It is not often I enjoy the view from our balcony. What I see in front of me are high-rise buildings that reach up to the sky. It seems that every year more buildings are added to the skyline, blocking the light and the blue sky. This weekend, however, I spent a little time gazing out from our balcony. The snow drifted down lazily throughout the day, covering the ground in white.
This is a sight that I often see in Winter – but this year has been different. The temperatures have been higher than usual resulting in rain or sleet. It was a pleasant change to see snow falling.
I always enjoy the sight of a Winter wonderland when the snow is still pristine white and the world is a silent place.
The fingers of the naked trees reach up to the cold, blue sky. Birdsong has been silenced; the sounds of children at play in the park has lessened. Winter is approaching. And, with it, the desire to burrow into one’s home. As the fingers of Old Man Winter creep around buildings and humans, animals hibernate. Smiles are hidden, as are the joyful gaits of those who enjoy the warmth of the summer sun. Yes, winter is approaching and, with it, the retreat into oneself.
Yesterday while walking to my annual appointment with my doctor, I passed a pleasant garden decoration. The Christmas decoration is simple and yet effective. I loved how they use the tree that is already in their garden and decorate it with Christmas baubles.
I am sure that many more people this weekend will put up their decorations. I look forward to seeing them as it does add to the festive feeling of this month.
All day long our neighbourhood is filled with the sounds of construction: drilling, hammering, the rumble of heavy trucks. Looking out from our balcony, we can see the closest spot from which these day-long rumblings come:
The noise seems to never stop and I often long for quiet. The spot in the photograph, though, is an example of what is happening in other streets near where I live; as well as on the main roads. The constant construction and zeal for creating condos is changing the skyline that I see everyday.
The buildings that are going up now are higher than the existing ones. And I know that in the next few years, this view of the horizon will change even more.
As I was walking my daughter to her swimming lesson yesterday, she pointed out the light rimming some of the heavy grey clouds in sky. She liked the contrast between the blue sky, the bright edging and the dark-filled clouds.
I liked the way the buildings, trees and lampposts seemed to frame the unusual skies. We enjoyed the scene for a little while until we turned left and our view of the skies changed a little.
Do you look at the skies when you walk about in the early evening?
As you know, this weekend we were getting ready for my daughter’s graduation from Middle School. We had been shopping for shoes in our neighbourhood but could not found the right shoes: they had to be flat sandals in a gold-like colour. Yesterday we decided to take a trip to Chinatown to see if we could find what we were looking for.
We got off the streetcar just as we entered Chinatown, hoping that we could find the shoe shop we had visited before.
Alas, the store had closed down – as have so many in the last couple of years. Store fronts stand empty even in this part of town.
We walked to the main road in Chinatown, Spadina Avenue. Here throngs of people were shopping or strolling along the road on this first day of summer.
I have seen these streets busier – and they will be as the tourists come to visit and schools are closed. Looking around one can feel the vibe of the city. I love, too, that public transport is available and that the city is attempting to make the streets safer for cyclists.
Whenever we are in Chinatown, we always take the time to go for a meal. Yesterday we visited the best restaurant we have been to for dumplings, The Dumpling House Restaurant. The dumplings are made in-house and are freshly made every day.
We often order our favourite: wonton soup (for my husband), vegetable stir fried noodles (for my girls) and pan fried dumplings. The meal is delicious – especially as we do not have it too often.
While in Chinatown, we take the time to stop by the supermarket to get some Chinese vegetables and cooking essentials. The fruit and vegetables are displayed outside to attract the passing trade.
The signs showing prices are crude, penned on torn cardboard boxes or red card.
The following sign was put up after people began bringing their own shopping bags to stores. As expected, the sign is also written in the language used by many of the clientèle.
The fruit always looks good and the scents encourage one to pick some up to take home.
We enjoyed our day out together as a family. The best part about it was that we found shoes for my daughter – and a little clutch purse that would go perfectly with her outfit.
All items are now ready for the big day. Later on this afternoon, she will be all dressed up and ready to celebrate.