In My Cups

23 July 2016 – In my cups, at 11 on a Saturday morning? Disgraceful.

Except we’re talking coffee, not wine. Though there is at least the echo of a relationship: I’m about to take part in a coffee cupping. Like wine tasting, except with coffee.

And you do it with sturdy mugs, not elegant wine glasses.

mugs ready for the NGC Rwandan coffee cupping

We’re on the shaded patio of Merchants of Green Coffee, a favourite Toronto café of mine, housed in a former factory smack on the banks of the Don River just south of Dundas  St. East.

Merchants of Green Coffee, Matilda St.

No longer a jam factory;  now a centre for Fair Trade, organic coffee in all its permutations — green & fresh-roasted beans for institutions & individuals, fresh cups of coffee on-site, coffee paraphernalia, & coffee roasting classes. Also, on occasion, coffee cuppings.

Today, for example, with three high-quality Rwandan coffees.

This Rwandan coffee project is my first experience with a cupping, and I have more than passing curiosity. I helped promote it with a mid-July article for the MGC website — all about the recent emergence of Rwandan specialty coffees; the young Rwandan-Canadian entrepreneur, Assadou Mwunvanezaa, now importing them to Canada through his company, Massa Inc.; and the project with MGC’s Derek Zavislake to promote these coffees & make them available.

Shiny aluminum jars are lined up at the top of the patio table, each containing beans for one of the three to be sampled. Derek (L) and Assadou (R), snappy as all get-out in their Massa T-shirts, describe the coffees, and the cupping process.

Derek (L) & Assadou (R) at the Rwandan coffee cupping

All three, we learn, are Rwandan arabica coffee beans, Bourbon variety, AA designation, and all come from some part of the country’s western region, recognized to have the best soils & climate (terroir counts with coffee, as with wine). All three are Fair Trade and organic, produced by small farmers who belong to local co-ops: the Kopakama, the Abakundakawa, and the Kopakaki, respectively.

There are various cupping techniques, we’re going for the simplest, says Derek.

First you brew the coffee very carefully from freshly roasted beans …

brewing up the samples

and then you taste it.

OK, the process is a tad more nuanced than that. You line up your three mugs; you pour hot water into the first mug to warm it;  you transfer the hot water to each succeeding mug to warm it before it in turn receives its own coffee sample.

Derek pours for Assadou to sample

We are instructed to pay attention, not just to the flavour, but to where the flavour first hits the tongue — and where it goes from there. I pay attention to my tongue, I do, but I also take a moment to appreciate the sturdy, totally unglamorous old pot from which the coffee is being poured.


the coffee pot!!

We are invited, through our comments, to help build the flavour profile for each sample. Derek stands by the flip-board, three colours of marker to hand, one for each sample.

The issues are acidity, and body. Acidity is not (I repeat, NOT) about acids. It is about the brightness of the flavour. Body is, well, body. Weight. African coffees, we are told, typically fall into the higher acidity range, with lower body. Rwandan coffees are distinctive (terroir, again): typically also the higher acidity, but with medium, or higher, body.

Derek works that flip-board as we talk.

where the flavour hits ...

Allow me to decipher.

Those ovals on the left show the tongue. Number 1’s flavour (blue) landed mid-tongue & pushed back from there; number 2 (red) hit right at the front of the tongue & travelled toward the sides; number 3 (green), like number 1, landed mid-tongue but then pushed forward as well as back. Number 1 evoked words like “spicy & “smoky”; number 2 evoked “dry woods, dry grass”; number 3, called up “vegetable,” “fruit” & “sweet” — the widest range of flavours of all three.

From that came the flavour profile curves, acidity on the left & body on the right.

the flavour profile curves

The samples’ curves are at the top: # 1 (blue) with the lowest acidity & highest body of the three samples; # 2 (red) with middle acidity and # 3 (green) with the highest acidity, but 2 & 3 merging in the body column, below # 1.

That green dotted curve below? That’s the profile curve that Derek seeks in Rwandan coffee — which, look again at those results above, is most closely matched by sample # 3.

Well that’s all fine & carefully considered. Then we were invited to forget fancy analysis & just pick our personal favourite. Practically a dead heat: 3 votes each for the first two, and 4 votes for # 3.

Me? I voted for # 1.

