Posts Tagged ‘lane’

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

Tucked away on a garage in an alley near Brunswick and Harbord is a garage with three murals, at least two of which are the work of Aaron Li-Hill.

a two car garage in an alley, murals on both garage doors as well as on the side of the building

below: This mural is not new but I am not sure how old it is.  I am not even sure if I have seen it before.   I can’t believe that I found an alley that I haven’t walked before in this area, but anything’s possible.   This mural is by Li-Hill for sure.

a mural in two pictures of two women and a large tree by Aaron Li-Hill on the side of a garage in an alley

below: This too is the work of Aaron Li-Hill as you can see from the signature.

women with sohort dark hair from the neck up, side view, eyes closed, mural on a garage door by Aaron Li-Hill

below: This seaside town scene has no signature.  I like the little people, one with a surfboard, some playing in the water, and a couple hand in hand.

seaside town mural, buildings, water, beach, people, seawall, on a garage door in an alley, laneway

One more reason to wander the lanes and alleys of the city!
(With thanks to Anita for walking with me and showing me this garage.)

 

Women in the Walls was/is a mural project where most of the painting was done on the last weekend in August. Twenty women participated to create murals in the alley behind the north side of Gerrard Street East near Craven, Rhodes and Woodfield. One van and one car were also painted.

below: Courtney Binns and Kerry Marie (kairo) work on their murals.

two women painting a mural, one mural each, one on the back of a building in an alley and the other on the side of the same building.

a woman sprays paint, light blue, onto the background of a mural that she's painting, blue, green and pinks that merge together with no defined lines or edges

street art painting of a fuzzy orange fox, lying on the ground by C V Binns

a woman is in the beginning stages of painting a mural portrait of a woman outside

below: Princess Nokia

portrait of a woman on a wall, a mural by kairo, long dark hair, a blue bow on the top of her head, some blocks of the concrete block wall are painted in shades of pink

below: Caitlin Taguiboa paints her mural starting with the black and white background that will turn into ripples and reflections on water.

woman spraing black on a black and white mural, standing beside a ladder, on a garage door in an alleyy paint

pink white and orange flowers by a black pool with with and pink reflections and ripples

below: Kim adds some blue to the background of her mural.

a woman is painting a street art mural

on a garage door, a painting by Kim, blue background, close up of two yellow women pilots in a green airplane

below: The deer mural was preserved (it’s been on this wall for a number of years).  You can just see the faint outlines of a salamander that @mmnador is creating.  That’s Kim working on her pilots (astronauts?) in the background.

two women painting murals, Kim is in the background painting on a garage door while another woman is outlining a picture of a chameleon on a wall

a dark purple salamander in a street art painting on a background of orange, yellow, and light blue polygonal shapes with 3 to 5 straight sides on a wall with a tree to the left

below: Rolling on the pink, background that is.  Anya Mielniczek’s latest mural is a woman’s face in shades of pink and green.

woman rolling paint to make pink background on a mural

street art mural of a woman's face in greens and blues on one side, moving to pink on the other, lots of black hair. red lips, yellow eyes

partially finished mural on black background in an alley, green stripes near the bottom, blue circles beside brown squiggles, milk x weed

below: Painting a tribute to Smokey the cat, by Stacey Kinder.

a woman is crouching beside a wall where she is painting a picture of a blue cat, on the wall beside her is a large black section that has just been painted in preparation for another mural

a woman with long blond hair, Stacey Kinder, is painting a picture of a blue cat on a wall,

finished mural of Smokey the blue cat, with a sunflower behind his head,

below: Up close to the central portion of a mural painted by Chief Ladybird and Auralast.

detail of center of mural of an indigenous woman with long braided hair and feathers

below:  The words in the stripes are “One Voice”.  There is a blue and a pink stripe that didn’t make it into the photo, on them is written “Powerful”.

part of a mural by chief ladybird and aura of an indigenous woman with a feather in her hair, in front of the sun and circles of colour, red and blue flowers on the outer layer of colour (light blue)

below: A shout out to Debbie who lent her car, Lightning, to the cause.  Here, a black stenciled dog adorns the back door panel – in memory of Harley.

side of a car that has been prepped, for painting partially painted with turquoise section and pink splotches, also a black stenciled dog, called Harley, by the back wheel,

below: Lightning is now fueled with flower power!

back of painted car, large flower and many colours in the background, a bumper sticker that says Honor Diversity

below: And the last, a van.  It was parked behind the Flying Pony while one side was painted by Erika James….

a woman is taping stencils onto the side of van. The stencils are of words, Don't worry you haven't hit your stride yet

below:  … and the other by Jieun June Kim.   When I went back later in the week to take pictures of the completed murals, the van wasn’t around.  If you see it, let me know!

a woman spray paints on the side of a van that is being covered with street art, masking tape to keep the spray paint in straight lines.

