See You Again Never

I took this set of photos a couple of summers ago when this hoarding art sprung over the course of a couple of weeks. I loved the message, the style, the use of found objects & how it reprised what was already on the hoarding. 

It’s on the south side of Danforth,  east of Bastedo Ave. The remains of it are still there. Bits & pieces hav been torn off but it hasn’t been obliterated by the city even for Destination Danforth. My only disappointment is it didn’t inspire more of the same on other hoardings.

Oh yes – the hoarding protects an empty pit waiting decades now for redevelopment. At one time there was a hardware store there. The store caught fire & was totally incinerated. Going through the remains the fire inspectors found human remains & evidence that the fire had been set by the deceased.


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Christmas Trees

These well-hung trees are all east end Toronto. Some are in public parks so have city money behind them. Some are homes on side streets. Some are one colour, most are multi-coloured. Personally I prefer colour. All are amazing.

Joyeux Noël ! Feliz navidad ! ! مرری کریستمس ! 圣诞快乐 ! メリークリスマス!

Alexander Park at corner of Danforth & Logan
radioactive?
loop-de-loop
East Lynn Park – Danforth near Woodbine
blue & white – colours of Greek flag
East York Civic Centre on Coxwell
Withrow Park
Alexander Park at corner of Danforth & Logan


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Snowy Show People

These were all taken Monday morning November 23. East Lynn Park is on the Danforth a few blocks west of Woodbine.

On Hanson Ave – love the carrot nose & the twig smile
East Lynn Park protector
cold hard abs of snow in East Lynn Park
cedar brows you’ll never forget in East Lynn Park
pop of colour in East Lynn Park
keeping warm in East Lynn Park
lone in the snow in East Lynn Park
faceless in East Lynn Park
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Epic Ripple

I’ve been reading & thinking about the epic economic ripples of covid. Luckily I’m on a fixed income so I have no real concern about earning an hourly wage. I recently read about a shopping mall declaring bankruptcy because its tenants have lost so much revenue due to necessary covid restrictions they can’t pay the per-square-foot rent. Seems the only ones making $ are food delivery services & labs processing covid swabs 🙂

When a restaurant closes – as many have along the Danforth here in Toronto it is easy to see the direct results: waiters, cooks out of work. But this ripples out, as the restaurant also has supplier such as laundry service, bakeries for breads & desserts, equipment (broken dishes have to be replaced), butchers, fresh produce. 

So the providers of those supplies have less customers. Bakeries have suppliers too – flour, dairy etc – suppliers who now have less demand for their goods. The restaurant has less income to tax & so the actual tax base our country runs on is gradually reduced too – less taxes effects the services we count on – health care for one. 

I’m not an economist just an occasional diner. I sometimes buy coffee on my morning walks but I can’t drink enough coffee to save any indy coffee shop, or even a chain – Starbucks has been closing stores. I suspect the economic structure is going to have to be restructured because once the low income base crumbles there’ll be no money to bail out the billionaires.

Walk Away

I walked away

didn’t look back

I would have if

as in the legend

it would have sent you back to Hades

then again maybe not

I wasn’t that invested in revenge

just in getting out of there

freeing myself of what wasn’t working

even though you seemed to feel it was working

each step away became easier

each hour away was easier

each day each week each month

now years later

there’s almost a sense of nostalgia

not that I miss you as a person

but as an emotion

<>

I didn’t return your calls

there was no point

especially as they decreased in frequency

even when you got me on the phone

or waved to me in the street

I didn’t invest more time that necessary

didn’t open that door any wider than I had to 

didn’t want that old cat sneaking back in

between my legs

as you did with such grace and dexterity

no done is done

<>

I didn’t want to be friends with you

you never understood why

which was one of the reasons 

I walked away

each step another one 

back to myself

the apologies and promises

stopped meaning anything

they weren’t worth the air they were uttered with

<>

I supposed it would have been easier for you

if had gotten angry

stormed and raged

but I left in quietness and security

one step after the other

no regrets no hesitation

I walked into silence

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East End Toronto Ghosts

I ate here often enough – a decent if unspectacular kitchen – close thanks to the double whammy of astronomical rent increase & covid restrictions – corner of Danforth/Broadview

breakfast cafe at corner of Gerrard/Woodbine
interior of above
interior of the ghost below
Cafe on Main south of Gerrard
corner store east of Danforth/Woodbine
Terminal Grill in a pervious life time – I’ve eaten here in all it entities then it was closed a year or so but now about to be resurrected as an A&W
Danforth & Monarch park – clearly the wrong neighbourhood for a designer pillow store
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East End Toronto Ghosts

