Posts Tagged ‘glass’

This blog post is part of my continuing fascination with walls and the other things that you see on walls such as windows, shadows, pipes, bars, and other architectural details.  I like to look at how the elements interact visually and how they come together to form compositions.  Sometimes they tell a story and other times they are just an abstract picture.   Here are a few that I have collected over the past few months.   The first one in the group is a photo that I took this morning; it was the prompt that led to this post.

below: the contrast of red, black, and right angled yellow

red wall with black door and yellow pipes

below: blue from the inside, shadows on the outside

grey wall with peeling paint, small window with metal bars and a blue board covering the inside of the widow, telephone pole with shadow, metal vent in the wall

below: yellow pipe, orange concrete

bright yellow pipe against a bright orange wall, with shadow.

below: a window seat

bright red wall with window. A chair is in the window, also reflections of chinese signs, number 52 on the wall

below: frosted reflections

hazy reflection of a window and a grey wall

below: from a different angle, still a wall

on an angle, rusty brown coloured wall with horizontal windows on a white section

below: nailed links where the hinge once was

chain link fence nailed to a bright blue wood fence, corrugated plastic behind the chain link

below: aging shingles and plywood

grey and rust brown shingles cover most of a wall with two windows that have been boarded over with plywood that is peeling, three basement windows with pink trim

below: yellow people and books above and dandelion specks of yellow below

dandelions grow against a concrete wall that has large yellow panels on the upper part

below: dollar signs in the winter

grey concrete wall with window, someone has drawn a dollar sign on the wall, leafless shrub growing against the wall, winter time

below: cracked and peeling

yellow wood door with peeling paint, red gate, also with peeling paint, up close of parts of them

below: vertical reflections, horizontal grooves

horizontal window in a wall with horizontal grooves

below: open days a week and empty frames

4 nespaper boxes lined up on a sidewalk in front of a beige wall, store, with sign that says open days a week.

below: painted square shining in the sun

partly hidden by shadow, brick wall with reddish painted square on it.

below: At 972 and 972A, a hidden doorway and a trophy in the window.

brick wall with recessed doorway on the left and window on the right. There is a trophy in the window

below: rectangles, diamonds, and trapezoids

trapezoid sections on a concrete exterior wall

below:  a deep red curtain and a few exposed bricks

window with deep red curtain, grey painted brick wall, lower basement window

below: The last few pictures are of this wall and the ghost remains of a house that once stood beside it.

side of a building with the ghost remains of the house that once adjoined it.

below: (16″) 2 steps from landing

wall with patched brick and concrete sections, also words written in marker

wall with sections of brick and plaster. Plaster covers what once was a doorway

old exterior wall, brick, mortar, plaster

Previous blog posts about walls:
1.  wall compositions (Nov 2015)
2. walls in the abstract (Oct 2014)

Monday’s walk was a meandering route downtown, once again going where my feet and eyes take me.  No particular plan in mind and no set destination…   just trying to explore where I haven’t been recently.   No theme jumped out and tapped me on the shoulder but a few “stories” emerged.

below: There is now a 3D sign between the CN Tower and the Aquarium that says Canada 150.

a young boy is leaping from the D of the 3D Canada 150 sign in front of the CN Tower, and is leaping onto the top of the A. His hands are on the top of the A, one foot is one the side of the A and the other foot is near the top of the D

below:  …and another 3D sign by the CN Tower (you can see part of the back of the Canada 150 sign through the tree). I wonder how many there are in this city now?   Another bit of information (trivia?) – this area is called Bobbie Rosenfeld Park and has been since 1991. Fanny (“Bobbie”) Rosenfeld was a Canadian athlete who won two track medals  in the 1928 Olympics.   She also played softball and hockey in the 1920s and 30s.  When arthritis force her to stop playing she turned to sports journalism, working for the ‘Globe and Mail’ until her retirement in 1955.

