Kensington Market, Toronto

When asked about my favorite place in Toronto, I answered with a straight face & without a second thought , “Kensington Market!”. The thought that immediately followed this proclamation, was hardly nonchalant in character. It was one of surprise laced by curiosity. The answer, I had assumed, would be a tad different; Perhaps the speckless boardwalk paralleling the serene waters of Lake Ontario, maybe the hygge-ligt coffee shop that offers safe haven in the boisterous winter months, even possibly the grey-stoned castle, Casa Loma. Despite these choices,  I had chosen one of the most crowded, loudest markets on the fringes of Spadina Avenue as my favorite spot in the city.
Why? I write this as an answer to you and and to myself.

Continue reading “Kensington Market, Toronto”

Reminiscing the holiday season – Toronto Christmas Market

We are moments away from the burgeon of spring and the blazing sun. The cold will soon be vanquished by bursting clusters of flowers dripping from balconies. The mellow, cloudy mornings and flurried side walks, snow peppered rooftops and tree branches sheathed in ice….the harbingers of winter will  depart for their temporary hiatus. Soon, sunshine will storm through diaphanous curtains and light will flood. It is a good, beautiful thing, I know. That doesn’t mean however that the gray skies aren’t…
It has dawned upon me that I have warily erased the memories of the magical Toronto Christmas Market and since I’m caught in a race against time, we now travel back to the holidays.

Continue reading “Reminiscing the holiday season – Toronto Christmas Market”

Autumnal Musings…

Distraction seems to have got a hold of me & I’m compelled to blame the changing season this time. However, autumn and the glory of colors that entail aren’t just mere distractions. Soothing greens change to glimmering golds and although it doesn’t technically conform to the science of alchemy, they bear with them a promise of euphoria. 

Summer is long gone and with it the burst of sunshine pouring through our diaphanous curtains. I awoke to a grey, gloomy sky and though for some it qualifies a few extra sleep hours, the silvery silky sky and the the soft rain behoove me to indulge in a walk. I don my long gray coat over a thick grey sweater only to realize my sartorial preferences are blending perfectly with my surroundings. Save for the fall foliage, the sky, the facades of historic buildings & the modern skyscrapers with glistening window panes are swathed in shades of grey. Drizzles of rain nonchalantly knock against my umbrella as I circle & navigate around the pathways of Toronto. A crisp breeze and ripples of chills accompany me. Neighboring pedestrians carry sprouted umbrellas and walk briskly while I amble tardily, permitting the rain to soak me. For the moment, Audrey Hepburn croons to Henry Mancini’s ‘Moon River’ on my phone.

A dimly lit cafe beckons me to enter. Luckily I never leave home without a book. I’m soon sipping sweet, honeyed black tea, seated on a high chair, facing a massive glass window on which the rainy water drops have created bizarre patterns. Erin Morgenstern’s, ‘The Night Circus’ absorbs me, only for a bit though. Soon, I’m engrossed in the picture painted outside. Streams of cars buzz across the street. People are wordlessly rushing while a poor, homeless man displays a sign for want of spare change. His furry labrador is snuggled close silently watching the scene in black & white. A man in a turquoise jacket waits under the cafe awning hoping for the rain to stop pitter pattering. A bicycle is parked right out front and it’s saddle, a wet mess. The ground I imagine is gladly welcoming the rain after a parched three summer months. I click many mental pictures before exiting.

The hues of leaves appear darker in the rain, more vibrant, more pronounced. Most make their home on the tree as they gently sway in muffled whispers. The rest are drenched thoroughly but ornately studded over the concrete of the footpath….a beautiful disarray. I make a mental note to capture this in a water colour painting. These are after all, fleeting moments. Evanescent. Soon, barren tree branches will be laced by flurries of snow and the ground, a pristine white spectacle. The crimsons & golds will vanish in the blink of an eye because Mother Nature never falters. Autumn will valiantly bid goodbye and leave us wistfully waiting….

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I will be back soon with Italian adventures. Until then, Ciao!

 

Black Creek Pioneer Village

History like many other subjects, fascinates, piques curiosity and thereby encourages learning. In my opinion, also the easiest means to achieve time travel. It’s almost silly to consider it redundant in the present times considering it renders a clear perspective into the challenging times of the days gone by, invoking a deep sense of gratitude & humility. I personally,  jump at any chance that demands turning back the tapes of time and reliving the glories of a labyrinthine past.”Living vicariously”, they say. I was constantly enwrapped in an unfathomable awe whether it was when I stepped into the colossal halls of the Mysore Palace (in South India) or as we strolled across rows and rows of crystal ware from Belgium in the Udaipur Palace in Rajasthan, leaching out questions like how they lived or how they cooked or how they dressed. Even the simplest of things like spotting an old brass utensil or an intricately painted Minakari ceiling can be riveting. Well preserved chunks of the past coupled with a figment of one’s imagination is capable of doing wonders.(Now that I think about it, that’s probably the only reason I watch Downton Abbey. The beaded “tea” length dresses, cloche hats & headbands were enough reason for me to tune in every week. ) Continue reading “Black Creek Pioneer Village”

CASA LOMA

Sir Henry Pellatt, a business visionary & philanthropist from Ontario, Canada, began the construction of a dream home, CASA LOMA (Spanish for Hill House),  in midtown Toronto in 1911. Years later, it would become a famous landmark with a ticket counter guarding the entrance and a grey stone monument that countless tourists would check off from a “must see” list.
Reeling back into history, the camelot built for 3.5 million dollars, took 3 years of labor and was ornamented with artwork from around the world. Tall ceilings, oak floorings,mahogany & walnut walls, glorious chandeliers, rooms painted with wedgewood blue, a wine cellar in the basement and a pre requisite for any castle: secret passages….they’re all there and more.  Continue reading “CASA LOMA”

Winter, Snow, & the New Year

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up so snug, you know with a white quilt, and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep darlings, till summer comes again’.”
– Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

This morning, the first day of the new year, I unwillingly opened my eyes from the comfort of sleep,  only to see that Mother Nature had decided to surprise us with a shower of delicate flurries. I was snuggled up in the warmth of my home as I stared at an enchanting scene outside my window. Continue reading “Winter, Snow, & the New Year”

THE AUTUMN COLLECTION ’15

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
– Willim Cullen Byrant

Summer has come to an end with the disappearance of warm breeze and pretty clusters of flowers.October has begun with the crisp air and cold breeze. But it brings along with it, leaves painted with amber & auburn, crimson & rose, ochre & rust.
I will let the pictures to all the talking in this photo essay….The colours of the fall!…at Edward Gardens, Toronto. Continue reading “THE AUTUMN COLLECTION ’15”