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A new “Subscribe” form will always be available now, in the top menu bar (About / Subscribe). It works like this:

I was using a plugin called Jetpack to handle subscriptions, but it slows page-loading down too much and I had to find a lightweight alternative.

So Jetpack has been grounded and I think my new Email Subscribers plugin will serve you better anyway. Instead of receiving whole posts in your email window, you’ll just get a link to follow, if you want to.

Yay! Guild Inn is back

Kathleen organized a lunch-pedition to check out the recently opened Bickford Bistro at Scarborough’s venerable Guild Inn. Once a thriving art colony, the facility fell into disuse for decades and has finally been brought back to life as a multi-purpose event centre.

Slide show

 I am happy to report that the both the food and the table service were very good.

There was an arts and crafts fair going on out back in the expansive garden area, but I will show you only one photo … of some magnetic bracelets being sold with claims that they relieve arthritis pain. Yeah.

The vendor wanted me to ask permission to take the picture. I didn’t. Enjoy.

Before we leave the Jazz Festival

Just 3 more photos …

This leaves a question. What’s to become of Harold Zolte’s collection of strange wooden shapes that lie helter-skelter on the floor of one of his buildings?

I’ve been told that they are casting forms from the 1880s, once used to make moulds for molten iron and steel. The paint, I think, represents later additions, to turn them into sculptures.

Final question, nothing to do with Ends. I snapped the note on a BMW that was parked on a side street near Queen on Saturday. (I removed part of the phone number.)

What do you think? Would you leave a note, if you were a witness?

Still the best street fest in the city

The Beaches Jazz Festival is a huge draw and the crowds seem to get larger every year. Bandstand acts in Woodbine Park are great, but my favourite part is the street festival, when bands set up in front of stores along Queen.


Public art speaks, if I listen

Standing on the College subway platform, I smiled at artist Charles Pachter‘s effort to mark the station as the one closest to Maple Leaf Gardens. The hockey shrine is a supermarket now.

In 1985, it was unimaginable that the revered Gardens would be abandoned in favour of the Air Canada Centre.

Pachter’s enamel-on-metal drawings have proved durable enough to survive public service. They’ve even outlasted their purpose. The comic book look took some critical hits when the panels were first installed, but 30 years ago, graphic novels were not viewed as art the way they are now, either.

Pachter chose to focus on the teams. I prefer Michael Snow‘s more surprising approach, when he turned his eye away from the players and looked at The Audience , for his 1989 pro sports commission  on the side of Toronto’s dome.

It’s a funny, unflattering tribute to baseball fans, howling from the stands. I like it for not being pompous or reverential.

I see a sly acknowledgement that pro sports have become today’s popular religion. Placing figures in boxes this way has a long history in church art. Bernini‘s  1651 Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is probably the most famous example.

Art patrons are forever changing their strategies for shaping public values. From ancient Roman bread and circuses, through pious Bible stories and, perhaps, back again.

Public art, even when it stinks (or especially when it stinks) reveals a lot about the society that accepts it and about the people, committees, corporations or institutions that commission it.

“We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.” — Pablo Picasso

Green, single-serve coffee

Listening to the most recent episode of Terry O’Reilly’s entertaining Under the Influence show. I learned that John Sylvan regretted that he had invented the Keurig coffeemaker. Those expensive little cups are environmental bad news. Unrecyclable, and enough are in landfills to circle the globe 12 times. ☹️

So how can I be happy that Danica brought home this new single-serve machine? Because this one is the the “classic” model that doesn’t have to use K-cups.

A little wire-mesh cup holds ground coffee that I spoon in … any brand. I clean it after each fresh cup, for reuse. The mesh cup must be purchased separately for $20, but that’s it and you’re K-cup free.

I first saw the unit at Andja’s house in Windsor, but Keurig had stopped making them … until now. Andja told Danica they were back in production and available at Walmart. Ninety bucks. Model K50 Classic.

Thanks for the heads-up, Andja!

Oops. Another stop work order

Perhaps Danica and I weren’t the only ones surprised to see signs of another floor being added to the pied à terre being built on Corley. The building inspector has ordered work to stop (again), according to posted notices.

We’ve been following the construction since the beginning and we like the builders, Rob and his son Josh, so we hope the delay will be brief. Whatever the reason for the stop work order, we wish Rob good luck and we’ll continue to follow the story with interest.