My first coffee cupping. Been there. Done that. Even got the snappy black Massa T-shirt!




17 July 2016 – Finally!

My kind of racism …

Carlton & Parliament, Toronto


I saw this, didn’t have my camera with me, went home, got the camera, doubled back, got the photo.

So I hope you are amused.

Into the Labyrinth

11 July 2016 – I attend a glorious noon-hour Bach recital in the Church of the Holy Trinity, and then sit for a while by the Toronto Public Labyrinth in tiny, peaceful Trinity Square Park next to the church.

raised plaque, Toronto Public Labyrinth, Trinity Square Park

The metal plaque is battered, but striking.

And tactile. You can trace the path with your finger tips — and also, if you have the skill, read the braille lettering at the top.

The labyrinth itself, like this plaque, is a bit weary; its colours faded though still decipherable.


Toronto Public Labyrinth

I stroke the raised path, enjoy the touch, but must then turn to a conventional sign for more information.

This, I learn, is a labyrinth (one clear path), not a maze (one path, many dead ends). Labyrinths go back some 3,000 years; this one is based on the 11-circuit labyrinth constructed at Chartres Cathedral in France in the 13th century. Many are located near water, and this one honours the tradition: it is located near the now-buried Taddle Creek.

I’ve sat here before, seen three or four people at a time walking the path.

Today, a single young man. He carefully, calmly makes his way, ear-buds in his ears & eyes on the phone to which they are attached. Is he following some labyrinth app? Listening to a Hildegard von Bingen composition? I wonder, but of course don’t ask.

man walking the Toronto Public Labyrinth

The conventional sign tells us how to walk a labyrinth:

  • Enter with a question or intention
  • Follow the path from the entrance to the centre
  • Walk at a comfortable pace
  • Pass or yield to others on the path as necessary
  • Stay in the centre as long as you wish
  • Retrace the path back to the entrance

part o the labyrinth path, to centre

Later, I click on the Labyrinth Community Network website, and learn — among other things — that there are hundreds of labyrinths in Ontario alone. I am charmed by this discovery. And by the tools for locating any of them.

Later still, a book title suddenly pops to mind and, yes, I am right: Larry’s Party, the 1997 novel by Carol Shields, is about an ordinary man made extraordinary by his ability to create labyrinths.

Read the book. Go walk a labyrinth.






Wind & Water

7 July 2016 – There is a breeze as the Tuesday Walking Society sets out, but it’s nothing — nothing! — compared to the wind-power I discover after our walk is officially over.

Phyllis & I are focused on water, not wind: it is hot & sticky, and we agree the only thing to do is head for Lake Ontario. Not to swim, but even the sight & sound of water should cool us down. (Shouldn’t it?)

The first big splash comes at the east end of David Crombie Park — not yet lake-front, but a very fine fountain to cheer us on our way.

fountain at east end of David Crombie Park, on The Esplanade

The next splash is much smaller. On the other hand, it is multiple. I catch the Sugar Beach splash pad just as the jets are revving up again.

splash pad revving up, Sugar Beach

Some children stayed in it through the dead period, waiting patiently for the next eruption. Not that little boy on the left! See how he is streaking back in, as soon as he hears the first whoosh?

A moment’s near-excitement in the Harbourfront stretch of the Toronto Harbour. A Zodiac? A diver in the water? We join other passers-by clustered by the boat. Nobody quite thinks it will be sunken treasure (or a corpse …), but we hope for, well, something interesting.

off Harbourfront, in Toronto Harbour

Alas, the agreeable young woman overseeing the dive — her cap shading her eyes & identifying this as an H.M.C.S. York operation — tells us they’re just retrieving a bit of superstructure that had fallen off one of the vessels moored near-by. Oh, darn.

Phyllis & I watch a small flotilla of ducks paddle by: mamma in the lead, babies churning industriously along in her wake. We look past the ducks, & start to laugh. The human equivalent:

sailboat class in Toronto Harbour

Wouldn’t you be impressed if I identified the class of sailboat for you? I’d be even more impressed … but, alas, it’s not going to happen.

Now look at that speck in the sky, upper right. Yes, a descending airplane, which I also cannot identify, but at least I know where it’s going: it’s on final approach to Billy Bishop Airport, on the west end of Toronto Island.

