Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Review

….thanks to Sue W. and GC for hosting the Weekend Challengehttps://weeklyprompts.com/2022/09/24/weekly-prompts-weekend-challenge-review-3/

Reviewing my day in Hamilton. Had I known that I was going to do this I would probably have taken more photos.

My daughter and daughter-in-law had appointments in Hamilton to get their hair done and the car isn’t very reliable anymore for long trips so I volunteered to drive them in my car. I haven’t been back to the downtown core of Hamilton since our daughter moved to New Brunswick.

The first thing I did was drop the girls off at the salon and then I drove to Denninger’s. It’s a German deli that has been in Hamilton since Rudolf Denninger immigrated to Canada from Germany with his wife. The family owned business has grown from the original store on King St. in Hamilton to 5 stores, a warehouse and a manufacturing facility, employing 300 people in southern Ontario. https://denningers.com/pages/about-us

The visit was bittersweet because so many things in the store reminded me of my father, who passed away almost two years ago. I picked up many things that had a special meaning for me. My father loved chocolates, herring and small oranges like clementines. The cashier asked me if I was all right because I had tears in my eyes. I told him they were happy tears. I spent way too much money.

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After my shopping trip at the deli I drove back to Mulberry and MacNab because I knew that I could park there for free and I walked up James St. to the wool shop. I had some money left on a gift certificate from the Hand Knit Yarn Store. It wasn’t for a large amount but I thought I would check out the new merchandise. I haven’t been there since before COVID, over two years ago. Everyone was very friendly and using up the remainder of the gift card was no problem. Again I spent way too much money. https://handknityarnstudio.com/

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After my purchase of yarns I walked around the corner to Arcana Salon https://www.arcanasalon.ca/ to check on the girls. Andrea had another 1 1/2 hours to go, so I walked back towards my car and my favourite coffee shop in Hamilton, Mulberry Coffeehouse https://www.mulberrycoffeehouse.com/. Along the way I stopped to take some photos of flowers and Interesting doors.

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Once I was in the coffeehouse, I ordered a tea and a breakfast sandwich. It was very busy, as it always is and I was lucky to find a seat at a counter. I pulled out the book that I am currently reading but I didn’t get too far. Josie walked in with her new haircut and wanted to visit the Farmers’ Market which was within walking distance from the cafe. When I finished my tea we made the trek to the Hamilton Farmers’ Market and we were delighted to see that most of the vendors had survived the COVID restrictions and closures. I purchased two large bunches of basil and garlic after overhearing another customer talk about making pesto with his purchase. I thought it was a great idea. In the next post I’ll show you our busy day making and putting the pesto into jars.

Andrea met us at the market. We walked around a little bit more and I treated myself to a bunch of flowers. My Dad also enjoyed buying flowers for me and my husband used to do it weekly. We headed back to the car with our bags of produce in hand and then made our way back to Toronto.

That evening we shared a meal together and I cooked up the spaetzle that I bought earlier. Kevin had made a lovely beef stew that complimented the German noodles perfectly. To burn off some of the calories from our meal, the girls and I and Olive went for a long walk through the neighbourhood. What a perfect day!

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The Chaos of the Artist Studio

….some artists thrive in chaos

My husband doesn’t like it when I try to clean-up his work space. I’ve learned to leave his art studio as is. He knows where everything is (most of the time) and what many people would consider an unorganized space, it’s a space that sparks his creative juices.

I can’t say I’m much better. My art studio is smaller and is currently cluttered with papers, bills and unused art supplies. I can only take the mess for so long before I have the need to clean and reorganize the space. I’ll share my space down the road.

Welcome to Studio K. Cormier:

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Seek and Ye Shall Find – The Search Continues

….thanks Marsha for hosting Photographing Public Art Challenge https://alwayswrite.blog/2022/05/13/ppac-46-danger-in-lake-havasu-city/

After our disappointing discovery at the Curve Garden in Dalston our luck changed for the better. While looking at the scaffolding one of the curators from the garden came over to us and asked us if we were admiring the plants behind the metal barrier. We told her about our journey to find a Stik mural and how disappointed we were to finally find one that was almost completely hidden from view.

The curator’s name was Mari and she felt very badly for us. She told us the history of how the garden came to be and how much Stik supported this community project. The mural was very much visible when the garden was first built and they owned another one that was stolen after Stik became well known. She gave us a quick tour of the place and got our email address so that she could send us photos of the mural before the wall became a safety hazard.

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In the second photo we see the lovely Mari who was so kind to us and next to her is Stik, the artist.

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When Mari heard that we were going to the British Museum later that day she hesitantly told us that there was supposedly another Stik mural close by in the Phoenix Garden.

After seeing the Stonehenge Exhibition at the British Museum, Kevin checked google maps to see how close the Stik mural was from our location. Once again we were off on a mission. Coming from a city where all the streets run north and south and east and west we found London difficult to navigate because there are so many circles, diagonals and curvy roads. After a few missed turns we finally found ourselves on the right path and saw the sign for Phoenix Garden.