3D sign for the CN tower with tourists taking pictures in front of it. Canada 150 3D sign in the background as well as some people sitting around on benches

One of the routes from the CN Tower into the downtown core of the city is via the Skywalk, a glass enclosed elevated walkway over the railway tracks.  The next few photos were taken as I walked that route.

below: A Toronto species of woodpecker in its native habitat – a forest of glass and steel. This artwork was completed in 1997 and is the creation of Dai Skuse and Kim Kozzi who together are known as Fastwurms.

large sculpture of a woodpecker on a pole in the foreground, many glass skyscrapers condos in the background

below: The above photo was taken from a quiet little terrace that I accessed from the Skywalk. Now you can see just how big the woodpecker is!  The ‘tree trunk’ pole is 30m high.  What you can’t see is the second woodpecker who is on the other side of the pole and slightly farther down it.

a concrete terrace, with benches and planters with purple flowers, lots of condos in the background, one person standing there

below:  The glass of the Skywalk creates some interesting reflections and shadows.  The glass was fairly clean the other day when I walked through it.  I have seen it when it’s been quite dirty and it’s not a pretty sight.

reflections of a woman walking on the Skywalk between Union Station and the convention center, with views of the street below and buildings beyond also in the frame
reflected in the red glass of the entrance to the CN tower are two women walking

below: Union Station, looking east from the Skywalk.   The new roof over the station platforms is taking shape.  Someday soon I’m going to have to take a look at the insides of the station; I can’t wait for all the renovations to be completed.

union station as seen from the west, from the skywalk, with open air tracks as well as the covered platforms. New roof over the platforms, tall buildings in the background

below: Part of the south “wall” along the railway tracks.

buildings reflected in another glass building right beside the trains tracks south of Union Station

below: Looking east from lower Simcoe along the south edge of the Gardiner Expressway.   The podium of the new condo under construction at 10 York Street is quite the wedge!

construction of a tall condo beside the gardiner expressway. The bottom of the condo is a wedge shape to maximize the space available

below: I played a bit on google maps street view and this is what I found for the above scene (taken Nov 2016).  If you compare the photos (above & below), it’s obvious that one of the ramps for the Gardiner Expressway has been demolished.   The eastbound exit to Yonge/York/Bay was removed a couple of months ago.  If you are a regular user of the Gardiner, I’m sure you have already experienced the consequences of this!

screenshot of google maps street view of Lower Simoce stret just south of the Lakeshore, one of the offramps for the Gardiner, a new condo under construction

below: Standing on the same spot, but turning around 180 degrees – looking west from Lower Simcoe.  An old ramp in the foreground…. and what looks like new construction in the background.  Those are new bents (the structures that hold up the road).

under one of the Gardiner Expressway ramps, with new bents being built for a new ramp in the background.

below: To get a closer look at what was happening here, I ventured around to the other side .  This is the view from closer to Rees Street. There is car on the old ramp so it must still be open (onramps still functional, just the offramp was removed).

two "cherry pickers" parked in front of new bents being constructed for a new ramp for the Gardiner Expressway

below: The trees are growing at Canada Square (Harbourfront), but so are the condos.  Yes, this new building is the same one with the wedge shaped lower floors.

view from Canada Place (Queens Quay West) with a clump of birch trees in the foreground and 3 highrise buildings in the background - two older ones and one in the middle that is under construction.
below: Also at Canada Square, there are three large photographs by Johan Hallberg-Campbell, a series called “Coastal”.   This one of them:

a large photograph of a run down building, northern, on the side of a concrete structure that is an entrance to the underground parking

below: More of Hallberg-Campbell’s work can be seen inside in the Artport Gallery (Harbourfront building) – here, many photographs with simple wood frames are mounted on a wall that is covered with large images.  “Coastal” is the product of the artist’s travels to coastal areas of Canada, from Newfoundland to northern Manitoba to British Columbia and many places in between.   Life on the edge, so to speak.  (Note: gallery show ends 18th June)

three colour photos in simple light wood frames mounted on a wall that is covered with large images

below: It’s not art but sometimes the line between public art and advertising campaigns is fuzzy.

a man walks on the sidewalk below a largef ad for Apple watches.  The photo is cropped so that the only part of the ad that shows is a hand on the handle bar of a bike.  A bright turquoise watch is on the person's wrist

