I spent some good exploring/hardcore city-hiking time with my friend Randy through the Leslieville neighbourhood yesterday. I took many pictures . . . but today, when I went to upload them, everything from yesterday was gone! I gave up trying to find help online — it is baffling as I reviewed them intermittently yesterday and last night, and old photos were still on there. Shit happens, yes, but this is frustrating and disappointing. I was proud of my work, and had so much fun.

I have no tangible thing (eg. a picture) to show for yesterday’s Art Every Day Month activity, but I am running with the idea that it is “enough” to try. Enough remains a blurry word for me . . . I’m working at getting mobile today, although I am feeling under the weather to begin with. Well, no excuses — I will create, but it is hard to not feel pissy on a level. Making lemonade out of lemons takes elbow grease and effort.

I can try with words to describe the area we explored! For the history and factual info of Leslieville, TO, check here. And here: “Leslieville: Next Big Thing?”

Queen St. East, just before one hits the Beach/Beaches area and just past another unexplored area called Riverside. Non-car/bike people can street car it down: sometimes a slow crawl, but the view includes the Don Valley and the original De Grassi street.

The brick buildings, while some baring fresh paint and newish funky indie shops and caf├ęs, are largely as they have been for decades. I’ve heard the scary words “gentrification” thrown around, and while I believe it I did feel relieved that the area is retaining itself (then again, this was my first visit and I am not a local nor a “cool” person).

Leaves are every where on the ground, mostly yellow but with flecks of bright red still present. The grass is still lush and green. Particular draws were antique, collectible and retro shops like Ethel. This place made me giddy and I had to really rein the impulse buy thing in to stick with small purchase (two “bridge lady” coffee cups with one mini-ash tray matching one of the cups, in bright 60s yellows, blues and greens). I intend to mimic elements of the pattern and colours, with some softening, for some of my actual art projects (!!!)

But the highlight (aside from the good company) was Gadabout — this shop, I could spend hours and hours in and not care what time it is (or what year/decade/century). I need to/will go back soon. I managed to stick to one three dollar item (a late 1960s postcard booklet of St. Petersburg Fl.) BUT there was much repressed desire . . .

There were a lot of shops closed along the way, which we found odd considering it was a Thursday and past noon. I’m sure we missed out, then, on some other special spots.

But, well, now I have some spots to discover with other brave souls (I think I tired Randy out with my zeal for long-haul walking).

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Toronto Festival of Storytelling, 2006!

I want to go! I’ll miss it, but there must be interesting, kindred things like this throughout the year. And they need volunteers . . . dang.

I love storytelling and folk tales, and I am fascinated by cultural traditions and stories from around the world (always have been) . . .
when I attended sleepovers with friends as a girl, I was the one who would prepare eerie or mythical stories to entertain people with when the lights went out . . . and my work as a tour guide back in the day was, in large part, a different kind of storytelling. It is an art I would love to hone — I loved crafting my delivery to get the tourists right into the material, to make them laugh or gasp or ask more questions.

I cannot wait to attend events like these, to immerse myself in the different cultural activities . . . my geeky little soul is just humming with excitement!! Yes, the whole point is to be with the person I love, but there are many diversions methinks.

Here is the master class. If I were there, and had the spare coin and time to invest in such things, this would be of great interest for me:

The inner eye – creating images in storytelling —
A Storytelling Master Class with Matts Rehnman

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