Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mea Gulpa

Well, it had been my intention at the start of the day to go downtown to the Gay Pride Parade and get some shots of the colourful goings-on there. P-Doug said that there was BBQ day going on down at the Distillery District, and we ought to go there first.

Well... we never made it to the parade. Blame it on the beer, the good music, the great weather, the shade.

The star of the show

Where we were sitting, a band was playing really mellow jazz/blues/rock stuff. I don't know for sure what it was, or who they were. We never found out. But they played a fantastic version of Gershwin's Summertime and Cher's Sonny.

The mystery band!

At one point I went for a bit of a wander, and stumbled upon Kevin Clark's Jazz Kitchen. Yup, they were back down at the District, doing the Dixieland. I stood and listened for about ten minutes before heading back to rejoin P-Doug. In the course of it they played Stardust, Go to the Mardi Gras, and Blueberry Hill. Gotta get back down there to sit and listen to these guys!

Kevin Clark's Jazz Kitchen about to start cookin'...

While I was wandering around, I encountered the first Segway dealership in Canada, right down there in the Distillery District. This young woman spoke to me about the model she was demonstrating, which cost (as I recall) $5200 Canadian, and would run 20 km. on a charge. Since that's just shy of my round trip to work and back, it did kind of peak my interest. I don't really have that kind of money to put on something like this, but if I did, I'd seriously consider it. It would take me anywhere between 30-60 minutes to get to work, but I don't think I'd mind it, especially if I were zipping past all the traffic. Sure, I'd look like a geek, but I'd be a moving geek. :) And a moving geek trumps a cool dude sitting in traffic with his thumb up his ass any day.

Let's Segway into a different discussion...

This weekend, the District was featuring various artists. One who really caught my eye was Margaret Rankin, who is a printmaker. She had some really appealing pieces depicting the Gardiner Expressway that, were I well-heeled enough, I would have liked to have had. There were others, though. One that really impressed me and was in my price range was the one below, Blue Bamboo.

Blue Bamboo by Margaret Rankin

We also came across some work by a Russian artist named Marina Verpakhovskaia. She calls her company, or at least her website, I have a particular appreciation for this style of work, which comes from Eastern Europe. For a little over a year in the mid-90s, I worked in computer animation with a pair of Bulgarian artists. The work was done according to their style, and while I can't claim to have really mastered it, I did grow to admire it. There's a different aesthetic about it that makes it immediately distinguisable from Western artwork. I can't exactly put my finger on the difference, but I know it when I see it.

Catsfriends art booth

My eye was drawn to a canvas of a happy looking tabby cat. It must have stood out in the artist's eye as well, because she had several prints of it, and it is the featured image on the small business cards she gave us. I bought the original. It is, she related, a portrait of her own cat, Bart, whom she named for Bart Simpson. I have hung this canvas just inside the door to my apartment.

Bart by Marina Verpakhovskaia

Afterwards, P-Doug and I went back to East York to pick up his wife, G. We all went down to the Danforth to eat at the Pappas Grill. The food there is excellent. G and I each had the pork souvlaki, and P-Doug had the chicken souvlaki. They had desserts (G a white chocolate truffle and P-Doug key-lime pie), but I succesfully fought off temptation for once. I need to do rather more of that. Some of the pictures P-Doug took today with me in them are not exactly what I'd call flattering. It's time to shed the weight I've put back on the past year and a half.


magprint said...

Thank you for the comments on my prints. Two of the Gardiner Expressway prints are now in the City of Toronto's public art collection as I won the City of Toronto Purchase Award at last summer's Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.

Lone Primate said...

Whoosh, I really had to go hunting to find where this was. :) I'm glad you found the entry and hope you were pleased with the mention.