(Note: I have no idea why my font is both microscopic and not the normal WordPress font; however, I am far too exhausted to try and figure it out right now. I *can* say that after a quick forum search, I was informed that you are unable to modify fonts on the WordPress.com platform unless you have serious knowledge about CSS, which I do not. WTF? Does that seem silly to anyone else but me? It seems like pretty basic functionality in, I don’t know, 2009. Le sigh.)
You know how you can walk down the same street every single day and not notice something that’s been there forever? I try to be an “explorer in my own city”, which is really still very new to me, but I consider myself to know my ‘hood pretty well. Very well, actually. This week, though, I noticed something different on a lamppost across the street from my building. I noticed a hot pink sign, not necessarily because of what was on it, but because it was hot pink, natch. When I realized it wasn’t just another flyerplastered on a post announcing the next rave at The Guvernment or that male models are in serious need, but something from the city of Toronto about art, no less, I stopped to take a look.
The sign said simply “artbuzz” with a phone number and two other digits, and was near the Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial (sign # 1-3). I’d walked by the very large structure before — it’s huge and not something you can miss; not to mention, I’ve lived nearby for two and a half years and, being the consummate tourist I am, had to check it out. That was long ago, though, and I’d never noticed any pink signs. So, I did what anyone would do and phoned the number hoping upon hope that it wasn’t some kind of porn line or ruse to steal your credit card number. Alas, no! You get a lovely little tale about the work of art, how the idea was conceived and anecdoates from either the artist or art experts. Don’t believe me? Try it! Call 416.338.3331 and punch in 1-3. Pure art goodness.
Artbuzz1 was commissioned in 2002 by the Cultural Services division of the city of Toronto as an audio tour of the city’s outdoor art. Why no one has notified me of this goodness prior to today is beyond me. I have walked all over this city in the time I’ve been here and have never, ever noticed any other pink signage, with the exception of said male model necessitation. Ahem. The odd sign is still affixed around the downtown core, but apparently fifteen pieces were included with the project launch — including Montréal artist Gilbert Boyer’s curiously obscure granite plaques in the ground called “I Looked For Sarah Everywhere” in St. James Park at King and Church (sign # 2-1), as well as at the elevated wetlands in Sunnybrook Park (sign # 1-6). What this all means is that there are fourteen other outdoor art pieces I’ve yet to see. Fourteen! For shame. It, of course, may or may not have something to do with the perpetual foot of snow on the ground six months a year, but that’s neither here nor there. Artbuzz is definitely one of Toronto’s (many) best-kept secrets.
1 I scoured the intertubes trying to locate a website for artbuzz and I can assure you after an exhaustive search that one does not exist.