Monday, July 31, 2006

Summer of rampant vegetation

All right, I'm back, sorry about the blogpause. I got busy, then I got lazy. The dance conference was fantastic, but I didn't get many photos. Went on a pleasant walk on Thursday, starting at Christie station. We saw some of Himy's work -- Himy has a plan to create one hundred labyrinths within the city of Toronto. Also we came across the above eerily decrepit basketball court, overgrown with weeds. The plants are taking over the city this wet, warm summer: there's greenery surging out of every little crack in the pavement, and in gardens everywhere, daisies and tomato vines are growing to improbable size.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Lighter than air

Wind Rain Sun 5, originally uploaded by squiddity of toronto.

The World Dance Alliance Global Assembly is in full swing, and I'm on UK time, getting up at 5:30 am to make it up to York to help open the registration table every morning this week. Tired... very tired. But today's lunchtime performance, "Wind Rain Sun" -- executed two storeys up on the west wall of the Accolade Building by Alberta's Bird Soul Productions, under the punishing glare of the midday sun -- was breathtaking.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dissenting opinion

Dissenting opinion, originally uploaded by squiddity of toronto.

Apparently, someone has decided to open a debate with one of the city's most familiar graffiti taggers. Ah, yes, it's the diversity of viewpoints and openness of expression that make Kensington Market great.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Screaming in the Rain

Well, for the first time in the 14-year history of the Scream, it rained during the mainstage reading in High Park. The show went on, though, and it wasn't a disaster. The rain stopped after the first set. The audience was about a third of its usual size, but it was probably the most dedicated literary audience I've ever seen. And the readings were great. Just some of the highlights: Darren O'Donnell's dramatic dialogue with a mournful imaginary streetcar; Maggie Macdonald's selection from The Rat King; Angela Rawling's three-woman polyphonic spree based on her Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists; and Ryan Knighton's effortlessly engaging storytelling.

Click here for my photos from the week, and here for Gregory Betts's blogpost, with pictures, of the Kensington Market walking tour that I read at.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The cult of The Kirk

I got the BEST MAIL today. Some explaining is required.

If you read my post about the Wexford walk, and looked at the corresponding photoset, you may remember seeing this picture:

The Kirk's Lounge

The Kirk's Lounge is attached to the Wexford Restaurant, and has a great cheesy/swanky/'50s suburbia look to it. I was amused by the use of the definite article, and by the enigmatically textless mugshot of the Kirk that appears on the strip mall's sign -- here's a small fuzzy closeup:

Close-up of The Kirk

The image of The Kirk created some excitement on Flickr. A dude in the UK was fascinated and puzzled: Who was this Kirk? Why did he have a lounge named after him? And was his image available on t-shirts? (Click on the first photo to read the discussion.) A Scarberian stepped in to explain that the Kirk was the owner of the strip mall & founder of the Wexford (est. 1958). I agreed that there ought to be t-shirts.

So, today I got a large manila envelope in the mail, postmarked in Brooklyn & bearing American dinosaur stamps. It is very exciting to get snailmail from Brooklyn. I did a little dance when I got the envelope, and then when I opened it up I laughed so hard I think my neighbours now believe I am possessed by demons.

This is what Ranjit sent me:

Stencil of The Kirk

It is a mylar stencil of The Kirk's face, with a note saying, "Now you're stuck -- you HAVE to make t-shirts!"

Click here to see what the stencil looks like on paper.

I e-mailed Ranjit to tell him I got it, and he wrote back: "It didn't occur to me until after I sent it that the stencil would be good not only for t-shirts but for graffiti. The Kirk Has A Posse!" Yes, clearly he does.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Small coincidence

Alison and I tried to cut across U of T campus on our way to the Varsity Cinemas on Saturday night, but approaching Victoria College we were stopped by a guy in an orange security vest, who said there was a film shoot in progress and we'd have to go around it. We could see a crowd in front of the college, and lots of big lights on cranes. I asked what they were filming & he said, "American Pie 5."

We continued on our way, taking a side street, which was lined for blocks with big white trailers. In front of one of them was a bench, and on the bench, four or five midgets were relaxing & smoking cigarettes. "Check it out," I said to Alison. "American Pie 5 will feature midgets! You saw it here first!" Then we went to the Varsity and saw Nacho Libre, which also features midgets. Because apparently you can't make a lowbrow comedy without the little people.

My brother is visiting from L.A. this week, looking at potential locations for an upcoming movie. I was out with him and his girlfriend today, and I told them this story & they both cracked up laughing. It turns out that the production company that will probably be doing Skander's movie is the same one that's doing American Pie 5, so he's been issued an open invitation to visit the set, and the way the invitation was phrased was, "Swing by sometime -- you can meet the director and, you know, hang out with the midgets." THE SAME MIDGETS!

Skander's roommate, an actress, was given the American Pie 5 script to read by her agent, but couldn't get past the opening scene, which is so spectacularly offensive that it's impossible for the movie to go downhill from there, because there's nowhere lower to go. Also, word is the midgets will be naked.


Alison and Paul

Here are Alison and Paul at Sunday's Bubble Battle, another fine happening organized by newmindspace.

Who doesn't like bubbles?

Big bubble

You can see more of my bubble photos here. The three of us quickly noticed that about 3/4 of the crowd were under 20, many dressed in fantastic outfits and brandishing all manner of vaguely militaristic, yet utterly non-menacing, bubble-producing paraphrenalia; the other 1/4 were people our age toting really good cameras. And many of those people are on Flickr. So if you want to see some really hi-rez bubble battle pics, click here and dig around.