A patchwork of pleasures

My occasional trips to my old home town, Toronto always have a pieced-together quality. I commune with longtime friends, squeeze in a few business appointments, stop by several shops I miss, and grab a few minutes to take in the changing cityscape from the streetcar.


How apt then, that this patchwork of persons and memories led me to the first day of an extraordinary show of contemporary quilts at the Textile Museum of Canada, "Colour Improvisations 2", curated by the renowned quilter and fibre artist Nancy Crow. Well worth a trip (no matter where you live) from now till September 23, to stand before these magnificent compositions.

Shown, "Vibrant Colour Bars" by Ruth Bosshart-Rohrbach, Swizterland.

The curator acknowledges the attributes of the makers:



I also spent time with Kay and Gwen, the founders of the estimable perfumeniche.com, the online decant store, who support another art form—perfumery—with style and verve. What a pleasure to meet them!


A cocktail and packet of divine decants later, I reluctantly left them to catch the train. So, though the Passage will shutter on June 28 for the habitual July-August vacation, expect more of their deep knowledge here in the fall.

And, I bought a dress! Finding dresses (which I only wear in summer, here) is absolute hell for me, as most are too short, and I don't want a maxi that drags up the métro stairs, either.

Just before meeting Kay and Gwen, I dropped into a local boutique, Damzels (full name, Damzels in This Dress), which embraces a rockabilly/retro vibe, but hey, worth a look. And in ten minutes,  I walked out with this dress (minus the belt), which I'll wear to celebrate my birthday in July: a family dinner capped by a sortie to the tiki bar, Snowbird. Aloooooha!



The trip unrolled delightfully until the taxi home from the train station, when the twenty-something driver and I got gridlocked by a massive street closure due to a bike event. What is usually an under 20-minute ride took an hour and a quarter.



At one point, we were locked into the Plateau neighbourhood, because it was also The Night, that magical first warm evening when the city explodes in a spontaneous, raucous party, and that area is packed with bistros and bars. I suggested we park and join the festivities till the bottleneck broke up.

A Kazakhstani cabbie and a grandmother walk into a bar... sounds like the setup to a joke, but I was wearing my new decant of "Bella Freud" and figured hey, he is probably praying for no more fares like this; it it just might work. But he duly got me home.

This ends a burst of travel; now we'll welcome many summer visitors. The Passage stays open a few more weeks, though, so keep strolling through.



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13 comments

Laura Jantek said...

a perfect trip! love that dress -- quilts are very big here in NS and many are far and beyond the "make do/crafty" category. True works of art. one of our locals:
https://www.laurieswim.com/

Vancouver Barbara said...

Such a pretty dress. Perfect for the summer night you just described. Love the Textile Museum. Wish I could see the quilt show.

LauraH said...

Leave it to a visitor to hit all the high spots:-) I'm very happy to know about the quilt show, my sister loves them and this will be perfect for her next visit. And that dress!! Love it...so pleased you found what you were looking for. Some Katrin Leblond vibes there I think.

lagatta à montréal said...

Lovely dress. Glad the belt was omitted - it would have spoilt it, imho. I hope I'll get to T.O. for that quilt exhibit - remains to be seen. My best friend there was in an ugly conjugal situation, but now she and her young adult son are happily on their own, in a condo in the older part of Etobicoke, by the lake and the Queen Streetcar.

We got a beautiful photo of Montréal coming alive, mais pourquoi pas la ligne orange?

Bon été!

Mardel said...

What a pretty dress. I love dresses in the summer but don't wear them so much the rest of the year, even here in the southern US. And it looks like you got some fun fragrances. Looking forward to your report.

Duchesse said...

lagatta: Because I had heavy bags to wrangle and a splitting headache brought on by no ventilation on the train (mechanical problem.) . And, because i had no idea about the street closures! But the metro would have been far better! That ride cost me over $60, and the diriver apologized profusely and refused to take a tip.

LauraH: I can spend nearly all winter in darks but when summer comes, I do a 360! That show is a must; I suggest going for oening when it is not crowded.

Laura Jantek: Thank you so much for the link; yes the NS quilters have a fine reputation.

Mardel: I placed an order; if I got into their studio, or whatever they call their lode, I'd go crazy.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Lovely dress...perfect for summer.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday...please report back on the scents after you return.

lagatta à montréal said...

Yes, and sadly, there are no elevators in the Bonaventure station yet, which seems a major oversight, as obviously many people will have luggage. http://stm.info/fr/infos/etat-du-service/ascenseur Nice that the young fellow was such a gentleman

I experienced that in GERMANY of all places, in a summer of odd heatwaves in the Netherlands and Germany.

It is true that unlike the daytime Tour de l'île, there was relatively little media info about the Tour de nuit. I know the organisers and will inform them of that.

Amelia said...

I like everything about the dress. Beautiful and festive! Perfect dress to celebrate a happy occasion. Hope the Tiki Bar comes with Polynesian revue for entertainment. Alohaaaaa! I've never been to Toronto. Beautifully written blogs about your travels. Love the highlights of things to see and do in your former hometown. Amelia

Margie from Toronto said...

I love that dress - just looks so summery!
Thank you for the tip about the Textile Museum - hand't heard anything about this exhibit! I will also let my stepmom know as she is an avid quilter.

Duchesse said...

hostess: Thank you so much! I may get to those decants by Sept but am also working my way though others... cannot resist.

lagatta: Street after street closed to vehicles! Though I do not own a car, and am pro-bike, I asked myself if they would let an ambulance through... probably? Scary to think about.

Amelia: There is sometimes dancing :)

Margie from Toronto: I find anything there worth seeing and it's only $10 for seniors! Go in morning before crowded as it is a small museum.

lagatta à montréal said...

Ambulances and other emergency vehicles (police, fire, paramedics etc) have always had priority at the Tour de l'île events, and there is a phalanx of volunteers to let them through. I've already done that.

Duchesse said...

lagatta: it is not the access granted by volunteers or police to rescue workers, it is the absolute immobility rendered by the gridlock plus the limited sidewalk space (terrasses, people) in that area that worried me. I sat at several points for over 10 minutes, without moving a meter- and with nothing else to do, contemplated how an ambulance would get through- even if using the sidewalks. (A street with a bike lane would provide much better access.)

We had a friend who very narrowly squeaked through a heart attack here last winter. The EMTs said that if there had been delays they would not have been able to save him.