In The Company of Dogs

Love this one! I rediscovered this shot today while going through the old photos of our trip to Vienna, Austria in 2015. This was a beer ad found on the side of a bus shelter.

Translation: “A good beer has always been demanded by good company”.

On Procrastination

They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces
And husband nature’s riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

Sonnet 94, William Shakespeare

World AIDS Day 2021

It hasn’t gone away.

I hadn’t visited the AIDS Memorial in Barbara Hall Park for quite a while. After last week’s brief and beautiful snowfall, I went out to capture some shots and ended up spending some time in the Memorial. It is remarkable, and saddening, to look at all the names of those who have died of AIDS over the years. The late 80s and early 90s, especially, took the worst toll; there are several pillars dedicated to 1988-90 alone. As you scan chronologically through the plaques in the memorial, it’s indicative of the distance we’ve come in fighting this disease: there is only a solitary name on the 2021 plaque.

AIDS is still with us; it’s just more manageable now thanks to the variety of life-saving meds out there.

Masking Up For Rosanne

Well, better late than never. The enduring Rosanne Cash graced the stage of The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto last Saturday night along with her incredible band (including husband Steve Leventhal), and it proved to be a terrific show. Originally this concert was scheduled for Sunday, April 11, 2021 but, like so many things the last couple of years, was postponed due to COVID-19.

The crowd was overjoyed to see her, and Rosanne herself was truly thrilled to be there, and said so. While I’m not a Rosanne Cash fan per se (Vince instigated the ticket purchasing and I came along for the ride), I do appreciate good music of any genre – and what a great venue for the concert: the beautiful and acoustically-superb Koerner Hall!:

Koerner Hall

I was very curious, especially, to see exactly how something like a concert can be attended during these pandemic times. Masks and second vaccinations were required for entry, and here’s what the crowd looked like:

I didn’t get any shots of the actual concert as photography during the concert was prohibited; as a good Canadian I acquiesced and obeyed the rules. I did, however, grab a quick shot of the stage before the evening got under way:

The stage, pre-concert

Here’s what the concert setlist looked like:

A Feather’s Not a Bird
The Sunken Lands
Etta’s Tune
The Only Thing Worth Fighting For
Tryin’ to Get Home
(Reverend Gary Davis cover)
Crossing to Jerusalem
Particle and Wave
She Remembers Everything
Long Black Veil
(Lefty Frizzell cover)
Ode to Billie Joe (Bobbie Gentry cover)
The World Unseen
When the Master Calls the Roll
Blue Moon With Heartache
The Killing Fields
Money Road
Tennessee Flat Top Box
(Johnny Cash cover)
Encore: Seven Year Ache

All in all, a great concert by a beautiful, talented and charming performer. Thank you so much, Rosanne, for braving COVID and travelling from the U.S. to deliver this perfect concert to us. Apparently this was the only Canadian date on her tour and we were honoured to have her.

Remembrance Day 2021

Due to COVID-19 many people, including myself, were hesitant to gather at the usual locations to pay our respects this Remembrance Day. In lieu of attending a Remembrance Day service, I submit these shots from an installation at College Park entitled the Colour of Courage.

From the title plaque:

This installation is a tribute to all who have sacrificed their lives for us throughout history. The individuals here remind us that these heroes came from different backgrounds and cultures, and gave up their freedom so that we can have ours.

This is an installation by the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area.

Halloween 2021

Well, another Halloween is here but alas, still no Halloween Street Party on Church Street again this year due to COVID-19. In lieu of the annual street party I did a daytime photowalk to check out the decorated stores and houses. I started on Mutual Street, then headed over to Church Street, and on to Cabbagetown where many of the residents had decorated their homes and yards. Here’s just a bit of what I saw: