Toronto, Evening 1(a)

16 June 2008, 7:30 am

Looking up on our way to dinner after the storm:

As we walked by the BCE Place Galleria I said “Wow!” and we went in. I was immediately and forcefully reminded of Santiago Calatrava’s design of the Milwaukee Art Museum, especially Windhover Hall.

Turns out the architect was Calatrava.

Pierre Maraval’s Toronto’s Mille Femmes was hanging in the galleria. The thousand women pictured are “artistic, creative and inspiring women from Toronto and their protégés” including “architects, actors, dancers, designers, journalists, musicians, and others” according to the official description of the project.

On a less lofty level, I enjoyed the nose-to-tail juxtaposition of “Mr. Tasty Fries” and “Master Soft & Delight”

Set into the pavement of West King Street were stars commemorating many notable Canadian people, organizations, and institutions, including SC TV.

. . .and the rear entrance of Second City’s Toronto Theatre was practically across the street.

We ate at Fred’s Not Here. I had blackened hamachi on an orange risotto with wilted spinach — maybe the first time I’ve had yellowtail cooked? Not sure. I appreciated that the menu noted the sustainability of the fish. The risotto was perhaps a touch sweet, but did contrast well with the spices on the fish.

I did snap the boombox-bearing nude on one of the strange murals:

There was another picture I longed to take, but it just seemed too intrusive. There was another mural executed in the same deep red and orange palette, depicting the gates to a city or castle nestled among jagged mountains. Despite the presence of what looked like cherubim in the sky, it seemed distinctly hellish to me (you can see a glimpse of it on the restaurant’s web site).

Seated directly under left side of the mural were four women. Most of them had obviously dyed red (one purplish) hair, and the dark brown of the other diner was given a reddish cast from the light reflected from the painting. One woman had a punkish, upswept shock of hair. None of them were slender. They were all wearing dresses that looked to me like they were cut from nightmarish 70’s curtains: fist-sized globby paisleys and jittery ranks of triangles. The oranges, blacks, and pinks of their dresses clashed productively with the hues of the painting.

Oddly, no one sat opposite them throughout most of the meal, so they would have been easy to photograph had I dared. The woman at the end of the table looked as if she were at least one glass of wine beyond having fun, or perhaps she was desperately overtired. Either way she looked spectacularly out-of-it.

Taken together, they had a sort of mythic quality: norns or valkyries at the banquet table, perhaps. But they also had a slightly out-of-focus aspect, like Renoir’s tipsy, wealthy revelers gone wrong and dark.

I think it would have been a swell photo.

(There are bigger versions of most of these photos on summervillain’s flickr site)

One comment on “Toronto, Evening 1(a)”

  1. pc

    lovely photos!


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