Posts Tagged ‘beans’

a variety store on a corner of 2 streets in a mostly residential area. Green awning on one side of the building, an orange umbrella stands over the corner. sign on store says Sunshine Variety.

So excited!  So happy to be able to walk on the sunny side of the street and not be struck down by heat stroke!

below: You could say that we’re walking on cloud nine at the change of weather.

metal cutout figures of people walking, alongside a chainlink fence as part of an art installation

This past Sunday was a great day for a walk.  Luckily, it was also the day that Penny (author of ‘Walking Woman’ blog) and I had set aside to explore westward from Christie subway station.   Actually, we were going elephant hunting.  Well, it started off as an elephant hunt, but it turned into a treasure hunt – a treasure trove of Toronto quirkiness.

shadows of a railing along the side of a street with no sidewalk, just narrow space between the fence and the kerb, green bike lane. At the top of the photo is a shadow of a pedestrian walking, backpack on.

Eureka! As it turns out, it was also a great day for elephants to hang around outside.  This is Sally, a lifesize fiberglass elephant that stands nearly 3 metres tall.  She’s been standing here since 2003 and despite a little crack at the top of her trunk, she’s looking pretty good for her age.

a large white plaster? elephant stands in the frontyard of a house, tree beside it, bikes parked behind it. Residential street.

It was also a good day for gorillas to sit in trees.  A shout out to the man who was standing under this tree talking on his phone, oblivious to this furry creature above him.  The same man who gave me a strange look when I walked over with my camera, but then who shared a laugh with me when he too looked up and saw the monkey.

a large stuffed gorilla sits in the V formed by a tree trunk and a large branch of a tree, gorilla is wearing red boxing gloves.

Quirky treasures like woolly headed scarecrows.

a scarecrow in pink shirt and wooly hat stands high over a garden, between a garage and a fence in an alley.

below: Tartan columns holding up shady porches.

a shady porch at the front of a brick house with two columns painted in black and red tartan, or plaid.

below: Pet waint at Lansdowne subway station.

a sign that says pet waint on a sign that says Toronto in front of Lansdowne subway station entrance

below: A solitary dandelion in a lawn of astroturf. Even fake grass isn’t immune to the ubiquitous dandelion.

a single dandelion grows in a lawn of astroturf (fake grass) where it meets the concrete sidewalk

below:  We encountered many Little Free Library boxes.  This is not just a Toronto phenomenon and I’d have to say that it is beyond the “quirky” stage.  There is now a Little Free Library organization where you can register your library.  They claim to have over 40,000 registered libraries in over 70 countries.

a woman in a white baseball cap is reaching into a 'little free library' shelf of books outside a house

When I checked their website, I found a map of Toronto locations.   There are the libraries that are registered with the organization; I know that there are more than what is on this map.  What the map does show though is that these little libraries are numerous and that they are spread around a lot of the residential areas of the city.

map, from google maps, of the locations of little free libraries in the city,

below: Quick, get your Valentines Day roses while they’re still on sale!

a sign in front of a store selling plants and flowers that says Valentines Roses on sale, 10% off

below: The middle way, in case you’re lost?  There was a man standing there, the middle man so to speak, but he didn’t hang around long enough for me to get his picture.

two houses with a small walkway between them. Someone has written mid on one side and dle on the other so together they spell middle

below: Figures watching over a front yard, including angels and a buddha.

upper part of a statue of a young girl with decorated wall behind. Coloured picture of a biblical scene, 2 small angel statues and a buddha statue

below: And of course, what’s a Toronto walk without a lovebot?

lovebot and a lovebot nintendo gameboy on a wall above a graffiti bird with a word bubble that says everybody got a hungry heart

Near the end of our walk, we passed what is known as the Terracotta House.

house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them. upper part of front of house

This house was built in 1905 by John Turner, a builder.  In the late 1800’s terra cotta tiles went out of style and there was a glut of them on the market.   Mr. Turner was using up excess stock that he had on hand?  Or advertising his business?  Or just taking advantage of a cheap material?   Whatever his motives, the house is still standing and is still a unique piece of architecture more than 100 years later.  I wonder what his wife thought of it?

house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them.

detail of house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them.

May all your walks, or cycles, be on the sunny side …

part of a mural called Strength in Numbers, on a wall, a painting of two cyclists. One is a black man with dreadlocks and the other is a woman in a polka dot dress with a box on the back of her bike.

… no matter how long they are!

an old tree trunk has been turned into a support for many little arrow shaped signs that point the direction to cities around the world along with how many kilometres it is to those cities.

Dia de Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday where and friends come together to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.  It occurs at the end of October (31 Oct to 2 Nov).  Here in Toronto there was a Day of the Dead festival at Harbourfront this past weekend.

fabric hanging on a wall. There is a picture on the fabric of a woman's face painted white to look like a skull but with pink around the eys. Many orange roses surround her face

One of the traditions of Dia de Muertos is the making of ofrendas which are altars dedicated to the deceased person.  Jose Clemente Orozco was a Mexican painter (1883-1949).  He specialized in painting murals in frescoes and his work can be seen in Mexico and in the USA.

elaborate and colourful ofrenda with purple, blue and pink paper cut outs on the wall behind.
Another altar that was on display was one made by artist Alberto Cruz in honour of Pablo Picasso.

An ofrenda, or altar, in the memory of Pablo Picasso at a day of the dead festival. There is a photo of him surrounded by different objects and symbols representing his life and things that he did

The Casa Cultura Mexicana made an ofrenda to honour the Prehispanic indigenous people and warriors of Mexico.
The bottom part consisted of pictures made with coloured rice.

pictures made of coloured rice on an ofrenda dedicated to the indigenous people of Mexico

Food items such as rice, beans, and corns were an important part of the ofrenda.

a face shape made of dried beans and corn. red beans make a circle around the face, black beans make 6 rays coming out from the circle. The face is corn with bean features.

Ofrendas are decorated with sugar skulls and marigolds (or yellow and orange paper flowers) as well as candles, photos, momentos from the person’s life, and things that symbolize something about that person.  Sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical.

an ofrenda with a picture of a woman in a frame sitting on a table. One each side of her is an elaborately decorated skull. One of the skulls is wearing sunglasses and a wreath of yellow and orange flowers around the top of its head.

What would your friends and family put on an ofrenda in your memory?

objects on an ofrenda at a day of the dead celebration, decorated skulls, a small skeleton, some old photos of people, flowers, fruit,

There was also clay available if you wanted to make a small skull or other symbol for the occasion.

close up picture of a man putting details on a small clay skull with a toothpick

Two girls with day of the dead face paint on are making clay skulls. A young boy is also at the table making a skull, his mother is helping him.

A young man carefully adds tiny clay roses to a clay skull that he has made.

A small figurine made of a clay of a skeleton wearing a sombraro and playing a guitar is in the foreground, kids making clay skulls at a table are in the background.

skull painted white and then decorated with black, green, red and white

Rest in Peace.

ofrenda, altar, day of the dead celebration, woman's picture along with Virgin Mary candles and other pink cnadles, lots of orange flowers too