Not all is shiny and new.   And that’s the way it should be.

metal grille, part of a barricade along the side of a parking structure, rusted,

parking structure on the top, old door and wall on the bottom. A wood picnic table in disrepair is in front of the door

I was away for most of the month of May so I missed a lot of the annual Contact Photography Festival.  In the few days that I had to catch up, I visited a few of the exhibits.  One of these was ‘Nous ne somme pas des heros’ (We are not heroes) by Valerie Blass at the Allen Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place.

two large cubes constructed from pieces of photos of different people in different positions sit in the middle of Brookfield Place, under the glass arched roof.

Blass arranged people in sculpture-like poses and then photographed them from different angles.  The photographs were then cut into sections, glued on blocks,  and then the ‘sculptures’ were re-assembled.

a large stack of blocks with black and white photos of people on them by Valerie Blass.

The subjects of the sculptures are anonymous.  Their “bodies fold inward, their differences intertwine and merge into single entities” (source).

photographs of the back of a person with another person sitting on his shoulders, upper person is leaning forward with head down, the blocks on which the photos are printed are in the walkway at Brookfield Place

bottom part of photos by Valerie Blass on a block at Brookfield Place as part of Scotiabank Contact photography festival, feet. Also the feet of people walking past.

This is a Thursday Doors post. 

I wanted to find a poem or a quote or something like that to accompany this post.  A post about opening doors to get home.  I only found poetry best said at a funeral…  not so good for a sunny March afternoon.   I’ll save the poetry in case I ever do a series of cemetery doors.

How many doors do you go through in a day?

You aren’t going to find any historical doors here nor have I taken any pictures of colourful, ornate, or classy doors for this post.  Instead, I decided to use photos of a few of the doors that I had to pass through on my way home the last time I went exploring, starting with the subway at St. Patrick station.

a woman is opening the glass doors of St. Patrick station, at street level, on University Ave

two sets of double doors, TTC subway station, metal doors with glass insets.

doors to bus platform at Davisville station, bus platform, are slightly ajar, a bus has just pulled up (and facing the camera) and people are getting ready to get on it.

people getting on a TTC bus at Davisville station

These are doors that I pass through frequently yet I rarely notice them.   Usually I see them more as an impediment to where I want to go.   Maybe I should pay them more attention?

***

For Thursday Door posts by other people, see Norm Frampton’s blog at Norm 2.0.  He is the originator of the Thursday Door idea and he also keeps track of which other blogs have participated.

 

 

Last week I visited what remains of Mirvish Village, that stretch of Markham Street just south of Bloor Street next to Honest Ed’s store.  As most of you know, Honest Ed’s closed at the end of 2016.  All the stores and businesses in the first block of Markham Street have now closed too.  The buildings still remain although they are empty and a blue temporary fence now separates them from the sidewalk.   I am not sure if they are going to be demolished, or the facades retained, when that area is redeveloped in the near future.   I was interested in documenting what remains and/or what is going to disappear as Markham Street undergoes yet another transition in its long and storied life.

Some of the photos that I took were of doors.  For a few weeks now I have been following the blog My Life Lived Full .  Joanne (the author of said blog) participates in “Thursday Doors” which is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.  I like doors and have many photos of doors.  I’m not sure I’ll be a regular contributor to “Thursday Doors” but I thought that I would add my collection of Mirvish Village doors to this weeks feature.  The following door pics were either taken last week when everything was empty or on the last day of 2016 when businesses were winding down.

below: The upper level was a gallery.  The words ‘No Man’ are still on the door.

a pile of green chairs in front of the steps up to a pale blue building, lower level is painted yellow.

feench doors painted blue with a small blue picket fence in front, two white chairs upside down in front of the door

single door with large pane of glass, reflections in the glass, snow on the porch, a pigeon standing in the snow

below: This is one of the photos from the 31st of December. Tintin is no longer there.

