Sunday, February 14, 2010
guided, illustrated city tours
It's been a little while since I've shared my view of Toronto, so here we are. First, it's Dufferin and Dupont, where there are some amazing graffiti murals. What I love, in particular, is the inexplicability of the subject matter. Woolly mammoth? West-coast native Sun mask? Why not.
As we continue south towards Queen, we encounter the cyber-kitties. Secretly, I feel that the chrome cats would be a useful judge of character. Do you feel that robokitty is inherently awesome or a wanton destruction of private property? Maybe this should be a question on Faunalia's imaginary "Are you a soulless or soulful hipster?" quiz. I think Minouette would like a cyborg assistant, to help her with whatever mischief she gets up to in my absence.
So this wonderful mural has been on Queen West for a long time, and, Murphy's Law, when I finally get my act together and bring my camera to the mural, someone has placed an ugly 'Art Sale' sign in front of it. However, I confess that some of the art amused me, no matter how juvenile the humour.
The entire Dufferin & Dundas Portuguese village area is painted in this colour scheme, which is great. The fact that I timed this 'drive-by' photograph exactly wrong, such that the sun-face is behind the street-light also amuses me.
I love that this Koreantown mural is so similar in spirit to the Parkdale world map, except, now with more Korean food! Also, considering the stylized, low-resolution character of the world map, I love that the artist has clearly depicted the Great Lakes - because that's important.
Cherry St amazes me, how it can always look simultaneously picturesque and desolate.
So apparently, The Distillery District is the largest, in-tact, region of Victorian industrial architecture, anywhere in North America. Hence, it is a boon to the movie industry. Cleverly, the City opted to fill it with art galleries and artists' studios, simulateneously preserving it, and supporting the arts. And yet, I never go there. It's not the most public-transit-friendly destination and I suspect it is filled with tourists (and yet, I think to myself, really? in February! What sort of ill-informed tourist comes to Toronto in FEBRUARY?). From a historical perspective, I find it intriguing that so much of Toronto-the-good was clearly occupied with making whiskey.
New to Queen W, an optimistic graffiti artist:
I love the plastic bag + chain link fence = mural equation. I believe this one, in Trinity-Bellwoods park reads, "Where is the Love?"