Still a “babe” at 60

The Hickeys invited us to help celebrate Jolanta’s birthday last night. That’s Brian Hickey BBQing excellent ribs.


Centre shot: left to right: Garden nymphs Cheryl, Sonia, Danica and Jolanta

Jolanta has always been the “baby” in her circle of friends, so she got a lot of “welcome to the club” greetings for her 60th birthday. Youthful appearance aside, she is a woman of serious accomplishments, having created internationally celebrated string orchestras, gained certification as a Master Gardener and most recently, completed her Master’s Degree (while teaching full time) before her appointment as Principal of a high school.

Music is Jolanta’s major skill and passion, but she’s good at anything she tackles, including gourmet cooking. Lucky to know her? Yes, we are.

Why bike lanes must be expensive

Whether they are ignorant or indifferent, some drivers make physically separated bicycle lanes necessary. This one parked in the new bicycle lane on Dixon Avenue, right at a busy intersection.


There was no room whatsoever for a cyclist to use the lane. The remaining road is for oncoming traffic.

Cities like Copenhagen, where cycling is a major option for commuters, have recognized the need for physically curbed lanes that prevent cars from entering bicycle space. It is a necessary cost. Painted lines, even ones that cost $10 a metre like they did on Dixon Avenue, just don’t cut it.

Budapest Restaurant: DAY ONE

It was a soft day, as the Irish say, for the “soft opening” of Beach Hill’s new Budapest Restaurant. Light rain did not dampen enthusiasm. A steady stream of customers showed up to see what Edit, Lorie and their crew would bring to the neighbourhood. It’s ALL good!
opening-day-budapestDanica and I were there for lunch. Goulash soup and a light, delicious chicken schnitzel sandwich for me. Beet salad and a pierogi and sausage appetizer were enough for Danica. Of course we shared tastes and declare the Budapest Restaurant an instant success. The food IS wonderful.


White table cloths are a nice touch and the room, though small, can serve more than two dozen people at a time. The plan is to double the seating area, as soon as the space next door becomes available. That won’t be too far in the future.

Everyone who came in agrees that we needed this restaurant and we are glad it’s finally open. The liquor licence is still a month away and there are a few details to finish up, but hey … it’s DAY ONE! We were very happy with our lunch and look forward to bringing friends … for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

More about the menu later. No web site, yet.

Police unprepared for design dangers

panam-logo-crime-350Bulletproof vests are useless against the stinging barbs of logo design critics. I know. I have a few well-deserved scars myself. Some successes, too, but won at great personal risk.

Over on the Torontoist, our problem-plagued police force has blundered blindly into unexpected mockery. Watch the hilarious attacks unfold and pity the poor designer who thought, “This should be easy. I have Photoshop”.

Affordable, original art at GAS

A call went out for artists to participate in a little show themed around clowns. People with clown phobias may want to wait for another occasion, but others are invited to a reception tomorrow, Saturday, July 18, 2015. 4 – 6 p.m. Location: 1475 Gerrard Street East, near Coxwell. Link


I dropped in yesterday. The show is up already, featuring pieces by 8 different artists. Theme interpretations, styles and media vary widely, so you are likely to find something you appreciate. Sizes vary, too … from very large wall hangings to small pieces ideal for apartments and condos, or anywhere wall space is limited.

Prices? The most you could pay would be $500 and six of the 17 pieces in the show are under $100. Some are as little as $45.

There’s no comparison between owning an original piece of art and hanging a mass reproduction print, even of a masterpiece. You won’t know what I mean until you try it.

Excuse the colourful language

Interesting that the guy really doesn’t know what to make of it at first. Does he even like it? He seems unsure, then amazed and pleased.

I think of the first reactions when Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings were cleaned. Many were appalled and declared the colours garish and cartoonish. They thought the restorers had ruined the masterpieces by removing original glazes.

Historians have wondered how today’s tourists would react if they saw the frieze on the Parthenon painted, as is was originally, in bright colours. Tacky or delightful?

How about the “real” world, colour-enanced by LSD or magic mushrooms? Better? Or is there any comparison, since other cognitive abilities are also altered?

More about the glasses, here.

Budapest Restaurant: Close to open …

It’s tempting to say that Beach Hill’s new Canadian-Hungarian restaurant is so close to open we can taste it, but no. We can’t yet, but today the newspaper was off the windows, revealing furniture in place. Any time now.


Danica and I had plans to take a friend to lunch at the Budapest on Friday, but those plans have been shifted to next week. Other locals will be customers before us.

There are still some touch-ups to do. If paint is required, we spotted one solution on today’s walk …


As contributor of the winning entry for the Beach Hill naming contest 3 years ago, I take special interest in signs that the name has staying power. The first Beach Hill business was a dog walking service. Now we have a Beach Hill Pub, a Beach Hill Restaurant, Beach Hill condo residences under construction and a Beach Hill painting service.