Friday, June 14, 2019

Cannabis and Coffee

June 2019 Front St. Toronto

John asked for my mother's chicken a la orange and I decided to find a slow cooker version that turned out really well.

He had picked up a bag of frozen haddock at Costco so we had breaded oven baked fish and oven sweet potato fries with mushy peas.

I thought the Tony Awards show was great this year but it is giving me the urge to go to NYC!

Ain't Too Proud was up for best show and we were pleased as we had seen it last October before it premiered on Broadway.

Monday dawned wet and gloomy. Decided to stay put as it is game 4 for the Raptors tonight so they will be shutting down the streets around the arena. It will totally mess up the bus schedule. Last Friday game 3 in Oakland put the schedule behind by thirty minutes when I took it at 3 PM and it just kept increasing the delays as the afternoon wore on.


Cold Pursuit - liked it didn't love it.

The Conversation - borrowed from the library online, made in 1974 mystery thriller. This was intriguing.

Chicken wings and fries were on the menu but I used a different used a different wing sauce and the improvements were great.

Our Raptors lost by one point on Monday night but still have two games to take a win!! BUT we only needed one game!!!!!!!!!!!😍

Tuesday I planned a trek downtown to include John's hankering for a burger.

First stop was the OD store on Queen St. West. Why? To see this.

OD Toronto is a consignment store selling and displaying some of the city's rarest streetwear collectibles and sneakers from brands like Nike, Supreme, OVO, and Bape.

The skateboards are under the glass floor.

And we came for this!!

Walking along Queen West to lunch.

It's not often that we find graffiti art painted on trees, or in the case of the “Hug Me Tree,” (Hugging Tree), on a tree stump. This favourite piece of art is located on the north side of Queen Street West, a short distance west of Peter Street. It appeared for the first time in 1999, painted by Elicer Elliott, a graduate of Sheridan College. He has since become one of Toronto’s best known graffiti artists.
Click on his name in the tags below this post for more examples of his work.

After completing the “Hug Me Tree,”“ Elicer Elliott placed a tag on the tree – “H.U.G.”- the name of his graffiti crew. As an afterthought, he added the “Me” to the tag, and Queen Street’s famous “Hug Me Tree” was born. It's been hidden for the last couple of years due to construction hoarding, but the new MEC store is now open.

View while we had lunch, west corner.

We checked out Graffiti Alley, an ever-changing outdoor gallery. I've featured some of these on Monday Murals over the years.

Another Uber5000. It is almost impossible to get a whole picture as it is behind a locked link fence. Click here to see a full photo.

The late Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip group has been added.

Then we walked to Front and Bathurst to check out Stackt.

For years, this 2.5-acre lot at the corner of Front and Bathurst sat vacant as the city debated its fate. The parcel of land is destined to one day become a park, but for the next few years, it has been leased to Stackt, Toronto’s newest fully-accessible market built out of 120 shipping containers. Stackt is a mix of event spaces, retailers, restaurants, services, galleries, and it even has its own brewery. With the shipping containers occupying only a third of the land, the remaining outdoor space has been landscaped with AstroTurf, a beer garden and a gravel pavilion that will soon feature a giant fire pit to keep the space animated straight through the winter months.

Monday Mural will feature more murals. Pigeons by Fats Patrol.


Click here for murals.

We'll be back to explore the shops.

Walking Front St. east bound.

Massive construction site.

Crazy basketball fever.

John got his weekly golf league game in and he had requested lamb chops for dinner. I tried this recipe.

I headed out to return a meat thermometer that John didn't like and to the market for the chops.

Along my walk.

Union Station Food Market

Berzcy Park, in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, recently got a makeover that includes a new fountain by landscape architect Claude Cormier. The fountain features 27 cast iron dogs.

Thursday, and of course, it was raining. I had seen the new permanent Kusama Infinity Room at the AGO in April when it opened.
We lucked out and there was no one there when we took a chance to see if we could get in.

This painting always catches my eye.
Frederick Varley’s Immigrants

This piece absolutely mesmerized me.

Source - AGO
Toronto-based Kent Monkman is an internationally-renowned Cree artist whose fascinating works explore themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, resilience and the complexities of the Indigenous experience. Known for recasting popular figures in art history with Indigenous people, Monkman’s works often highlight how Indigenous people were traditionally misrepresented and objectified in art history.

We see that in The Academy, where Monkman reframes historical works of art including Nicolas-André Monsiaux’s Zeuxis choisissant des modèles, which depicts Zeuxis as an artist in front of a blank canvas and several nude women models. Zeuxis amalgamated the models best attributes – using them for his painting of Helen of Troy. (The painting is on view on Level 1 in the Richard Barry Fudger Memorial Gallery, Gallery 125.)

The painting also reinterprets the ancient sculpture Laocoön and His Sons — which depicts three men struggling as they’re being attacked by serpents. In Monkman’s version, five idealized European men are at the centre of the painting – cast as objects in the Indigenous artist’s creations.

On the far right, above the depiction of Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau working on his painting Self Portrait Devoured by Demons, is Monkman again, but this time as himself – making The Academy a double portrait of him in male and female roles. Monkman stands behind the easel wearing a traditional Cree Coat, caught up in an interaction with French Neoclassical painter, Jacques-Louis David. (Morriseau’s work can be found in the J. S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian art in the AGO.)