As soon as we stepped through the gates I saw what I thought could be the mural off in the distance. With his cane in hand, I swear Kevin started to run down the path towards the mural. Success…..we actually found a Stik mural.

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One Happy Man
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Monday Murals – In Search of The Stik

….an adventure of epic proportions

While living in London, my husband decided he needed to find some street art created by the famous artist Stik. He went on the internet to locate some Stik murals that were not too far from our flat in Islington/Highbury.

Stik is a British graffiti artist based in London.[1][2] He is known for painting large stick figures.

One of his works fetched £150,000 at auction.

We started our search for a Stik mural at Shakespeare Walk. We got on a bus and made our way using Google Maps. When we got there we found ourselves walking through a nice residential neighbourhood with a community centre and parks. We thought we might be close because we did see some street art made by children.

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We asked a couple of local residents if they could help us but they were at a complete loss and had never heard of Stik. We ended up walking through Butterfield Green before getting back on the bus and heading home.

Two days later, Kevin found another area where he thought we’d have more luck. This time we got on a bus that took us further east towards Dalston. When we got there I wasn’t sure where Kevin was taking me. We walked through back alleys and abandoned lots but didn’t see a Stik.

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We went back to the main street and passed a colourful gate to a city garden but it didn’t open for another 10 minutes so we walked a little further and down a dead-end street where we passed some quirky shop windows and some graffiti art on the buildings.

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We returned to the Curve Garden Gate and looked up and saw this amazing mural on the wall outside the gate. Later we found out the people in the mural were famous local residents of Dalston.

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Kevin was certain that we would find a Stik mural behind those doors. What we did find was an amazing garden space that had been created by the community back in 2012 to make up for the fact that Dalston had no green spaces for the residents to enjoy. Inside there was a cafe, a tiny ‘museum’ of sorts, a play area for children and wonderful pots of spring plants. The walkway inside twisted and turned around trees and plants and areas to sit and enjoy this green space.

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While I was enjoying the scenery and taking photos Kevin was off looking for a Stik. When I caught up with him he looked dejected and not because he couldn’t find it. He found it buried behind scaffolding and overgrown plants. Unfortunately we could only see the bottom third of the figure. Apparently the wall it was painted on was deemed unsafe so the city covered it up for safety reasons.

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The search continues…….

Thanks to Sami for hosting Monday Murals https://sami-colourfulworld.blogspot.com/2022/05/monday-murals-ellenbrook-ii.html and Marsha for host Photographing Public Art Challenge https://alwayswrite.blog/photographing_public_art_challenge/?wref=tp

Cooking in France

….One of Kevin’s must do experiences

With all the wonderful produce and selections of meat Kevin really wanted to cook an authentic French meal. The area in and around Tours is known for it’s pork so after some thoughtful research he decided to cook Medallions of pork in a port mushrooms sauce.

We took a trip to the market and bought the most expensive cut of pork behind the counter. Over at the vegetable stall we picked up mushrooms and green beans and from the wine store we purchased a port and local bottle of Envol wine.

Back in the apartment the challenge began and I mean challenge. We had a two burner cooktop a two smallish pans to prepare a dinner for five.

Suces sur!

To See or Not to See

…..at what cost would you see the Mona Lisa?

We’ve all seen pictures, videos and documentaries of the Mona Lisa. You may have read books about that mysterious smile or where the art piece itself is central to the storyline.

I’ve heard over and over again how small the painting is in real life and yet when I actually saw it I felt it was larger than I had imagined. Was it worth the long line-ups, the crowds and the close proximity to so many people during a pandemic?

I am not sorry that I saw her up close, well at least as close as you are allowed to be. I stood in line with our son but my husband didn’t. He saw the painting from the back of the room. What I am sorry for is all the art that I didn’t get to see or spend time with, as we hurried along the u-shaped galleries to get to the room where the Mona Lisa hung. I knew we were getting closer when the crowds got denser.

There is so much to see at the Louvre that you need more than one 90 minute slot. We were there at the end of the day and leaving Paris the next morning. Here are a few other art pieces that we managed to see.

Priority Admission at the Louvre

…..walking with a cane has it’s advantages

When we travelled throughout Italy in 2016 with our 9 month old granddaughter we found that museums, galleries and restaurants bent over backwards to accommodate us. Six years later in France we’re finding the same thing except now it’s walking with a cane take gets us priority admission.

Back in April Kevin needed an emergency hip replacement and even though his recovery was remarkably fast he occasionally has balance issues. As a result and playing it safe he brought his cane with him on this trip to France.

On the day we went to the Louvre Kevin brought the cane, knowing that there would be a lot of walking. We preordered the tickets, thinking that would get us into museum without having to line up. We booked for the last time slot of the day and ended up in a line with hundreds of people in front of us. Our son was visibly upset. I asked him him if there was priority admission for people with mobility issues. He asked us to stay in line while he investigated.

Upon his return he told us to follow him and we walked directly to the entrance where security waved us through. This is something that all travellers with babies and mobility issues should know. Once inside I can’t say that the Louvre was easy to navigate, as there are lots of stairs but fortunately my husband was able to go up and down without too much difficulty. Had we investigated a bit more we would probably have found more elevators.