellow birdie, ghetto blaster on the roof, Sam the Record man sign,

below: A chainlink fence keeps people from getting close to the mural so taking photos of the bottom portion of the mural is difficult.  I think that the area behind the fence is actually someone’s backyard so I understand why there is no access.   The moose looks out over the fence.

a large mural on a wall behind a fence, painted moose, large, seems to be looking over the fence.

street art, graffiti, and murals on walls and garages in GRaffiti Alley

 

“Cupid draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight to my lover’s heart for me, for me”
(from ‘Cupid’ by Sam Cooke)

green background to a piece of graffiti that is black line drawing of cupid shooting an arrow. The target is a real tap in the wall that has been painted bright red

This has me thinking about taps and faucets as hearts.  Is there a metaphor to be found here?  “Pouring out your heart”, or maybe “Let your love flow”, or maybe just a little “love tap”?

below: Graffiti Alley has been love bombed.  Hearts and unicorns by @heart_bomb bring their colourful messages of love and togetherness to the lane.

graffiti on a door in an alley, pink and purple hearts with the words, you've got to let love rule, a piece by heart_bomb

graffiti on a laneway door, two unicorns, one yellow and one blue, looking at each other with a heart above them, words say: stronger together, a piece by heart_bomb

below: Nearby, elicser has a more philosophical take on love.

street art by elicser of a man holding (hugging) a child, in blacks and white, with words, sometimes it's like holding fire.

below: Keeping the message simple (even when love isn’t!).
I also love the three little monkeys at the bottom.

the word love in white block letters that are outlined in red, background is turquoise bubbles. below that are three brown pasteups of monkeys

And that’s why I love to keep going back to Graffiti Alley!

words painted on a sidewalk in blue, love all art

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a number of new pasteups of people – or at least they are new to me.  The first three are ones that I spotted in Graffiti Alley yesterday.   I am not sure if they are portraits of actual people.  You can see more of her work here on instagram.

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders. She is wearing a head scarf that is striped fabric wound round her head. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders, 3/4 angle. She is wearing a head scarf that is patterned fabric wound round her head. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders, 3/4 angle. She is wearing dreadlocks. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

The other series of portraits that I have seen are of musicians.  I do not know who the artist is.

below: Woody Guthrie with his fascist killing guitar.  He is on Queen West near Graffiti Alley.

black and white paste up of Woody Guthrie standing, holding onto his guitar that has the words This machine kills fascists, written on it.

below: Gord Downie outside number 28.  He is near Ossington and Dundas.

a black and white image of Gord Downie from Barenaked Ladies group, wearing his hat, outside a blue door at number 28

below: Joni Mitchell is also on Queen West.

a black and white pasteup of Joni Mitchell playing her guitar and singing

below: A younger Leonard Cohen

a black and white pasteup of an image of a male guitar player, young man, on a grey wall

The last person is just someone weird pasted onto a door.  I don’t think that he’s anyone in particular.   He seems to have a beard and a high collar but I could be wrong!

street art paste up of a man's head and shoulders, ugly, long beard, high collar, striped shirt

The next time you’re walking around downtown you can try people watching too!

 

 

Welcome back!

I spotted this image and knew that it was going to be part of today’s theme.

the word see is in block letters on a tinted window, some sky is reflected in the window as well

It was a beautiful summer Sunday today – a great day to get outside and walk around.  Although I started my walk by looking for little details, I ended up finding a lot of colour along the way.   Cheerful colours that I want to share with you.

below: Colours like this red van parked in the partial shade of a tree.

the side of a bright red van, with some leaves and shadows from a small tree

below: Or the blue of the sky.   Streetcar wires – hard to ignore when you’re downtown.

streetcar lines held together with a ring, the blue sky behind them.

below: The painting of a young woman’s face on the wall of the Cameron House was partially obscured by construction equipment as the work on Queen Street West water pipes continues.  I tried to find a way of taking her picture without the obstacles.  Pink and flesh tones.

close up of a wall painted with the face of a young woman, showing lips and cheeks and part of nose

below: Instructions that are hard to miss!   Not sure which one is the doorbell though!

ring doorbell sign in large pink letter

below: I very carefully lined up the picture on the metal box (painted by elicser) with the diamond pattern on the Pizza Pizza wall when along came a streetcar.  Photobombed by a streetcar.   What is the girl holding?  I’ve passed her many times (she’s on the corner of Queen St. West and Spadina) but I’ve never looked closely at her.  I always assumed that it was a mug with something hot in it – doesn’t that look like steam?  Tonight I realized that it’s a smartphone and that’s not steam, it’s light.

a metal box on the sidewalk is painted by elicser, a young girl in a red shirt and blue jeans, holds a black phone, behind her is the orange diamond tiles of a Pizza Pizza restaurant, the very front of a streetcar is on the left.

below: To take good pictures doesn’t require a fancy camera.  Great photos have been taken with phones and bad photos have been taken with expensive equipment and I’m sure that’s not new to you.  I only mention it because where equipment sometimes matters is the type of pictures that can be produced.  Today I was walking with a telephoto lens that was useless for things close to me but fabulous for distance.  Best distance – across the street, like the photo below.   It was the bright blue and white stools that caught me attention.  It wasn’t until I was lining up the shot that I saw the people (an added bonus!).