Just past Simcoe Street, Phyllis & I find a lake-front café for our traditional mid-walk pause. Most un-traditionally, I do not order a latte. I am seduced by a strawberry-banana smoothie (plain, natural yogurt plus frozen fruit, period). Oh, yum. I may switch allegiance for the rest of the summer.

Right from the café window, more water. This time lapping its way under the Simcoe Wave Deck.

Simcoe Wave Deck, Queens Quay W. nr Simcoe

It’s one of three wave decks along this stretch of waterfront, each on the land edge of a public dock, and each a tribute to the waves and contours of the Great Lakes. This one has the most dramatic curves: some up to 2.8 metres above the lake.

We head inland, make our way east along King St., Phyllis peels off at Yonge to catch a subway north, I continue east on King, and at Church St. offer myself one last sight, sound & smell of water: the cascading water-wall in the Toronto Sculpture Gardens.

Toronto Sculpture Gardens, King E. & Church

No sculpture at the moment, but on hot summer days, we are all perfectly happy with the tiny park’s greenery, peacefulness & water.

I cross the street. The Anglican Cathedral of St. James is immediately opposite, and — I suddenly remember — they have regular Tuesday organ recitals. The sign is out, the church doors are open; I go in.

The recital has just begun. I sit in the calm, cool church nave, and let music — instead of water — wash over me.

a few of the 5,101 pipes of the organ of St.  James Cathedral

Wind-power, yes?

Later, I read about this organ online: a Montreal-built, 1888 English Romantic organ, subsequently maintained & expanded by the legendary Casavant Frères of St-Hyacinthe, Québec for most of the 20th c., with a solid-state console installed in 1979.

If that means wind-power is no longer involved, please do not tell me. I like to think of wind, surging through those 5,101 pipes, setting our eardrums a-flutter, and being converted to the most glorious sound, deep inside our brains.


Wildflowers, Wild Canoes … & a Touch of Z’otz

3 July 2016 – We’re on for wildflowers. That’s why Phyllis & I are trotting down Pottery Rd., heading for the Lower Don Recreational Trail that will take us north along the Don River, surrounded by nature. We don’t expect wild canoes, though — let alone Z’otz.

The unexpected comes later, upstream; we start with the expected, in Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve and Wetland. It lives up to its name.

Look! Wetland.

pond in Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve and Wetland

And look! Wild roses. I bury my nose (checking first for bees). Nothing smells as sweet.

detail, wild roses in Todmorden Mills

The smell and the sight flood me with memories of Calgary back alleys, bursting with wild roses all summer long. (Alberta is called Wild Rose Country for a reason.)

Out of Todmorden Mills, and sharp right to start north on the trail along the Don River. We had a fairly short, but intense rainstorm a day or so ago — the extra water is now boiling its way downstream to Lake Ontario. Rapids are higher than usual around the rocks, and noisier.

Don R. trail nr Pottery Rd junction

Salmon leap — some of them right there in the river, or so I am told, but they’re not the ones we see. We admire the ones leaping in and out of the waves painted onto this section of the trail, accompanied here & there by inspirational text.

trail mural nr Pottery Rd junction

“Life” is good. I’m willing to be inspired by that.

More wildflowers as we go, some of which we can even identify! Not this one, though, but we love it every time we see it, so we wish somebody would enlighten us.

It is not exactly a wildflower, but it certainly is wild.

mystery wild plant by Don River

We chatter once again about how beautiful it is, how sculptural. Somebody else obviously admires its artistic properties as well — here it is adorning a prosaic old Natural Gas Pipeline pole.

Lower Don Recreational Trail

And, while we are on the subject of art …

Leaside Bridge trestles, art by Z'otz

That’s the Leaside Bridge (aka Millwood Rd.), spanning the river and an adjacent train track while it’s at it. But we’re not here to admire the bridge, are we? We want to check out the mural.

detail, Z'otz mural

Who is this artist? A little research later, and I can answer the question — but first reformulate it. Who are these artists?

Right. They are the Toronto-based Z’otz Collective, formed in 2004, still very active — proof right here with their 2015 “Panamania” project, i.e. commissioned artwork to brighten the Pan Am Bike Path. Click here, and get a CBC video of the creation of this mural as well as background on the collective itself.

