Friday, February 16, 2007

Ducks of Scarberia

Ducks encroach, originally uploaded by squiddity of toronto.

I trekked out to Scarborough to visit my dad yesterday, got off the 54 Lawrence bus a couple of stops early (it turned off Lawrence and I didn't know where it was going), and walked through what my map tells me was the Curran Hill Ravine. Houses back onto it on either side, and a creek runs through it. The creek is home to a large flock of ducks who are obviously accustomed to getting snacks from their human neighbours. I stopped walking to take a couple of photos, and as soon as the ducks noticed this they all came flapping and waddling over to sit in the snow around me & eye me beadily.

It was so cold my hands hurt after a couple of minutes without my mittens, so I had to stop taking photos. Immune to the cold, the ducks paddled happily among floating chunks of ice. Look how many there were!

River of ducks

Click here to see lots more duck photos.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What's in all those buckets?

A snowbank takes the subway
Last Sunday, I took part in Diane Borsato's "Snowbank," which I wrote about on Torontoist last month. At the time I wrote that post, it looked like the winter weather was never going to get here, and Diane was considering possible sources of artificial snow. Luckily, January soon reverted to type, and by Sunday there was fluffy, all-natural snow piled in banks all over Toronto, and more coming down for good measure.

Our group, made up mostly of York dance students, gathered at Christie Pits early in the afternoon. We packed a snowbank (really, only a tiny fraction of one: it was a huge snowbank) into white buckets, then carried it onto the subway, to the puzzlement of passers-by. We transferred to a bus at Downsview and bore the snowbank triumphantly to the AGYU, serenaded all the way by the trumpet stylings of Emilie Le Bel. It is a rare and special pleasure to listen to live trumpet music on the subway.

The piece was conceived as a work of choreography -- a dance made out of everyday movements -- and as an exercise in exhuberant, organized absurdity. The now-melted snowbank (it is being stored indoors) will be reconstructed into "a large-scale installation" at the AGYU, opening April 4.

Click here to see my photos of the snowbank's crosstown journey.