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Puppets at GAS until August 20

Gerrard Art Space is showing puppets made by 5 different artists, but one name was attached to most of them … Alla Petrova. I wish I had met her at the reception, but I was otherwise engaged that evening. Too bad. There was live music, a fun crowd and spontaneous dancing with face masks.


 Puppets, of course, come alive in performance, but we don’t usually get up close enough to examine them in detail. A Javanese shadow puppet is made of painted leather. Others are made of … you name it. Plaster, fabric, foam, wood, papier maché, staples, wire …

Alla Petrova’s web site reminds us that puppets still perform the same purposes they have for thousands of years … storytelling, educating and entertaining. They can also be valuable therapeutic tools.

I found the show refreshingly direct and human, an antidote to too many shiny screens. Even little marketing glitches, like the typo on Alla Petrova’s business card have a cetain charm. (It’s WordPress, Alla, not Worldpress). 🙂

iPad tests

The Fairmount Park clip starts at the community centre where Danica does meets for yoga and pans across a bulldozed softball field.

The field held two diamonds, but one will not be replaced. What will go in that area remains to be seen. Trees, I hope.

The title was easy to add from a stock template which includes a few gimmicky animated text effects that are silly. A few not-to-wonderful stock soundtracks are offered, too. Resolution is good, as is image stabilization.

Pano photo

The panorama photo, made by moving the iPad camera across the scene, is pretty lame and ridiculously distorted.

The new Broadview Hotel

The hospitality is exceptional, even for a curious blogger who is just looking. The old Broadview Hotel was built in 1891 by a soap magnate named Dingwall and went from its high-status start to its low point as home to a seedy strip club.


 After a lengthy and thorough renovation, the glory days are back. I was permitted to snap some photos, from the 7th floor rooftop restaurant to the main floor pub. Since the intent is to provide an east side rival to the west side’s Drake, there’s plenty of art and recognition of heritage.

The restoration looks very smart and employees show justifiable pride in their workplace. It gives a major boost to the whole vicinity, on a stretch of Queen Street East that has already become a very pleasant stroll.

Blogging on the road

Since I now have a keyboard with me wherever I go, I need to practice instant blogging. I’m having and Ethiopian coffee (nice) and a sun dried tomato scone at the Merchants of Green Coffee in Riverside.

After coffee, I went out to get a picture of the Don River, for which the Riverside neighbourhood is named. Standing on the Queen Street bridge, it occurred to me that a more accurate name would be DVPside. (Don Valley Parkway).

You can see the Merchants of Green Coffee on the right edge of the photo.

Rain day at the Night Market

In theory, the old Hearn Generating Station should have been a great venue for the Night Market of Asian street foods and goodies. Fire codes kept everyone outside the derelict station though, and menacing skies brought downpours.


 We went in the daytime, so we could ride our bikes. The stalls would have looked more dramatic at night, all lit up, but mud puddles on the unpaved, uneven ground would have been harder to spot.

We were impressed by the energy and fortitude of the vendors, who said that Friday night was pretty awful. The lights weren’t set up and a wicked thunderstorm drenched everything.

We lost our race home, trying to beat the rain. Soaked in seconds by Woodbine Park, we ducked into a tent for shelter at the annual Woofstock event.

Macabre touch ID humour

I told Danica I hadn’t yet set up my iPad to open with a touch of my fingerprint. You can choose to have any finger recognized.

Oh, sez Danica, that way they don’t know which finger to cut off.

Exactly! Ha Ha! You cut off the wrong one.