We are now into the Wild Art stretch of our walk! Next up, the promised Wild Canoes. “Wild” simply because, well, they are not where you expect canoes to be. Namely, in or beside the water.

I suppose you could argue they are indeed beside the water. Just not in the usual direction.

art installation, Don R. underpass south of E.T. Seaton Park

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could tell you what underpass this is? Somewhere south of E.T. Seaton Park, is the best I can do. Sorry. For that matter, wouldn’t it be nice if I could credit the artist(s)? No plaque visible, so — again — sorry.

Finally we are in E.T. Seaton Park, practically up to the Ontario Science Centre grounds. We have gawked at some archery practice (in a well-fenced, off-to-one-side enclave), and dodged the wilder throws of some disc golf enthusiasts. “Sorry!” they shout. We are gracious: neither of us has been decapitated, so no need to fuss.

We’re about to climb steps up out of the ravine, on up to Don Mills Rd.; nothing more to see down here, we agree.

Hah. There is always one last bit of magic.

slack-wire practice, in E.T. Seaton Park

Slack-wire artists!

We watch for a bit, and then, suitably slack-jawed with admiration, we climb those steps & catch a bus.






Vertical Lakes

30 June 2016 – Chloe & I are not thinking about lakes, vertical or horizontal, as we scamper down the steps of St. Anne’s Church. We’re thinking about art: the heritage art within the church we have just toured, and the street art we now plan to discover for ourselves.

More specifically, alley art, all around the Queen W./Dovercourt/Ossington area a bit south of the church.

The plan is to head immediately south of Queen, but, oh, we get distracted. You know how that is?

So we are deep in Alley-land, but still somewhere north of Queen, when we meet the lion.

alley n. of Queen W

He is not the best art of the day, but he has a ton of character, & I am charmed. Lots more to see down this alley, including woollen bobbles on utility poles, and some particularly fine detailing to frame one side of this door.

alley n. of Queen W

Then Goggle Guy catches my attention, complete with shoulder birds …

alley n. of Queen W

and a neat little “bow tie.”

detail, alley n of Queen W

Soon we are dropping south toward an alley I want to show Chloe: the one running west of Ossington between Humbert and Queen. “We’ll walk around this corner,” I say as we weave our way, “then we’ll hit Humbert and carry on south, and see what’s been happening since I last visited  …”

And I stop talking, gob-smacked.

No, eye-smacked.

alley n. of Humbert

Our first vertical lake.

We have bounced ourselves into a hot spot for new murals, all being created as part of the June 20-25 festival, A Love Letter to the Great Lakes. It has brought together 21 artists, from various parts of the world, in the first-ever “fresh water edition of PangeaSeed Foundation’s Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans.”

Lima-born, Toronto-based Peru Dyer Jalea (Peru 143) is one of them. He’s putting final touches to his mural, but chats a bit as he works and flashes a quick V-sign pose.

Peru 143 with his new mural

We walk on down to Humbert Ave., look back, goggle at the fabulous combination of works: as if the still-wet Peru 143 mural isn’t enough, here’s a bursting-bright Birdo to admire as well.

alley just n. of Humbert, w. of Ossington

Until this moment, I’d never heard of Peru, or seen his signature. Chloe & I finally hit the target alley-west-of-Ossington, and right there, just south of Humbert, what do we see?

The Peru signature. Of course.

alley w of Ossington, between Humbert & Queen W

It’s not what we see first. First we see the distinctive Uber 5000 canaries; then we see signatures; then we realize that, oh yes, the right-hand end of this mural is very very Peru.

And we don’t make any more of the combination than that, and anyway, we are almost immediately distracted by an equally distinctive hit of Pascal Paquette.

Paquette, same alley

Paquette, in turn, is blown straight out of mind by this stunning new, huge, black & white mural almost at the Queen St. end of the alley.

Definitely new and, I soon realize, part of the Great Lakes project: “RIP Don Valley River” is worked into the swirls.

same alley, near Queen W

So is the signature “en masse.”

