St. Patricks Day Parade, 19 March 2017
Watching floats, bands, banners, flags, leprechauns, bagpipes, drums, dancers, hurlers, soccer players, dragons, shamrocks, leprechauns, crazy hats, green hats, green everything, but most of all, people.
below: I doubt she’s saying that she loves the sunshine THIS MUCH! but I’d like to think she is. That’s certainly what was going through my head for most of the weekend so I’m going to pretend that she agrees with me!… especially since I am writing this as the rain falls outside my window.
But back to those ravens and flamingos that I promised you…..
below: But not everyone’s happy. Witches brewing with ravens and crows nearby. There always seems to be symbolism associated with these large black birds so I went searching for information. Ravens and crows are found throughout most of the northern hemisphere so many diverse cultures have their own mythologies surrounding these birds. The best summary I found was this, “On the negative side, Raven represents the profane, the devil, evil spirits, the trickster and thief, war and destruction, death and doom, the void. Yet in many cultures Raven also represents deep magic, the mystery of the unknown, death and transformation, creation, healing, wisdom, protection, and prophecy. ” (source) We don’t know exactly what Fiya Bruxa, Shalak, and Bruno had in mind when they painted this mural but I doubt that it was something positive – those witches look rather angry and nasty.
below: From the vengeful looking faces above to these hopelessly romantic flamingos is just a matter of a few steps along College Street. They’re the center part of a larger mural by Katia Engell.
There are 4 flamingos altogether and they are in between two other murals.
In the picture below you can just see the yellow of an alphabet mural by runt
below: Too many things in the way makes for an awkward photo but you can still see enough of it to play the game of what creature goes with what letter! R is for robot dog? Z is for zlithering thingy with rings?
below: J is for jumping purple blob? C is for coughing-up- dinnersaurus?
And look, an alley to explore……
Wait! Before going down the alley I want to take a few steps backwards. Remember that I mentioned that the flamingos were between two murals? This is what is on the other side…..
below: Three cowboys in a mural signed by J Bizzel 4 Shizzel.
The one with his shirt off is the one under the air conditioner.
below: This strange but happy fellow was waiting in the alley.
below: If you look closely at this painting, you will notice that the wavy lines continue behind the bars of the railing and that there is only a small distance between the railing and the wall. That was not a simple paint job.
below: ‘Such a fool’ and someone to agree with it.
below: I’m not too sure what to say about this one. Vermut? or Vermouth? Too much vermouth and you take your clothes off, versmut? Bad joke.
That’s the end of our little tour.
Find a sunny spot and pull up a chair and rest your feet for a few minutes.
Tomorrow there will be puddles to go splashing through…
but that’s a story for another day.
I started walking Graffiti Alley the other day but I didn’t stick to my plan. I meandered and wandered through other alleys as well as I generally headed west.
below: A bright, vibrant, wonderful piece by birdo in an alley north of Queen Street West.
below: Another birdo nearby
below: Only remnants remain. Was it a stikman? Or was it something else?
below: Auston Matthews already has his picture on T-shirts.
It can’t be easy having the hopes of all those Maple Leaf fans resting on your shoulders.
below: Of course normal is boring. What I need is a t-shirt that says “rather be walking”
below: This wall is not new but there is usually a car parked in front of it when I walk past. King Reign and Son of S.O.U.L. were two Toronto hip hip artists who passed away in 2016.
below: Stickers on a box
below: I love the juxtaposition of the car in the mural with the real cars parked in the alley. Also the alignment of the first two walls makes the painting look like one.
below: This is another painting that I saw in Graffiti Alley.
I think that it’s new, or at least I don’t remember seeing it before.
below: Your words of advice for today.
below: Fake. as in Fake news. Fake people. Fake money. Fake graffiti artist?
below: Blowing bubbles. Looks irresistibly ready for someone to pop it!
It was painted by @wamurals aka WayneArt
below: Hidden houses. Being pushed out by the big boys.
below: Half of a lovebot in a doorway.
below: A whole lovebot mixing it up with another creature. I think it’s by grominator but I’m not sure.
I like to think of it as lovebot fighting his demons.
below: Look up, way up, to find the switch from love to fear.
Yikes!, it’s switched to fear now and it’s not going to be easy to change it.
below: Lucy and trouble and a weird looking face in a messy dimly lit doorway that assaulted my nose.
below: Many of the planters along Queen West have been painted including this tribute to Gord Downie.
below: A little astronaut floats away. But he’s not up in the air where you’d expect to find him. He’s way down low near the ground. Perhaps he’s not floating away, perhaps he’s falling back to Earth?
Don’t over think it though. Just keep your eyes open and ready for the unexpected!
As I was walking down Yonge Street yesterday I happened upon this, faces playing peak-a-boo with passersby on the street. It’s a new 22 storey mural being painted on the north side of 423 Yonge Street. A ‘musical mural’ featuring the faces of musicians from the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s.
below: From top to bottom: Ronnie Hawkins, Glenn Gould, Diane Brooks, Jackie Shane and Muddy Waters.
below: The bottom of the mural
below: Looking up…. Shirley Matthews, B.B. King, Gordon Lightfoot and Oscar Peterson.
#yongemural | #adrianhayles
I had heard about a mural at Lawrence and Orton Park so this morning I thought I’d check it out. I ventured out Lawrence Avenue to just east of Markham Road. As I drove I was reminded of how big this city really is.
below: This is the community mural that started my adventure this morning. It was painted in nine sections and then assembled on the wall. It is the work of Ted Hamer, Rowell Soller and Skratch Wonder.
below: As I left Orton Park, I saw this mural from a distance. Of course I had to stop and take a picture. I got some strange looks. Tourists are probably not too common in this part of the city.
below: While I was looking for the best angle from which to take the above photo, I noticed some markings beside the road.
below: As it turns out, these are from the summer of 2011. Lawrence Avenue is 6 lanes wide and at this point it crosses Highland Creek and Morningside Park – a long bridge, a rather barren stretch of concrete and pavement.
below: Bridges were meant for going under, right? Luckily there was an entrance to Morningside Park right there, and luckily I left my toboggan at home 🙂 Morningside Park is part of a network of parks that follow the Highland Creek. It starts near Markham Road and the 401 and runs south to Kingston Road near Guildwood station. A search for an answer to the question, “How many ravine parks does Toronto have?” has yielded no results yet. I’ll keep looking.
below: The answer to another question, “Is there graffiti under the bridge?” was more easily found.
below: The bottom of the pillars were painted back in 2010 and 2011.
below: Hope takes flight over the city. Unfortunately, it’s hard to see but the word hope is written on the city at the bottom of this small mural but it is behind the weeds.
below: Personified Hope, from the picture above, wraps around to another side of the pillar as he/she moves upward. Also seen here is one of the feet from the upside down man.
below: Another pillar has a painting by elicser.
below: There were also a couple of paintings on the other side of the creek. There was water in the creek. Too much to cross safely.
Or at least, too much for me to cross safely!
It was a very quiet place to be this morning. I saw a couple of people on the path, including Batman, but they were silent.
One last photo, taken as I was driving home across Lawrence. I guess it’s somewhat appropriate for the time. Not sure why one would be sporting such a sticker in Ontario though. C’est la vie. To each their own.
I saw many people at bus stops waiting for the 34 Lawrence bus and I wondered how long it took them to get to the subway. Lawrence is 6 lanes wide and I tried to picture it with an LRT running down the center. (but that’s a whole other blog post, perhaps another day).