the door of a book store, with a cut out of Tintin beside it and a drawing of a creature with 4 legs and 4 arms, the hands are all holding something

grey door, white porch, crooked grey steps

two doors on a brightly painted buidling. a flower is painted around the door, blue paint,

the doors at the entrance to the Apiecalyps Vegan restaurant, whose symbol is a raccoon. glass doors, steps down from street level to the entrance

below: Entrance to the Victory Cafe with the Christmas lights still wrapped around the post and a clipboard in one of the windows.

two purple doors side by side at the top of 6 stairs, on a red brick building

below: The back of one of the buildings on Markham Street.  This photo was taken from the parking lot behind Honest Eds.

grey metal door at the top of a steep staircase, back door, upper storey of a beige building with windows covered with stuff on the inside

below: Honest Ed’s exit onto Markham Street with its overlapping and out of date shopping hours sign over the door.

exit doors of Honest Eds store, 2 sets of glass double doors, red walls beside, store opening hours painted above the door. Galss is covered from the inside

The word Chihuly in the title refers to Dale Chihuly, an American artist who has been working in glass since the mid 1960’s.   At the moment there is a special exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) of some of the sculptural work produced by him and his team.

detail of a glass sculpture showing ripples and waves of colour, ornages, greys and yellows

I’ve now wandered through this exhibit three times.   The first time, I found it a bit overwhelming and I wasn’t sure how to photograph it.  The second time I went I just looked.  Yesterday I went back with my camera and tried again.  I’m reasonably happy with the photos but I know that I have only captured a small part of the art.  Perhaps it is enough to enable you to imagine more of it, or to refresh your memory if you have already seen the exhibit.

below:   Admirers looking at “Persian Ceiling”, 2012 .  Large cushions were provided for those who wanted to lie down to get a view of the ceiling in its entirety.  Of course, looking at the sections up close was also fascinating.  All the different shapes and colours overlap and produce new colours and textures.

people lying on the floor looking a ceiling that is made of different coloured glass pieces, back lit, also some people standing and pointing at different pieces

below:  Section of the “Persian Ceiling” installation.

bits of coloured glass, circular shapes, ridges, back lit,

The round slight scalloped glass shapes that look a bit like flowers are called Persians.  At least that’s the name that Chihuly has given them as described in this quote that appears on the wall just outside the room.    “I just liked the name Persians.  It conjured up sort of Near-Eastern, Byzantine, Far East, Venice, all the trades, smells, sense… I don’t know, it was an exotic name to me, so I just called them Persians.”

below: A ray swims amongst the waves of colour.

bits of coloured glass, circular shapes, ridges, back lit,

below: “Red Reeds”.  I thought of candles when I first saw this piece, red candles in a birch bark candle holder.  Then the  young girl standing beside me announced that it was a campfire and I changed my mind.  I think she’s right.  Marshmallows anyone?

The red tubes are hollow glass.  Metal rods have been inserted into the birch logs and the glass tubes sit over these rods.  You can see the darker sections at the bottom of the tubes where the metal rods are.

red glass tubes inserted into large birch logs, looks like a campfire with tall flames

below: “Blue and Purple Boat, 2006”.  Back in 1995 Chihuly floated some glass pieces on a river in Finland.   Local teenagers collected the pieces in their wooden boats and this provided the inspiration for a number of installations featuring glass in boats.  This is one of two on display at the ROM.  It is on a reflective surface, like a calm river.

a wooden boat on a black reflective surface. The boat is filled with blue and magenta pieces of sculpted glass

below: “Sapphire Neon Tumbleweeds” constructed from factory made neon tubes that have been heated and bent into organic shapes.  The lighting is magenta in real life but blue in my photos.

two kids standing in front of an exhibit with blue neon lights twisted into tumbleweed shapes, backs to the camera

below: The next few photos are of a large and elaborate installation called “Laguna Torcello”,  named after a lagoon island in Venice.  It is a garden of fantasy in glass.  Parts seem to be aquatic, growing under water.

aquarium like structures, water plants, and large shells, made of glass, on a black glass reflective surface

As an aside, I suspect that the logistics and cost of transporting and installing these pieces is not minor.  Like the red tubes above, this garden is made of hollow glass pieces that are arranged on, and supported by, rods.  The whole thing sits on a flat, dark, and reflective surface which adds another dimension to the artwork.

green glass and silver metallic horn shaped pieces on a black reflective surface, part of a large glass art installation by Chihuly at the ROM

different shaped glass sculptures that look like stylized underqater scene, aquatic plants

curly pieces of glass in different shade of amber, look a bit like curly seaweed growing under water

The exhibit continues until the end of 2016.