Later I look it up, and discover the interconnections. En Masse is a Montreal-based, “multi-artist collaborative drawing project,” dedicated to the creation of a collective vision, greater than anything one person could achieve. It is multi-city as well as multi-artist, and I recognize some major Toronto names in the list: Birdo, Elicser, EGR and MC Baldassari, for example. Peru 143 is there as well, perhaps right from his own days in Montreal.  (Uber 5000 is not on the list, but given the group’s philosophy, his work with Peru 143 makes perfect sense.)

A young guy emerges from the final building in the alley, the one butting right onto Queen. I look up, see another gigantic B&W mural. “That’s new, too,” I say. (Duhhh.) “Yup” — and he talks about how many of these project murals are in the area.

same alley, at Queen W

We wander on, more alleys, some fences.

I’m not sure this bit of alley-fence art is part of the project: artist Zachary George isn’t on the Love Letter list of participating artists, but his work sure is on theme.

alley nr Queen & Ossington

Yes! That great big fish is properly horrified by all those zebra mussels, scourge of the Great Lakes.

Back out to Ossington itself, just north of Queen.

Ossington n. of Queen

Where a giant loon now rides his own vertical waves.

And we soon ride transit back to our respective homes.


Philosophy on the Street

27 June 2016 – I have this weaknesses for signs, or, at least, short messages on walls and garage doors. The people’s philosophy, yes?

Sometimes, said People simply latch onto an existing, official sign.

For example, this stern, and very 21st-c., reminder of unacceptable behaviour — even in the wide=open spaces of the Humber Arboretum.

in Humber Arboretum

Get out your little pen-knife, find the next example of that sign, and express your own, more permissive philosophy instead.

in Huber Arboretum

Phyllis & I are impressed by the attention to detail. Any old knife-wielder could have thought to scratch out the word “No.” It took further imagination, we agree, to remove both the forbidding cross-bar in the image, and — especially — the “g” in “smoking.” Gives it the appropriately casual, cavalier air, don’t you think?

Jump to last Saturday, when AGO volunteer colleague Chloe & I are prowling the lanes & alleys very roughly in the College/Queen/Ossington area. Lots of new street art to be seen, much of it being created as we walk by, because Saturday is the last day of Toronto’s “Love Letter to the Great Lakes” international street art festival.

More of that next post, I promise.

Meanwhile, back to Philosophy on the Street, as neatly written on alley walls & doors.

There is the Existential Dilemma category …

alley in Parkdale

and the Moral Imperative category (subset, Specific Applications) …

alley in Parkdale

and the straight-out, all-purpose Moral Imperative …

alley in Parkdale

and, alas …

alley in Parkdale

the reminder of Ultimate Fate.

Family Portrait

23 June 2016 – Mummy, daddy, and …


little baby bike.

Generating Magic

20 June 2016 – It’s a trim, 21st-c. logo, don’t you agree?


The decidedly un-trim wall around it is the perfect context. This logo proclaims the current, ephemeral use of an industrial dinosaur, the Richard L Hearn Generating Station — Canada’s first station to produce hydro power from steam, when it opened in 1961, the steam itself produced originally by coal and then by natural gas until the station closed in 1983.

The hulk has sat there in Toronto’s Port Lands ever since, disused (except by film companies, who adore it), a reminder of another era as all around it the once-industrial Port Lands are increasingly detoxified and transformed for entertainment, parkland and other purposes.

The hearn generating station, seen from north side of the Turning Basin

I take this photo Saturday, a steamy Saturday let me tell you, from the north side of the Turning Basin, as I bike around & pay a return visit to “The Hearn.”

Because, you see, the hulk is — at least temporarily — The Hearn, venue 10-26 June for Toronto’s 10th annual Luminato Festival. Until this year, the huge range of events had been staged wherever possible, all over the city. This year, it is all concentrated in The Hearn.

It’s hard to convey the surreal immensity of this ragged, enormous space. Festival factoids tell me it is three times the size of the Tate Modern, and larger than the Lincoln Centre, NYC.

They need not eat their hearts out. They are considerably more polished inside.

inside the Hearn, up through Turbine Hall

You see? The eight power generating units have been ripped out; we look up, up through the immensity of the five bays that once contained them.

up through Turbine Hall, photo by Chris Corbin

And see traces, here and there, of what used to be. Electric circuit boxes along a wall, for example …

power boxes, disused

A puzzled guard very politely asks me: Why am I taking this picture? What beauty do I see in these rusted old boxes? I say it is history speaking, telling us what majesty and power and purpose this place once had. His whole face glows with pleasure. He looks at the boxes, looks back at me, smiles again. “Yes! Thank you!”