below: Hands and stylized florals

black background mural with stylized floral in bright colours, also a hand in the middle in many colours

part of a mural with magenta background, green arms reaching up from foliage and weeds at the bottom, hands open, revealing a large blue eye on each hand

This project was supported by StART program at StreetARToronto as well as Cultural Hotspot 2017.  The latter is a summer-long initiative whose aim is to encourage art, community, and culture in the east end of the city.

below: Monstawall by Monica Wickeler (aka monicaonthemoon), one of the principal organizers of the weekend.

small street art mural of many stylized abstract goofy faces in bright colours, on a wall.  a car is parked in front of it and some is reflected in the windshield

a man walks away from the camera as he walks down an alley that has graffit and street art on the garages and buildings

Sometimes graffiti and street art have a short life span.  Many taggers don’t care about what they are tagging over.  Street art can also be “interactive” in that stickers and paste ups can get “added” to a piece.   Anyone with a marker can have their say.  On the bright side, new murals get painted and new paste -ups appear.  And that is why I go back to the my favorite alleys every once in a while.  This morning I walked the Milky Way again.

two stickers on a pole in an alley. one is a pink and purple striped tail of an animal disappearing down a hole. the other is a white face with angry expression and cigarette in mouth

below: The Parkdale mural by Race Williams is still looking good.

mural in magenta and turquoise that says greetings from parkdale, large magenta streetcar in the mural by Race Williams

below: The naked women are a bit more modestly dressed than they once were .

street art mural of three naked women. Someone has painted white over the private parts

The most noticeable change is the fact that many pieces are now at least partially covered by greenery – small shrubs and tall weeds have proliferated and are looking quite healthy.

below: This lion is looking more and more like the king of the jungle even as the words faded and peel.

tall weeds and small shrubs grow in front of a painting of a lion (from the Lion King) painted on an unused doorway in an alley

below: The small aliens at the top of the building are now in the shade of a fast growing tree.

small aliens painted along the top of a building are now partially covered by the branches and leaves of a small tree

below: And the larger aliens on the fence really need a hair cut now.

space alien mural painted on a corrugated metal fence are now partially covered with vines from the top and weeds from the bottom.

below: A large pink peony (at least that’s what it looks like)

street art painting of a large pink peony

below: The fence around the garden.

wooden fence around a backyard that has been painted with garden scenes, cabbages, flowers, sun, and a donkey

a line of black and green rubbish garbage bins along a wall that has street art on it, picture of a boy with a spray paint can in his hand along with some text , stairs leading up to the upper level of the building as well

text graffiti on two buildings in an alley

Previous Milky Way posts
Back to the Milky Way – Sept 2015
Walking the Milky Way – Oct 2014

metal gate that has rusted. large numeral 47 on it as well as some graffiti scrawls

an orange, or salmon, coloured wall with a window. in the window is a reflection of a pair of eyes from a large street art mural. under the window are two ladders lying horizontal.

On Dundas West, just west of Dufferin, there are two lanes with large murals by clandestinos.

One is the alley to the west of the Lulu Lounge where both sides are covered with fantastic paintings by fiya, shalak, and bruno smoky as well as a few others.  I blogged about it just over two years ago and here is the link to the original post, “life as the shadow of vida“.   Earlier this week I took another look at it – it’s still looking great and there have been no changes so I didn’t take any photos.

The other alley is nearby but on the north side of Dundas Street.  Actually, it’s hardly an alley, more like a driveway which made taking pictures of the whole mural difficult.   Also, if you are traveling eastbound on Dundas, you’d miss it.  Here are the pictures that I managed to take:

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - close up of a large gorilla face

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a crocodile or alligator coming out of the water

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a small bird sitting on a rock by a creek

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - bird, turtle and croodile in a nature scene

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a small bird on the base of a tree trunk

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a large bird with its wings out stretched getting ready to take off

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a turtle on a rock

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - lareg greenleaves with their signature

below: I doubt she’s saying that she loves the sunshine THIS MUCH!  but I’d like to think she is.   That’s certainly what was going through my head for most of the weekend so I’m going to pretend that she agrees with me!… especially since I am writing this as the rain falls outside my window.

a group of women walking down College Street at Montrose on a sunny winter day. One of the women is wearing a black coat and she has her arms open wide.

