BEL’OCCHIO   …   the beautiful eye



Who lives upstairs?

Canvases lean in anticipation against the walls.

Bouquets of brushes and a palette board crusted with colour.

An  easel holds his bold thoughts.



Worn pointe shoes dance in the moonlight.

Whispers of music.

Glorious applause.

She remembers  looking down to the street below.

Her past life on ru Fonteneau.



Rich velvets crushed and worn by the years.

Leather bound books read again and again.

Gilded icons and the beeswax scent of candles.

She dreams of  a dacha.

Childhood memories.



From a window high above music soars.

Drowning traffic noise.

An aria of friendship.

The Pearl Fishers.

The baton  no longer keeping time.



The words sound click, click, click.

Telling of  silent secrets.

Forgotten thoughts recorded.

Stories whispered.

Chasing thoughts.

Words written deep into the night.

Who will read?  Who will remember?

Who lives upstairs?


(Upstairs photographs taken on West Queen West, Toronto, Ontario)


12 thoughts on “A TORONTO FLANEUR

  1. Stop the madness…….. I see them all looking from the upper windows, through the dusty glass, peering from behind the shear curtains…..in their eyes dance the memories in their full glory. Augustine and I shall be in Toronto in May, oh I so hope we can visit West Queen West and walk the footsteps of Virginia!

    • Oh Tinny I am pea green with envy. Toronto in May will be beautiful. The magnolias will be blooming. There will be magnificent tulip beds blazing with colour. Across from Trinity Belllwood Park on West Queen West is my favorite tiny cafe – Clafouti Patisserie et Cafe(915 Queen St W.) Grab coffee and indulge with their fab croissants or their outrageous Cronut! My Toronto home is on the other side of Trinity Bellwood on Crawford so just a hop, skip and a jump to Clafouti.You are in my Hood.
      West Queen West is lined with funky shops and the place to see and be seen (fashion) on a Saturday stroll. Don’t forget to look up. You my find a Russian ballerina gazing down at you. XXX OOO Virginia

    • I am a confessed window watcher. I especially like walking at twilight and looking into peoples lives. I loved that in Amsterdam residents never closed their curtains, part of their great openness. XX V

  2. I love that first photo. When I see windows peering out of time-battered buildings, I always wonder who lives/lived there over the years. Your words captured that feeling of nostalgia and curiosity.

    • This particular area of Queen Street in Toronto is very old. The unique buildings create an atmosphere of history and there is a reluctance to eliminate this. The buildings are seldom razed. More often restored to their former elegance. Virginia

  3. Dear Virginia, I needed one of your movies today! Perfect timing. I think this one is my favorite. Gorgeous words, of course. Haunting! But I also love the flashbacks. Seamless. And in sepia. “Worn point shoes dance in the moonlight” and “Gilded icons and the beeswax scent of candles” are my two favorite lines. So moody. So moving. T.

    • We travel this unusual world together Theadora. It is a dream world, but then do we not live in our dreams.This particular street holds bitter-sweet memories, for this was my daughters “hood” and we would explore the street together. A million hugs. V.

  4. Beautiful post, Virginia! I must be a Toronto Flaneur (ette).
    As I finish creating your Art Gown, I pause and dream out of my upstairs window in my 125 year old home in the Queen W.W. area.
    As the condos and corporations creep closer, the view is all the sweeter. _Resa xo
    (2-3 more days to finish, then a few days to photograph then a day or 2 to write the post)

  5. Beautiful post, Virginia, and your photos are always amazing! I read your reply about how open Amsterdam residents are and I’m quite the opposite. During the day, yes, but at night, I close up the house. I think I’ve seen too many scary movies in my youth because my hubby loves them all open…lovely words, too! xo

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