Barbara: Yesterday, every single person in my family had the day off. Or could take the day off. My kids are working hard this summer and always on weekends (which is when Phil and I usually take our breaks), so it is rare rare rare that we all have a free day and then make a point of spending it together. A “play day”, if you will.
As Deb mentioned in her earlier post, Picasso and Paul, there is a gorgeous exhibit at our major art gallery—The Art Gallery of Ontario (or AGO)—featuring Pablo Picasso’s masterpieces from the collection at the Musée National Picasso in Paris. The exhibit features a retrospective of work from Picasso’s entire career, many of which were in his private collection until he died, including private sketches. Being lovers of modern art in general and of Picasso in specific, we knew we HAD to go. The stars aligned, the free day presented itself, and off we went for a day of hometown adventure.
We decided to head downtown so we could also grab a bite to eat before going to the gallery. Now we could easily have gone to one of the lovely restaurants inside the AGO itself, but we decided to take advantage of the gallery’s fortuitous location in the heart of Chinatown. As we drove into the city, Stefanie googled restaurants. She found an excellently rated place a few blocks from the gallery. We parked the car and did something we (and by “we”, I mean Phil and I, because the girls, of course, walk everywhere) walked this part of the city.
There are so many areas I visit in the city—visit so often that I take them for granted. But this area is one I usually drive—along Dundas Street past the long sweeping avenue of University, which extends down to the water in one direction and up around the beautiful Queen’s Park government buildings in the other. But this was the first time Phil and I walked it. It was a sultry-hot day and the streets were crowded with people. As we made our way to the restaurant, we decided this is what it might feel like if we were tourists in Toronto—seeing parts of the city that we never really notice, trying a restaurant we would never otherwise try, and then seeing a world class exhibit.
Here are a few photos of our tourist adventure in our own city:
The food was delicious at Spadina Garden, spicy and robust.
This is my attempt to take a photo of us as a gang of tourists, but I pressed my video instead—and thought this was so funny, I had to share!
The AGO itself is stunning. One of my favourite places in the whole city. Frank Gehry did the redesign of the architecture several years ago.
The exhibit was stunning. It felt intimate and immense all at the same time.
And this is us relaxing afterward. What is it about going through a gallery that makes you so tired afterward??? We decided it was the intensity of your focus, taking it all in, absorbing and processing. It’s a lot for our sometimes lazy brains!