Posts Tagged: toronto harbourfront

gets uglier before it gets prettier

These days much of my world looks like this.  I have heard all kinds of grumbling about it, and I suppose if I had a car I might be grumbling too.  However, much of this is about transforming one of the best things about this city – the harbourfront, which has gotten kind of shabby.  If this is going to be a world-class city, then this jewel of a spot needs fixing up.  Bring it on, I say.

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

caledonia

I've been away from my home for a week, being stand-in-mommy for my cousin in Riverdale.  When I get back, I find this large and lusty gal docked across the street.  A quick search tells me she has been up for sale, and just sailed up the St. Lawrence Seaway from Nova Scotia to stay for the winter. 

She can light up a room, wouldn't you say? 

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

getting around in the harbour

 

image from www.flickr.com

A gaggle of sailboats, over near the island.

image from www.flickr.com

More of the gaggle, beyond a buoy.

image from www.flickr.com

This one being towed back. Was this couple in trouble for going around in circles the wrong way? Did they just give up, not getting the hang of things? Did the wind fail them – a wind malfunction?

image from www.flickr.com

Maybe a canoe is the most reliable way to go.

Certain days are "sailing class" days, and you know it because there are lots of sailboats out there sailing around in circles.  It's a pretty sight.  I was kind of late catching these shots, the numbers had dwindled for tonight; however it was the most compelling thing out there tonight.

first snow

image from www.flickr.com

There are two really great "first snow of the season" experiences.  One is waking up to a layer of the stuff blanketing the world.  The other is looking up into a light at night and seeing it falling all around you.  

After standing under the light, trying to capture a picture and feeling the snow on my face and hair and seeing it dotting my glasses and my phone (camera), I walked home significantly lighter than I felt when I left.  Happy winter.

first snow, sort of

December 27-2011 Snow

It's been raining all day today. I was itching to get out for a walk early, but seeing the hunched people down there on the sidewalk bracing themselves against the weather got me finding things to do around here instead.  Eventually it got to the "go now or don't go" point so I layered on my rain jacket over my coat and went out.  

Me and my umbrella wandered a bit in the Harbourfront, took a few pictures and watched the people skate at the outdoor rink down by the lake and felt I like a wuss for putting the outing off.  I walked some more and then went up to the grocery store and on the way home got a bottle of wine then the rain changed to snow.  Apparently we had some snow when I was in Vancouver all those weeks ago, but I never saw it.  So technically, this is my first snow of the season. 

There are two really great "first snow of the season" experiences.  One is waking up to a layer of the stuff blanketing the world.  The other is looking up into a light at night and seeing it falling all around you.  

After standing under the light, trying to capture a picture and feeling the snow on my face and hair and seeing it dotting my glasses and my phone (camera), I walked home significantly lighter than I felt when I left.  Happy winter.

Snow falling in a streetlight:  Beautiful thing number eighty.  

looking to land

The recent period of long, intense hours in my job have kept me away from yoga class for two weeks. Yesterday I finally went back and I didn’t feel any less fit or able after the absence, but my balance was off kilter.  It took everything I had to move into some of the poses, and more of that to stay there.  It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that yesterday’s imbalance is indicative of a lack of equilibrium that goes beyond that mat in a yoga studio.

It hasn’t been all bad up to now; only it seems that since the heavy period ended, I’m flying around trying to find a place to land.  Or maybe I’m just resisting the landing, wanting to be floated along on the waves of air like that gull I watched the other day. 

The big proposal went in last Friday and as I handed it off to the person who would print it and deliver it, I felt like I was handing her a 100 pound weight.  I walked out of the office and opened my eyes to acknowledge the approaching weekend with a wagonload of gratitude.  Apros pos, because it was Thanksgiving, and three days of freedom sat on my horizon, and each of those three days was forecasted to be spectacular – sunshine and 20+C temperatures.  It was like someone was handing us those days as a reminder to be thankful. 

And it was easy to be thankful every minute of those three days; they were bright, clear, soft and breezy, and the nights cooled down for the best kind of open window sleeping. 

Actually, the sleeping didn’t come for me proper until the following Tuesday, another indication of my off-kilter state.  But it didn’t matter; when you get days like that, it’s easy to climb out of your petty personal concerns. 

Monday, Thanksgiving Day, I sat in the sun and watched some fellas bustling around on a sailboat, readying her to sail.  I felt a stab of envy a little while later as I watched them glide off into the harbour.  As her sails rose in the sunlight, I wished I could lie on that deck, an invisible stowaway drifting off to anywhere. 

I was carrying a journal and in it I wondered where the escape desires were coming from.  I hadn’t experienced them in a long time, since years ago when I was so desperate to leave a job and a city.  I’m not feeling anything like that now; in fact I would even say I am pretty content about things. 

I know the sailboat desires were just me wanting to get back on an even keel.  (Schmaltzy pun, but it’s appropriate.)  I wrote a little more and painted a little and got not a little pleasure in the process, but my mind wandered, lost in the freedom of time – like that floating bird. 

My girls had gently nudged me into the idea of Thanksgiving on Friday.  Anticipating the weather and at least one more rooftop dinner, I couldn’t fathom anything like a traditional meal.  I was tired.  But they eased me into that idea too; and though we sat in the sun on the rooftop patio to enjoy it, we had a meal of turkey breast and roasted potatoes and beets and green beans and squash and even pumpkin pie.

I went to bed that night, grateful again, and still unable to sleep. 

Things are quieting at work and as another week approaches I'm considering the landing.  I'll keep working at my Tree Pose; maybe that will help.