More closed business, some thanks to covid, others thanks to rental increases

East Indian at Danforth/Pape corner that was just getting settled in when covid hit
nice tile work wasn’t enough to keep them going
a couple of these opened near odd subway stations i.e. Donlands – no school kids = no business, besides the Danforth has enough coffee spots
Coxwell at Dundas E – not so convenient after all
chains under the window were for strollers not tots
now an inactivity studio
Danforth has enough coffee spots with no room for this one – soon to be a fried chicken joint –
I ate here frequently – massive rent increase closed its doors after what seemed like 100 years of being a Queen E dining destination spot
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Ghosts and Haunted Stumps Toronto

Pan on the Danforth – good Greek/Mediterranean food

tile entrance to Pan which is still there

Seduction on Yonge – sex no longer sells

Greek City on the Danforth – moved then vanished

corner of Sherbourne & Bloor – soon to be a covid ghost – Timothy’s gone & Starbucks took over – then pandemic

Danforth & Logan – the Tim’s stain refuses to be gone

tree on lawn of house next door

haunted stump & bones of tree professionals came later in the year to remove the stump

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Toronto Ghosts

Sometimes when a store closes it leaves a ghostly stain. These are all eastend Toronto, most along the Danforth & one at Coxwell/Gerrard St.

Wongs was a camera shop near Broadview – the window had a display of antique cameras

Crossroads was empty (& still is) for decades. It recently was gutted but still remain unoccupied. I was sorry to see this faux Tudor facade finally disappear.The building between it & Gerrard Pizza has been made over riot a daycare. Oh yes Gerrard Pizza is now closed.

close up of the Crossroads wonderful diamond leaded glass.

some signs are so iconic even painting over doesn’t disguise them. This was a busy Coffee Time at the corner of Coxwell/Gerrard E that closed overnight. it remains unleased two years later.

optometrist at the corner of Danforth/Coxwell that I didn’t even realize was gone so I don’t know how it’s been for lease

Let’s talk about this place about a two years then closed overnight – access denied

Tim’s at Danforth/Logan. Always busy it unexpectedly closed overnight a few years ago & the location remains empty.

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Strong and Safe

I live close enough to the Danforth mass shooting that I had phone texts & emails checking to make sure I was okay. The Danforth/Logan intersection is about a 20 minute walk from my house. I pass it at least three times a week on my morning walks. Walking the Danforth is like a trip to the United Nations with restaurants & stores representing the world – Mexican ceramics, Nigerian batik, lamps from Nepal, food from assorted provinces of Greece, Italy, desserts from France. From Broadview to about Jones it is primarily Greek & Italian; Jones to Greenwood is Islamic; Greenwood to Rhodes has become Ethiopian; from Coxwell to Main – anything goes.

I once tried to count the number of places to eat between Greenwood and Broadview and lost count at over 400 before I even got to Broadview. Not for dieters, though there a few vegan spots in the mix. No I haven’t tried them all 🙂

I didn’t hear about the shootings until Monday morning when I saw that someone I knew had posted they were safe on the Facebook ‘I’m Safe’ page. I read what they were safe from & was, I want to say shocked, but it was more like dismayed. I changed my Monday route to the opposite direction – I didn’t want to deal with gawkers, police investigators & the like. 

Plus the media whose right to the news overrides anyone’s right to privacy. I didn’t want to be getting a doughnut & being asked ‘how do I feel.’ I’m very cynical about the ‘compassion’ of the media. To reply ‘I feel like getting a doughnut’ isn’t what they want.

I went through the area on Tuesday, as I ordinarily would have anyway. Took photos, as I ordinarily do, only this time there were the memorials & walls of graffiti to photograph. I took pictures until my own grief made me put my camera away. #DanforthStrong #GreektownStrong were on the walls. 

I’m not sure what they mean – usually to be strong in the face of death mean not to show your emotions – be strong, don’t let anyone see you crying. The Greeks and the Italians are wailers – there were people weeping as I walked through. Were they not being #strong? 

I walked through again on Thursday, also a regular walk for me, took more pictures as the memorials & graffiti increased. I felt the sense of community grief & loss. I was not #strong & stopped taking pictures when I became tearful. Reporters on TV keep asking people – ‘do you feel safe?’ Putting words into the mouths of the people they’re interviewing. It seems, to the media, that feeling safe & strong is more important than feeling grief.

 

The Danforth http://topoet.tumblr.com/post/176234936423/the-danforth-delayed-my-usual-walk-to-broadview

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Dr. Paa BoBo & Snow White

Dr. Paa BoBo: The Greatest Mix – Ghana – I picked this cd up at the $1.00 shelf from the 2nd store that used to be around the corner from me on the Danforth. For a buck I figured I could add a little something to my world view. Bouncy, energetic music. I did google him then to find out just where he hails from. I did another check for this post & found out his reputation is large. There’s a huge, whole world of music out there beyond the limited scope of English language pop.

wet03

reflection 1

Boogie Nights: soundtrack – now this is a great sound track – nearly as good as the ones from Studio 54. I loved the movie, that opening shot to Jungle Fever gave me chills mainly because the music choice was spot on.

wet02

reflection 2

A fun mix of material too, a bit unpredictable – Melanie, Walter Egan – Magnet & Steel is one of my top 100 favourite songs of all times – too bad the lp it comes from doesn’t hold up to the single. The track I like the least, ‘Sister Christian,’ also comes from the scene I like the least – those firecrackers ugh – a scene I fast forward through because it is so annoying.

wet01

reflection 3

There’s also a hidden track that features the song that Mark Wahlberg’s character records in the studio. It is sweetly lame. As an actor he hold his own – gee this is turning into a movie review too – but the endowment prosthetic was laughably fake looking.  Move & sound track are highly recommended.

sample

Snow Falls Twenty Years Too Late

‘You’re looking quiet well. Unchanged.’

