Saturday, September 26, 2009

Go West Young People

Loyal Fans,

Notes from up North is moving. But, not South. No, we are hitching up the covered wagon and heading West. To Calgary that is. Cattle Country. Oil Country. Black Gold. Alberta Tea.

Moving to a downtown Condo building called Eau Claire Estates.

Very nice building. Courtyard, swimming pool, billiards room. And a huge Condo.

The building is adjacent to the popular Bow River Trail (running, biking, roller blading)

Also, we will be directly across from Prince's Island Park. A lovely park with a wonderful restaurant, gardens and band shell. This park has festivals every weekend in the summer.

And, of course, only an hour away from the Canadian Rockies.

More to come once we arrive.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rally for Israel

Last Thursday night, Debbie & I went to a "Rally for Israel" at the enormous Beth Tzedec Synagogue. Beth Tzedec is just a block away from our Synagogue. The rally was sponsored by a variety of local and national Jewish and non-Jewish (ok mostly Jewish) organizations and was part of a series of rallies held across Canada simultaneously.

A press article from the sympathetic, Jewish owned, National Post is linked below:

The rally was very well organized and technically slick. It started with a video similar to the one below, but with Canadian cities (couldn't find it on Youtube).

One highlight was a live video link with Bersheva in Southern Israel. It was 3:30 am their time. About 4000 people attended in sanctuary of the Synagogue (yes that big). And, included a key note address by Peter Kent, minister of State for the Federal government.

The purpose of the rally was to generate support among Jews and non-Jews for the Israeli position and people. None of the speaker took any solace in the violence of Gaza. They only spoke about it in terms of being necessary to provide long term security.

It was great to be part of a pro Israeli response in Toronto. There is plenty of negative press. For example, some newspapers chose to cover this event by focusing on the group of about 6 Jewish counter demonstrators across the street.

Also, there have been many anti-Israeli demonstrations. The most recent was today. Interestingly, they all occur in front of the non-descript office building that contains both the "Runners Shop" that I visit once/week for group runs and the Israeli consulate. We have come back from long runs to face giant protests. And, I thought running was healthy.

And, some of the Toronto Unions are almost militant. The University Professors union (CUPE) wants to ban Israeli scholars. Other unions want to divest investments.

I think most of the population is very supportive of the Israeli position but is beginning to become skeptical with all of the negative news in the press.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fun with Rebecca and Alanna

Rebecca and Alanna visited with us from the 28th until New Year's Day. We all had a great time. Highlights included snow tubing in Barrie. The best run was when the four of us held onto to each others tubes and we went down as a foursome! See video:
We saw two movies , both excellent: Will Smith in "Seven Pounds" and Ron Howard's "Frost/Nixon". We highly recommend both. We explored Chinatown a bit and had a great chinese dinner.

We also went to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) which was under reparations for some time and just reopened recently. It is a beautiful gallery. We only saw two of the five floors, so Sam andI plan to return to explore the rest of it at some point. We went on a guided tour where we learned a little bit about Canadian art, in particular the "Group of Seven".

The Group of Seven was a group of Canadian landscape painters in the 1920s, originally consisting of Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley. Tom Thomson (who died in 1917) and Emily Carr were also closely associated with the Group of Seven, though neither were ever official members. The Group of Seven is most famous for its paintings of the Canadian landscape. It was succeeded by the Canadian Group of Painters in the 1930s.
The Group of Seven was strongly influenced by European Impressionism of the late nineteenth century in the Montmartre district of Paris.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Post Number 1

We are new to the world of blogging and really don't know what to write about. So, if you have any suggestions - let us know.

What's new in our world... Observed Christmas in the usual Jewish way:

  1. Sam went for his annual, "running of the Jews" with 2 Jewish women from his running group.
  2. Watched a movie, in this case "Doubt"
  3. Ate Chinese food in Chinatown

After eating, we stopped at an Asian green grocer and bought some very cheap fruits.

Friday is "boxing day" and the stores have huge sales. It's a good time to avoid shopping if you don't like crowds.

On a whim, we invited people over from Sam's running group for games on Saturday night. Now waiting to see if anyone is available.

Well, interested in knowing if anyone is reading this and if you have any suggestions for content.

Happy Chanukah & Merry Christmas