Saturday, May 30, 2009


For the day job, I have begun a tour of major U.S. cities beginning with the letter B, or so it seems. Actually, it's only two cities - Baltimore and Boston..
The entire time I was in Baltimore, the skies were slate grey and it rained almost every day. The city - or what I saw of it - was quite depressed and boarded up. The conference, although interesting, presented new challenges for covering as a reporter. Medical groups, for reasons that escape me, are clamping down on photography and audio recording - which we rely on as supplements to our old-fashioned notetaking. Unaware of the ban on photography, I merrily shot some pictures (okay, not so merrily), and was nearly carted off in handcuffs for it.
So, apart from dinner with a friend, my best time in Baltimore was travelling out to Frederick Douglass High School and shooting reliefs like this one on the building. The reliefs all featured females, which makes me think this used to be a girls school - especially since it's the latest, in a long string of locations, for Frederick Douglass H.S. In fact, I was looking for one of the earlier incarnations, which I knew had clever little sculptural figures. But I'm not disappointed I wound up at the current school.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Watcher at the window

A couple of Fridays ago, the weather in Toronto was glorious - sunny, warm - and it promised to be the same on the weekend. So late on that Friday afternoon, I managed to get a deal on a rental car, and spent the weekend driving around the GTA (Greater Toronto Area - yes, I even ventured into Mississauga) and shooting.
This house is one of my finds. In the University of Toronto Annex neighbourhood, it has two faces on either side of the main door, and a face on each of two bay windows.
The late architectural historian Patricia McHugh described this house as having "too many quick and fussy decorative details for its own good," but I think that's a bit harsh.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Toronto faces by Harry Wayne Owen

Back somewhere in the depths of 2008, master carver, sculptor and painter Harry Wayne Owen (of Harry's Folly) and I swapped our handiwork. I sent him a copy of my book, Faces on Places, and he sent me some of his sculpted ornaments.
Working down in Atlanta, he then interpreted some of the faces in my book and produced the ornament you see here. (He posted others on his own site back in January.) This fellow and his confreres are from Toronto's Old City Hall.
Wayne's ornaments are great, but his walking sticks are fabulous. Be sure to swing by his blog.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm back, baby!

Okay, this time I REALLY am back, baby! It's springtime and I have bagged me lots of faces, in Toronto and elsewhere, to share with you. This fellow is from a house in the Annex and here

is his buddy, on the same house. I don't know their stories, but will find out.
For now, I just wanted to get back to posting.