Dale Chihuly website

But not a running, or even a jogging, track!  No, yesterday’s walk was an oval-ish loop at walking pace from Dundas West station, up one side of the railway tracks and back down the other.

below: Just past the subway station I saw the mural on “The Friendly Trini’s” which is now closed.  If the mural is telling the truth, they once served butter chicken, curried goat roti, jerk chicken with rice and peas, as well as drinks in coconuts and pineapples.  Feeling hungry already, and I’ve only just begun my walk.

a mural on the side of the Friendly Trinis restaurant that is now closed. Two women are walking on the sidewalk by the restaurant, a sign for Jennys bar and restaurant is in the background. The mural has drinks in coconuts and pineapples as well as a list of some of the food they served

below: Also on Dundas West, the King’z Convenience and Dollar Store which sells Filipino products and delicacies is adjacent to the Slovenija meat & delicatessen.  Multicultural.  I regret not taking pictures of the window of the Slovenian store – juice and beer brands that were unfamiliar to me.

two storefronts on a street, one is a slovenian grocery store and the other is a convenience store

below: Detail, boy riding an old fashioned bike on a little hook above a door.

a decorative ornament hanging high on a brick wall, a hook that extends from the wall about 8 to 10 inches, on top is a flat rendition of a boy on an old fashioned bicycle

below: And someone has decorated their balcony.

a balcony railing has been decorated with different colours of fabric that has woven between the rails

below: Just before I reached the bridge over the railway tracks I saw these words on a wall.

graffiti on a wall, in white paint on grey wall, the words "I have a dream'

below:  The dream theme continues on the metal steps up to the bridge.  This one was small and I almost missed it.  I’m not sure if it was painted black to blend into the background, or if the painting was an attempt to “clean up” the graffiti when prying off the letters proved to be too difficult (the D is broken so maybe someone tried).  Insert words about killing other people’s dreams here.

a raised word, 'dream' in cursive that has been stuck on the side of a set of stairs and then painted black to match the steps

below: From the top of the steps looking south.  The minimalist new Bloor GO and UP (Union Pearson) station is finished, top left of the photo.  Don’t you think we should call it ‘Get UP and GO’?  The street is Dundas West and yes, that mural is new.

view from a bridge, a street, and a railway and some buildings in between. There is a mural at the bottom of the steps.

below: Helping to hold up the bridge, west side of the tracks.  He’s carrying the weight of the world, or maybe just the bridge, on his shoulders.

mural on the concrete base supporting metal struts bridge supports.

After crossing the bridge, I walked north along the West Toronto Railpath. The fencing along the path has all been upgraded.  There used to be some spots where you could get through the fence (non-railway side) but those are gone.  Between the tracks and the path there is a new clear (glass? plastic?) fence.  Of course it has already been ‘vandalized’ or ‘tagged’ – choose your verb.  Because I was there on a sunny afternoon, the sun was shining through the ‘artwork’ and making interesting designs.  A few thistles and other weeds added some compositional elements.

glass that has been spray painted yellow and orange, with some black that has run, weeds are growing in front of it, the sun is shining from behind it

a bright red heart has been sprayed painted onto a glass wall, weeds growing front, train tracks behind, the sun shining through the glass.