For me, it is part of the magic — the glimpses of that first purpose, co-existing with the wildly imaginative, wildly successful, wildly joyful 2016 purpose of this Festival.

In the Festival catalogue, Luminato’s artistic director, Jorn Weisbrodt, calls it:

a new model for a cultural institution, one where everything is open, inclusive and porous. A place where visitors and audiences move freely … wandering from various exhibitions to a meal … then see a play, participate in a gigantic choir sing-along, hear a classical concert, a baroque concert, or a rock concert, and end up with an LGBTQ hip-hop club event — all in one massive space.

And indeed, one evening, I attended that choir sing-along (me and 1,500 others and Rufus Wainwright), and returned last Friday evening with friends Chris and Susan to watch Toronto’s Monkey Vault team put on a parkour demo around the building — and coach the braver members of their audience through some moves of their own.

Chris took this shot of the main floor space, as spectators began gathering for the various evening events.

in Tubine Hall, waiting for Monkey Vault; photo by Chris Corbin

Parkour, as a sport, has evolved from obstacle course training to, well, every inventive, athletic, fun way possible to play with urban spaces. And what fun these Monkey Vault guys had, paying an official, sanctioned visit to a whopping big space that they may just have — ahem — already visited a time or two on the QT! (Shush.)

Part of their fun included swarming up The Hearn’s “Grand Staircase” — decorated with neon tubing for Festival purposes.

Grand Staircase, The Hearn

This is my shot, taken on my return visit Saturday, with the neon tubing shimmering into my overwhelmed little camera, making the scene even more surreal than it really was — though only marginally so, because it is hard to out-do the total mad effect, as seen by the naked eye.

Climb that Grand Staircase, as I did, and you are on the Jackman Gallery — home to a pop-up resto called Le Pavillion (a very hot ticket indeed), a bar, and Trove. Trove is one of the art exhibits, “a view of Toronto in 50 of its art treasures,” photographed in various public & private collections and displayed all along one wall.

It includes, from the TIFF Film Reference Library, Tom Frost’s Mujahedeen arabic machine Oliver, one of many typewriters used in David Cronenberg’s 1991 film adaption of  Naked Lunch.

arabic typiewriter, in Trove

See? Arabic characters on the keys.

Far end of the Gallery, a close-up view of another exhibition: One Thousand Speculations, the 7.9-m. diameter mirror ball created by Michel de Broin for Luminato in 2013, hung again this year.

One Thousand Speculations mirror ball, shot by Chris Corbin

Chris took this photo on Friday; I look more closely at the ball (the world’s largest, they tell me) on Saturday. One thousand mirrors, spiralling their reflections endlessly throughout the vast space, weaving it together somehow, and enchanting us with the lazy, silent magic of dancing light.

Signage urges us to look about, tells us to look for a remaining coal bunker up high, some coal chutes, steam vents and oil lines still snaking their way around the steel grid. I can’t find all these things, but later learn that tour guides point them out.

Back downstairs I prowl the main space again, impressed by how well they use the space, how unafraid they are of its dimensions, how they make each pop-up section work. Another bar, for example, over by the enclosed theatre …

a bar in Turbine Hall, next to the theatre

And finally, enough, I leave. Back out into the heat & sunshine. One last look back …

entrance/exit to The Hearn


Oops. Sorry.

So I look forward instead.

Past the rows of (temporary) bike racks to the rubble & grasses & wildlowers in the wild spsce beyond. Where there is another work of art — one in the permanent collections of the AGO, no less.

It is interactive, in the best contemporary traditions, and comes with its own sound effects.

detail, Untilled

Bees. Buzzing bees.

Untilled, in field next to The Hearn

This is Untilled, by Pierre Huyghe, a concrete reclining female nude – yes, you got that part — her head encased in a bee hive, with bees adding to the honey each day. And pollinating the surrounding flora, the signage tells us, “extending the work beyond an anthropomorphic definition of art.”

Oh, I wish they hadn’t added that last precious bit of artspeak!

But I like the sculpture anyway, and I cycle back home contented.





    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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