white, teal, and blue metal stools beside a wood table, in the window of a restaurant, in the sun, a man is sitting with his back to the table.

below: While on the subject of stools, these were close by the ones above.   In this case I cropped out most of the people.   Keep it simple and keep those shoes in the center!  I just want to add that different cameras or different lenses impact how I look at the world when I walk.   Do I zoom in on details? Or do I go for the wider story?

yellow metal stools, men, onw standing and one sitting on the stool with his feet in turquoise shoes, resting on a bar of the stool.

below: More yellow. Yellow gas pipes.  They are everywhere.

along an old brick exterior wall, there are two yellow gasline pipes that are held onto the wall with clamps

below: Flowers in bloom but no idling here.

floors overflow from a hanging basket on a telephone pole, ivy on the wall behind it, also some traffic signs, one says no idling and the other says no vendors.

below: Green.  Shadowy.  Incomplete.

part of a green sign, with white letters that say restaurant.

below: This is almost too cliched (add the accent to get the correct spelling!).   But when the two taxis drove into the picture I had to take it as an “orange picture”.  You can add the comment about Toronto’s two seasons here – I know you know it!

street scene, two orange and green taxis drive by a construction site with orange traffic signs, arrows saying the right lane is closed.

below: Purple wall with a doll.  I’m going to assume that it is a lost doll.  Someone dropped it and didn’t notice and then someone picked it up off the ground and tucked its arm into the wire to keep it safe and visible.

purple wall, graffiti onthe wall, also a chain runs horizontally across the bottom of the picture. A toy doll with no clothes has its arm tucked into a green wire.

below: The colour of the curtain in the window above a store caught my eye and then I noticed the book holding open the window.   Oops another case of ‘look again’.  It’s not a book, it’s a box that once held a Razor kick scooter.

a window above a store is held open with a book

below: Abstract.  I vaguely remember painting something similar back in Junior High.  It involved masking tape and I never got the lines right.  The paint always leaked under the tape.  Do you recognize the building?

abstract composed of a red roof, a grey textured wall and a building with three tones of blue windows

below: Behind the painted metal grille is a small colourful Stikman in his little frame.

a small brightly coloured stikman in a tiny wood frame is behind a metal grille that is rusty.

below: I will admit that my first reaction when I saw this, small and close to the ground, was “I’ve found Jesus”.  Not as bright and cheery as the other pictures but alas brown and grey are colours too.

dirt on an exterior wall that looks like the top part of a person

below: And last, the perfect colour at the end of a walk… a beer on a patio with a friend.

a Bettys glass, full of beer, in the sun

#mycuriouseyes

A large part of the inspiration for this blog post came from participating in a week long photography project called ‘My Curious Eyes’.  Each day we were challenged/encouraged to find interesting things to photograph based on prompts such as shape, colour, and texture.  Part of the project was to photograph things that we hadn’t noticed before, or to look at ordinary things in a different way.

Today’s blog is going to be short as well as different from previous posts.

below: It’s a selfie!

reflections of a TTC streetcar in the window of a pale blue building.

I have been playing and/or experimenting with taking photos with my phone as I ride on TTC streetcars.  It’s a bit of a game: Is there anything interesting?  Am I fast enough to catch it?  and more importantly….  How dirty are the windows today?

But I’m not going to post the pictures here, except for one above.   Instead, I have put all the pictures on a website:  http://www.asiwalktoronto.com/500series.html  I am trying to see if I can develop some sort of “snapshot” of the city as seen from a slightly different angle than usual.

Thanks for taking a look!

shoes of a man who is moving as he sings, street and sidewalk in the photo

Beaches Streetfest 2017
Pictures from last evening’s fun.

below: Spock was there too.

a man dressed as Dr. Spock from Star Trek hugs a musician at an outdoor music festival

below: Old Man Flanagan’s Ghost plays their Irish and Scottish music outside The Stone Lion.

the band, old man flanagan's ghost plays on a street corner, a bass player, a guitar player, and two fiddlers,

two musicians with lights on them, from the back, with the crowd standing on the street in front of them, one woman dancing

a singer with his arm up in the air, a woman across from him also pointing upwards

below: A saxophone player from The Achromatics shows off her style.

a woman in a red skirt plays the saxophone on the street, a part of the Achromatics, a music group, a man on keyboards stands in the background

below: Johnny Max Band

singer Johnny Max sings at a street festival, blue fedora, purple check shirt, a man in the background with a 416 Toronto T-shirt on

below: Dancing to the music.

a couple dances on the street, attending a music street festival, some people look on.

below:  Someone wants to play along.

a little girl runs towards a temporary stage set up on the sidewalk, she is pointing to it. The musicians have moved forward and are playing closer to the crowd

below: Jenie Thai

a woman in sunglasses and teal dress plays the keyboards. A man with a small beard is playing the guitar beside her, a red wall with text street art is behind them.

below: Shooting bubbles. These bubble makers were being sold at the festival so there were lots of bubbles all over the place.