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3104574/realia?claim=5rr2c8t6qgh">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

soul food

I love soup.  I love to make soup almost as much as I love to eat it.  There is something so satisfying about putting a bunch of things in a pot for an hour or two and having it all turn into hot delicious goodness.  In the colder months I make soup pretty much every week.  When my kids were growing up and the budget was tight, homemade soup was economical and most of the food groups were there in one pot.  Soup is an easy take along lunch and a quick heat up dinner.  Soup is one of those things you don’t mind eating for a few days in a row because it’s always better a day or two later.

With a crusty bread and salad it’s a complete meal.  It’s a healthy snack to hold you over.  It's something thin and unobtrusive to put in an upset tummy.  It’s a substantive breakfast – my Aunt Martha used to love to have the broccoli soup at a favourite diner at the Windsor Market on Saturday mornings.

Soup makes your house smell good.  There are thousands of recipes for it from all over the world – if you were so inclined you could make a different soup every single day of the year.  Soup can be hearty, light, vegetarian, meaty, calorie-sensible and decadent.  One of the favourites in our family is a quick minestrone, of which my daughters make a meatless and every bit as satisfying version.

This Labour Day weekend was cool, blustery and drizzly; it was like the calendar flipped over and shouted “AUTUMN AUTUMN AUTUMN” in giant LED.  Today I thought I would embrace that by going down to the Harbourfront and having some One Love Corn Soup.

The One Love Corn guy is a Toronto institution.  He has a stall at the Harbourfront during the summer months where you can get grilled, seasoned corn on the cob and the famous One Love Soup.  It’s said the soup has healing properties for the psyche.  If you’re feeling blue, many people say, One Love Soup can make you feel better.

Don’t go to the One Love Corn guy if you’re in a hurry.  There’s reggae music playing in his domain, and while the soup is made and sits hot in a big pot – the corn is grilled right, not fast, even when the line for it trails long all the way to Queens Quay.  When he finally determines your cob is ready he’ll saunter with it over to a table where he rubs it with lemon, brushes it with butter and sprinkles seasoning on it.  Any part of that process is probably going to be interrupted when he feels the need to dance a little.  Just watching your corn get to you takes your blood pressure down a couple of notches.  Waiting for the ten people in front of you to get their corn before you get your soup is worth it.

The weather people say summer’s coming back tomorrow, but I’m thinking soup is back in my life now.  Next week… roasted veg?

One Love Corn Soup
Recipe courtesy of Ras Iville Wright and Ikeila Wright, Leaf of Life Catering

     • 24 cup spring water
     • 2 cup yellow split peas
     • 1/2 cup coconut milk
     • 3 vegetable bouillon, cubes
     • 6 Yukon Gold or red medium potato, washed, peeled, and, quartered
     • 2 cup Jamaican pumpkin or 2 cup butternut squash
     • 2 cup frozen vegetable mix
     • 3 cobs fresh corn
     • 3 carrot, peeled, and, diced
     • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, whole
     • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, preferably Jamaican Bird Pepper
     • 1 clove fresh garlic, finely, minced
     • seasoning salt, (Mrs. Dash), to taste
     • 1 sprig fresh Jamaican thyme

In a large pot bring the water to a rolling boil. Add split peas and cook until soft. Add coconut milk and vegetable bouillon cubes. Allow liquid to boil again. Peel and cut pumpkin into large cubes. Put potatoes, pumpkin and frozen mixed vegetables in the pot. Cut up 2 cobs of corn into wheels and shave the kernels off of the remaining cob. Add the corn and diced carrots to the pot. Simmer soup on medium heat for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Scotch bonnet pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, seasoning salt and thyme. Stir until seasoning is mixed through. Simmer for 5 more minutes to allow the flavour of the seasoning to be released into the soup.

My Mom’s Minute Minestrone
2 tbsp butter (I use olive oil)
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 package Italian sausage, chopped into small pieces (hot or sweet – I buy a package of each, using half of each and freeze the other halves for next time)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded cabbage (I like to keep little bags of shredded cabbage frozen in the freezer just for soup.  Just buy a cabbage, shred it, throw it in bags and freeze them.)
1 large can kidney beans drained (I prefer navy beans)
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 carrot cut in small sticks
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp sugar (optional – I only add a tsp or so)
1/2 tsp dried basil (I prefer oregano)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups COOKED macaroni or other small pasta (I use orzo)
Approx 14 oz water to make desired broth
 
In a large saucepan, heat oil and sauté onion, garlic and sausage until sausage is lightly browned.  Add herbs and sauté for a minute.  Add all other ingredients, except pasta, and cook until vegetables are tender. 10-20 minutes.  Add pasta. Serve with grated parmesan sprinkled on top. 

some moments in the harbour with the captain’s daughter

I took these photos for my dad.  When I told him where I would be moving in the Toronto harbour, he knew this ship, the Empire Sandy, was docked outside my door.  And before I even walked down and had a look at her I knew that she is from Thunder Bay and that in another life she was a tug.  You learn these kinds of things when you're the daughter of someone who has sustained an obsession with lake boats for 70 odd years. 

I enjoyed the clear and subtly changing shades of the sky tonight.  A perfect early summer evening to end a gorgeous Victoria Day long weekend.

Empire Sandy MrKane

 Empire Sandy

 Empire Sandy2

 ThreeSisters

 MrKane

 Ship and Moon3

 Ship and Moon

 Ship and Moon2

 Empire Sandy Deck