‘Thank you.’

The lack of feeling in the reply made her regret ever coming back but she knew in her heart that is was where she had been the happiest in her life. The one place where she had felt whole, complete, loved for herself and not as a trophy, or an omen or as breeding stock.

‘Genetics.’ Doc stepped towards her.

‘More like nothing ages in the enchanted forest.’ Grumpy reminded him.

‘Gosh it is good to see you again.’ Happy took her hand. ‘Whatever it is …’

‘Leggo go,’ Bashful pushed Happy aside and took her hand in his. ‘Not as soft as it used to be. Poor thing.’

‘Just passing through?’ Sneeze sneezed on ‘through.’

‘Actually …’ she didn’t know where to begin. Her amazement that the seven of them hadn’t aged in these twenty years almost made her forget why she was back once again. She knew she’d lost something, left something of herself when she left but didn’t know if she could claim it now.

‘He beat you?’ Grumpy punched the palm of his hand.

‘No! No! Nothing like that.’

‘You someone we know?’ Dopey squinted at her. ‘Don’t recollect anyone with that many wrinkles except …’ he stepped back. ‘It’s her. It’s the witch. The one that killed what’s her name.’

‘Calm down,’ Doc gently patted Dopey on he back. ‘It’s Snow White.’

‘Snow White!’ Bashful’s eyes glazed over. ‘She was so pretty.’

That’s right I was so pretty then. So full of myself and too eager to leave. She looked at the seven of them and longed for them once more. She wasn’t surprised that she wasn’t recognized by them. The years hadn’t been kind to her.

Twelve children that survived out of the nearly twenty she had carried hadn’t given her much time to luxuriate in the life of wealth Prince Charming offered her. The pitter patter of little feet she wanted to hear now where of these men bringing her diamonds once again.

She looked down at her child birth ravaged body, distended breasts, varicose veins tingled in her legs, grey wisps in her once jet black hair. No wonder Prince Charming had been seen hanging around that bitch in the tower. That bitch with the wonderful hair. No wonder her old friends now saw her as the Wicked Witch.

‘So what brings you back?’ Grumpy nudged her out of her reverie, ‘besides that ugly ass you rode in on.’

She knew if she told them she expected to find her lost girlhood here, they would laugh. The thought amused her too. If only they had aged she might have felt more comfortable more welcome but they looked exactly as they had when she left.

Her eyes delighted in their short stocky firm bodies. She longed to pull off those dusty tunics to see the hard muscular bodies underneath. Seven sturdy studly men who could have been hers if she hadn’t run off to fulfill some happy ending that turned into endless sameness. But what was a girl to do but follow what she was taught was to be her heart’s delight? A perfect handsome Prince as opposed to seven sweaty soiled little men.

‘I was wondering how you’ve been all these years.’

‘We sent gifts for each of the children.’ Happy said. ‘You did get them.’

‘We never got a thank you note you know.’ Doc muttered.

‘Yes yes. Thanks. Hansel, Gretel, Peter Peter, Dick, Jane, Cinderella, Topsy, Nan, Buffy, Aladdin and Helen were all appreciative.’

Her heart begin to sink. She knew she wouldn’t fit back here. It was too late. Now she had no where to turn to, no place left to run except back home. Back to the ever so Charmings.

‘Nice to see you again.’ Sleepy roused himself before nodding back off.

She got up to leave. There was a knock at the door. A rush of excitement went through the seven of them. Each adjusted his clothes, then brushed back his hair to look presentable.

‘Who is it?’ Doc sang out invitingly.

‘Simple Simon,’ came the reply.

‘Oh Simon!’ They called out in unison and Simon entered.

Conversation flowed around her rapidly.

‘You look great … You’ve been gone all day … Make yourself comfortable … I got the hot tub all set for you …  Don’t mind her she’s just leaving … I would have come sooner but I had to get something special from the pie man for you guys … I missed you so much  …  Especially you Bashful but you aren’t so bashful when it counts are you  …  let me just look at you  …  Why don’t we get out of these itchy clothes  … ’

She stopped trying to figure out who was saying what to who. She knew she had really missed the boat and it was too late to get back on now. Without a good bye she let herself out.

Finally she understood the Wicked Witch.

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