There were quite a few hearts on my route, especially around the Dupont exit of the Railpath.

below: Many hearts on the fence.

two street art pieces painted on a glass wall. the first is a red and black heart with a white banner across it on which the word love is written. the other is 8 little red hearts on white stems growing from the ground below.

below: A heart for Hex and Nish wherever, and whomever, they may be.

a bright red heart painted on a man made boulder, words hex and nish written on it

below: Three heart balloons on the Dupont sign.  You can get a good view of the fence here.

glass fence beside railway tracks, path, trees, also a metal sign on which three red hearts on white stems have been painted.

below: Part of the West Toronto Railpath runs alongside Planet Storage, an large old brick building.  There used to be a lot of street art along the side of the building but it’s all been painted over.   A few tattle tale remnants remain.

wall, part of an older brick building that has been painted a rust colour, with windows, some of which have metal grilles over them. Remnants of old graffiti on the metal grilles.

below: My favorite, little details like the bright yellow giraffe looking at the clouds.

looking into a window, toy yellow giraffe on the window sill as well as two toy trolls, one with yellow hair and the other with orange. Reflections of clouds in the window

below: There is one mural on the Railpath, the back of Osler’s Fish Market is covered with a fish and fishing themed mural.

back of Osler Fish Market covered with a fish and fishing mural

below: Fish heads in the weeds.  Queen Anne’s lace, that plant with the white flowers, was growing in abundance along the path.  You might know it by its other name, Wild Carrot.

detail of a mural, fish heads, on a wall with Queens Annes lace and other weeds growing in front.

mural with fisherman bringing in a load of fish to the shore, boat in the background, more fish in the foreground.

mural, man sitting, mending fishing nets, woman on the shore carrying a bundle towards some fishing boats.

below: A splash of red on a street just off the railpath.

the top part of an old Victorian brick 2 storey house, painted red with white trim

below: The sign on the table says: “Hi! La Witch Cat here.  Enjoy the space, but PLEASE do not litter.  I provided a garbage can. Use it!  This includes cigarette butts.  Put in trash once extinguished.  Thanks!  XXO”.  Marvellous!  I sooo agree with the part about cigarette butts.  Why do people who don’t litter still consider it okay to throw cigarette butts wherever they please?  I smiled but I didn’t stop to rest.

In a veryshady spot, against a metal fence, two old chairs with a white table between them, a sign on the table and a small garbage can to the left.

below: At one point I found myself at this intersection.  What is a pedestrian to do? It’s possible I walked where I shouldn’t have, or at least where foot traffic is rare.  All the roads in the photo are Dundas West; it’s where the street splits as it approaches Dupont and Annette.  There was a small park behind me, called Traffic Island park.  The name sums it up I think.

wide intersection where two roads meet in a V shape. not much else in the picture, only the nose of one car, no other traffic. hydro poles and wires in the picture

two old Toronto street signs, slightly rusted, on a hydro pole, one for Dundas St. WEst and one for Dupont street

below: A lament for the streetscape.  One more line in an elegy to public spaces.  The result of a half hearted attempt.  Massive hydro poles on the narrow sidewalk.  A large ad. A green space that needs attention.  If you look carefully, you can see  a plaque on a small stand.

sidewalk right beside a road, with hydro poles on the sidewalk, a small stretch of green space (about a metre) befoew a large fence that is concrete on the bottom and glass on the top. A couple of small trees that are dying are in the green space.

below: This is the plaque.  According to the words, this strip of land was replanted in 2001-2003 with a number of native species with the plan that they would spread and “create an oasis in the middle of the city”.   It mentions three plants – Nannyberry tree, Staghorn sumac, and Bottlebrush grass.   Disconnect alert.

plaque describing the railside garden with words about its history and some picture of the plants that grow there

below: On my way back to the subway station I spotted this 24 hour lovebot.

a lovebot sticker on a TTC bus stop pole, between the sign that says 24 hours and the symbol of a bus, older industrial building behind it.

…. that was where I walked yesterday but before I leave, a few small details.  Ciao!

graffiti on a grey metal door of a girl's head with lots of pink hair. A pink heart beneath her with the word love under that

red background, silhouette of sumac leaves

blue background, graffiti drawing of man's head, wearing large crown, sad eyes, heart in word bubble

a plate in a window that says Good Morning Sunshine, also two small ceramic figures of cats, and one ceramic dog