On the left is a woman who appears to be Harriet Boulton Smith. Her husband William Henry Boulton is behind her, playfully kicking up her skirt. (Boulton Smith donated her art collection and historic Grange estate to, what’s now known, as the AGO.) Look closely and you’ll find you’re actually seeing Monkman’s glamorous gender fluid alter-ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle – a recurring character in his work. She’s creating a drawing while waving sweet grass and wearing a gown similar to the one Harriet wears in her portrait now on view on Level 2 of the AGO.

Artist Mike MacDonald is often referred to as the grandfather of Indigenous media art. Of Mi’kmaq and European ancestry, the Nova Scotia-born video artist and photographer was one of the first Indigenous artists to use video in a fine art context. He began working with video in the 1970s and ‘80s and frequently used it to explore the natural world and his Indigenous heritage – much like what he created in his work Seven Sisters,currently on view.

Seven Sisters is a multi-screen video installation shown on seven different monitors of various sizes, similar to the Seven Sisters mountain range in northwestern British Columbia. MacDonald first encountered the Seven Sisters mountains in the 1980s when he was invited to northern British Columbia for the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en land claim case, in which the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en First Nations took the government to court in an effort to regain jurisdiction of their territory that was being destroyed by clear-cut logging.

Created in 1989 using aerial footage taken from several vantage points, Seven Sisters showcases the grandness of the landscape with lively mountain goats and beautiful flowers and plants. However, it’s also a document of the devastation that clear-cut logging had on the area, indicating that if action is not taken soon to protect this unique environment, perhaps this will be the only way to see it.

As it uses several cathode ray tube (CRT) TV monitors, Seven Sisters presents unique challenges for the AGO conservation team: this type of TV is increasingly hard to find and maintain. Some of the monitors on display here at the AGO are the result of our keen-eyed team salvaging functional but discarded TVs.

Maybe it’s the sound of the soft music or the sight of the vibrant colours that draws you into the space; either way, I Rise, the new exhibition by Canadian-Maroon artist Winsom, captivates your senses. Inside this new two-room exhibition filling the south end of the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art, you’ll find incredible large-scale multimedia installations of photography, sculpture, painting and more that explore themes of freedom, resilience, renewal and African spirituality.

Winsom is an Afrocentric artist who was born in Maroon. She later moved to Canada and currently works as an artist, activist, mentor and healer.

Winsom: The next room in the exhibition, Jumping the Boa, is about death.


Winsom: Here you’ll see an altar with images of people who are all meaningful to me. Odetta, the jazz and blues singer, pushed me to continue working on my art. There’s also Emily Carr, my mother, Marie Catherine Laveau (a voodoo priestess from New Orleans), Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, Mohawk poet Pauline Johnson and Canadian painter Doris McCarthy.

Lunch in members' lounge, a cheese plate and smoked salmon with cream cheese.

The big game is tonight! Traffic was so crazy with streets closed off for the game that was being played in Oakland!!!!! It took us 45 minutes to get out of the downtown core and then another 30 minutes to get home because there was a three car pileup on the Gardiner....

While I was out John was making dinner. Shepherd's Pie a la Gordon Ramsey.
Delicious and enough for tomorrow!

YES WE WON!!!!!!

Downtown on Friday for a pedicure.

Royal York hotel lobby renovations are completed and it is looking very art deco with a bar area in the middle of the lobby.

Raptors everywhere!


Finally finished the John Lennon biography, a long satisfying read.

Started Swimming Across the Hudson, annoying, immature narrator.

Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.
Saturday Snapshots is hosted by A Web of Stories.


  1. Partly visible in one of the mural photos is a sign that says No Parking, Snow....? What is the second word and what does the sign mean?

    1. Good catch! Snow Route.
      Designated snow routes are primarily located in the downtown core and include all streetcar routes. They are all clearly signed. Parking on a designated snow route during a major snow event is subject to a fine of up to $200. A list of streets PDF and a map PDF show the streets that are impacted by the declaration of a major snow storm condition.

  2. You have the most amazing street art! Love that fly! Go Raptors! I love how you truly enjoy your city.

  3. Lovely round up! The exhibition looks really interesting and I love the colours in Graffiti Alley.
    John's shepherd's pie has made me hungry! :)

  4. I think I go more for the traditional art as opposed to the street art.

  5. A lot to see in your post - great street art!

  6. The street art is amazing. I've not been to Toronto since I was a small child. It looks ultra hip. Thanks for the tour.

  7. Thank you for your comment last week about who the Raptors are - some parts about my knowledge about this side of the pond are still on a zero level, haha:)
    Wow, I know you have many things here in this week, but I am mesmerized by what you have shown about Monkman! It's amazing to me how art can resolve the artist cultural adjustments in their paintings (That's why not many painting artists are in therapy - they resolve their personal and cultural issues by painting about them) Also, in those days they did not have courses/groups/therapy to deal with cultural adjustment, like they have now!
    Yes, I feel the same kinship with you - it's amazing that when living in a sea of people like Toronto, you can meet someone on the internet who has so many views in common with you. So I am happy we could "meet" in this way. Many thanks for showing this eclectic and artsy post to All Seasons - I love it!

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