But back to those ravens and flamingos that I promised you…..

below: But not everyone’s happy.  Witches brewing with ravens and crows nearby.   There always seems to be symbolism associated with these large black birds so I went searching for information.  Ravens and crows are found throughout most of the northern hemisphere so many diverse cultures have their own mythologies surrounding these birds.  The best summary I found was this,  “On the negative side, Raven represents the profane, the devil, evil spirits, the trickster and thief, war and destruction, death and doom, the void.  Yet in many cultures Raven also represents deep magic, the mystery of the unknown, death and transformation, creation, healing, wisdom, protection, and prophecy. ” (source)  We don’t know exactly what Fiya Bruxa, Shalak, and Bruno had in mind when they painted this mural but I doubt that it was something positive – those witches look rather angry and nasty.

a mural on a wall of two angry women's faces. One is pale pink and the other is yellow. Many crows or ravens are flying upwards from the women. The mural is on the side of a store that is part of a row of three storey brick storefronts.

below: From the vengeful looking faces above to these hopelessly romantic flamingos is just a matter of a few steps along College Street.  They’re the center part of a larger mural by Katia Engell.

part of a largeer mural of two pink flamingoes with the necks intertwined and their beaks together in a kiss, red petals behind them.

large pink flamingo painted on a wall, part of mural of 4 pink flamingos by Katia Engell

There are 4 flamingos altogether and they are in between two other murals.
In the picture below you can just see the yellow of an alphabet mural by runt

three pink flamingos. Two with entwined necks and one looking on, street art,

below: Too many things in the way makes for an awkward photo but you can still see enough of it to play the game of what creature goes with what letter!  R is for robot dog?  Z is for zlithering thingy with rings?

a mural by runt on a bright yellow background with letters of the alphabet in black and many imaginary creatures in bright colours.

below: J is for jumping purple blob?  C is for coughing-up- dinnersaurus?
And look, an alley to explore……

blog_runt_alphabet_creatures_mural

Wait! Before going down the alley I want to take a few steps backwards. Remember that I mentioned that the flamingos were between two murals?  This is what is on the other side…..

below:  Three cowboys in a mural signed by J Bizzel 4 Shizzel.
The one with his shirt off is the one under the air conditioner.

a mural of three cowboys, one tall, one in the middle and one short, purple and orange scenery behind them.

below: This strange but happy fellow was waiting in the alley.

face of a creature with bulging eyeballs, a large oen mouth showing many big rounded white teeeth, and a long tongue that can make a spiral as it curls back on itself.

a man is spray painting street art on the back of a building in an alley. Two others are standing in the lane watching him

part of a mural of a boy with headphones on, seat crossed legged on the ground and pointing downwards. He seems to be pointing at a collection of spray paint cans sitting on the ground below the mural.

below: If you look closely at this painting, you will notice that the wavy lines continue behind the bars of the railing and that there is only a small distance between the railing and the wall.    That was not a simple paint job.

a white staircase is diagonal in the picture, with white metal bars and railng, immediately behind it is a street art picture of an orange face blowing down towards the stairs. White wavy lines radiate from the open mouth

below: ‘Such a fool’ and someone to agree with it.

paste up graffiti that says such a fool. Someone has written true in large letters beside it.

below: I’m not too sure what to say about this one.  Vermut? or Vermouth?  Too much vermouth and you take your clothes off, versmut?  Bad joke.

a tall green bottle painted on the wall with the word vermut written vertically. Beside the bottle is painted a naked woman draped in red with breasts showing.

street art picture of a triangular shaped face looking upwards, open eyes and partially open mouth, behind the face is streaks of blue, yellow and red.

That’s the end of our little tour.
Find a sunny spot and pull up a chair and rest your feet for a few minutes.

chairs and a set of drawers outside a store full of antiques and stuff, the door is open and you can see into the store where there are two men shopping.

Tomorrow there will be puddles to go splashing through…
but that’s a story for another day.

afternoon in the park when the snow and ice begin to melt. Lots of water, big puddles, a few people walking dogs on the path trying to stay dry, reflections of them and many trees in the puddles.

 

 

You can almost find it by following your nose!

I’ve been in many alleys where the smell has been less than desirable but today I was taking pictures in an alley that smelled wonderful!  A small alley running south from Bloor Street beside the The Dirty Bird restaurant….or more accurately The Dirty Bird Chicken & Waffles.

And the pictures that I was taking there?
Well, they were of chicken and waffles and people eating of course!

from a mural by elicser along the exterior wall of the dirty bird chicken and waffle restaurant - a woman is sitting at a table in the restaurant

Elicser has painted a mural in the alley alongside the restaurant.

a man in a red baseball cap on backwards is drinking,

below: I love how the straw is placed!

from a mural by elicser along the exterior wall of the dirty bird chicken and waffle restaurant - a man is sitting at a table in the restaurant . he has a very large chicken and waffle sandwich in front of him as well as a pink milkshake. The red and white straw of the miclkshake is actually a venting pipe

from a mural by elicser along the exterior wall of the dirty bird chicken and waffle restaurant - a woman and a man are sitting at a table in the restaurant eating chicken and waffle sandwiches

from a mural by elicser along the exterior wall of the dirty bird chicken and waffle restaurant - a woman is sitting at a table in the restaurant with a very tall chicken and waffle sandwich in her hands