The Narcissism of Boomer Nostalgia

When does nostalgia turn into narcissism? When the surviving members of the cast of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” which originally ran on the BBC between 1969 and 1974, recently announced plans to give their first public performances as a group since 1982, tickets for the opening-night show sold out in 431/2 seconds. It’s not known…

Shocking images from Sandy in New York City

The photos of New York are so shocking, the people I know are so close to this. Mat of TreeHugger in in the Lower East Side with a fresh baby and no power projected for another four days. These Unbelievable Pictures of Sandy’s Destruction Are Actually Real – Neighborhoods – The Atlantic Cities.

This Must Be The Place: The CN Tower Show

There was an embarrassing moment in This Must Be the Place: The CN Tower Show at Theatre Passe Muraille ; there is a lot of audience participation in this show, and at one point Georgina Beaty asked everyone how long they had lived in Toronto, counting years up by fives. When she got to 55 years, there were…

Grandma in Venice

Grandma in Venice in about 1958. Dad in Venice sometimes in the 70s. It seems that it is a family tradition, about to be continued by me and my family; we are going on an art history tour, led by Maggie Broda of OCADU. A good way to avoid being in Toronto when I turn…

Dill Restaurant

Short Review: Dill Restaurant, Reykjavik

You can’t tell a book by its cover, and I have learned that you can’t tell a restaurant by its tablecloth. When I was in Reykjavik for a morning after our hike,  A friend of Laurie’s, an Icelandic doctor from Toronto, showed us around town. I was eager to see Alvar Aalto’s Nordic House, which had…

My Íslendingasögur: Practice Runs With Pack

The trend today is ultralight everything, measuring every gram. Some people drill holes in their toothbrush handles. Ten years ago, it was not yet all the rage, so when the Canadian chain Hikers Haven closed down and sold its stock for pennies on the dollar, I bought three fancy German Deuter backpacks, then almost unavailable…

Major Havelock

A Tip of the Hat for the Olympics

For just four days, twenty statues around London, including Admiral Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square, have received specially commissioned hats to celebrate the best of British millinery talent and the Olympic creative spirit. Called Hatwalk, the statues are famous and so are the hatmakers: Stephen Jones, Philip Treacy, and Sylvia Fletcher (Kate Middleton’s favourite designer).…

Dorset trail

My Íslendingasögur: Learning How To Walk

My favourite exercise is the rowing I do in my 1989 Hudson scull, a beautiful 28 pound boat that just glides across the cool, bug-free lake. This year I am using it less and hiking more, preparing for roughly 15 kilometers of hiking per day in Iceland in August. It is not nearly as nice,…