kids playing with plastic bubble shooters in a crowd on the street.

below: Guitarist Neil Chapman from the Zedheads in a rare moment when he lifted his while playing the guitar.

guitarist, neil chapman, playing outside.

below: Another Zedhead member

bearded man with sunglasses and black basebell cap sits at a drum set. Hhis baseball cap says Zedhead on it.

below: A window seat behind the stage

a woman is seated in a restaurant by the window that is open, she is looking out and watching a group of musicians perform, there is a man on a drum set as well as another man.

a young boy in a large yellow T-shirt is watching musicians outdoors.

below: Queen Street as the sun went down.

evening, darkening sky, many people on the street at a street festival, most people are facing away from the camera except one woman in front who is looking straight ahead. Musicians playing on the right, standing in front of stores

below: Excitement!

three young girls watch an evening outdoor music performance by a band of 6 musicians on a street corner

below: Under the red lights.

a youngblack man in sunglasses and black hat sits at a keyboard with mircophone in front of him, evening, some red lights are shining on him. outside.

back of a girls head, long hair tied in a ponytail, outside, in the evening, as she watches a music performance with a small crowd of people

people, part of a larger crowd watching a street performance, one woman has a bright orange mohawk hairdo.

The festival continues all weekend (July 28, 29 and 30)

#beachesjazz | #beachesstreetfest

side entrance to a large brown building (a bike shop) that has a large white line drawing of a bike on it. The door is in the middle of the front wheel. A structure that looks like the handlebars of the bike is on the roof

Let’s take a ride up the south end of Rhodes Ave.  Why Rhodes?  In a two block stretch (from Queen to Gerrard) there are mostly residences but there are some interesting other things sprinkled amongst the houses.  The photo above is the side entrance to Velotique, a bike store, on the corner of Rhodes and Queen St. East.

below: Just north of Queen Street is the Toronto Gospel Lighthouse Church which has been on this site for about 50 years.

steps up to a large brown door, one of the entrances of the Toronto Gospel Lighthouse church, a greyish white building with another building behind.

below: I am not sure if this is still a working church. Their facebook page hasn’t been updated in over a year.   Also, the yellow paper on the wall is an application for consent to divide the lot into 6 smaller lots and build houses on them. The six blue notices are applications for minor variances from the zoning bylaws, one for each dwelling. By the looks of it, the plan is to build 6 three storey semi-divided houses here. Each house required 29 minor variances – the house is a little higher, the driveway a little narrower, the front yard a little smaller, etc than the present bylaws. The case was heard at the end of January but I don’t know what the verdict was.

exterlior side wall of the Gospel Lighthouse church, small garden in ront with shrubs and hostas, also blue notices tacked to the wall, re application for variances to the zoning code.

Farther up Rhodes Avenue is an old building that was once the home of the local chapter of the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organization.  It was put up for sale in 1969 and subsequently purchased by the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and turned into a mosque.

below: The Fatih Mosque (when I first saw it I thought it said Faith Mosque!) with it’s two small minarets topped with gold cresents that adorn the front entrance.

front of Fatih mosque, a light blue building with a small porch, two short minarets with gold cresents on top, a brown door,

below: Right beside the mosque is house with no working front door.   It also has a sign in the window – a building permit of course.  There is will soon be a three storey building with three apartments if the sign is correct.  Here the development process is farther along than at the church down the road as this site already has a protective fence around the tree that’s growing city property.

looking across a street, sidewalk, large tree with orange plastic fence around it to protect it during construction, a pale blue building that is a mosque and a small single storey house that is about to be demolished.

A church, a mosque… and a Buddhist church.  I thought Buddhists had temples but this one is a church.  Is there a difference?  Or is it just a translation thing?  Ahhhhh, online they are a temple.  This is the home of the Blooming Forest Bhikkhuni Buddhist Association.   The “about us” page on their website is a pdf written in Vietnamese so I can’t tell you much about them!

brick building with yellow trim, yellow fence around it, sign says Chua Hue Lam Buddhist Church

below: At the corner of Rhodes and Gerrard is the Flying Pony Coffee Shop with its bright and colourful doors both in the front…..

front entrance of the Flying Pony coffee shop, bright blue door frame, yellow door, orange and purple squares on the door frame
below: … and at the back.

street art on a garage door, bright yellowish green with black and white faces

The houses on the street are a mix of large and small, old and newly renovated.   Here is a selection of them, and of their doors….

below: … and a picket fence too.

a white fence in front of two small bungalows. On the right it's a picket fence

modern entranceway in a house that has just been renovated

turquoise blue front door with a window in it, on a beige stucco house

small two storey white house

two storey wood frame house with a large porch across the front, pillars by the front steps

yellow front door on a greyhouse, with lots of flowers in front including purple butterfly bush

below: And at the last house, I leave you “Happy Holidays” greetings from Santa and myself.   Santa’s busy already, driving the train around toy town in preparation for another Christmas!

a happy holiday Christmas decoration on the wall at the front of a house, summer flowers growing in front of it.

wooden plaque ornament on a wood fence, shape of a house with large window and little red door

Are you a fan of photos of doors?  Check out the blog Norm 2.0 for links to many more!