When we initially contacted our landscaper for the backyard he felt he could finish everything before he left for his vacation. He did finish the deck and the fence, but left a few details to be finished when he comes back in a couple of weeks. This includes burying a trench for some electrical to the shed, adding some hand rails at the end of the deck and a pergola (like below) over the shed to dress it up.
Hurray! The sun has finally arrived, welcoming at least a taste of spring. This morning Mr.T and I put away our winter coats donning more spring-like wear for our walk to Kensington Market. It was so nice to feel the warmth of the sun and not be bundled up. Later we went for a walk down Spadina to Home Sense and Winner's and then walked west through the development at City Place. Over the past few years a whole collection of condos has sprouted from an island like area bounded to the north by the CN train tracks, to the east by Spadina, to the west by Bathurst and to the south by the Gardiner Expressway. It is a high density area that is always changing and new buildings and businesses are added.
After walking home north along Bathurst we installed a new laundry line the backyard. With the new fence our contractor gave us a proper post on which to install a laundry line that gave us a little more space. We then decided to go in search of dinner, and because I had a craving for some grilled fish we headed north to Koreatown on Bloor. We found a Korean restaurant, Arisu Korean Barbecue & Japanese Restaurant. Located in the revamped building of a former McDonald's, the place had a great Korean and Japanese menu with a good selection of grilled fish. Climbing stairs away from the street there are a selection of booths looking out to Markham Street, with some tables running along the middle and the other wall. At the back of the restaurant is the sushi bar. Each table has a grill installed in the centre, with all hooked up to independent gas lines for Korean barbecue. There was an extensive menu of both Korean and Japanese dishes. I opted for the grilled mackerel and Mr.T for a beef rib hot pot. We also ordered some vegetarian gyoza. While the service was quick and attentive the price was expensive for the quality of food that was served.
With the weather slowly changing into something resembling Spring, Mr.T and I for the first time since last autumn ventured out into the backyard. We discovered the fence we had kind of repaired ourselves was not doing as well as hoped. The long winter had left it looking less than beautiful leaving sections just hanging off a couple of nails. So a couple of Sundays ago we called a fence/deck/horticulturalist who had fixed the neighbours fence and deck a couple of years ago to come and have a look. Tristan from Garden Gnomes did a great job on our neighbours backyard and is a young guy who gave us a great quote for the work and we jumped at the opportunity for him to begin this week. Getting the work done sooner than later means less disruption for the garden. So at the end of this week we should have a new fence and a new deck giving the backyard some much needed love.
Maybe because of the post about my past, an ear worm from the soundtrack that is my life has been playing none stop in my brain. Listening to it brings back so many feelings that are hard to describe. I used to paint to it well into the night listening to it over and over as it helped inspire my work. And now that world seems so far away.
Last night I attended a retirement dinner for my advisor from my Ph.D. Hosted at a local restaurant only a couple of doors away the Boulevard Cafe it was seemed that most of the department was there. There were a few faces I knew, but most were people I did not recognize. Sadly, the space on the second floor where the event was held was cramped with multiple levels and little rooms meaning that it was hard for people to meet and mingle. Traffic through the tables and rooms was difficult not for everyone in attendance but also the wait staff. The people there were brought together because of their association with my advisor. They all knew each other through work and the conversation centres around that aspect of their lives. I always find such events trying. It is hard for me to hear with the background noise, and find myself socially awkward. I am much better where I can chat with one or two people at a time. We had dinner and then there were speeches from colleagues in the department and then a speech from the man of the hour. He spoke to the joy he experienced in his 44 years at York and to the importance of his colleagues and his family. It was touching. I also learned at the event that the few individuals I knew in the department were also leaving, some retiring and some moving on. It was another reminder how long it has been since I was part of that world.
Over at Dennis Cooper's page DC, he features the work of the punk artist/singer/filmmaker G.B Jones. Way back in the 1980s when I was living on Jarvis Street in a run-down walkup that has since become a fashionable condo, one of my many roommates, Brian Masterson moved in the same circles as G.B Jones and Bruce La Bruce. His days were built around sleeping, recovering from the glamourous evenings spent trolling the bars and clubs that were so popular and living simply for glam. His antics at the time were legendary, focusing on clubbing and styling himself for evenings out. To this day my ideas about style and beauty and glam are informed by what I learned as his friend. The world within which he lived was fast-paced, built around style, fashion and music. It was a culture, I enjoyed mostly by proxy, as Brian's roommate. While I never really fit in with that crowd, I was always amazed by their boundless creativity and talent.