Posts Tagged ‘memories’

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.

Honest Ed’s

 In 1948 Edwin Mirvish opened his ‘Honest Ed’s Famous Bargain House’ on the southwest corner of Bloor and Bathurst streets.  Honest Ed’s was not only one of the first department stores in the city but also one of the first to offer discount prices on its merchandise.

below: Honest Ed’s, from across the intersection of Bloor and Bathurst streets.

Looking across an intersection of Bloor and Bathurst streets towards Honest Eds store with its big orange, yellow and black signs on grey cladding.  Running around the store, about the level of the top of the first storey, are signs (red lettering on white background) that read "Only the Floors are crooked" , "There's no place like this place, any place", "Come in and Get Lost" and lastly, "A Bargain Centre like this happens only once in a lifetime"

photo taken 25 March 2015

 

below: The same intersection in 1948 when Honest Ed’s Famous Bargain House opened.  As you can see, the exterior was covered with signs with humorous sayings from the beginning.

historical black and white photo of Honest Eds store at Bloor and Bathurst.

photo from Honest Eds store via a 2013 article in The Grid TO

Along with the discount merchandise, Ed Mirvish filled his store with pictures and posters, especially movie posters.   The stairwell walls are covered.

movie posters as well as other kinds of posters in a stairwell at Honest Eds, including a large red poster with a picture of 'Honest Ed Mirvish'.
reflections in a round mirror in a staircase at Honest Eds store showing the stairs, railing and various pictures and posters hanging on the walls

A stairwell at Honest Eds store with a large black and red sign that reads "Honest Ed's an Idiot, his prices are cents-less"
You can buy almost anything at Honest Ed’s!  Clothes, shoes, toys, household items, groceries, hardware, prescriptions, souvenirs, … and so on.

Interior photograph of Honest Eds store with its eclectic mix of merchandise.  Big No Smoking sign on the wall, some old movie posters on the wall too.

aisle in a discount bargain store.  White wooden shelves and bins, lots of red signs, cashier sign as well.  Honest Eds interior, ground floor, kitchen ware,

There are hundreds of pictures of actors and other famous (and no so famous!) people.

kitchen wares for sale laid out on white table like shelves.  Large pillar in the middle of the store with a sign warning you that you are on camera.  Seven pictures of movie stars adorn the pillar.  Lots of merchandise for sale in the background.

Jeans for sale, on tables in Honest Eds store.  Large black and white posters on the wall along with a colour full length portrait of a woman in a long dress.

All of the signs in the store are hand painted.  In March 2014, Honest Ed’s had a sale of all their signs and the profits ($17,000) from this sale were donated to Victim Services Toronto.
Another sign sale is scheduled for 11 April 2015 starting at 8 a.m.  If you want to buy a sign, arrive early and expect to wait as it is a very popular event.

Sandals for sale at Honest Eds, on white shelves.  There is a mirror behind and in the reflection is most of the shoe department of the store.

bins of panties for sale, a wall display and long horizontal mirror in the background.  Beside the bin in the foreground is a white pillar on which there is a black and white picture of a man from the shoulders up.

Signs in a store window.  One says "Honet Ed can't cook but his customers never get a raw deal" and the other is a page showing all the special prices available at the store.  It is printed like a newspaper page and there is a lot of information on it.

A bin full of brightly coloured kids running shoes in greens, blues, reds, etc

In October 2013, the property was sold to a developer but as you can see from the sign in the photo below, the store is still open.  It will remain open until the end of 2016.  It’s been open for 67 years and will remain open for another 21 months.
The southeast corner of Markham and Bloor.  The corner of Honest Eds store with its red framed windows and loud garish signs.